.
Why is Congress so good at kicking the can down the road?
September 10th, 2012
02:41 PM ET

Why is Congress so good at kicking the can down the road?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

They're at it again.

After a five-week vacation, Congress is back to doing nothing.

Lawmakers are back on the Hill - although most of them aren't really there. They're worried about Election Day, which is less than two months away.

If it's at all possible for the atmosphere in Washington to get any more partisan, now is the time.

And while the country is knee-deep in serious problems, Congress is focusing on politics. What else is new?

The only must-pass measure before them is a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government and avoid a government shutdown.

Aside from that, look for lots of meaningless hearings and votes on measures that both sides know won't pass: The Republicans want to roll back automatic defense cuts and repeal Obamacare. The Democrats want to vote on a jobs bill with no Republican support.

Also, expect a lot of these votes to echo themes we're hearing on the campaign trail from Messrs. Obama and Romney.

Pathetic is what they are. All this as the U.S. hangs off the edge of that fiscal cliff.

If Congress chooses to do nothing about the deep automatic spending cuts and the expiring Bush tax cuts coming soon, economists warn we likely will be headed for another recession.

And there's loads of other unfinished business too - like a farm bill, a veterans jobs bill, and a housing bill.

Urgent matters, to which the response is - ready? The Senate might leave town again for another seven-week recess as soon as September 21.

But be sure to vote to re-elect the incumbents in your state or congressional district, because they're doing such a great job.

Here’s my question to you: Why is Congress so good at kicking the can down the road?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: Congress
soundoff (315 Responses)
  1. james in greenville nc

    It is much easier to kick the can in your neighbor's yard than it is to pick it up and put in the recycling.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  2. JD in NH

    99% of Congress only cares about Congress and their high salaries and sold gold benefits.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  3. Tom in Desoto, TX

    People shouldn't be surprised considering their personal credit card balance. Individuals are kicking the can down the road and do not expect any better from those in Congress. Raising the debt ceiling is the exact same thing as getting a new credit card .The population as a whole do not care, they just talk about a problem thinking it will get better. It will not.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  4. Randy

    Because they're paid by their billionaire and millionaire masters to do so. The middle class and poor are just the bank that these interchangeable thieves rob on a daily basis.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  5. D from NY

    Congress is good at kicking the can down the road because practice makes perfect. We haven't held them accountable for their actions, and they have gotten away with it until we've reached the edge of the fiscal cliff. We pay these misfits and we need to vote them out when they don't do our bidding.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  6. perry jones

    as long as nothing gets done it will be the other guys fault , i have been trying every thing but they will not move give me 2 or 4 more years and i will get done

    September 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  7. jen seattle,wa

    They have low life staff who always got a lawyerisitc sadistic technicality that provides deceptive excuses to further abuses

    September 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  8. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Because the public isn't paying attention to Congress because their struggle in this economy has them distracted. Your other question asked today, "What does it mean if more than 50 million Americans couldn't afford to buy food last year?" is one of many worrisome reasons, we don't pay attention to misfits in Congress.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  9. jk in MN

    Because the districts are so Gerrymandered that a lot of them don't get any competition. They aren't really accountable to anyone so they can focus on Party first instead of Country First. There needs to be term limits put on Congress seats too since they really don't represent their districts well – just the special interests that fund their re-election. It's appalling to me with the high number of poor in the country that so much money is being wasted on campaigns. America's priorites are really messed up, Jack.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  10. Gary in San Jose, California

    This is an easy one, Jack. It's how they get elected. They placate their constituents by deferring the tough and painful decisions in order to protect the short term status quo. Think about it. Who would get elected with a platform of tough decisions resulting in painful sacrifices? We like to hear that everything is all right and no sacrifices are necessary so we do it to ourselves.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  11. DaleW in Lowell MA

    None of them have the courage to stand up to their corporate sponsors and do the right thing, or anything for that matter. Avoiding anything that might help the middle class is frowned upon by the GOP roadblocks.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  12. Pete in Georgia

    They're no different than a company with a loser at the helm. ZERO leadership at the top. A President in Washington who has one main agenda.....................to get elected. After that trick he has no clue what to do. Nothing.
    And, it doesn't hurt if you have an electorate who will listen to any fable and keep electing those who spin them.
    It's like shooting fish in a barrel.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  13. Robert in Florida

    Practice. No one holds them accountable. At least the House has passed some jobs bills that have just sat in the Senate with no action taken. The President has been far too busy for the last four years holding fund raisers, campaign events and playing golf to provide any leadership. So that’s where we are stuck with an incompetent President for 4 more years because the voters are too into the American Idol reality TV mode to know that what we need is real Leadership.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  14. Lee, Wyoming

    In psychobabble terms, some members of Congress are obviously getting some reward for delaying decisions and not doing their job. The reward is forcing their own way without compromise. Voters should put a stop to this bullying and VOTE THE RASCALS OUT. Our time is coming November 6!

    September 10, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  15. Richard Texas

    The problem with congress is that they are all politicians and everyone knows once you check into the office of politics you have to leave your spine at the door. The only real genuine interest and concern a politician has is his or her own election. They only remember the American people when they need their vote. After the vote the people become irrelevant.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  16. ken, atlantic city, nj

    They are good at kicking the can down the road because they have had a lot of practice thanks to the dumb voters who keep putting them back in again and again. Pandering works but it does not solve any problems. The u.s. is just like the titanic. Sorry but the u.s. is sinking, and there are no life jackets left to save you. The 100 Trillion dollar u.s. debt has caused irreversible damage.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  17. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    Congress is good at kicking the can down the road because the voters who put them in office keep kicking the can down the road to vote them out of office.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  18. Mysterious

    Two words : Tea Party.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  19. Annie, Atlanta

    We have elections every 2 years, that's why. They should all serve 4 years with one more shot at another 4 years and then move on. This constant campaigning gets in the way of legislating. And legislating for the greater good obviously gets in the way of campaigning. Rock meet hard place.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  20. Doug Ericson

    Congress is so good at kicking the can down the road because there is no one that can stop them. What good is a Presidential Veto if Congress doesn't pass anything? What about the Supreme Court? Well, the Bills Congress does pass are so long and complicated, the Supreme Court just takes a vacation when confronted with such an issue, and then punts the Bill back to Congress. One Supreme Court Justice said something like, do you actually expect us to read all of this ?, ( when the 2500 plus page healthcare bill was provided to the Supreme Court). I think it was Scalia that offered that classic remark. Forget about the Main Stream Media. They are not doing their job as watchdogs of the whole process. Where is the outcry from the media about the ongoing practice of selling Mortgage Backed Securities for example. And the voters, and the crooked district makers, make Congress irresponsible. Retiring Barney Franks distric in Massachusetts looks like someone dropped a thousand piece puzzle on the foor and they made a district out of it. It is sheer corruption. Then they just sit back and let the people vote, they know they are going to win before the first vote is in. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  21. DT - Saint Paul, MN

    The congress is made up of representatives of the people. If the people allow themselves to believe things without finding the answer for themselves, we deserve to be misled by the crooked politicians.

    All I know is, we can't afford to finance another Wall Street pyramid scheme, so we better limit those guys' authority before they destroy the country.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  22. Peter

    perpetual campaigning. Not one elected official will risk defeat by voting for something remotely unpopular, hence kick it down the road.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  23. Albert Parmar

    Hey Jack,

    You and I have no right to blame congress, in their lowest rating, and worst performance, this congress is seeking 2 years, there is nothing more pathetic than that. They are good, because we media, report the fallacies rather than people's reality. Tea party is fallacy generating power, Republican does not have gut to tell truth, and we have accepted lie as truth, We media does not have power to tell that that is lie, but we says it is untrue.

    Unless we learn to tell that Mr. Ryan , and Mr. Romney you lied, it is all in vein.
    Albert, Columbia, SC

    September 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  24. Pat in Michgan

    Because they are too scared of losing their perks and power . The public has not got the money or influence to force them to do their job. What a crock!

    September 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  25. Matt

    Jack
    Because we let them. We keep electing or re-electing these folks and they rightly assume that we are weak and can do nothing. Until they learn they work for us the can kicking will continue.

    Matt
    Rockford

    September 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  26. Gary Canuk

    They do so because they are NOT threatened by voter anger. In Canada th emajority party hold power, period.
    In USA hoping to save checks and balances you allow the body called Congess to oppose the adminstration, day by day , item by item. Get smart voters if you vote Democrats vote them in Congress too. Too many of you decide Congress on individuals not the party. Your current President has been barred from doing too much good because so doing would ensure his re-allection. Take the whip away form Congress, of you want a party vote it, dont do the stupid thing and believe you can have it both ways.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  27. Gary H. Boyd

    "Kicking the can down the road" is part of a course entitled "POLITICS 101" which all members of Congress are required to take before assuming office Jack. It's the easiest part of the course and very few fail to achieve high marks. It's used as a "Fall back position" when poliicians find themselves backed into a corner. Classes are held regularly in the Cloak rooms and hallways of the Capitol.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    September 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  28. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y

    Because they are afraid that what ever action they take will alienate voters and put them at risk losing their next election. They believe if they ignore a problem it will some how magically disappear or the other party will do something and can point at it say "It's an attack on your liberties. will cost too much, benefit the wrong people and/or wont work. Vote for us and we'll implement our secret plan that we know will work."

    September 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  29. Wilhelm in Las Vegas

    because 80 percent of the congress are in "safe seats" and have NO worry about their performance being evaluated SO they have NO incentive to really DO anything.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  30. John

    Because there are no consequences for them Jack. It would be nice if there was a law that said Congress had to do their jobs, but they are the ones that write the laws, and they certainly don't want to write themselves out of a job.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  31. Thomas

    Jack … you acknowledged you know the answer when you said “But be sure to vote to re-elect the incumbent in your state or congressional district because they're doing such a great job."
    I believe no one at any elected government level should have more than one term. I’ve been voting for over 45 years and the only time I can remember voting for an incumbent was Clinton ’s second term. I strongly agree with the adage “help fight corruption ….. REELECT NO ONE”.
    Tom
    Germantown Hills, IL

    September 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  32. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    We kick the can down the road because some people are spotty at voting. If all the new voters for Obama in 08 had shown up in 2010, the Democratic coalition would have held and nothing would have been kicked down the road. Conservatives tend to vote in every election, liberals less so. If the liberals voted each time, we could make decisions and have them stick.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  33. Brad, Portland, OR

    Because there's no penalty for failure, or doing a bad job. They can do the bare minimum now, and save the hard work and tough decisions for the future.

    Most Congressional districts are gerrymandered to be safe seats for one party or the other, so Congressmen can keep getting re-elected over and over again until they decide to retire.

    And as for the Senate, most states are comfortably red or blue, except for a small handful which are more divided... and we call them swing states. They'll shift the Senate a few seats back and forth around the 50-50 mark after each election.

    But with the rise of the perpetual filibuster, without a 60 vote super-majority, almost all legislation in the Senate will gridlock.

    Which gives Senators another excuse for never getting anything done.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  34. Paul P.

    Probably because everything has become so politicized, and since everything hinges on the next election, nobody seems to motivated enough to do something that may be unpopular. Which is bad for addressing long term goals but good for getting oneself re-elected. Democrats are too concerned with dropping polls, and Republicans probably think they'll be back in power soon, so they'll get to work then.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  35. Paul P.

