January 12th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

How much does Congress feel Americans' pain in recession?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Times are tough - very tough - for millions of Americans... but you could never tell by watching the way Congress spends our tax dollars on themselves.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/12/art.pelosi.copenhagen.jpg caption="Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Steny Hoyer (right) and Rep. Henry Waxman at a press conference in Copenhagen last month during the COP15 UN Climate Change Conference."]
CBS News has a stunning report on the all-expense paid trip at least 20 members of Congress made to the Copenhagen climate summit last month.

The bipartisan delegation led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was so large - it needed three military jets - two 737s and a Gulfstream Five. Some members brought along their spouses, children... plus there were also senators and staff members who made the trip to Denmark - most of them flying commercial.

Pelosi wouldn't answer any questions about costs or where they all stayed - even though she was the one who decided who went. Her office says only that it will "comply with disclosure requirements."

CBS puts the cost of military jet flying time at nearly $170,000 plus the cost of dozens of commercial flights... hundreds of hotel stays, many at the five-star Marriott... and tens of thousands of dollars in meals.

This is a disgrace - the national unemployment rate is at 10-percent, with employers cutting more jobs than expected last month. People are suffering. In California, Pelosi's home state is faced with a $20-billion deficit. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's budget plan would force 200-thousand children off low-cost medical insurance... end in-home care for more than 300,000 sick and elderly citizens... and cut income assistance to hundreds of thousands more.

This nation is hurting - but Nancy Pelosi can use three military jets for a December trip to Copenhagen and then refuse to answer any questions about it.

Here’s my question to you: How much do members of Congress feel the pain of the American people in this recession?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ann from New Jersey writes:
They are immune to any kind of pain. Their egos get in the way. They can give themselves raises while a lot of people are losing homes and going bankrupt because they lost their jobs, and while seniors on Social Security don’t get increases even though Medicare costs and supplement costs continue to rise. They do for themselves and the rest of us can fly a kite.

JW from Georgia writes:
Congress pains over steak in their dining hall while Americans eat bologna. Congress pains to travel in jets while America fixes their aging cars. Congress pains to pay no Social Security while Americans cough up Congressional retirements. Poor Congress. Must be very painful.

Del from California writes:
Zero. I live in California and I thought our state representatives did not understand, but this is ridiculous. How disgraceful!

Art from Rutland, Vermont writes:
What economy? What recession? Unemployment? They're all employed. They're all millionaires. Hey, the economy is chugging along for them. Nothing to see here. As far as they're concerned, the matter is closed.

John writes:
Jack, The Congress hasn't felt the pain of the American people suffering through this horrible economy at all! Nancy Pelosi is just one more instance of that. She is so out-of-touch with the American people, it’s as if she was from another planet! I live in California and can't wait until she is voted out of office. Pelosi and Reid are running this country into the ground (in China).

Andy writes:
Not a bit. When was the last time a member of Congress had to choose from McDonald's dollar menu when dining out?

Filed under: Congress • Recession
soundoff (283 Responses)
  1. Dave


    Spending money that doesn't belong to you corrupts the soul, and also happens to be the main function of Congress.

    Tokyo, Japan

    January 12, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  2. Debra Eisenberg

    Gaithersburg, Maryland: Jack, Whether our congress feels our pain is reflected in their track records on legislation that would protect and/or help improve the lives of us folks on Main Street. As a baby boomer, I started communicating to my legislators for the first time over the last year. Each time, my representatives responded and specifically cited how they are taking steps to make our lives easier. That would be reassuring, if only the congress and senate would collectively and realistically put "country first", something the GOP have made clear takes a back seat to their stonewalling of any laws that might impede their lobbyists' agendas or benefit the Obama administration. In that respect, the older legislators - like McCain and Lieberman - are so insulated and removed from our pain that they couldn't begin to fathom the depth or scope of our pain and growing fear that things will only get worse before they get better.

    January 12, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  3. Judy, Exeter, Ca

    Congress has NEVER given a hang about what the people think unless it's an election year. Lets face it, they don't care about our vote until they need it, nor do they care about our financial condition. They sit in an ivory tower and pontificate about their own importance. If they cared, I don't think the economy would have ended up in the trash bucket. It doesn't matter if it's democrats or republicans, they are all about what's good for them and the lobbyists that support them and that's about it. I am guessing the copenhagen trip was a little pat on the back for having to work for a change during the healthcare vote. I would sure like to see them in our shoes. The whole bunch of them makes me sick.

    January 12, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  4. Michelle Pridell

    I don't know what kind of pain our members of Congress are feeling, but your commentary made me feel A GREAT DEAL OF PAIN JACK!

    Michelle, from the Cornhusker Kickback State, aka Nebraska

    January 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  5. Ron Illinois

    I'm sure that there are members of Congress that have feelings about the struggles of ordinary families in this tough time. We all need to make sacrifices to get through this.

    Politicians and business's make a lot of sacrifices during tough times.

    The problem is, most of those sacrifices are human.

    January 12, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  6. Randy from Salt Lake City

    As much pain as I'd feel about stepping on an ant.

    January 12, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  7. Barbara in NC

    They don't feel it at all, but I'm feeling good about November 2010 when the American people will vote out ALL the Obstructionists they can and put people in congress with ideas and the ability to work for the country instead of their Obstructionist Party.

    January 12, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  8. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    Jack, easy answer, they don't. They say they do, but even if they weren't politicians, they were all millionaires before getting elected and have no clue on relating to the average middle class working citizen in this recession. This is the kind of transparency I've come to expect from Congress these days though sadly. 2010 cannot come fast enough!

    January 12, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  9. Dave, Massachusetts

    They do not feel the pain. They have jobs with some really nice perks. It does not matter which party they are from. They have great health care, free gym, and oh yes the travel. If I have to travel for my company I cannot take my family unless I pay for it out of my pocket. With the hard ecenomic time that we are in I think the President should sign an executive order banning any travel that does not directly effect the constituants of a Senator or Congressman. We have people we pay that work for the State Department to handle things overseas. Congress should stay put and take care of the peoples business.

    January 12, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  10. Mike from Denver

    Congress has no idea what pain the American people feel. All Congress has to do is approve more money for themselves. How painful is that?

    January 12, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  11. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    They don't feel our pain at all. Our representatives live in their own insular little world. It would help if Congress and the President worked together to help reduce the forclosure rate along with creating new jobs for the millions out of work. They would rather wrangle among themselves, point fingers, and take campaign contributions from lobbyists. Congress is a national disgrace.

    January 12, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  12. Cathy Missouri

    Congress lives in a vacume in Washington. They stopped listening to the people a long time ago, and especially not in election years, unless you can make substantial contributions. They do not understand the pain the average American is feeling because they cannot identify with it.

    January 12, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  13. hank from Las Vegas

    Not at all.. they do not know where or how we exist.. except prior to relection time.....

    January 12, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  14. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    None of them really understand what life is like for low-income Americans. They should all have to try surviving on unemployment benefits and food stamps without health insurance for just one month. You can be sure that policies would change if that happened.

    January 12, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  15. Susan - Whitestone, NY

    How many people in Congress lost their retirement savings? How many are at risk of being laid off? How many can't pay their mortgage this month? How many can't afford health care? How many know what the life of an average American is like?

    Not many... and not many understand or care about how the recession has hit millions of Americans.

    January 12, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  16. Angie

    It is a shame when consideration to costs is not taken in any situation first.

    However when it comes to Not making a dent in Jobs unemployment We need to look at the Banks. Why?
    Because Banks and Financial Corporations have held back and Refused to give out Buisness Loans to Companies due to Banks and Financial Corporations Greed even though that was the main reasons for the bailouts.
    The Loans would of help all Companies grow their Buisness and hire new employees as they held on to their own employees.
    For the Buisness of bringing back jobs does begin with the Flow of Buisness. The Flow of Buisness means the Flow of Money.
    So Banks and Financial institutions should STOP THEIR GREED.

    January 12, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  17. Chris


    People at the top of a power pyramid never feel the pain of people below them. All they do is exploit that pain for their own advancement. Congress is no different. During an election year they try to act like they are in tune with the burden of the average American. However, the only place a common citizen can find really find congressional sympathy is in the dictionary, between "slime" and "syphilis."