    Probably because everything has become so politicized, and since everything hinges on the next election, nobody is motivated enough to do something that may be unpopular. Which is bad for addressing long term goals but good for getting oneself re-elected. Democrats are too concerned with dropping polls, and Republicans probably think they'll be back in power soon, so they'll get to work then.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  36. Dave, Kissimmee, FL

    It is because they have become a bunch of scurrilous, gutless, self-serving crooks interested only in lining their pockets and getting reelected. This is all aided and abetted by the supreme clown’s “Citizens United” ruling. What did they expect would happen?

    September 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  37. John from Alabama

    Jack: It takes a brave person to be a statesman, and coward to kick the can down the road. Professional politicians are not interested in doing the job they were elected to do. Dodge, run, or jump away from their duty and oath they took at the beginning of the session of Congress. They will bow down to the Grover Norquist, but Joe Average is just out of luck. Veterans go homeless, but members of Congress grow rich from insider stock deals.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
  38. Susan-NJ

    There good at it every election and we let them keep doing it. CNN reports SS purchased 174,000 hollow point bullets. They speculate it's to control the demonstrators when Congress tells them SS is over. I think they will send a bullet in each letter and tell the future SS recipients to bite the bullet while they read the new unavaidable terms. Over 1/2 of US collects welfare- that's the half that pays the bills. Who are the rich going to get their post reitrement trips to Europe from now?

    September 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  39. Dave Laguna Niguel, CA

    Because if any of them try to address the issues, the press and the other side of the isle crucify them (Paul Ryan's budget proposal for example) and we reelect 95+% of them every election.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  40. david of Alexandria VA

    In oart, jack it's because we pay them to do that - we re-elect them and therfore reward their bad behavior. BUt moreover, we seem to have klost the abilty to collaborate and build consensus among our elected leaders. Thye seem to forget that they are there for us and not for their party.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  41. Rick McDaniel

    Simple, Politicians spend way more time trying to keep their jobs, than doing anything positive for the country.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  42. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    That is because Congress is controlled by big money and lobbyist. You cannot expect Congress to be able to do anything when one lobbyist like Glover Nordquist can make most of the Republican Party bow at his feet and sign a pledge not to raise taxes especially on the wealthy, tying their hands behind their back and controlling what can be done to reduce the deficit.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  43. David, Tampa

    Gee, Jack give these overworked guys a break. After all they have a lot on their plates, what with all the campaigning and fund raising they can barely squeeze in junkets far from the prying eyes and ears of reporters. Just think, business that could be dealt with today can, and is, put off until it becomes a crisis so they can tell the American people how much we need them and their leadership abilities and for us to reelect them. The only good thing our politicians have provided us with over the last few decades is material for late night opening monologues. Over the last six years my termites haven't been nearly as destructive as Congress. Time to stop what you are doing guys and try a different strategy, you know working for the betterment of all the people of this country not just yourselves and friends.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  44. Pete in Florida

    EAIEST question ever. Why is Congress so good at kicking the can down the road? Because ignorant, gullible, underinformed voters keep returning the same clowns to office. You REALLY want change? Throw them ALL out, EVERY election – nothing else will get their attention. Onlt 10% of Americans approve of Congress, yet more than 90% of incumbents will be voted back in this Novemeber. How DUMB can people get???

    September 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  45. George in PA

    Because we keep re-electing them!.If you vote in November and choose any of the incumbents then in effect you're encouraging them to keep kicking the can further down the road.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  46. josiesvoice

    Because they get away with it. The old political system sucks. They all try to get in office, do little ,then try tog et reelected until they're eligible for a nice fat govt pension.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
  47. Phyllis G Williams

    Why is Congress so good at kicking the can down the road?

    Possibly, they could be trying to protect the country from debt or lack love for the
    community and its leaders, which hurts everyone "my people is taken away for nought?
    they that rule over them make them to howl" (Isaiah 52: 5)

    September 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
  48. Jim in Denver, CO

    Jack,
    Because the whole group is bought and paid for. Too much money is pumped into them by special interests. None of them can be fired like a 'regular' worker can be. Congress knows they are 'protected' to a good degree. Thus they just sit on their hands and do nothing. Gee, I just love democracy.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  49. calaurore9

    Because we let them. No one runs against longtime incumbents, so they are reelected by default. Plus, it seems the President doesn't take them to task often enough. Leadership, please!

    Carol in Ma

    September 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  50. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    "kicking the can down the road" is their default setting, and until there are deep and painful penalties and repercussions brought to bear on Congress, you can be sure this behavior will destroy us. The citizens of this country should at least get organized enough to effectively, and physically, "lock out" Congress from returning to their cushy offices, forfeit all their pay and re-direct those funds to feeding the poor. We have only ourselves to blame for allowing such callous and sel-serving arrogance to exist in government.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  51. BrainTurnedOff

    It is because they are forgetting the oath of office and not getting punished for ignoring it. May be they should take the oath EVERY day they enter the house, not just the first day of a new Congress.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  52. paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    Because they fear what's in the can.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  53. chris

    simple jack they think they are god and have no one to answer to they do what ever they want they don't ever answer to us the real boss we pay their outrageous salary and benefits

    September 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  54. Marilyn from Powell, OH

    They are afraid they will not be re-elected, thus being unable to sponge off decent, hard-working Americans.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  55. Toni

    Because THEY makes the laws that would benefit themselves, so if they want to delay or kick the can down the road, they have a law they can use or bend to do so.

    South Carolina

    September 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  56. Bob

    There is no incentive for politicains to do anything – they get paid whether or not they're useful. In fact – it would seem that none are actually useful, and that perhaps it would make more sense were they not paid – particularly by bribes from coporations. But – gee – since they have a lockhold on decision making and power – what are the chances that anything will ever change? US was never, and never will be, anything close to a democracy.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  57. Jerome, Burlingame CA

    It's simple. Job security by pandering to American laziness.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  58. Brett Warburton

    because we don't require them to do any different

    September 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  59. Bryan from Chicago

    Congress is so good at kicking the can down the road because they are only accountable to American voters, most of whom are watching reality TV and have no idea of the issues. Maybe we should qualify people to vote...

    September 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  60. WV Gleeman

    They are good at it because they are not held accountable for this. A vote every 4 years is not the answer. We need some congressional reforms put in place to keep these people working and not pandering which is what they are really good at.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  61. Matt

    Cafferty, it is because we elect politicians, not statesmen. They are more focussed on their party and what they individually want than what is right for the people they represent. It is all a game to them, on both sides. Winning is what matters, and winning to a politician means beating the other side to the ground, not compromising. Compromising is what happens with statesmen, people who want to govern and accomplish goals and improve their nation. The many politicians we have in office today would rather go toe-to-toe in a boxing match than reach across the isle to create something that works. This makes them look bad in their fraternity....I mean political party.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  62. honest john

    It's nothing but lazy do nothing politics with nothing getting done. Public service? statesmen? What a joke since they only serve themselves.while the middle class is at the mercy of Romeny/Ryan Luddites. God help America.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  63. Pat Austin

    As they should be worried. More than half of them don't stand a chance of getting re-elected. Glad our taxpayer dollars are going to good use, paying elected officials to wait out a presidency, and in the meantime, hurt millions of American families in the process. Congressmen/women: You should be ashamed of yourselves smh How could we have known what Obama and his administration could've done this term, had you gave him the chance

    September 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  64. Eric in Houston

    Practice, lots of practice.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  65. Gary H. Boyd

    Jack, "Kicking the can down the road" is part of a course entitled "POLITICS 101" which all members of Congress are required to take before assuming office and, since it's the easiest part of the course, most pass with flying colors. It's also called a "Fall-back position" when politicians find themselves in a corner. Refresher classes are held regularly in the Cloak Rooms and hallways of the Capitol.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    September 10, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  66. Darryl Cox

    What do you expect them to do? Neither the Senate or the President are willing to find middle ground on anything, so what is the point of them passing bills that will only be killed before they make it to the President to kill. They might just as well do nothing, at least it minimizes the damage the Senate and the President can do like they did in their first 2 years when the Dems controlled it all.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  67. Bob Zimmerman

    Jack,
    Silly question. How many jobs do you know of that provide a big salary, complete medical care, and lots of under the table money. All for doing nothing.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  68. RickFromDetroit

    That is the way it is supposed to be. The middle is what "screwed" everything up. Remember, it has to be all of "one" or all of the "other," with no "middle." We tried the middle before and it didn't work. Shall we pray?

    September 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  69. Bill

    Because they have a reputation to uphold. Bill/Fairfax, Va.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  70. Bob Gimbi

    That Figures, were you surprised? I think Congress needs a rop,,,report of performance every 6 months, and if they don't get a favorable rating, out they go, bye bye, lets replace all the dead heads............Iam sure other people who want to do something could take there place.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  71. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    They kick the can down the road so they don't get their cans kicked out of office. If most Americans realized how much their representatives in the House and Senate are indebted to special interest groups, lobbiests and Money Men such as the Koch bro's. and Grover Norquist, we might get something done. However, "the Ugly American" usually bases his vote on sound bites, commercials or the loudest person in a crowd. Now hear this. "Kick all of their cans out!!!", while we still have a few rights left.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  72. x

    Congress needs to be entirely replaced. Every single member of congress hould not be allowed to enter politics at any level anymore – a ban for life. Unfortunately, the "Lemmings" will ensure that after the election (regardless, of who wins) everything will go back to business as usual...

    1. Replace Congress
    2. Repeal Citizen's United – Money is NOT free speech and Corporations are NOT people
    3. Full campaign finance reform – transparency and limits are the key

    September 10, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  73. 1grasshopper

    They are professionals at it.Nothing is ever their fault.Any mistakes they make they put the blame on the president or nanyone else that is convenience.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  74. lou

    Because we let them. In fact we encourage it by holding our hands firmly over our ears and humming loudly anytime anyone mentions that we may have to tackle medicare and social security reform, even though the majority of our national debt is really just a projection of what we owe for these programs in the coming years.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  75. Donna Wisconsin

    Because we let them. They are 'our party' so we vote them in again. They won't bend and compromise. So we vote them in again because they stick to our values! Then we can turn around and blame the President!!! How dumb we are!!!

    September 10, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  76. harry

    If we ever admitted we put a knucklehead in office, we might have to ask ourselves "what the heck were we thinking when we were in the voting booth 2 or 4 or 6 years ago?" I might have to blame me for voting for a nut case. But I would NEVER vote for the wrong guy!

    September 10, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  77. Gail, Plano TX.

    Jack: This is not a democracy any longer. It is an oligarchy as I am sure an intelligent man with your credentials knows. But taking to the streets in protest will only result in police beating and arresting protestors. We are well on the road to fascism.
    Congress is a JOKE!

    September 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  78. bonnie from NJ

    Term limits is the only answer, that way they do not have to worry about getting through the next election. However, since they have to approve term limits, we are screwed. It is so infuriating I have to stop thinking about and go back to work, while I still actually have a job!