    Boston, MA

    January 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  18. Rory Murray

    The members of CON-gress just don't get it. Every American has had to cut their spending, but not "Queen Pelosi" and her ilk.
    Do these idiots feel our pain? Not yet, but just wait until November, when they all will have to look for REAL JOBS!
    Term Limits=YES! Pensions For CROOKS=NO!
    Welcome back Jack!
    Rory Murray
    San Bernardino, CA

    January 12, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  19. joe m

    politicians haven't got a clue what everyday americans go through, despite all their talk that their goal is to improve the lives of regular americans. how could they possibly know how it feels? these people live in a world of their making that insulate them from the hassles of everyday life. they have healthcare that works. they have pensions that cannot ever suddenly dissolve into nothing. they travel without the hassles of long lines and cheap bags of peanuts. and they never have to worry about not getting a raise every year, wether they deserve it or not. No, these politicians don't feel the pain of the American people. They'd have to first be exposed to the source of the pain before they can feel it.

    Hillsborough, NC

    January 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  20. Mark, Worcester MA

    Of course not. Even a rank-and-file member makes about twice what an average middle class household makes (~170K). None of them can just be fired, no matter how bad they put their foot in their mouth, or how poorly they do their job. They can't lose 'em until November, and even then...

    January 12, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  21. Terry Knarr

    It is absolutely stunning that there is a single America left who does not realize that our government is completely corrupt. We are and should be the envy of any banana republic in the world. No one is more complicit than the media. Anyone with a D or R after their name should be running from an angry, torch wielding mob.


    January 12, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  22. James Bruce in Chicago land

    Jack this is a country by the people and for the people no more. The congress is so out of touch they must be living on a different planet. They reword bad behavior and make the little guys pay for it (Bank Bail out) They water down health care and make it mandatory. That gives the health care industry a windfall profit (Government Welfare). They were 1/6 of the economy and afterwards they will be 1/4 the economy. These are the same bunch of sob's that have had record profits and caused so much pain & death for American people. They rewarding bad people and let the good people suffer and pay for it.

    First the people should do is vote out every last one of the politicians that take money from health care lobby/industry they are no more than political paid assassins, killing the Americans hope and dreams. Then we should make laws that foreigners (non Americans) can not own any US news papers or programs on the radio or TV/Cable/internet. Then we need term limits on congress of 2 elections like we do for the President, so these political hacks can't get so powerful. Make laws that only allow privet citizens to lobby make it unlawful for a company or industry to lobby. Make laws that your spouse can not work for any organization that does lobby in Washington. If politicians have less power we have more power in our vote.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  23. Don from Belleville Ontario

    For members of Congress, having to settle for the standard BMW instead of the fully loaded, top of the line model, is harder than our having to choose between paying the rent or buying groceries.
    Their having to fly economy instead of 1st class is way more humiliating than our slinking into a homeless shelter or our car to sleep because we got evicted or foreclosed.
    Of course Congress feels every morsel of America's pain in this recession. They just feel it on a more upscale level.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  24. hank, montreal

    Much like the crooks on Wall Street, Congress feel no pain whatsoever. There is absolutely no downside to living in an Ivory Tower and make the peasants to pay for it, and also pay for proctection from those peasants!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  25. Jim


    Still looking for darts to throw at Pelosi, huh? What is it with you and her, Jack. Did she not answer a fan letter at some time in the past? If you want to be heard when fussing about financial waste, you better be talking in the billions, not hundreds of thousands.

    Reno, Nevada

    January 12, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  26. Smag , Munhall , Pa.

    Hey Jack , I'm not sure how much of our pain Congress feels but I sure wish I could feel some of theirs. Exactly how do I get in on the jets,hotel's and food without ruining my reputation and getting elected to Congress ????

    January 12, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  27. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    They are immune to any kind of pain. Their egos get in the way. They can give themselves raises while a lot of people are losing homes and going bankrupt because they lost their jobs and the seniors on social security do not receive increases even though Medicare costs and supplement costs continue to rise. They do for themselves and the rest of us can fly a kite.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  28. J.L from NJ

    I want to through them ALL out of office. They are all talk and no action.
    You are right...the way they conduct themselves is a disgrace.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  29. andy--25 miles from the Capitol

    not a bit...when was the last time a Memeber of Congress had to choose from [McDonald's] dollar menu when dining out?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  30. Greg in PA

    Congress? Who are they? Are they supposed to represent us or something?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  31. Bill .Wv

    They feel nothing.......
    Being fully wrapped in that blanket of pork, they can't even see the
    public !

    January 12, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  32. Annie, Atlanta

    They don’t, they’re worthless. But they do have theirs, so it’s ok. And they’ll probably vote themselves a pay raise here shortly. Now how do we take away their health care benefits, cut their salaries by 75%, and make them pay for their own travel expenses, in an effort to help them relate? Anyone?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  33. Marion/Birmingham,Al

    Jack,surely you jest? Congress feel the pain of Americans? Typical Pelosi dribble,spend on herself and her collegues like it was free money.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  34. David A Whitaker

    I think most of them feel the pain in Americans, because of the eelection caoming up. This make people become aware of their surround, normally they might ignore them..Every state in this country has a job problems, it hard not to feel the pain.And for those that don't feel the pain will be looking for another job this fall.


    January 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  35. terry

    Alfred E Newman said it best – What Me Worried??

    January 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  36. Barbara Feeny

    Unfortunately the majority of the members of Congress are more interested in self preservation than caring about the people who put them in office. These days they spend more time talking to reporters than working on the issues.If they spent as much time and money getting help for those out of work instead of measly hand outs, people might be a bit happier and willing to overlook their senseless spending and meandering.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  37. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Once members of Congress are elected and begin dining at the public trough, they assume a mantle of royalty and display an uncaring "let them eat cake" attitude toward the people they are supposed to represent. From their lofty perspective: what recession? what pain? We deserve what we tolerate. It is our absolute duty to vote every one of these clowns out of office.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  38. Carmen

    In a simple word "ZERO"

    January 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  39. Fred Marshe

    Congress doesn't even know the American public exists beyond their little world. We need a complete Congressional recall and start over again with term limits.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  40. Don from Belleville Ontario

    Congress has been maintaining their lifestyles of the rich and famous for too long to feel America's pain.
    You cannot appreciate the cost of anything if the taxpayer or the huge corporate contributor is picking up the tab.
    To get elected to Congress one must already by rich. Most of them have likely never even had a personal budget.
    I also doubt they can sympathize with meaningful health care reform when they already have their own top-of-the-line insurance coverage.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  41. Bill B

    How much to politicians feel the pain? Not much. Why should they when they rule over a bunch of sheep?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  42. sabrina

    Not a bit, they should fork out their own money and should not be getting paid health care,pensions etc for the few years of "work" they do. It would be about time they had to suffer losses of these things like the rest of us paying for their crappy decisions that do lilttle to help any of us except the rich. It s no wonder a dippy doodle like Palin, (though a liar) has so much appeal to many who do not know what is going on either. AT LEAST Palin is smart enough to know how to soak her followers, of course she has had practice as a "law maker"

    January 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  43. JJ

    They don't. Their jobs are basically secured, and we the people -the backbone of this nation- suffer for it. Three military jets? You authorized this?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  44. Deborah in Blue Springs, MO

    These people make six figures, Jack, and enjoy the Cadillac of health care on our dime. Of course they don't feel our pain. In all honesty, I would cut their pay by half until we are out of this recession. THEN they'll feel the sting the rest of us are forced to endure.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  45. Kurt

    In a word...nada

    January 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  46. tonybudz

    I don't know who Nancy Pelosi thinks she is. Children are starving, unemployment is out of control and she takes Congress on a vacation on CopenWorld? This is simply unacceptable. I call for her resignation and while I'm at it, I want her to pay us back for those stupid flowers.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  47. Kristen Ingram

    Nancy Pilosi is a pig. If we had a parliamentary system like most civilized nations, she would be scrubbing floors for a living. And I'm a Democrat.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  48. Dixie Proctor

    Obviously they don't get it and they don't care. This is so disgusting, it is almost beyond words.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  49. Don Moore

    Jack, I doubt congress will ever feel our pain. But I'm hoping they feel our wrath in November.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  50. Jennifer W

    As the British say "I'm all right Jack". Politicians are, unfortunately, the same the world over. They take care of themselves FIRST.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  51. Tom Rickabaugh

    I tell you what,

    Pelosi and all her minions can't seem to ever get their heads out of the clouds. Spending all that money isn't helping anyone, especially the taxpayers. There are much better things to spend money on than to pay the way for a few dozen people to spoil themselves in Copenhagen.

    Simply a disgrace.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  52. Lydia Davino

    Re: Nancy Pelosi
    Jack, you are toooooo kind.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  53. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    I respect your view.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  54. Charlie-Chicago

    Remember the line our parents used to give us "this is going to hurt me much more than it hurts you?" They were wrong!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  55. K.A. Flinn

    That was a rhetorical question, right?! I doubt Pelosi feels little beyond her own sense of self-importance. This "Queen Nancy" makes the last one look like a piker. I hope she loses her leadership position more than I can say.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  56. Bryan

    How do they feel? you have to be kidding, I am sure that the folks in congress that allegedly work for us, feel nothing for us. They are more worried about how the lobbists feel about issues. The prrof of that is in the socalled healthcare reform bill. Written to appease the lobbyists...

    January 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  57. Kevin Franklin

    I think Congressman Pelosi should be mandated to tell the American people how much her jaunt to Copenhagen cost U.S. Taxpayers and it should include a list of everyone who went, how they went, and where they stayed. How many people got a free vacation on the backs of taxpayers?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  58. bev

    They dont feel the pain because they dont care about us once they win the election

    January 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  59. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, you are kidding, right? Congress is so out of touch, they don't have a clue. They passed their own 5% cost of living raise, made sure their health care was safe, and increased the Congressional budget by more than 10% to cover their excessive spending "needs". Feel our pain? Yeah, right, if anyone believes that, I've got some beach front property in Death Valley I'll sell them, cheap!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  60. William

    Jack, the long answer is:

    they don't.

    Euclid, Ohio

    January 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  61. J W

    Congress pains over steak in their dining hall while Americans eat bologna. Congress pains to travel in Jets while America fixes their aging cars. Congress pains to pay no Social Security while Americans cough up Congressional retirements. Poor Congress. Must be very painful.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  62. David Grimesey

    THey do not care about AMericans nor do they care about changing this country for the better. Theyre not paying down the deficit,, they doing anything to pay off China, they are doing nothing about helping job growth nor are they doing nothing about immigration reform All they are doing is the same old same old and they will destroy our country.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  63. Del Chandler

    ZERO. I live in California and I thought our State Representatives did not understand, but this is ridiculous. How disgraceful!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  64. Chris in Philadelphia

    They don't. The phones apparently don't work, the halls of Congress are sound proof, email apparently dies in cyberspace and the members are too busy flying to Copenhagen to go home and listen to constituents. Unbelievably out of touch. If they want a field trip they should come to Philly and tour Independance Hall and maybe they will be reminded of what they are supposed to be doing and why.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  65. louis wesler


    Congress has NEVER known or cared about the average citizen. If they had we wouldnt have the situation we have now where bank rip off customers, get government money to keep them solvent, jack up rats, and give billions to executives. with the blessings and hand out for contributions of nancy pelosi and the rest of the Congress. AMERICA HAS THE BEST GOVERNMENT MONEY CAN BUY, and boy has it been bought.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  66. Regina

    They do not have a clue. I can not stand her myself. They all have the big head, feeling they are better than the rest of use. they all need to be sent home.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  67. Frank

    It's just like when the working animals in the book Animal Farm looked into the window and saw to their amazement: The pigs were walking on their hind legs.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  68. Mary

    Congress feels no pain. They don't care – what are Americans going to do about it? Vote them out? Ha-ha! Change only comes to the degree that Americans are willing to be inconvenienced – and Congress knows it and that's why it's always the same old, same old – no matter WHO'S in Congress!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  69. Wendy Williams

    Recession?,... What Recession,...
    Wendy/ Canada

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  70. Ron

    Astroturf... just astroturf. Nancy gets it. Don't you remember Jack, ... we won!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  71. Phil

    Members of Congress are above feeling any pain. They are the true elite...just watch them when the cameras are off.

    Look on the positive side though. Pelosi, the queen, has chosen to pre-embalm her face...she may be aware of something we mortals aren't privy to.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  72. Armando Fl

    I don't think they feel anything, have you seen some of the house's that people from congress have and their gas hog suv's, and most of it is from the peoples money. Are they hurting like we are, NO, how can they when they have our wallet's at their disposal.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  73. JW in CT

    Why Are you suprised? This Office prints money all day long and they spend it even faster!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  74. Bill from Michigan

    I live on social security disability , and congress didnt give us any kind of raise this year, yet they can go to Copenhagen and spend all this money???? what gives with this?? I think its time to wipe the slate clean and replace these big spenders with common people, not politicians!!!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  75. Cristian S.

    These individuals simply lack the sensibility to understand what the American people is going through. Let's reduced their salaries and benefits to 25% what they have today, and you will see how they start finally doing something for this nation. Enough is enough.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  76. R. S. Ormond

    It is obvious that both Pelosi with her trip, and OBama with his generous use of AF1 for long flights for extravagant vacations, are milking the American taxpayer for everything they can get – a bunch of hogs at the trough!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  77. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    Members of Congress do not feel the pain normal Americans are feeling during the recession at all. Rep. Pelosi seems to be leading the way on wasting the tax payers money and seems to wear new clothes everyday. I cannot understand why voters in her district vote for her at all. Pelosi needs to find unemployment by being voted out of office as soon as possible. Voters in that district need to wake up and pay attention and finally do the right thing. Most other members of Congress also feel no pain about the recession. While they may listen to the voters they are not feeling the strain the average American feels in their pocket book or billfold. Also didn't Congress vote themselves a raise again for this year?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  78. jason Iinuma

    Its horrendous! After all she had six planes reserved but due to the fact we are in a recession they had to cut back. Now enough for the laughs, is it unethical yes, but to ask congress to investigate if she did something wrong and unlawful is like having a group of foxes holding court to find out if one of their own is guilty of raiding the hen house.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  79. Sharon

    Congress has not a clue how the average american is suffering. I don't really think they care. As long as they can get there kick backs and go on trips that we pay for. I wish i had someone to pay for my vacations. Vote them all out.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  80. Koben Johnson

    Members of Congress feel the pain of the American people in this recession about as much as, banks, car manufacturers, insurances companies and anyone else who lines their pockets with campaign contributions or other under-the-table kick-backs.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  81. David Thornton

    It's a trick question to confuse the american public, isn't Jack???

    Dave – Ontario Canada

    January 12, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  82. Ron Moss

    If Congress felt the pain of the people it would bring back progressive income taxes, so the 5% of us who own 70% of our wealth, including all those bankers getting multi-million dollar bonuses, would contribute their fair share. People are suffering because they have no money. This is the cause of the economic crisis. How can we have a successful "consumer economy" if nobody has any money to spend?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  83. Diane

    They feel nothing about our problems. What we as americans who are out of jobs, doing jobs that have wages below the poverty level don't mean a thing to the people in charge. Only way they would care would be if we as americans could decrease there pocket book the way they have decreased ours, and with the new healthcare bill, good grief if we could afford health care to start with we would have it but now we are being forced to get it. When will we start having to goosestep and click our heels together! Hitler said years ago that america would defeat itself, no one would have to do it. He may have been right.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  84. Lori Mount

    My husband is a Branch Chieff for ICE and when he travels for work, I am not allowed to travel with him, let alone have the government pay for it. My husband is going away for training for 3 weeks and they are giving him problems about renting a car (and he has a broken foot) and the congressman get to bring their families along at our cost. How is this fair? I thought it was against government regulations to have family travel with you unless you are in the process of moving.
    Lori Mount
    Burke, VA

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  85. Harriet, Berkley, MI

    Good Grief Jack - when the kids are on winter break I'd rather they see their parents engaged in government business than golfing in Scotland! Frequently security requirements dictate that members of congress stay at certain hotels. As Speaker Pelosi said - full disclosure will be made.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  86. jim

    its time for a revolution. most ofcongress is out of step with the american people

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  87. dave

    If not for their political consultants they would not even know there was a problem with the economy. All they do is worry about keeping their job. the rest of us actually need to do our job to keep our job. If we have a job.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  88. Harry

    How much pain? LOL, obviously none at all. It's obvious they have no feelings at all, just as long as they line each others purse and pork barrell.