    September 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  79. Bill (Florida)

    Jack,

    If you think Congress is doing zip now just wait...Once Obama gets re-elected there will be four more years of zip....
    Obama will never compromise with the Republicans in the House of Representatives. It is we, the voters, that are responsible for the gridlock. What is the definition of Insanity? Voting for the same people in both parties and expecting different results. My prediction is four more years of the same--zip-get ready...

    September 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  80. garyinco

    It's all about them is why. But I think if we want something done we need to be thinking about the whole government, not just the presidential election, and the Congressional elections. You want progress? Think about what will deliver action and vote in a congress that will work in conjunction with the president. I vote for Democrats so am in favor of most of their policies right now. So let's re-elect Obama and give him a Congress that'll help implement his agenda. If in another 4 years we don't see a vast improvement I'd be willing to do just the opposite. But this business of constant gridlock has got to stop. It's a waste of everybody's time and energy and even though the government is supposed to have some checks and balances maybe the politician have just manipulated it to a ridiculous extreme. I know one thing for sure – this just isn't cutting it. So let's help them make the right choices while they're out of office. Maybe it will help them get a clearer idea that we want progress while they're out of office figuring out how they're going to fund they're healthcare insurance and that the time for the endless bickering is over.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  81. abbydelabbey

    Because the voters are not holding their senators and congressional representatives accountable. The voters must be pro-active: writing letters, making phone calls, and, yes, voting them OUT of office when they refuse to be bi-partisan or to compromise or to cooperate. Good government requires working together for the benefit of all of America, not working to score points or destroy the other party. But it seems politicians have lost any sense of statesmanship - it's all about ideology and power and money. Extremism has taken over politics, and when extremism makes inroads, the roads lead to destruction.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  82. GFJ

    Jack if we really wanted to get this country moving intoa higher gear than the Congress must sit down together and work out an effective plan and pass it. When you have party pandering and extreme iedology holding each other hostage they are conducting "real job killing" growth. Yes the President could have done some things better, but all Presidents could have done things better. When you have a ranking Senior Senator stand in front of the camera and tell the country his only job was to make sure the President had only one term, that is justifaction for termination. What he really meant to say was I don't care about the country only my party. Just for the record Democrats are not exempt. Until the citizens unite and hold them accountable, we are in for more rocky waters.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  83. Captain Obvious

    Once upon a time, the Republican party was run by grownups. They used to know that the only way to lead a country was through compromise. That day is no more as they have elected mostly immature ideologues who won't give an inch to get a mile. They will hold the nation hostage if they don't get their way. They're the Washington equivalent of the little boy who took his ball and went home because he was losing the game.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  84. Ed from California

    The answer is....Special Interest Lobbyists. And, we have no control over them...i.e.Lobbyists and members of congress....our hired "help". Its really to bad that individual districts can't restrict their pay or benefits. We can't control their actions, even if its against our best interest. Look at Joe Walsh......who in their right minds would vote for something like that? And that goes for Boehner, Cantor, Allen West, Bachmann, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and the list goes on and on. Why do we vote against our own self best interest? Its mind numbing.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  85. Cleavette Brown

    It all about the money Jack! Congresss only interest now is "Special Interest". Don't get me wrong, they have been bad for a while but Citizens United gave them the right to do absoutely nothing to benefit the American public.

    I the neo-con would use 10% of the efforts and money used to destrroy the president, this would take care of a lot of the problems

    September 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  86. CatSh

    Maybe they see their job is getting elected, not running the government.
    I don't think term limits are enough to stop this – after all, we have term limits on the Presidency and it didn't stop it.
    But I think if we say they can't serve CONSECUTIVE TERMS, we might actually get some work out of them. That means only the non-serving congressmen will be campaigning :)

    September 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  87. Howard / Maine

    Why !! Jack I'll tell you Why !!. We allow them too. The voters will not do what is right and needed and that is to put in term limits. They can make the money they do, take a 5 week vacation, come back to Washington and pick up right where they left off. Nobody polices them, We need to kick them out (ALLLLL of them !!) and start over. If that don't change things start takeing away there bennies. No Insurance, no retirement, you get the point. There is only one other kind of job that I know of that you can get paid, do little and most times get it wrong.... and that is a weatherman in Maine.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  88. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    They're good at it because they never have to suffer for the pain they inflict on others. I have some ideas about what that suffering should look like, and I'm sure the vast majority of Americans have some good ideas of their own.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  89. bts7

    If your only desire is to destroy President Obama's career...then you bring nothing to the table. Hence, the can kicking! My only question is this: If Obama is so bad, then why do Republicans have to lie so much? Truth stands alone!

    September 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
  90. Tom Jurczak

    I think it is time for all true Americans to post a national strike to protest the actions of our Congress and Senate. For to long we the American people have been made patsies by the do nothing politicians that do nothing but take care of themselves. A nation wide strike shutting down the entire country just might get their attention and let them know that the American people are fed up with politics as usual. Start doing your jobs and take care of the people that you are sworn to protect!!!

    September 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  91. J. Nelson, Eveleth, MN

    Congress is good at kicking the can down the road because: 1) They only care about themselves. 2) The first vote in the first session in the beginning of every year is to vote themselves a raise and/or an increase in benefits, and that's already done for this year. 3) No one holds them accountable. 4) If they don't do anything, when it comes to campaign stumping, they can always say they were for/against whatever issue their constituents are upset about because when you do nothing, you can't do anything wrong; and they believe this in their hearts totally. 5) They actually tell themselves and believe that the entire country will never rise up and balk because as long as they keep any third party out, they have no competition. 6) They believe they're right in what they are not doing, which is their job.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  92. tinb

    This is why democrats must come out on mass to vote, so that Republican obstructionists / isolationists / hawks / racists / narrow-minded puritans can be stopped from destroying this country – Bedford, MA.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  93. Dave

    Jack, our inaction is what makes this country great! Can you imagine the mess we'd be in if the cockamamy initiatives our elected hucksters put forth were actually RATIFIED? For instance, the GOP Veep-to-be Paul Ryan spent 75% more time worrying about what's between a woman's legs, vs. the budget committee he was chairing (according to his bill sponsorship record). Are you SURE you want this bunch of moneygrubbers with any REAL power to change things?

    September 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  94. Randy

    The president needs to set the tone in Washington. He has set it with his constant campaiging since day one. He has divided the House and Senate more than any other President. Instead of compromise, its blame the republicans becasue they dont worship me and all my socialist ideas.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  95. Marty

    Congress is a corupt institution. Only place where goverment officials can legally take a "bribe" from special interests (lobbyists. etc. ) So long as republicans and democrats point fingers at each other and refuse to compromise,nothing will get done. And when our economy completely collapses, they will still be pointing fingers at each other as they join us on the food line at the "mission" in downtown Washington.D.C.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  96. Ralston

    Until we elect officials who do not want a career in politics but rather focus on solving country problems on behalf on their constituents, we are going to have this this problem.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  97. RGP

    Do-nothing Congress will not work on any Bill that is likely to help the country since it will work against them in upcoming elections. It is indeed sickening to see the selfishness in Congress with single minded focus on self preservation. Obviously Republicans are more to blame since they are blocking any meaningful legislation that will help lagging economy. There is very little the President can do if Congress is hell bent on doing nothing! This needs to be highlighted by news media so that everyone puts more pressure on their representatives.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  98. Dave

    (forgot city and state) – Longmont, CO

    Jack, our inaction is what makes this country great! Can you imagine the mess we'd be in if the cockamamy initiatives our elected hucksters put forth were actually RATIFIED? For instance, the GOP Veep-to-be Paul Ryan spent 75% more time worrying about what's between a woman's legs, vs. the budget committee he was chairing (according to his bill sponsorship record). Are you SURE you want this bunch of moneygrubbers to have any REAL power to change things?

    September 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  99. David Gerstenfeld

    "'Politician Genetics" would be my best guess or it could be something in the DC water system. As to the farm bill, veteran bill etc. what we need is a Bill, as in Clinton. You & I both know that it takes a lot of money to run for office & the answer is an independent party large enough to force a coalition in our do nothing polarized congress.
    David, Las Vegas

    September 10, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  100. David Jackson

    It's been this way at least since Obama took office. The Republicans have nothing new to offer but the same old giving more to the rich so that it can fail to trickle down like it always has. They believe they can depend upon the situation getting worse and being able to blame Obama for all the ills of this country even though they refuse to let him do much of anything to begin with. I guess they think the American people are just that dumb, or that there is still enough racism to play to to enable them to beat Obama in the coming election. I say we dump them all. They are just another big drain on our economy beholden only to themselves, the rich, and powerful.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  101. Bob Meteer

    Jack – here's a Biden-like bumper sticker....Obama got Osama...Congress got 5 weeks off and more pathetic.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
  102. Aaron

    I hate it when the media looks to spread the blame evenly. We all know who took a pledge to make President Obama a 1 term President, and it wasn't Democrats. Please stop reporting as if Democrats are the ones blocking a job bill. You can't compromise with people who don't care. If you call Republicans out for kicking the can; you'll start to see a change

    September 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  103. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    One is fear! If they do something then they may not get elected again and enjoy their pay and benefits. The other is we the divided states of America are splitting apart slowly into three classes of people, the haves, the have nots and the next set of have nots.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  104. Crooked Bridge

    Because they put their politics above their country. Maybe their measurement of performance should be tied to something other than being re-elected by constituents who also put their politics above their country.

    Decatur, Georgia

    September 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  105. Tom

    I've found that kids learn at an early age whether or not they can get away with different behaviors. This type of irresponsibilty carries on into adulthood and also into different workplaces. Obviously, Congressional types have learned a behavior that has no significant repercussions regarding keeping their jobs – damn – I wish I had a job like that!!!! Wish I had their outlandish pension benefits, also!!! Most people in Congress disgust me and the American people must wake up and vote these irresponsible idealogues out of office. We need intelligent people who are not afraid to compromise to move this country forward!!!!!! Thanks

    September 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  106. LUIS

    Congress should work under the same stipulations of a regular job. Eight to four or nine to five, you and I can't get away from work for such long periods and still get our paycheck. I would be surprised if they were actually at the job for one -month-worth of working hours in a year. Forget about accomplishing anything ! No wonder they want to hod on to their jobs so tenaciously.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  107. Richard Drew

    Congress is in gridlock for one simple reason. Republicans will not compromise, preferring to push thier own agenda. While this is typical it is much worse due to many of them vowing to not let Obama finish the job. Hating a President and saying so in so many ways has become the mantra. So while The President has had quite a few accomplishments it had to be when Democrats had control. To those few Republicans willing to Compromise and put America first I thank them.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  108. gmenfan54

    Only voters can change this situation on Election Day. The GOP needs to go away.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  109. Justin

    They're so good at it because they know... KNOW they'll get their re-election. We hear all the screaming and yelling from both sides about "throwing the bums out" and "term limits"... Well, nothing is going to change so long as everyone thinks that the "other guy" is the problem. It's not MY senator who's not getting things done... it's the guy from "X" or "Y".. Well, guess what? As long as we continue to hold these opinions we'll never see a change to the system.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  110. Marie

    Because they are nit-wits, just like Mitt-wit. Space cadets who want Obama OUT , by any means possible, even if it means our country slides down the tubes.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  111. Rosalie Reece Georgia

    People continue to do what they get reinforced for doing. They stop working and we let them. We don't like what they're not doing, but we continue to re-elect them. Therefore, there is no incentive to change.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  112. mybackyardproject

    The republicans are paralyzed by FEAR!!!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  113. Jeff from Idaho

    What do politicians have to fear? Who are they really accountable to? Have you ever looked what it takes to remove a politician from office? It's just not enough to say "We don't think you're doing your job. We want you to resign." The process to remove politicians from office is arduous, complicated and expensive. If it were simpler (and cheaper), then perhaps we'd see more accountability from elected Congressmen and Senators and we'd see more useful work being done.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  114. Southern Ohio guy

    They spend most of their time taking care of themselves, next they take time to do as their party tells them and then there just isn't any time to care of the needs of the people they represent. What would you expect out of a bunch of lawyers and millionaires.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  115. Mike in Minneapolis

    At least they can agree on something.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  116. CaptD

    Jack,

    Congress has out lived it's usefulness. We have reached a time in America where the citizen can dictate what Congress votes on. Each Congressman should issue voting ID's to their constituents and the people vote yeah or nay for every bill proposed and that Congressman votes based on the people of their district's vote. It makes the lobbyist lobby the people and it takes the politics out of everything. We can also cut their salaries and their staff.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  117. Frank S.