    I've been waiting for the fall of Nancy Pellosi specifically as she has done things that are blatently wrong, i.e. guiding funding to her husbands interests, the extravagant airplace arrangements for getting back and forth to congress, all those things we have read makes me think she thinks she is some kind of a queen or something. When will she have to pay???? Now more on the Denmark trip, good grief!!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  89. Mike Skaggs

    Jack, I am a 100% disabled veteran, and can't work. I don't get a COLA this year, yet I hear that the Congress is giving itself a 3% raise. Pelosi takes 1/2 of California with her to Denmark, on the taxpayer's dime. Of course they don't feel our pain. I'm quite positive they don't care about our pain, either.

    Mike from Arvada, Colorado

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  90. Ken in NC

    They feel it like a toothache. Right now they are feeling a dull sensation and they are ignoring it but wait until November when the full pain of their toothache hits them on a cold winters day.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  91. John

    Right on Jack! Nancy Pelosi and it seams like most of the government does not seam to care at all how much money they spend. I do not think they realize how hard we all work to make money and taxes take a big chunk of it. I am cutting back on my spending and trying to save more money so i will not suffer in my older years. I do not know why the government can't do the same thing.

    Nothing makes me madder than a wasteful government.


    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  92. Judy Perry

    I am appauled. Please print every congressman;s name and what family members he took with him or her. I have raised money and donated to many Democratic California members of Congress and this makes me sick. I am done.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  93. Keith

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    The main way to put the reigns on all of this bs spending is a tax revolution in the real sense. Do not pay taxes and see what they have to spend and waste. Spend your money then on helping your neighbors and community to have work and fix the infrastructure.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  94. art l, rutland, vt

    What economy? What recession? Unemployment? They're all employed. They're all millionaires. Hey, the economy is chugging along for them. Nothing to see here. As far as they're concerned, the matter is closed.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  95. Karl bell

    Hey Jack
    just hearing that woman's name makes me angry she and her cronies in DC have lost touch it's just a shame she won't be voted out it's just sad that Americans won't stand up like my generation did during Vietnam with some effort we could change this mess but instead Americans have become sheep being led to the slaughter

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  96. sean Braddock

    We agree 100% pelosi is a horrible woman .. why after everything, have the american people let this go on for so long.. we should put all of congress and the senate in prison.. let them feel the pain and suffering , Why not get rid of political entitlement as well. These knuckleheads should do what they do for free, be a representative of the people for the people if you are in this with your heart then you should be able to do it for free

    January 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  97. Tom, SC

    Glad to see that you are becoming aware of what a lot of Americans have been seeing for a long time. If pro is the opposite on con, then what is the opposite of progress?
    Congress seems to think that they can print money and spend it like the want. The forget that they work FOR the American people.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  98. Scott Bornstein

    Jack, Congress is entirely out of touch with middle class average Americans, and those of us seeking employment. Their travel, health care, families and some expenses are taken care of by those still working. I believe people go to "The Hill" with the right intentions and are quickly welcomed into an elite, protected and ignorant body. Rapidly they forget the people who employ them. I'd suggest they spend time in our shoes, but that won't happen. Our shoes aren't where the comfort is.
    Scott B
    Lakeland, FL

    January 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  99. Larry L, Torrance, CA

    Inside the Beltway of Washington, it is an entirely different society than the rest of America.

    They live the life of parties and perqs. And, the U.S. Government is a never-ending money-generator for these elites in government.

    It's true everywhere. Here in Los Angeles, which is also in deep money trouble, a member of the City Council wanted to redecorate his office. The cost? $870,000.

    Want to see the budget deficit of California? Look at the costs of our 'prison industrial complex', and its associated expensive, unconstitutional health care system.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  100. John L


    I can't possibly see how any senator can say they understand this economic crisis when they themselves have not been in the real world and don't see a normal family struggling and losing their job. You have to wonder why they there is so many shootings and killings around the country!! Senators need to come back to reality and stop going across The seas!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  101. David Morrison

    WOW my company axed business class travel so I have to fly 15 hours to back and fourth India in coach!!
    Maybe I should get a job with Congress. I have much respect for Obama but I recall him saying his administration would not be business as usual...if the buck stops with him as he repeatedly says, then he should be held accountable for the whims of good ole Nancy.....I say fire her right now.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  102. Craig Starr

    Let's see how many languages (or slang) in which I can say it: zip, zilch, zero, nada, rien, nul, leen (my crypto-Manadarin), bupkiss(sp?, pls. correct me).

    NH, USA

    January 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  103. Jamar


    Congress sucks! The deomcrats are insulent! They couldn't fix a PBJ sandwhich and were in trouble with the economy pretty soon only congress will be able to afford to live in this country! And blacks don't just vote democrat I won't be this upcoming voting year!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  104. margrit maassch, phoenix, arizona

    They have really no idea.
    They are actully so far removed from the ordinary everyday life that they will never understand the problems everyone else feels.
    Not only because of the recession but of all problems in general.
    That is why they are not able to govern anymore, since they are suppose to represent the people.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  105. joe

    Members of Congress are all on a permanent campaign trail, only worried about reelection, living high and enriching themselves. They do not feel the worry about making ends meet and caring for one's family in this tight economy. They are insulated from everyday life.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  106. Ralph Hofmeier

    Powermax Energy I& Business Solutions Inc, Miami FL. tries to invest up to $2 billion $$ in California for the production of fresh drinking water . For the last 12 month nobody is talking to us ! California is fine , I guess . They don't need water , no workplaces , no investments .......what are you talking about Jack ?

    Ralph / Miami

    January 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  107. Julie Hendry

    Mr. Cafferty, I have continued to ask folks like Pelosi if they have fogoten that they are working for the American Citizen. I have yet to get a straight aswer from any of them. She is an outight hipocritt!!!! That is being nice. She is a regular up-start. How does she think she can continue to spend when the tax monies is running out due to them NOT getting jobs back into America!!! Wake up women. Your fairytail land will come umbling down when the rest of us do!!!! Lest you forget... government of the PEOPLE, y the PEOPLE, and for the PEOPLE! Read the constitution! YOu are abusing your postion for your personal gains!!! UNCONSTITUIONAL!!!!!!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  108. H.T. from Cal

    I think the change everyone wanted needs to start with the lawmakers. Everyone talks about reforming healthcare, we need to reform the house and the senate.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  109. Linda O

    Pain? What Pain? They of the blue ribbon health care? They who work a handful of days a year(pardon the use of the four-letter word, work), they of the extra-marital and other affairs? I'd dance with the devil to have a congressional seat!

    And as far as Pelosi, she's a disgrace to the Italian people....Basta!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  110. Rgriisser

    Same old-Same old. Our forefathers tried to make sure that we didn't wind up with royalty but it seems we have one. This is why I intend to vote against all incumbents in the next election. If your in office now you don't get my vote. Begone evil person!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  111. Gigi Cawood

    I just heard Cafferty's comment on Nancy Pelosi's visit to Denmark, and the costs incured. How about mentioning her trip to Detroit and the Auto Show – she, Nancy, had a hissy fit when the GM execs flew to Washington to talk with the powers that be – and so they ended up driving, rather than taking the GM plane – double standard? She took her tax-payer plane to Detroit to visit the Auto Show....has no one noticed this?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  112. Vera Crawford

    This woman has no shame or common sense, much less any sense of decency. I often wonder how she and her cohorts sleep at night.....do they ever think of whose money it is they're spending like drunken sailors....my apologies to any and all drunken sailors who are far above the aforementioned pigs. Lord, can't anyone come up with a method to make them stop?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  113. don goldsmith

    How much? Not at all obviously, since they haven't missed a single paycheck. Bless your heart, Jack. Why can't you have a nightly prime time program to highlight the disgusting behavior of our ruling elite?
    Atlanta, Georgia

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  114. Dan

    I believe this to be an overall problem with the legislative branch of the government. You list a staggering amount of money to be spent on a trip whilst many Americans go without. These same people also voted themselves raises, while as you stated the State of California is being forced to cut many necessary services to its most at risk citizens. People need to become angry about this negligent spending and hopefully use this anger to pressure their senators and congressmen into focus more on the struggling working man and less on taking spouses on vacations that might end up being payed for by the taxpayers.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  115. Vivian Marion`

    As a life long Democrat, I am very disgusted disheartened and just plain angry at the way things are going. I absolutely do not believe that congress feels our pain. They live in another universe. I think the trip she took with her co-horts, and their families, is proof of that. The fact that she refuses to release any information about her trip just proves the point. They don't really care.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  116. Patricia from NY

    Ya think? Jack, you obviously lean left, so this must pain you to no end --how do you justify the most transparent admin. in history pulling these stunts every other day? Ms Nancy is in charge and never have so many politicians catered to one powerful women. Just to see and hear her is painful enough.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  117. Jim Fowler

    Pelosi discussing global warming; give me a break! Let her come to Florida, we could use some.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  118. John L.


    The Congress hasn't felt the pain of the American people suffering through this horrible economy at all! Nancy Pelosi is just one more instance of that. She is so out-of-touch with the American people, its as if she was from another planet! I live in California and can't wait until she is voted out of office. Pelosi and Reid are running this country into the ground (in China).

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  119. Jerry W

    I am 63 and a lifelong Dem, If we continue to elect Pelosis and reeds we are doomed.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  120. John

    I have an idea why don't these politicians take the public option on healthcare that they are forcing down our throats.These people are living in a fantasy land I want there health plan and salary.This recession has not stopped there extravagant spending we pay and will keep paying.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  121. Chuck

    How much pain would these people feel, if we enpeached all of them

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  122. Audrey R os s

    Ifeel that it is a disgrace f o r our elected officialsto travel t oa foreign country using s o many planes.Speaker pol osi is being very coy by not answering questions,and thinks she is above the law.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  123. marc mintz

    Jack thank goodness you tell it the way things are "common sense."
    Pelosi is out of touch with the real issues and thinks Barbie and Ken
    are real people.

    She continues to play a Shrew by not answering direct questions ask of

    She has voted on issues beneficial to Her Husband's Businesses but no one brings it to the attention of the American Public.

    Keep the "common sense" criticism coming on CNN, hopefully
    CNN will let you continue to express your views which I believe are
    for the common good of all Americans.



    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  124. Richard

    I wonder when the American people will muster-up enough guts to unite and disassemble this corrupt bribe taking congress…all of them!

    I would advocate overthrowing our government…but we the people of the USA don’t have one; we have a government of the people, by the people, for the government.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  125. Sabrina

    They have NO idea what it is to live in this america. They have what they need AND what they want. Most of america does not even have what they need. When they have to choose between eating or paying the rent and buying medication or seeing a doctor, then they will feel pain.

    On a personal note, Jim, are you from another planet or are you a ghost writer for Pelosi?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  126. Rosemary

    Not at all!!!!
    Most of them have no financial worries and unfortunately for America I think that MANY are just career politicians. It's time that we limited there service years just as we do for the President especially since he can't get anything done without the Congress. Let's ask them to give up a few weeks of their pay like other Americans are having to do in order to keep a job.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  127. David20720

    Your report answers your own question Jack; they haven’t a clue anyone is outside the gilded halls of Congress.

    There is a movement of sorts underway in this country to change politics and government as we know it. Our government fuels this movement every day with truly stupid things like what you reported. There won’t be guns or violence, but about 535 people are about to get their butts kicked.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  128. Peter Johnston RI

    The Wicked Witch of the West; Indeed!!!!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  129. Doris/St Louis

    Congress only feel the pain and discomfort of Wall Street. It is up to voting Americans to remind all of them: Yes we will VOTE YOU OUT!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  130. B. Burkhardt

    The congress of the United States does not feel anything for anyone outside the Beltway. All they care about is their power and their need to be paid off by K Street. They have completely sold out the American public and the principles on which the United States of America was founded. I feel none of them should be re-elected.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  131. PAT

    No members of Congress of ether party has ever felt the American peoples pain. That is why they get into National Politics so they can
    sit in the ivory tower and have the American Taxpayers foot the bill.
    The majority members of Congress are either lawyers or are wealthy
    from some other source.
    They have never felt the pain of the common working man and woman and therefore cannot relate to their situations.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  132. frankie

    At least as much as Rush Limbaugh feels the pain of regular people going to a doctor. Fortunately the President understands.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  133. Jim Fowler

    Pelosi discussing global warming! Give me a break! Let her come to
    Florida (Weeki Wachee), we could use some.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  134. Jim Kramer


    Can you see the hypocrisy that we are faced with as average citizens? I need to drive a compact electric car and take the bus or train. Yet Al Gore and Nancy P can fly in jets, take their families to Europe on my dime, live in mansions and use my money doing it. All the while telling me how I'm wrong. This makes my blood boil. Maybe we could harness the negative energy that we get from Washingotn to solve the climate crisis.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  135. Mike

    The only time they will ever feel our pain is when they get voted our of their cushy high-paying jobs and have to live like the rest of us. Oh, wait, that won't work. Even former Congressman in jail collect hefty pensions. What an abolute joke, and thank you Jack for calling it like it is: Nancy Pelosi is a horrible woman (I"m an ardant Democrat by the way)

    January 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  136. Greg Erickson

    The only pain that congress feels is the pain in their backside every time regular folks like myself complain of the ridiculous amounts of money they spend on anything that translates into perks for themselves.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  137. David, Banner Elk, NC

    Jack, you cannot feel the recession unless you're in the recession. Congress if well paid by all citizens and thus they have no fear of receiving a reduced paycheck next week, much less loosing their job. Those few who are still connected to the real-world (i.e. 95% of Americans) are restricted from making policy decisions that would help all of us truly feeling the recession–by all those in Congress who've completely lost touch, or those who have simply been bought off by large corporate lobbyist. US policy would certainly be different if Congress felt anything close to what's happening out here.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  138. Frank Jackson

    I don't have a problem with this trip, she is doing no more than her predecessors. You seem to be pileing on her because she is a dem, and a woman. Lighten up Jack.

    Frank from Rocklin, Ca.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  139. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Congress feel the pain of the recession about as much as the CEO's who came to Washington in their fancy jets with a tin can in hand. I see no difference.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  140. Ollie Rivers

    Shame on you! If it was "Herman Pelosi" instead of "Nancy Pelosi" you might still be angry and outspoken but would you EVER say "what a horrible man" because you disagreed with Herman's political actions? I doubt it. Nancy Pelosi gets a lot of bad press in large part because she is good at what she does–manipulating the political system. She just doesn't manipulate the system in the way YOU want.
    Go Nancy!
    (Ms.) Ollie Rivers

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  141. Jim

    What I would really like to have verified is the rumors I see in passed along emails. For example, Congress is exempt from Obama's new medical plan? I'd really like to see the benefit packages received by each member of Congress both while in service and after they lose their seats.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  142. Barb Coleman

    Jack, glassy eyed Nancy Pelosi is not even in touch with planet earth let alone the needs of the American people. I honestly feel that she should be charged with robbery, fraud, lying plus much more. I have never disliked any politician as much as I dslike her.....she thinks she is above the law. She acts like she is a princess...what Nancy wants, Nancy gets. Wake up America.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  143. dan waters

    when all you have to do is raise the debt limit and raise taxes to pay for it later. why would you be cocerned?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  144. Rick in Brookfield, CT

    I think a recent line in regard to another issue fits the bill here as well.


    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  145. Paul Connolly

    Nancy Peolosi makes me ashamed to be a Democrat. She is so removed from the plight of middle class Americans. I think she may get a wake up call with the up coming mid-term elections.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  146. Bill Slate

    Well I believe that this shows there is no real concern for the people struggling in this almost total recession basically because people have no real feel for the downtrodding if they had they would not spend money so easily without concern for their neighbor.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  147. Richard in Richmond

    Congress feels nothing for "Main Street" America...except contempt.