    Our Leaders in Washington should be embarrassed. It's all about politics. They've become the Hatfields & McCoys.
    The only difference is these politician have cushy jobs, great pay, great perks and tremendous vacation time. of course they want to be elected. Even though they have a 13% Approval Rating. Most people I talk to are disgusted with Washington
    they continue to pontificate about their party is better than the other....our Government is quite seriously breaking down
    there is NO CURE for this disease,

    September 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  118. us_1776

    You mean the GOP Norquist Admiration Society refused to do anything?

    Wow. What a surprise.

    ---–

    Push "D" on all congressional and senate races.

    .

    September 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  119. Jyothi, St.Louis,MO

    My son goes to bed late at night despite knowing that he has school the next day. Why ? Because he knows that if he cannot wake up in time the next morning, his mom wakes him up anyway.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  120. Jay From Salem, OR

    Hi Jack,
    This is the good old politics before country attitude that the GOP has adopted because they have such a problem with not only a Democratic president, but a black one as well. I say that we should vote the GOP bums out

    September 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  121. jason

    until there are some real term limits and reform in place, all any elected official is ever going to do is spend 80% of their time trying to get reelected. So with only 20% of their time being spent on other things, of which half of that is on vacation, that only leaves 10% of their time actually doing their jobs. its no wonder things get kicked down the road.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
  122. JofromVA

    " kicking the can down the road" is a phrase that involves actually doing something, for Congress wouldn't a better phrase be " so good at taking 2 weeks off for every hour they show up at the place they humorously refer to as work"

    September 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  123. Michele

    Vote every single member of Congress out – they don't do anything anyway. Congress is the biggest reason we are in this mess because they have forgotten the meaning of COMPROMISE.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
  124. open400

    The GOP in the House, inspired by the Tea party, have passed 30+ resolutions on some form of banning abortion; knowing full well the law would not be passed by the Senate or signed by the President. It's get theatre, but it means nothing.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  125. pleazenufalready

    Why is Congress so good at kicking the can down the aisle? ....that's easy....because they are only held accountable by their lobbyists. Most people like to threaten that they'll vote all the incumbents out, but, when push comes to shove.....Republicans vote for Republicans and Democrats vote for Democrats. Several things need to happen to end this cycle of yuck.....get rid of the Grover Norquists of the world.......meaningful term limitations imposed.....zero gifts from lobbyist......and repealing of that stupid decision that allows corporations to spend untold millions on political ads!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  126. I'm a Rose

    Are you talking about Ryan's face out there every day instead of being at his job, I get so tired of seeing him lieing to us. Get him back to work.
    I sure hoping the Bush tax cuts do expire. I can't believe you are worrying about that. They have rode the Gravy Train for long enough, let them pay taxes in this country.
    I am hoping the Republicans get off their duffs and vote for Prez. Obama's jobs bill. I will vote for Obama/Biden

    September 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  127. Unemployed American

    It's simple – they care about their jobs more than ours.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  128. Boo - NYC

    Because they ARE ARROGANT. We need term limits.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  129. Glenn

    Jack, that's what you get with career politicians. People get so use to them doing nothing that the House members and Senate think its more important to get re-elected than do the right thing for the country! Personally I am sick of all of them.. I wish one politician would get up and explain exactly what they will do for the country and how. I am an Independant and have been voting against any incumbant that has been in office longer than two terms!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  130. Doyle

    merican people would be best served, not to pay back campaign contributions to special interests

    September 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  131. Lisa

    I have a hard time understanding why people complain about teachers (i.e. how much they earn, how much time they have off, etc.) only to have the people we "hired" to work for us, take off even more time and get paid a heck of a lot more than any teacher I know. Can someone explain this?

    September 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  132. Rick

    Because we are too afraid or unwilling to vote the out of office. We automatically assume the new guy will be worse.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  133. Kevin Alex

    Most Americans would jump at the chance to kick all of Congress out. You would probably not even see a difference in the way the economy functions until a replacement batch is found. The problem is that most Americans feel that they have absolutely no control over the matter so they look the other way and decide not to vote. Congress needs the "Teacher" treatment. If anyone should pay the price for failing members of society, it should be Congress, not the teachers of the US!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  134. CaptD

    Jack,

    Every Bill should be bipartisan. Members of Congress should have their salaries reduced if they don't participate on a predetermined number of bipartisan bills a session. If you fail to write or be a part of the predetermined number you are ineligible to run for Congress for 20 years!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  135. chaseu

    Vote out all incumbents this November regardless of party. That's what I'll be doing!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  136. Margaret

    I don't know why anyone is surprised. When Obama was elected the Republicans said they would be the party of No and they did exactly that, well so will the Democrats if more Republicans are elected. They forget that they are elected to serve the people and it should not matter who is the president, find some solutions, if you don't like what the other side is offering make some suggestions and put it to the people, have them write. They are so busy listening to the lobbyists that we the people have been forgotten by both parties.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  137. Larry in Houston

    Why is Congress so good at kicking the can down the road ?
    Answer : Because they know they can get by with it, in an election year. Once the election is over with, they typically get down to "Business as usual" – – – No matter who's in office, whether it'd be romney or obama, congress typically holds things up.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  138. Mr. D

    My, being a congressman is mere child's play. "Look at me kick the can down the street; See how far it goes." It's like "see Spot run." Reelect me and I"ll kick it again and again But wait, it's time for another recess. Aren't we all just children at heart?

    September 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  139. Bob from West Virginia

    Why is Congress so good at kicking the can down the road? Because many are career politicians! To throw the bums out of office and get a legislative branch that stays focused on the issues and problems of day you need to have term limits. I recommend that Senators with a current six year term be allowed two terms only (12 years); Congressman get their term extended to four years and be allowed three terms (12 years) and limit the President to one eight year term. To implement this will require an Amendment to our Constitution. This effort has to come from the people! Congress will never implement such changes that radically curtails their self-interest.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  140. Charles Shaffer

    It seems the GOP(Guarantee our Privileges) want the President out of office so badly that they are willing to trash our economy

    September 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  141. Mike,Albany

    I can't think of any other job in which it is possible to work so few days, do absolutely nothing when you do work, and still get paid a very comfortable salary. I suggest putting the salaries of our members of congress into escrow accounts until they accomplish something meaningful. If they fail to do this, the money they would have been paid will go directly to their constituents.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  142. bobby frank

    I really don't think they are good at anything. They should be thinking about the country as a whole without regard to politics. We are stuck with these idiots and it is not a good feeling!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  143. insight iowa

    Jack the best thing this country can do for itself is vote a Democratic Ticket in Nov. It will be the only way Jack that this country gets back on its feet fast enough to survive.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
  144. Gigi Oregon

    Could it be Lobbyist that keep them tied up paying them to do it their way...

    September 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  145. David in Mississippi

    If they stopped and picked up the can they would see that it is empty The can that they are kicking is our currency, if they cut spending it goes down, if they continue to spend it goes down.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  146. beevee

    The only aim of the majority GOP congress is to defeat President Obama even if it brings economic crisis to the country and unemployment to millions of voters who elected them, then we cannot except them to do anything to help solve any issues and work with the president. Hope the voters realize this and kick these bums out of office in the elections.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  147. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    It's because there are no consequences for not getting things done. Let's come up with a new "pledge" and make them swear to work together or else we'll throw them out.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  148. dd

    The United States has no President to lead Congress. We have a Teacher Union supported peanut head who now is watching one of his teacher unions screw 400K kids in Chicago. Wisconsin did it right. It elected a leader and one who through the people killing unions out!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  149. Dan Louisville, KY

    Because there are NO actual LEADERS in Congress anymore. Yet these clowns still occupy offices in the stately and revered Capitol Building. Perhaps we should rent them space in an old Motel 6 out behind some strip mall. That would be consistent with their accomplishments and their "vision".

    Come on -Comet!!!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  150. Rob in FL

    Congress only acts quickly when it comes to offshoring jobs, Wall Street bailouts, or deregulation, passing legislation that would benefit 99% of Americans might hurt the 1% and/or special interest groups pockets,

    September 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  151. Maxwell

    This is very disappointing. they getting pay for nothing.What a shame.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  152. Jackson in Oregon

    Because it seems no one buried in politics is willing to meet in the middle for the good of the country.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  153. Bob Meteer

    they kick the can....cause that's all they are capable of doing. They've showed us that for years now! Avoid the tough choices and god forbid we upset our lobbyists freinds . But as in all facets of life...you ignore the problems long enough they fester and will provide your ending. Abolish Congress! Please join the movement – something we all can agree on!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  154. upwardquest

    Come January, 2013, Congress will get more done. Most, if not all, of the do-nothings will be replaced by Democrats who will work WITH President Obama for the good of the country. President Obama helped me keep my home. Thank you, President Obama! I am voting for YOU!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  155. Neil

    Because we keep re-electing them time after stupid time and by doing so keep adding to their wealth. Therefore, the only priority they are concerned about is staying in office. The time has arrived to throw the bums out.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  156. kent

    Madison, WI

    Because they get paid regardless of how much work they actually do. And there certainly is no quality assurance at their workplace.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  157. GS

    We need to vote for any candidate that isn't a Republican or Democrat. I can't beleive that either of these groups have the answer. Together they have marched us here and we have let them. they are different sides of the same coin.