    Congress cares only about its insatiable appetite for ....

    money.....sex.....and power.....

    Dems ... & ...Repubs....& Independents...(yes, you too Lieberman)...

    Where is Robespierre.................when you need him ....?

    To the guillotine with the whole bunch.....

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  148. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    Congress is totally insulated from the suffering of Americans & to make matters worse they don't seem to even care.
    Speaker Pelosi is the 'poster child of aloof disregard' of American citizens – her only concern seems to be to please her contributors, ramrod health care reform through Congress without a clue of the consequences, and maintain her monarchial throne as Speaker.
    In the words of Howard Beale "I'm mad as Hell & I'm not going to take it anymore"

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  149. Brett O'Neil

    The question is rhetorical, I am guessing. Nancy Pelosi and almost every other elected official only care at election time. Can you believe the arrogance as to not answering the questions by those who they work for. and , by the way, paid for the trip. If I told my employer I will not answer your questions, what do you think happens to me. The Congress and Senate feel they have a sense of entitlement and you wonder where the general population gets their attitude when they see these ineffective, selfish individuals act as they do. No, they don't get it. Never have , never will.
    The frustration that is felt with our political cronies is hurting. FOI application shoukld be filed for all the receipts of everyone that attended this conference that ended up accomplishing nothing. They are spreading their work worldwide. This is " GroundHog Day" year after year, decade after decade. It's appalling.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  150. Richard, Texas

    Come on jack at least name those 20 that went so we all know. Frome the democrats it was, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Charles Rangel, Waxman, Miller, Markey, Gordon, Levin, Blumenauer, DeGette, Inslee, Ryan, Butterfield, Cleaver, Giffords, and Republicans: Barton, Upton, Moore Capito, Sullivan, Blackburn and Sensenbrenner.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  151. John

    Good for you Mr. Cafferty! It is about time that we as Americans take control of this stuff. We have families in this Nation who cannot afford to take their children on vacation ever! However, our elected officials can take a vacation on the tax payers dime? Who is controlling these people? Hello, "...of the people, by the people." WAKE UP AMERICA! These officials are the problem with our country. Yes we have CEOs and companies that are corrupt. But it is our elected officials that get the "kick-backs" to do nothing about the problems of our financial system. They do their best to tie up issues so that little or nothing is ever done. We will never fix a single problem in this country until we have political reform. Not health care, not tort reform, political reform. Term limits, making it a felony to receive campaign contributions, etc. You have to ask yourself, "why would someone spend millions to obtain a job that only pays a six figure salary? Wake up America, our country is being high jacked by our government...and we put them there!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  152. Jack Lewandowski

    The Fall of the Roman Empire is alive and well in the USA. The Congress feels no pain. We the People and our feeling are just a minor annoyance to them. They are only interested in themselves. The Health care issue shows us that. They will not even talk about their health coverage.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  153. Gerald

    They feel nothing,they forgot who elected them,all they do now is full their pockets,the money they receive has allready decided their votes,i have lost faith in our system,vote them all out,but you know this will never happen.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  154. david doherty

    Jack, exactly what did this group do in Copenhagen, I mean besides spending ungodly sums of OUR MONEY! Did they have an agenda, or was it just a vacation on our dime. Why don't we hear about this kind of waste before it happens, while we might be able to actually do something about it. I'll admit that this type of thing make America's blood boil when it's told, but if the news media was actually looking out for our interest, they would have reported this before it happened!

    Dave from Peterborough, NH.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  155. Jerome Pass

    A little while ago Rush told us that health care is just fine. He's a millionaire, of course it is. The speaker of the house won't tell us how she is spending our money, that's more interesting. Rush is spending his money. How he does that is his business. How the speaker spends our money is our business. It seems to me that the people who are trying to convince me to support them are doing little to support me. And now the Tea Party wants to join in? There's got to be a better way.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  156. Jocelyn Wadsworth

    Jack, the sad part is, even if Nancy Pelosi was essentially fired by the people, she would not lose her health care and she would still get a pension. She will never feel the effects of this recession on everyday Americans.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  157. Ric

    Pain they can't even spell the word let alone feel the pain Pelosi and the rest of those crooks should have to live on $50,000 or less like a large part of the people in California are doing now. She is a disgrace to the United States of America.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  158. Ron

    I don't think some of the members of congress even know we are in a recession.. They spend money like everyone else does in boom times.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  159. Katherine Hayes

    Very few senators and other elected officials have any empathy for their constituents...the ones that elected them to office. Ironically, it is the wealthiest of congress who drive the hardest for the low man on the totem pole, such as Jack Jennedy and Franklin Roosevelt; or
    Senate frat brothers Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd, both of whom will be sorely missed by a huge voting bloc around the country, not just New England.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  160. Brad from Kansas

    They do not and have never felt our pain. It is always about their political power over the people. I wish that we could put a handle on top of the Capital and Flush them all away!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  161. judy Best

    i agree with you in your characterization of Nancy Pelosi, Jack. I've always thought that she only opened her mouth to change feet! But why in the heck isn't there a freeze on spending in government across the board, right from the top down? No, Congress doesn't get it, few politicians actually do. Pelosi needs to be handed the bill for the total cost of the Copenhagen trip, to be followed by a lengthy IRS audit. And while you're at it, cancel her healthcare!
    Peterborough, Canada

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  162. Frank Nardo Cape Coral, FL

    Jack! I do believe that all of Washington's politicians believe they feel the pain "we the people" are feeling. The only problem with that is they are not living on the same planet we are, I'm sure you are aware of the old saying "let them eat cake" well there is no cake to share with anyone outside of Washington. Washington D.C needs a sever cleaning.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  163. Jon C.

    Come on jack, the powerful and rich never fill the pain. Where do you vacation?. How much did you pay? How big is your paycheck?.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  164. csrdrunner

    "To sit back hoping that
    will make things right,
    is to go on feeding the crocdile,
    hoping he will eat you last–
    but eat you he will."
    Ronald Regan

    "What luck for rulers that men DO NOT THINK."
    surprise!!!!!!!!!!!! adollf hitler
    Colorado Springs, Colorado

    Cafferty you are OK, thanks for the truth.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  165. Paula Miles

    I think that it's difficult for anyone who is not suffering from the lack of enough money to feed/cloth/house themselves and their families to totally comprehend the pain that the situation causes. But, I also think that we will have much more pain if we don't get the country on the right track vis a vis the environment, health care, infrastructure and a whole host of other areas where we have procrastinated in the past. Nancy Pelosi is trying her best to further an agenda that just might keep us from becoming a second rate country before we know it and I give her enormous credit for putting up with those who think we should accept the status quo. The country doesn't appreciate how lucky we are to have leaders in the Congress like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  166. DG form Marysville CA

    US Legislators are out-of-touch, and are NOT feeling the pain of the US taxpayers. Democrats like NAZI Pelosi have been 'cutting a fat hog' for years, thanks to the Liberal voters of California. If the Democrats aren't voted OUT in 2010, this country may never recover.

    PS – I'm neither Democrat nor Republican – I'm a HUMAN BEING...

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  167. Alexa Laurent

    Jack- I am one of the elderly whose home health care will be coldly cut by the likes of Nancy Pelosi and all but four senators. As home health care agencies dry up, the elderly who fought so hard to leave the difficult environment of nursing homes for more peaceful home-based care are being thrown under the bus and will sadly have to return to nursing homes.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  168. Mike from Texas

    Jack, sounds like Pelosi is trying to tell the people "Let them eat cake".

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  169. Bayo - Minnesota

    I don't believe they feel the pain. They don't live like regular people. They don't have same health care, pension, benefits, etc. It continues because the people allow it to continue. I don't know if they founding fathers had this in mind but it exists. Why wouldn't i want to be part of an entity that gets everything either free or subsidized? Plane trips to Copenhagen? I'm trying to save money to send my daughter to college. Oh well..life goes on. The people can't stop living because of what Washington does. We still have to get up in the morning and do it all over again......trying to survive another day.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  170. BJW Ohio

    Most of our elected officials in Washington do not feel our pain!

    They vote their own pay increases, have their own health care, do not contribute to their retirements, do not participate in Social Security, retire at 100% of their pay, ..... How many mainstream US citizens have anything close to these benefits?

    The President originally said his family would participate in the new health care system and later was silent as to if whether they would. Now, those in power in Washington are excluding themselves from what they are creating. If it's so good as they say, why don't they want to participate?

    It's time we vote for our rights. Those in Washington work for us!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  171. Matt

    They don't. I think the Dems are a bit out of touch, even if they are well-meaning, genuinely trying to help us move forward and somewhat less ideological in their approach to problem solving. However, the GOP couldn't care less. In fact, the GOP would prolong our suffering through dilatory tactics and obstructionist strategery in order to give themselves more time to convince us to blame the Dems for it. That's been their entire plan this past year and will be for the next 3 years. Just wait. Once the Dems lose a filibuster proof majority in 2010, which is the obvious greater likelihood given how impossible it is for any party to hold onto 60 for long, we're going to spend 2011 and 2012 watching Congress DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  172. Earl

    How can Wall st. feel the pain if Washington does not feel the pain? These people (Pelosi and company) work harder keeping their jobs in the name of the people than they do, doing the work of the people. How can the corrupt thinkers judge those with corrupt behavior. And the circle goes round and round. Obama is a square peg that is trying to work in a round hole. Good luck fellas.

    British Columbia

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  173. Tom


    Congress seems to never feel anything that the American people feel. They may dance and sing the songs but in actuality, they feel nothing but what they have always felt; greed and power. The politicians make the order and we, the American people, pay the check.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  174. Bill

    Hello Jack. There isn't a single soul in congress who feels the pain of the American people during this recession. Why did all those people, their spouses and children have to go to Copenhagan in the first place, and what was Nancy Pelosi thinking of by approving the trip? Nothing was accomplished there anyway, just a lot of money spent, by the taxpayers of course. There ought to be a way to get rid of all the deadbeats in the government. They are a disgrace to the rest of us and we don't need that kind of representation anyway. Don't those idiots realize that this country is hurting right now and this is not the time to be spending money on pleasure trips. I'm thinking on giving up being a citizen and moving elsewhere.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  175. Linda in Arizona

    Not nearly enough, Jack. I can think of some remedies, and I'll bet you can too. LOL, you have as much animosity for pelosi as I do for palin. I feel YOUR pain.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  176. Paul

    No, they do not feel our pain. The average American lives from paycheck to paycheck, if they even have a paycheck. It is a daily struggle to make ends meet while congress receives large paychecks and then does not even have to pay their own expenses when they go on these "business trips". What the American public puts out to pay for these extravagances would feed, cloth and pay for medical care to many people. Instead of staying in 5 star hotels and eating gourmet foods they should have to pay from their own paychecks for those "extras".

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  177. BC

    Most members of congress believe that they are of royal blood and not required to adhere to rules that apply to common man. I was initially a Pelosi supporter but am very disappointed at her attitude towards the great unwashed multitude. She is, as you say, a disgrace.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  178. Kati

    It is a sad day when the Speaker of the House takes her "posse" across the pond and puts them up in Five-Star hotels. It makes me sick to my stomach to think that the money that was spent on this charade was paid for by the taxpayers. There are children that have leaky pipes in their schools. There are missions and food banks hurting from the influx of need all around this country and this is what are government thinks about us! Do they think we are stupid? Maybe they should stay in a Holiday Inn Express and possibly become a littler smarter!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  179. Gust A. Nelson

    "...Congress feel the pain of the American people...", Jack, what color is your sky?!! To even consider such a concept.!
    The representatives of the people in this country are far removed from society and working and paying taxes.
    A government job is a free ride from those of us that do work and sweat and tend to our peers.
    We have about as much chance of getting goverment officials to lose their 'let them eat cake' lifestyle as we do about getting Wall St. to give up the golden parachutes!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  180. francis donavon

    jack have you ever meant a politican that cared about anybody but themselfs

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  181. George Bixby

    I don't normally watch Wolf Blitzer so I don't see much of Jack. But I happened to catch his commentary about Nancy Pelosi. His opinion about her is right on. I will add that every time she opens her mouth she is an embarassment. I hope the people of California smarten up and kick her to the side.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  182. mary wysong

    Jack, you are right on the money. When I heard this report all I could think about was how senior's are skimping and saving to get through this year. How the man behind me with 2 children can't find a job. Nancy Pelosie doesn't care abourt about the American People. I voted for President Obama. I think he should have this laid in his lap. If he doesn't make it in 2012 Nancy will be a big part of the blame.
    Thank You,
    Mary Wysong

    January 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  183. Daniel Brady

    I believe we should take the life time retirement pay and fully paid health coverage from all members of congress.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  184. K

    congress is only concerned with their own reelections. They are completely out of touch with the plight of the people they are supposed to be representing. congress does not understand the concept of want versus need. to top it off they are owned by the special interests and lobbyists. long and short–the taxpaer is left holding the bag.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  185. Rolando DePuy

    Jacj, The speaker of the house ( and I prefer not to use her name) has absolutly no idea of what is happening in the country . After all, after given them (Congress/Senate) the las raise not so long ago, even with the country in the state that it is, these foreigners of the recession are unaware of the people condition. The only way to correct these extravagant spending as she often incurres, at the expense of the tax payers is by voting her out... By the way Jack, she can do this because Obama have given her Carte Blanche..... Spend what you want, but when their tush gets boot out of office, unfortunatetly another same as them comes in. President Bush has not done nothing to help HC, in fact medicare cost almost double of last year... And this year we got not a penny more...

    January 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  186. Doug

    Your rant about expenditures during the recession seems to infer that the amount spent by congressional members actually has any sort of impact on the budget. The expenses you list are hundreds of thousands of dollars, while the budget deficit in California is tens of billions of dollars. That's .001%. Is this a joke? Even if no members of congress had gone to Copenhagen and instead that money had been spent on California's budget deficit there would be absolutely no noticeable change.

    Stamford, CT

    January 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  187. Chuck D

    You're right ,Nancy Pelosi is a nasty woman. Why is she not accountable for her spending sprees. She also took most of her family to Italy last year at the tax payers expense, and again would not reveal how much she spent . Why don't these people answer to anyone?
    Sickening, can you imagine what they would do if the press wasn't watching them...

    January 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  188. Henry

    This country has an outdated political scene. Corporations rule the politics by lobbying. Dems and Reps are rich people who work for the corporations.
    The poor people need to have a "French" revolution and then change to a European systems with more than 2 parties, now there is now choise for the middleclass/ poor population.
    Pelosis trip just proofs this.
    How much can this nations whipped people take?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  189. Frank Chicago

    Things that make you go: "hmmmm.". CEO's of Fortune companies spend "company" dollars on excessive perqs while extending their hand to the taxpayers for help. Public servants spend "taxpayer" dollars on excessive perqs by reaching into taxpayer pockets. My thoughts? At least the corporate suits had the decency to ask!! Either way, WE pay the freight. Sure seems like politicians are held to a different standard than the rest of us.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  190. John Sulano

    Are they in touch, This is funny because they are Deaf, Dumb, and Blind!
    They just don't care. It's a total disgrace.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  191. Rob Vanderputten

    Poloci's leadership cann be summed up with a correlation to her makeup, too much cover up. Leadership really is skin deep and there is no make up in heaven nor on earth that can cover up Poloci's abuses to her Office


    January 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  192. Dixie Proctor

    How fast can we get each state to enact a recall of senators and congress men and women????

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  193. Twila S. Metheney

    You're right Jack. The only comment I would add is that ALL of Congress and the Senate are horrible. They long ago lost any ability to feel the pain and lost hopes of the American electorate. These folks live in their own world until time for re-election rolls around. Then, and only then, do they even fain to know how the people feel about their situations. But, most of the horrible of the horrible will be back next time around for more of the same. Sad, sad.

    Twila, Morgantown, WV

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  194. Rae

    They don't care about us regular folks! If they did, they wouldn't have driven up the debt of the nation and expect us to pay for it, claiming it will help us get out of the recession. They need to help me figure out how I can pay quarterly income taxes, pay for gasoline and groceries, and pay all the other bills I have. That is where it gets real, so Congress needs to get real–with themselves–and start living on a budget.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  195. Erwin Baumgardner

    Congress can't even relate to the average person's pain, let alone feel it. I am on SSI in California. My benefits were cut by $67.00 per month in 2009 and the Governor has promised further such cuts this year. No politician can relate.
    Keep pluggin' away, some of those horrible people might actually begin to listen. America certainly hears you.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  196. William Leitner, MD

    The "Political Class" apparently has only one interest in life – the acquisition and retention of power – everything is perceived and managed only from a political gain perspective. It is difficult to feel that this Congressional Leadership and the Administration are occupied with anything else. They seem to feel the "Political Class" is not subject to the same rules as the rest of us and is entitled to having the best of everything no matter the situation for the populace. Can you sat Marie Antoinette? We have the pain – they have the gain!!!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  197. adam

    The princes and princesses of the US really don't care about what goes on outside of their palaces. All they care about are their 6 figure salaries and what lobbyists will continue to slip them the most money . Meanwhile the middle class will get smaller and smaller, but we'll help you if you vote for us. Yuck!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  198. Douglas Petersen

    This is why there should be Term limits, two Terms and back you go, this was only supposed to temporary Job to begin with. They have all lost their minds, and don't represent We the People.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  199. Rita Fort Collins CO

    I'm still angry about her trip to see the Pope. Now this. I am a total Obama supporter but somebody needs to put the skids on this misuse of taxpayer money. When they do this kind of thing it just makes the whole government seem totally hopeless. I don't think any of them need to be traveling anywhere when this country is in the shape it's in. What good do they ever do for any of us on their "visits" to anywhere. Let's just get rid of all of them (except Greyson who isn't afraid to say anything). I like him.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  200. Carl McCauley

    Congress with all its excesses are disgusting the American People.
    Pelosie, Reed, and any number of prominant Reublicas all need a break from their political career and an opportunity to job hunt back home with their people.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  201. Rick Schmidt

    Man, finally someone willing to say it like it is: what a horrible woman!
    You just won over a convert, Cafferty; one who doesn't watch CNN very often but now will.
    Obviously the answer is "no, congress has no clue as to American's pain."

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  202. kim

    Zip, zero, not at all, Jack. You are right on Pelosi is a terrible person! What an abuse of the US Military. Why isn't she forced to reimburse the American taxpayer?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  203. Scott

    Unfortunately, this is the same old "more of the same", "business as usual" mindset that our government has. While people are losing their homes and jobs, Congress is on a happy-go-lucky money printing spending spree. It is extremely apparent that the institution called our govenrment has completely forgotten who they work for. I really don't think that if you (Jack) were to take all of your CNN associates out on a big vacation to Europe, that was not approved by your employer (CNN) that you would keep your job for long!

    This will be an interesting election year!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  204. Matt

    Pelosi has always been about Pelosi just as Congress is about Congress. Yet we still sit on our hands, don't get involved in politics, and the worst: Not vote.
    We are responsible for some of this ourselves.
    Here's an old thought. Let's limit terms. The members of Congress can then reacquaint themselves with the normal working American.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  205. Vince

    With the pay they receive via the taxpayer, of course not. Just as their health care via the taxpayer they don't see that either. Maybe their salaries shoul be that of the average taxpayer so their eyes will open

    January 12, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  206. Robert S.

    Just like all rich people they don't feel the pain of the reccession.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  207. Verna Hutchinson, Truth or Consequences, NM

    From Wall Street to Washington everythng is about "me". That "me" doesn't include any of the rest of us, or how the decisions they make affect the rest of us. With each day that goes by, our situation seems to get more hopeless and no one in either of those places cares as long as their pockets keep getting lined – whether it's from "bail-out" money or payoffs from our very rich pharmaceuticals. God help us.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  208. greg

    right on jack! pelosi and her evil followers don't have a clue! i'm afraid it's a fast track to hell for them .....greed and fat egos dragging them all down ...what ever happened to basic decency- checking on your neighbors and having after church pot luck get togethers or community prayer breakfasts....boy we sure need them more than ever....we "walk across the room" thru our church and be a light to those in need.......washington should too! did't we put them there? well, we're gonna remove 'em!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  209. joseph g davis

    dear jack i cant beleive that Pelosi wouldnt let you know how much was spent . what about the American people shouldnt we get to know? i want to know every dime that was spent on this ' TRIP'and so should the American people. sincerly jgd

    January 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  210. Steve

    Pelosi is disgusting at best, she never has seen a dollar she could not spend. Do you think we could send her to Iran or North Korea and let her help them out of their financial problems, throw in our Treasury Sec and President too,

    January 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  211. Kay I

    Never felt the need to respond before today. With people going to bed hungry in our nation, families loosing their homes, education dollars being drasitcally cut and no jobs, our reps need to get a grip on reality. The Plan: Vote them out of office, each one should pay back every dollar spent on them/their families and the information should be made public immediatley so we all know who the crooks are !!!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  212. Larry R. Doane

    Members of Congress not only do NOT feel any pain, they show no sign of even caring about the average citizen. As witness, their bipartisan botching of health care reform and the economy. They can't seem to get their heads around the fact that profits for any company (whether a health insurance company, drug company, or auto manufacturer) don't help the working citizen – what counts is where the wages are paid, spent, and taxed. Jobs in other countries do NOT contribute to the economy of the United States. A factory with 1,000 workers will equate to anywhere from 10,000 to 50,000 additional peripheral jobs all purchasing, paying Federal, State, and Local taxes, etc. – but that only helps us if the factory is in the United States, not if it is in another country, as the wages will be spent where the worker lives.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  213. sara fitz

    It is time we the people who elected these officials tell them enough is enough! I lost my job in summer of 2007, yes 2007! Still unemployed and looking; at 61 there is more chance that I hit by a truck then even get an interview for the position that I had for over 25 years. I lost my house, my car, used all my 401, stocks what ever I could liquidate to pay the bills, have no health insurance and now I am even uninsurable due to untreated medical conditions! How dare they use our money for their personal entertainment, funny that they did not even accomplish anything from their luxury trip to Denmark, a total disaster and embarrassment for all of us!
    Hey these guys are employee of people not God!!!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  214. Terry Mackey

    Jack, I'm still waiting to hear the cost of the trip to Italy taken by Pelosi, her husband and several Dems the day after the stimulus package passed. This trip also on a Government Jet.

    This woman should be thrown out of office and criminally charged along with many others in Congress for misuse of taxpayer funds.

    Problem with my State is that the liberals here keep putting the crook back in office.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  215. Mike

    Congress feels nothing...but they will if the American citizens let their V.O.IC.E. be heard in upcoming elections!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  216. Peggy Spokane,WA

    How is it Jack, that this was allowed to happen, and only after the fact, it come to light?
    At the time of this conference, all that was reported was that the president was going to this summit. Are we expected to believe that all those government officials, and their families were somehow to be persuasive in the outcome of that environmental conference??
    They did not fill three jet planes and some commercial flights, book hotels and all that is involved in such a huge venture in a vacuum.
    Why do we not hear about this stuff, when it is happening and the outrage it causes can be stated to them at the time.
    Sure, we can all call and write and show our anger now, but the money is spent, and they had a great little trip at holiday time.
    The rest of us were chewing our nails trying to figure out how to pay the heat bill, buy food and pay our bills and have a little Christmas for our families, while trying to scrounge a little something to put in the red kettle for those we know are in worse shape than we are.
    This is not just wrong, it is a moral outrage, in my opinion!!!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  217. DG from Marysville CA

    US Legislators are out-of-touch, and are NOT feeling the pain of the US taxpayers. Democrats like 'horrible' Nancy Pelosi have been 'cutting a fat hog' for years, thanks to the Liberal voters of California. If the Democrats aren't voted OUT in 2010, this country may never recover.

    PS – I'm neither Democrat nor Republican – I'm a HUMAN BEING...

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  218. Coy Dillahunty

    They don't feel our pain. Only way to make understand is to vote against all incumbents.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  219. California Climber

    Not a Damn bit. Congress makes rules, and then exempts themselves from the effects of those rules. The want to tax "Cadillac" health care plans as part of the Health care bill. JUST WHAT DOES CONGRESS's own health care plan cost. They talk and