    Time for a new currency!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  158. Bob Mayes

    They seem to be afraid to agree on anything. My guess is they worry that if they vote in favor of a bill that turns out to be a bad decision because of unpredictable circumstances, they will have that held against them in the next campaign cycle and possibly lose their cushy jobs. Money seems to be the loudest voice in government today. Big corporations are the puppet masters of our current political system. In the last century, corporations would lobby our politicians to get favorable treatment. That's no longer true. Our Supreme court decided that with Citizens United. Now corporations are the highest ruling power of the nation.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  159. Todd

    Simply put, They care more about there party's power then the American people who elected them. If they honestly cared about the people, they would do what is best for all of them, not just pander to there parties ideals.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  160. Dr Jeff Thompson

    Jack,
    Business as usual......gridlock. As long as there are no term limits on a politician...and they can turn endless re-election bids into a lifetime career, getting re-elected and making themselves look good politically for re-election in the future, will forever be the primary operational mode.....not what is best for the people they "represent". This past 4-year cycle, right from the start of Obama's election to the presidency, has been a Republican Party agenda of zero to do with the business of the people of the United States, but to do whatever is necessary to make the president look bad, get nothing done, so they could use this against him in the next presidential election cycle. In this way they could use the tag line: "Are you better off now then when Obama was elected?" Kicking the can down the road is a way of avoiding decisions that could cause a negative effect on your personal political career and your re-electability.....let the next guy down the line make those tough decisions and take the personal political hit.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
  161. David L

    They are affraid of making any decision that might not get them re-elacted. It's easier to get paid for doing nothing than to have to think and plan.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  162. michael

    2 year shelf life is the reason. With campaigns (and primaries) starting earlier and earlier, members of congress can't spend as much time doing what they're elected to do. Also, the shelf life of congress persons is getting shorter and shorter. They spend all of their non-campaign time trying to secure that private sector job by pandering to special interests.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  163. Bernadette, Cary NC

    Jack, I agree with you totally about the waste up on Capitol Hill. But I have the perfect solution. Let's expand the jobs the temporary football refs are doing and have them fill in for all the political do-nothings as well. I think all together combining all the revenues from pro football teams and the league would be more money than our country currently has so the money shouldn't be an issue if the refs had to double up on their duties. And I'm sure they'd do a much better job.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  164. Chris (NC)

    5 week recess. 7 week recess. Annual salary is $174,000 dollars. What about working 5 days a week , only get Federal holidays off and 4 weeks of vacation a year. Earn your money. The rest of the workers in the US is tired of you freeloading on our hard earned money. No self serving raises, 4 year terms-same as president, no three terms and no freebies. Every one should have it this easy. Public service? Time to serve and earnwhat you deserve.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  165. Nodack

    They should all just go home or just campaign and quit pretending to do anything that might help America. How much are we paying them?

    September 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  166. Loren, Chicago

    Lack of leadership in the White House. Rather than work to obtain compromises of various issues, the President's strategist (read "David Axelrod") are engaged in the same take no prisoners form of politics that they've been engaged in since the beginning of the administration (the not-available-for-reading-before-voting passage of the so-called Health Reform Reform Act as their shining moment), even if the Republicans were inclined to compromise, which they probably don't feel compelled to do while the election still hangs in the balance. My view for the last twenty years has been that so long as Congress can't do anything, they can't pass laws that harm. The problem is that the big government Democrats and Republicans made peace long enough to pass some of the largest spending laws in our history and have sold the taxpayer down the river. Time to boot them all out.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  167. William

    Congressmen should really just take the next 2 months off, because they are NOT going to do anything ANYWAY!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  168. Ed

    Because they have nobody to keep them accountable on a day-to-day basis. Aside from elections every four years, where they feed a load of hogwash to their gullible constituents, they just do what they want. They are bought by companies who contribute to their campaign funds and do what their contributors want, but the interests of the people who elected them? Forgotten just after the election.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  169. Marc S

    This is partisan politics, plain and simple. Neither side wants to be associated with the other's ideas. Mitch McConnell said it best," Our number one priority is to make Barrack Obama a one term President." They lost, they filibuster, they gridlock, and they refuse to govern. This election should be more about the approval rating of congress than Obama and Romney. And these people make $175,000 a year (plus lobbyist donations...) AND THEY HAVE HEALTHCARE..

    September 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  170. jean2009

    Well Jack why should they care about the American people? After all they have a job, a living wage, health care benefits, month long paid vacations, and a great retirement plan....so I've been told. None of which was voted for by the very people that employed and sent them to Washington. Plus a good majority of them complain about those pesky union laborers not agreeing to any wage the employer wants to pay...they think the minimum wage should be enough.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  171. Mission Accomplished

    Congress is so good at kicking the can down the road because it takes two responsible parties to govern and one party is not responsible. They Democrats want to stop the sequestration cuts, stop the bush tax cut expiration for Americans making less than $250,000, and pass a jobs bill. The Republicans want to pass all the sequestration cuts except for cuts to the military (added as an extra incentive to get some cooperation after the Republicans refused to raise the debt cieling) and won't allow the tax cuts for 98% of Americans unless the rich get them too (and much more than average Americans). The tea party pigs, who don't believe at government (so they don't govern) are feeding at the taxpayer trough, lavishing themselves with free health care, transportation and legal insider trading. Meanwhile the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, so the Republicans don't really have to do much more. This is the vision the Republicans brought to government: do nothing. And for them, it's working.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  172. Glenda Emmons

    Because they can and still get paid. They're the most unproductive employees in the country.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  173. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl since they have only done this for the last 40 years, they don't know how not to.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  174. Arlene, Illinois

    They have a good job with great benefits and they want to keep their job forever. What's a little sore toe for kicking that almighty can.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  175. Lyle

    They are puppets of the party, lobbyists and are owned by the super-rich. They have NOT represents the voting public for longer than I can remember.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  176. George from Raleigh, North Carolina

    Because we don't kick thier can out of office for not doing their jobs. For Congress its get elected, make a lot of noise, get elected again, repeat. Retire fat and happy. No leadership required.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  177. Tony in SC (but not from SC)

    Why are they so good at kicking the can down the road?

    Because once elected, they have nothing to worry about. They can sign agreements to special interests, filibuster beyond belief, propose audacious legislation, invent problems that don't exist, gerrymander the districts, get all kinds of insider information and favors, claim the other guy wants to raise your taxes and still walk out with great benefits and the line "US Congressman" on their resume.

    I was livid when they left for 5 week vacation while wildfires burned and crops dried up. This is the worst republican house ever. Straight D ticket this year. Someone needs to learn the lesson that the American people come first.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  178. Josh

    Simple. Because they've had so much practice these past two years.

    Because of our flavor-of-the-month culture, our inability for collective introspection in where we were and where we’re going as a Nation, we turn the page on a whim – we elect the new “brand” of politician just as we purchase the new model of iPhone – brightest teeth and the best acting lessons the patrician class can buy. Our blind consumerism has spilled over to how we vote for the very people that are to serve our Nation. They shouldn’t just be there serve their boundless hubris. Elect the thoughtful, the intelligent, the person who's willing to work to accomplish their job. We have to un-think what a politician should be and create a system where campaign donations don't decide someone's merit in the public eye. And, we have to start thinking long-term about our society. Otherwise, we’ll just keep getting what we deserve.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  179. BILL, WI

    And they won't do anything until after the president takes the oath of office. At that time we will find out who the party of no will be.

    Same old wine, different bottle.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  180. Roscoe Chait

    The Republicans want to do everything they can to destroy Obama, and don't care if they destroy programs that help the people in this country. I've never seen a hatred so deep and so self-righteous.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  181. david evans

    We need term limits for ALL politicians, not just presidents and governors.
    Only this will stop the endless and continuous campaigning for the next election.
    If there is a grassroots movement anywhere to change the constitution for term limits for congressmen,
    we all should get behind it.

    david evans

    September 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  182. Brian Samuels (Chicago)

    Because Congressmen are constantly running for re-election, and are afraid to take a hard vote. They're afraid to lose their seat by making a hard vote, thus losing their job. So they kick the can down the road. That's why all politicians should have term limits, not just the President.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  183. Matt

    Because we let them.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  184. Nathan

    Cut them some slack, Jack. The poor guys only get 12 vacation weeks. We should thank them for not having outsourced their own jobs yet.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  185. Brian

    Congress is most efficient at delaying any long term solutions for three main reasons: First being their constituents love to hate congress, but not their own congressperson. They tune in around election time, or have a steadfast support regardless of individual performance based on party lines or ideology. They look at the incumbent and either vote for the "other guy" or stick with what ever party they are in allegiance to. Hardly a voter out there researches voting history, takes the time to be well informed, or sees past the PAC advertising. Sound bites, ancillary distractions of character and personal behavior rule the day. Furthermore the voters by in large do not understand how our government works, holding the executive office accountable for the inaction of Congress. Congress knows this and acts accordingly. Second is the electorate nature of the House of Representatives. These folks are in office only for two years, one of which must be spent campaigning. No one wants to take a risk, knowing the factors as mentioned in the first point. Third is the major party philosophies. The Democratic party is a big tent based institution, letting any old idea in and having organized chaos rule; while the Republican party is well organized, well funded and cares about gaining power, and staying in power. These basic behavior traits make for constant clashes and political card playing that ensures everyone has leverage one everyone.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  186. Patrick

    From a laymans perspective it seems to me when you have a Democratic President and a Republican majority in Congress it is a recipe for stagnation in the country which has clearly been evident.As they are elected officials then the American people must accept accountability of the current state of affairs as well.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  187. snakebite201

    Both sides have retreated back into their orthodoxies, that they are too busy trying to blame each other for the problems this country faces instead of working for a solution. The President we have is too busy tooting his own horn to lead on any issue. Fire them all now!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  188. tony

    the interesting thing in this episode is that most of the incumbents that do nothing constructive in congress do manage to get themselves re-elected time and time again – one has to conclude that this do-nothing congress is the fault of the american voters!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  189. Craig Russell

    Congress is so good at kicking the can down the road because Congress feels no pressure, no demand, no urgency to get it right. Work together and share sacrifice? Not in this Congress. Instead of being beholden to SuperPACs, political lobbies, and election year rhetoric, they should have to feel what most Americans feel due to their ineptitude. There should be a political mandate for them that if they won't work, they should not be paid; or like most employed Americans, be fired on the spot. Who else gets everything paid for to do nothing at all? No one.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  190. 40 acres

    Congress isn't even kicking the can anymore......they all just sit around and yell at it.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  191. Ryan Dunlap

    I feel that any time Congress fails to pass a balanced budget they ALL should be removed from being able to run for re-election. This will make them accountable for their actions as a team. If i fail to do work at my job i get fired, why should they be any different?

    September 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  192. Craig Russell

    Congress is so good at kicking the can down the road because Congress feels no pressure, no demand, no urgency to get it right. Work together and share sacrifice? Not in this Congress. Instead of being beholden to SuperPACs, political lobbies, and election year rhetoric, they should have to feel what most Americans feel due to their ineptitude. There should be a political mandate for them that if they won't work, they should not be paid; or like most employed Americans, be fired on the spot. Who else gets everything paid for to do nothing at all? No one. Chicago, IL.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  193. Hank Corbett of Jacksonville, NC

    The Primary Elections are the problem. The bases for both parties come out in force, during the Primaries, to vote for the most "extreme" candidate that is favored by the party's base. When the General Election rolls around, the American people can only vote for one "extreme" candidate or another.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
  194. Bob

    So much for leadership. They kick the can down the road because the electorate allows them to do so. Frankly, they're more concerned about keeping their jobs by doing nothing, rather then take a leap and get things done. So much attention is fixated on the presidential election, which really doesn't affect how things get done in this country. People fail to realize that if Congress doesn't work, the president has nothing to sign into law. The president can't force Congress to act. At best the president is a coach. It's up to the players to get the job done.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  195. Eddie Soto

    Because it is an election year Jack and no politician is going to come out and give the American people the harsh truth or a detailed plan about our debt or anything else. And I do not blame them because most Americans are fine with other people getting services cut or tax raised but the moment you inform them they personally have to make sacrifices then it turns into NOT ME… Mine… Mine… Mine …Me… Me… Me… (The New American Society)

    And we the people have reaped what we have sown.

    Did not the American people place into office during last Congressional Election the Tea Party members?

    Was it not the Tea Party’s platform to stop Obama?

    Was it not the Tea Party agenda to block government from growing

    Was it not the Tea Party who said no new taxes under any circumstances?

    So why are Americans frustrated with the Hyper-Partisan government they elected?

    Again, you reap what you sow

    September 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  196. RB in CA

    Why is Congress so good at kicking the can down the road? Easy. If you do nothing then no one can pin you down later. Moreover, if they actually do act on a measure then each Congressman runs the risk of alienating some or all of the voters, which could spell disaster in those states or districts where the race is close.

    In their opinion, nothing is better than something. Which is precisely what we have in Washington now... A bunch of nothings!

    RB in CA

    September 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  197. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y

    Today's politicians have one and only one adgenda. Get elected then re-elected. They will say anything, promise everything and blame the other guy. What they won't do is anything that could jeapodize their next election.
    ---------------------------------------------------

    read this 5-6 years ago. Don't remember the book or the author.

    People can be divided into two basic groups. People that view the future as threatening and those who view the future as thrilling. That difference between them has been the cause most of the conflict in human in history. If you feel threatened by change, you becomes conservative , defensive and adverse to risk . If the future thrills you, you become liberal because you feel......liberated. The Threatened are frequently more successful in the short run because they will do whatever is needed to maintain the status quo. In the long run they always lose because the Thrilled learn and accomplish more because they are not afraid to risk.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  198. Kade in Ames

    There is no interest in doing what is good for the country, only an interest in doing what is good for themselves. As long as they have a party/base to please they will always vote in a way that pleases them so that they can be re-elected because being re-elected is what is good for them.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  199. BillSD33

    Jack, I blame most of the job issues on Congress. A president does not make laws or pass bills. This congress has been absolutely horrible in doing whatever it takes to get the country rolling again. The debt committee is probably the best example. These are supposed to be the leaders of the COUNTRY, yet they could not put aside party politics to even help move us forward.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  200. Fresno

    Because the stupid voters keep encouraging these do nothings by reelecting them.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  201. gina

    This is the bunch that needs fired. They really give a bad name to federal employees!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  202. Greg in St. Paul, MN

    The answer's easy, Jack: the GOP has nothing to gain by taking constructive action. The best hope for America in this election is to have voters wake up, smell the coffee, and throw the Tea Party back into the Boston Harbor history books where they belong. Otherwise, we can look forward to America being held hostage. Again. As we approach the automatic spending cuts and tax increases of the upcoming fiscal cliff, I can't help but remember John Boener's boast to the GOP after negotiating said cliff last summer: "We got 90% of everything we wanted." All I can say is, thank goodness they didn't get the other 10 percent. Want to stop hyper-partisanship and gridlock in Congress? Stop voting Republican!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  203. Mark in Houston

    Jack....

    Because those in office have a good understanding of how easily we can be manipulated.

    Never underestimate the increasing ignorance of the American voter. We know little of fact and are too easily influenced by the current crop of snake oil salesmen who only have to yell and scream about the government taking our weapons, abortion and contraception. in order to get our vote.

    We don't vote for those committed to taking care of the nations business, we vote instead for those can do most to stir the emotions of the ill informed and most easily influenced. When you buy a product based only on emotion you will probably end up with a lemon. and that's just what we have filling the seats of Congress now......lemons.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  204. Mike Dalton, Orlando

    The main reason is that they don't fear rejection. While no one likes "Congress", most voters like their guy. It's the rest that need to be kicked out. If Americans really want change it isn't change at the White House, it's fundamental change in congress. If we kicked out EVERY member up for election I can guarranty that things will change. The real question is "for the good of us, or the good of them." Most people in power care more about themselves than anyone else. You have to get to the position of a Warren Buffet or Bill Gates to really be above self indulgence.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  205. Marjorie

    Jack – the answer is simple.....we let them get away with it!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  206. Ron

    Jack, Lets hope congress gets their CAN kicked down the road in November. Vote democrat and give Obama the congress he needs to work with. Cantor, Boner, and Mitchell must be shown how to co-operate since that cannot do it on their own. After all Im tired of having a cry baby as speaker of the house, and a Koch brother ran America. New term for congress: " Kick your congressman's can down the road".

    September 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  207. Randall

    If you are a professional politician and being a senator or rep. is your "job" you will act to preserve your paycheck and your job–never mind what is good and necessary for the country ( better to kick the can than make a decision that might effect your re-election chances). We are focused on the wrong branch of government when we continually hammer the Oval Office. The focus needs to be on Congress.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  208. Robert Collins

    There's a good place to start cuts, CONGRESS

    September 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  209. Connie in Tennessee

    Although Congress has a low opinion rating, the people keep voting for the same people over and over. I guess it is true that you get the government you deserve! Instead of a photo ID, you should take a test to see how much you know on current laws and bills in Congress in order to vote.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  210. rosie

    Before you start bit chinG remember just who elected them and sent them to Washington.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  211. Mike M. Scappoose, OR

    Romney and Obama are not the problem today with our economy it's the congress fire all of them, term limits and outlaw outside money and lobbyists...

    September 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  212. Phil

    President Incomplete has created an enviornment of hate and discourse that no othe president has done. He is an embarrasment to the office. If you want to accomplish anything in politics, you need to show respect to others and be willing to compromise and this president only knows how to do that with foreign countries, not with the country that elected him. November will have serious consequences if we elect a puppet leader whose backbone is derived by the left having their respective hand up this presidents shirt. We are at a tipping point and this adminstration or more than eager to shove this country over the edge.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  213. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    I especially like the way you encourage people to vote the recalcitrant Tea Party and Republican incumbents out of office without being specific. By all means their "cans" must be kicked out of office. It is very clear that they are responsible for nothing but taking up space and taking pot shots at President Obama. Their agenda has been to do nothing but to create a crap storm like babies with colic. They're good at kicking the can down the road because politicians know that constituents have no idea what kind of bums politicians actually are . Or it may just be a case of, "He may be a bad Congressman, but he's our bad Congressman."

    September 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  214. Jay

    Wrong Tom person debt has took a nose dive since 2008 and people are much better financially now than they were then. People do care about the national debt and have been yelling about it since Bush took office in 2000. Remember when that debt clock the repugs like to use so much was going backwords for the only time in decades but the repugs made sure that it didn't do it very long. All that money sitting there and saving we must have to give it to the job creators. What a joke

    September 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  215. djak

    Congress, the job where people get full pay and benefits for doing absolutely nothing. And they cry about welfare? Give me a break!

    September 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  216. Obama is a joke

    Jack , Our country is loaded with freedoms and somehow in that freedom they have embraced the freedom to not think about consequences. If you were to hire a bad driver who only revels in the sound of crashing metal, why would a car owner be surprised to find his car converted to a crumpled mess that he entrusted to that bad driver. And I still feel that Pelosi and her cronies that subverted the US Constitution should be brought up on charges most severe as they contributed to the overthrow of our country by virtue of putting the clueless empty suit in charge of our country as he ruins us.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  217. david

    That's the problem with our system...can't do anything unless you have 60 votes in the Senate. Given the Republicans refuse to do anything, we should save the money and send them all home.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  218. Marv

    I am a Canadian. As much as I've been critical of our politicians from time to time, I'm glad (ecstatic actually), that we are not/have not been in a state of inertia as now exists in the US. While we will all blame both sides for this situation, it is quite clear from an objective point of view, that these Republican cowboys are effecting this.
    Imagine a country being held hostage by a gang of "hoodlums" with only one objective in their repertoire – get rid of the "man"; and steal an election.

    Sad, very sad!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  219. Eric Hatch (Loveland OH)

    Jack, all they want to do is get re-elected, which means "don't tick off anybody." Additionally, few of them have any sense of honor, duty, pride or integrity which might lead them to think of the nation first instead of themselves and their allies.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  220. Brian in Fitchburg, MA

    Jack – I believe they continue to do nothing because the media – and the political parties – have turned Presidential elections into such a media circus. It gives most people the idea that "If only we elect the right President everything will be better".

    In reality, of course, the Constitution puts the power of the purse squarely in the hands of Congress, specifically the House. But they can hide behind the idea that the Government is just the President.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  221. Shirly North Carolina

    Nobody in Congress wants to take responsibility if things go wrong. They don't want to make hard decisions. They don't want to risk the possibility of not being re-elected. Their egos get in their way of action.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  222. bcc

    Because that is how the founding fathers wanted it. If one party or individual(s) gets too strong then the country could have horrific changes. Consensus shouldn't come easily.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  223. Steve S

    Congress has been pretty much useless for years now.
    Bag 'em all up, and make an artificial reef with all of them.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  224. Jim Charlotte NC

    They don't have to make an employer happy because they know that people are so divided that they will re-elect them. They are guaranteed a pay check, healthcare and a retirement check. They have no idea what it is to struggle and don't much care about those that do.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  225. s.winkler

    In the private sector these congressman would be fired for not doing their jobs. Can they be impeached? No work,no pay, I say.!!!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  226. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    Many attempts to deal with our problems has the party of "NO' simply voting "no". They have made it clear right from the start that they would oppose the President and want to make him a "One term president." With The Tea Party controlling the House, under Paul Ryan, and objecting to everything the President proposes to try to get the economy back on track, legislation is then kicked-down-the-road again and again. Much-needed proposals to help the economy, get people back to work, keep many from losing their homes, the House will either vote "no" or will not let it come up for a vote. We are all aware of the fact that Grover Norquist, the Main Man for the R's, is in control and if any Republican grows a heart and tries to help the county, Master Norquist threatens to well-finance a candidate to run against him and he will be out the door. I contacted my Republican senator and asked him why he, elected by the people of North Carolina, signed THE PLEDGE to Norquist - I received no response. It is my sincere hope that the House Tea Party Republcans are shown the door in the upcoming election and are replaced by true legislators such as Bob Dole of Kansas and John Warner of Virginia, men of integrity and intelligence, who vote for the good of the country. When that happens, that "old can" can be put our in the recycle bin and America can again prosper.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  227. JW

    Just the fact that they could take a 5-week vacation is wrong. My Dad busted his butt for 40+ years and 5 weeks was the maximum amount of vacation he could take for the WHOLE YEAR after he had been working for 30 years. And Congress gets to take 5 weeks at once? Plus don't they get more over the holidays and Spring Break? Unbelievable.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  228. Martha Campbell

    Because they CAN. Term limits is the answer...but since the wolf is guarding the hen house...it ain't gonna happen.

    Jamestown, PA

    September 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  229. Roberto Severino

    Congress is full of crooks and liars influenced by Wall Street on both the conservative and liberal sides of the equation. It doesn't matter if Obamney becomes president or not. Once a machine made politician, always a machine made politician.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  230. Jack

    The can is empty.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  231. Jim

    Because 50% of the people will believe it is the other parties fault.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  232. Rick from Ohio

    Because we voters keep voting the incumbents back in. We do not like Congress, but we seem to love our congressman. We should turn it around and love Congress but vote out the incumbents. However, its a bit late for that.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  233. Rakan, OR

    Simple. Pro is the antonym of Con. Using that logic, what is the antonym of Progress?

    September 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  234. Rebecca

    Because Congress is really great at playing games!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  235. Rocky in LA

    It's always easier to let someone else be responsible for doing your job.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  236. Stephen David

    It all comes down to being reelected. If decisions are not popular, then congress people won't go out on the proverbial limb. "its about them, not us". Can you say term limits?

    September 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  237. James

    Because we dont hold the accountable

    September 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  238. Paul, Louisiana

    Because Jack, they see the bigger picture...how not to suceed in partnership and equality.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  239. Cynthia from Summersville, WV

    The Congress is so good at kicking the can down the road, because voters are so good at ignoring facts and only voting along party lines. Times are hard and getting harder if voters don't use their vote to make a change.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  240. Pam from Texas

    You'd think the Republicans would realize what a little cooperation would do for their chances in November. I cannot figure them out but I don't know why I should start now. All they've done is a sign a pledge to a man not elected to office. I don't believe they can say anything but no anymore.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  241. Diane Boerner

    Well, Jack, because they collect all the benefits and have no responsibility to do their work....if the workforce had policies like that, no business would survive.....not one incumbant running for Congress will get my vote.....

    September 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  242. Jack, Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    Congress (but other elected and annointed "leaders) have taken politics to the level of sports sans sportsmanship. They have a great deal of time to practice their sport of can kicking. If they do not get enough on the job practices, they can take vacations and practice some more while they get backing money for their "team". It's a sport Mr. Cafferty where the fans are only the sponsors of their own tyranny.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  243. Earl - Savannah GA

    Can't the other two branches of government order them back to work?

    September 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  244. Geoff raleigh nc

    Gerry-mandered districts that perpetuate partisans, bring on open primaries where any one can win from any party!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  245. Kenny from Los Angeles

    Because Jack, "We the People" let them do it. If we want to know who is responsible for Congress being a mess, we must look into a mirror...

    September 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  246. Jessy

    It's all about Benjamins and the power that comes with them. They love to pass laws and regulations that keep them in power yet they quiver in a fetal position when we tell them to fix our country. Time to vote an independent into office.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  247. Jean

    Because the congress and the senate need term limits like the office of the president. At least at the end of their term they wouldn't be voting or avoiding just to get re-elected

    September 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  248. Sandy Witkowski

    Because we keep electing these same incumbents instead of throwing all of them out. They know they don't have to worry no matter what they DON'T do!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  249. Paul

    They kick the can down the road because they can blame it on the President. The congress are not suffering from a bad economy and most likely they will still have their jobs because many will blame President Obama which makes their jobs in congress safe.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  250. Andrew

    Because anytime an elected official actually makes a tough decision to solve a problem, grumpy old television pundits like yourself pile on and nitpick about everything wrong with the decision as opposed to looking at the fact that they tried to make things better – think Obamacare, Stimulus, Libya, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Green Energy ... . The Fourth estate, that's you Jack, encourages do nothing congressmen!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  251. joe trigleth

    I am a retired veteran, I spent 23 years in the us army. I have applied for 100's of jobs and I am under qualified. I lost my job and home, I am finally tired of not working anf the us army will not hire me as a civilian. then I am selling my car and moving overseas.I see that 20+ yrs doesnt mean anything. The USA has not been able to employ me. I have served the US Army for over 20 years. I have a combat and nuclear,bio and chemical background. I choose to live and work overseas. I have served as security manager in Afghanistan for two years. I am a professional. The US won't hire me. I have a TS and a passport. I would rather live in the middle east. AN NEVER COME BACK TO THE USA. IT HAS FORSAKEN ME, AND I WILL TURN MY BACK ON THEM.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  252. Robyn from Maryland

    I'm so sick and tired of congress taking recesses and getting NOTHING done, yet they blame everything on Obama! Republicans want the government to run more like a business so why don't we give congress a pay cut since they are determined to do nothing. When they decide they want to work then maybe we can re-evaluate their salary.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  253. Jason

    We designed a government that was supposed to work slowly unless threatened. What we have is one that just does not work. Time to send them packing.
    Pflugerville, TX

    September 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  254. Steve

    Well Jack, the can is empty and so it is easier to kick.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  255. Deb in MT

    You're talking about the same Congress where the Republicans (Boehner, McConnell & Cantor) have promised to gum up the works even worse than before if we the people re-elect President Obama, right Jack? These bottom feeders are ready to blackmail the public to get their way. What patriotism!

    With scum like these, maybe we're better off if they do nothing.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  256. Elaine Percoco

    Because the Republicans refuse to compromise. They run around waving the constitution, they even read it out loud, but they don't seem to have the slightest clue that our founding fathers created this great country of our with COMPROMISE!! until they are willing to do so again, they will continue to be a Congress that fails, fails, and fails.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  257. willie

    Thev reason Congress is so good at doing nothing is because we keep electing the same old complacent men and women. Americans need to go to the polls and elect new candidates and fire all the incumbents.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  258. Jim

    Jack,

    The answer is simple and painful. Taking action invariably offends somebody. Kicking the can down the road at least avoids the criticism and loss of votes that could result from seriously tackling some of the issues you mention. In this way, we voters actually punish courageous debate and legislation, and reward cowardly inaction.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    September 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  259. TarriH

    With a job that pays $174,000 a year, they take a class (USCongress 101) in a cynical attempt to keep their jobs since there aren't that many jobs you can get when you fail to do anything for two years. The private sector doesn't tend to pay $174K with flight benefits if you have no results and I doubt US Congressperson looks good on a resume!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  260. Isaac

    If our "leaders" only had one term, maybe they would work on the countries issues instead of their own re-election campaigns...

    September 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  261. Donnie , Springfield, VA

    The Republicans have gotten so out of touch and are so antii-Obama on everything, that we are in a standstill. This has been their strategy from day one. They would rather say no and let the American people hold the bag than do something that may seem like they are helping the president. We need to call it like it is!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  262. Tyrone

    Congress is so good at kicking the can down the road because they have not progressed psychologically past adolescents. They need to grow up psychologically before they can understand things in an adult mind set and get their job done.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  263. Meg

    This is all a result of the debt ceiling crisis or more accurately the crisis when the GOP held the worlds economy hostage – then it was decided that the only way to get the far-right to release the prisoner was to send in another prisoner – this debt agreement – they agreed that if the congress could not come to an agreement about deficit reduction plans that this is what we would get – of course they could not – since the GOP's position these days is to not compromise at any cost – so this is what we get – we simply traded one economic hostage for another

    September 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  264. Mike in Iindiana

    Given the candidates on November, two more years of partisan deadlock ore guaranteed.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  265. Alex in Wisconsin

    Don't blame Congress. They listen; they reflect their constituents' demands. It's us. Voters. We tell Congress: fix the debt but don't touch my social security or my mom's medicare. Congress does precisely what we tell them to do: nothing.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  266. Ariel

    Because the Amercian people let them kick the can...so, we should kick ourself * You know were* From Kerrvile,Tx

    September 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  267. Jim P

    People keep saying to just vote them out. Fine. Just who do you vote in? Both parties are guilty of the same kicking the can problem, what is the solution?

    September 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  268. Brandon

    Jack, I don't agree with a lot of what you say, but in this case, I'm right there with you. We have a congress that, regardless of which party is dominant, is primarily interested in getting re-elected. These "public servants" are the true elite class of our society in their own minds and have very little interest in doing anything except trying to score political points off of their opponents and throw barbs at each other to prove to their base that they should keep their jobs.

    As an adult, I've grown to understand that not a single thing will happen in Congress in election years. Given that's every other year in the House, I've essentially given up hope of anything being passed except for fluff bills naming the next post office or declaring the newest holiday for their favorite group of voters/special-interests. That is, of course, when they're even in session. Typically that seems to be about half the year, with several multi-week recesses and Tues-Fri work weeks.

    I'm disgusted with the no-deal attitudes and complete lack of motivation to actually solve the problems we're dealing with in this country, and I'm equally sick of pandering to an electorate that has been groomed for talking points rather than results.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  269. Andrew

    Stop griping and do something about it – run for office and show 'em how it should be done, Jack!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  270. Bob in Lubbock

    It's an automatic reaction ... their collective thumbs up their butts causes a kicking response ... all they have to do is pick a can.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  271. TG

    There is not one member of our Congress that has to worry about getting paid a salary – they don't even have to show up for work. And, when they do, all they do is fight, point fingers, accomplish nothing, and then go on vacation!!! They should be fired – you or I would be fired if our performance was as dismal as theirs. They don't have to worry about having health care insurance or about paying for gas in their car or paying their telephone bill. They only represent themselves while hard working Americans pay their salary. Our Congress could not care less about helping their fellow Americans out. They only care about themselves.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  272. Lynn R Wright

    People somehow think that divided government will somehow help. We need try a new approach to 100% democrats in the house and senate and president so work can get done. Then, we wait and watch and if in the next 4 years, the country is worse off, we change to 100% republican and let them have a go at it. I work for the IRS and can tell you the abuse in our tax code is one of the worst problems we face. tax breaks to go offshore and invest jobs in foreign countries so corps can make huge profits with no obligation to hire US workers. My plan is 100% employment, no one would get a handout with out a job to go to every day. Government jobs created to employ versus handing out unemployment and welfare benefits. too many ideas to little time.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  273. Andrew

    Dictatorships don't have that problem Jack – feel free to move to one.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  274. Bill from Clinton, Maryland

    Forget about being President. When my grandson grows up he wants to be a congressman so he can be well paid and do nothing for it.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  275. Pete, Richmond VA

    Because we keep electing the same people over and over again. They are now professional politicians, and no longer representatives of their constituents. They spend more time ensuring they get re-elected than doing what's right for the country. Here is an idea... everybody gets one four year term, period. You can be elected only once to the House, once to the Senate, and once as President. That means your political "career" can only be twelve years max. Then you have to go out and get a real job.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  276. K

    Its a huge joke. Im sitting here in my office at the Hart senate building wondering about the stability of my job. Am I going to have a job? Is anyone up here going to try to make a difference? All that congress can agree on is that they dislike each other and like vacations. Something needs to change and from my up close seat to it all I dont see that happening

    September 10, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  277. Carrie in Alabama

    Becasue they CAN! And we let them do it. They think their job is more to make decisions about my body , who can vote , what they can do to stop a President in his tracks than what they can do to help the the nation. They have lost sight of the importance of compromise, of working together and becoming a more perfect union. Their own agenda is more important than the people who put them in their ivory towers! I am sick of congress and have not voted for an imcumbant in my state in the last 2 elections! But who am I to make a difference!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  278. Roy Green

    Congress is so adept at "kicking the can down the road" because the parents (aka, the American voters) have not called them to task and jerked their chain. How do you jerk a congressman's or senator's chain? Why, vote them out of office during the next election! There should not be any career politicians. Just as presidents are limited in the number of terms they can have, so should the elected legislators be term-restricted. The result will help assure better government, and a flow of fresh ideas in how the country is to be governed. After all, the US Constitution charges the Legislative Branch with handling the business affairs of this nation – NOT the President. And (thank God) the Constitution does not give the President power to "rule" as some despotic king or dictator does!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  279. Rufus G.Price Jr

    Because we the people have forgotten the power we have in getting our voices heard by holding our elected officials responsible for doing the job we pay them to do.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  280. Mike in NH

    Why you ask, becuase it is easier to do that than to compromise and go against the base of the party they run under and lose the finacial support for their reelections campaigns. They fear not being reelected more than the ramifications of failing to act.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  281. Dave in Chicago

    Because Washington is leaderless and the Campaigner in Chief does nothing but bash the other side. Why would either side want to cooperate with the other when any compromise would be touted as a victory for one and a weakness for the other.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  282. Richard F. Kessler

    Democrats fear Republicans want to tae awy all the hard-earned rights and ebenfits created since the New Deal to provide a social safety net for everyone and greater equality of opportunity. Republicans fear Democrats will take away the entitlements of the establishment resulting from changes in demography. Each side is trying to hold on to what they have by stopping the other from making changes through legislation. Hence, the electorate votes for a do nothing Congress where compromise is a practice of thos said to be wihtout principle.

    We are witnessing a progression in politics without being able to discern its terminus. Party politics in national elections used to follow the rules of Hotelings game. Run to the base to get nominated. Run to the center to get elected. Starting with Lee Atwater and receiving its fullest expression under Karl Rove, Republicans pursued a divide and conquer strategy. Republicans sought to anchor the base and then pick-off ever more specifically targeted interest among independent voters. The divide and conquer strategy sought to win by plurality not may universal mandate. Finally, the third state of this progression is seen in the current campaign to win by firing up the base, us against them and winner take all. So far this approach seems to have the result of electing incumbents who have so embittered their opponents that bipartisanship is replaced with paralysis.
    The 2012 national is a meaningless exercise in political theater. It is a distraction for people who want to avoid the awful truth: Neither candidate for the Presidency has the first clue how to get this county back on its feet again. Instead of addressing this issue, it is simpler to divide and distract. Why face unpleasant truth when it make everyone so uncomfortable? Until Americans become willing to subordinate the problems which divide us to addressing the far more urgent problems which unite us, not much is going to get done.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  283. Nancy Burnett

    The answer is simple, Jack. It is because WE have ALLOWED them to do it, without so much as a threat of holding them accountable. We all say we will vote out the incumbents, then don't. It is our fault, pure and simple. Until we hold their feet to the fire, we are in for more of the same.

    Nancy in Louisiana

    September 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  284. Sid Gold

    I am a small business owner and do not get 3 weeks paid vacation. I work many more hours – yes, work- to keep afloat. I do not get their wonderful government insurance for the rest of my life. These elected Congress men and women are taking advantage of every American. Their working time and voting records should be available on line before any elections so the working people of America can keep them in office or vote them out. This is worse than being a thief. Shame on them.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  285. Nick

    You just made me realize how similar a congressman/woman is to a welfare recipient. They get paid on the taxpayer dime and don't have to do anything for it.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  286. J

    Can you say term limits??? Maybe they need to get out and try to get a real job.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  287. tknute

    Congress is good at kicking the can down the road because voters get so focused on the persons running for President they forget to hold Congress accountable for its lack of performance. Career Politicians must go!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  288. Leroy

    Congress is run by crooks. Thugs and crooks, who consider themselves royalty. The reason the world is going to hell is that everyone is a stealing crook. Very sad.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  289. Brice

    Are you kidding me. These folks are so out of touch with the people they serve. Most if not all are wealthy so the issues that affect the majority of people doesnt affect them so why should they act? Their job is to block everything the majority part wants to make them look bad hoping when the dust settles the majority party is weaken. Doesnt matter if its Republicans or Democrats its the same old thing. Sooner or later the public will decide enough is enough.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  290. David McAfee Sacramento

    The President should let them go home then a day later call an emergency session, repeat until they understand their jobs. The President's own party is as guilty as the others. They should not be able to declare their own vacations, do the working people? Also having some minor congressman do a call to order then dismiss should not be legal.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  291. John Blackadder

    Do we have a Congress?
    Boehner is so unwilling to compromise that he has effectively blocked any meaningful agenda for two years.
    Let's face it, he is on a par with Nero when it comes to fiddling while we burn. This nation needed action to overcome the worst economic climate since 1929, and all we got was partisan rhetoric about being generous to his rich backers.

    He should be ashamed, and my vote is going to Obama as a result!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  292. susan in Ohio

    Because one says "po-tay-toe" and the other says "po-tot-toe" Yes, I know there's no "e" on the end, but what the heck!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  293. AmesIA

    Believe it or not Iowa has the solution. Our congressional map is drawn up in a bipartisan process and the districts actually look like one would expect...fairly evenly divided rectangles. Once somes states started playing partisan games with the districts incumbants only faced challenges from the wings if they weren't conservative or liberal enough. If 90% of the districts in the country were competitive instead of 10% inaction and incompetence in the house would have a remedy every two years.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  294. Wallace Jackman

    Congress is great at doing nothing because they are all bought and paid for by special interest groups. So until the special interest money decides which candidate to back, or say they are backing, the Senators and Representatives have their hands tied. They can't make any decisions without checking in with their "financial bosses/partners."
    They have to figure out which way the wind is blowing until they step into the maelstrom of campaign funding.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  295. Derek

    That's what we get for voting in these fools. Where else can you get paid a high salary without understanding math, believing in science, and knowing how to negotiate?

    September 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  296. that goddam karl larson

    the first thing congress needs to pass is a law requiring that two old bills be repealed for every new one passed. .

    September 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  297. Denis , North Carolina

    A government of the Party by the Party and for the Party must be banished to return accountability to congress.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  298. Art Roberson

    They're not really good at kicking the can down the road. It's just that they're worse at everything else.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  299. frank

    Because congressmen and senators can blame members of the opposing party, call it work, and draw a paycheck.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  300. Pete Jaax

    Jack
    True, democracy is messy. A country that values the voice of the people has to realize they often don't speak in harmony! Yes, during difficult times rhetoric does rule the day, but God help us if it ever starts moving so fast that it stops listening. The quote that resonates for me is "Either we all walk together, or together we must stay where we are!"
    I got my walkin shoes on how bout you?

    September 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  301. S. Gold from San Antonio, Texas

    This has benn happening for so many years of both Democratic and Republican terms that I believe it is considered part of the job description. What a job- great health insurance for life, wonderful working hours, wonderful vacations, do they get free travel, what other incentives are there for these Congress men and women are part of their job descriptions. Oh, I forgot, I thing they also get paid very well. Their track records should be available on CNN for the month before any Congressional elections and their recorde should be printed in their home town or city newspapers.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  302. denverwatcher

    The republicans are the effective majority in congress right now. They own the house and they can block the senate fairly easily. They are afraid that if they do anything wrong in the eyes of their supporters, which includes any sort of agreement with Obama, they will loose their jobs. The rest of us, who they seem to represent in name only, would like to kick them out for not doing their jobs.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  303. RainCityLady

    When you don't have a 60% senate majority, and you have an opposition party that has proudly admitted that their job is to make sure nothing Obama tries to do goes through so that they can make him a one term president, you end up with exactly what we have. The GOP's idea of compromise is THEIR way or nothing. They have even voted down bills that would benefit their own constituents and the nation, and their followers are too stupid or ill informed to figure it out. If they prevail in the election, I hope all the morons who voted suddenly come to the horrific realization that they have screwed themselves over while they were hating on the opposition.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  304. Dave

    It seems once they get to Washington they stop being Americans who care about their country, they become only concerned with their reelection and how to climb the party ladder. If u go to Washington and try to get something done, your branded as a compromiser and will kicked out for trying to wrk with other side, so best to kick that can down the road so not to have to vote on anything u might vote against party line and loose ur job

    September 10, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  305. Jim Ontario

    Would love to give an intillegent answer but in Washington that is a rare resource. Both parties are spending 100% of their time trying to keep their jobs and 0% representing the interests of the constituents. With media it has become a weird version of Real House Reps of Washington D.C. But the biggest reason is the PACs with their millions taking over the interests of the individuals and unless you are a player in the game you are out on the street. Naybe they'll get a voucher from from Ryan's programs.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  306. Nick

    They have no real incentive to do anything except politic to get reelected! It's simply a paycheck, free healthcare, and the "prestige" of being in Congress. What of any value to this nation have these people done?!

    September 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  307. willie, tx

    we keep electing the same old complacent men and women. americans need to go to the polls and vote for the other guy and fire all incumbents to send a message that we are mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  308. Brian Collins

    Congress is content to kick the can down the road because long ago they began to consider the American people as subjects and not voting constituents. They have excluded themselves from way to many of the laws that pertain to everyday Americans. Until such time as Congress is reformed to be part and parcel with the average US citizen we will never have a Congress that works for us.
    1. No Tenure/No Pension A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're out of office.
    2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
    3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
    4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%. 5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
    6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
    7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congress made all these contracts for
    themselves.

    Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
    Good luck with forcing the Congress to do any of the things that to a reasonable person appear to be intuitive.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  309. Smokey

    Simple, the Congressional system as currently situated rewards members for politicking and partisanship, and punishes them for achieving results and working well with their colleagues. The big money that supports the political gamesmanship going on these days isn't paying for Congressmen to work with the other party or for them to be bipartisan problem-solvers. It's paying first for victory, and second for whatever the donor's agenda demands. Campaign finance reform has never been as necessary as it is today.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  310. Kerry

    Because we allow them to. We do not hold them accountable. When it comes to politics, the American people are as partisan as those we elect to represent us. We will re-elect the same people, knowing there will be continued grid lock, because they better represent our political views. But we are usually just picking the individual we view is the lesser of two evils – not a candidate we really feel will move us forward. Sometimes gridlock is the best we can hope for. At least then they won't make things any worse.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  311. Nick

    Congress is really a great representation of this country. Totally divided by party lines, unable to get anything done. Reading the comments, you have to wonder why we blame Congress when they are truly representing US! We are the problem, We the people! If we can't be bipartisan how can we expect Congress to?

    September 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  312. getalife

    In the end, the cons will be marginalized as kooks and we return to Clinton’s peace and prosperity.

    My work is done thanks to President Clinton but will continue to reach out to Republican moderates to join us to end the radical rw gop congress.

    It is our job to purge them.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  313. Greg Rockford, IL

    Because there is an election in less than 2 months and before they make any decisions, they want to see if voters side with them. This election is a referendum on how to tackle nation's deficit and the fiscal cliff.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  314. Conrad

    Jack,

    It is obvious that they intentionally not taking action in an effort to prevent the Democratic administration from implementing and legislation they disagree with or that might improve the economy. It is part of a strategy to win back the Presidency at all costs. The reason why they are able to keep doing it is because nobody in their party has stepped up to point out how cynical and destructive a refusal to cooperate has become. It is like a band of deviants without an adult leader.

    If they can't figure out for themselves that what they have done for the past 2 years is beyond reprehensible, then the voters will figure it out for them and send them home in November.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  315. Rich H

    Pretty much, due to the challenging times, congress has decided to have everything decided on autopilot, and then campaign against what the autopilot decisions are. The Bush tax cuts will expire, and the budget cuts will happen.

    September 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm |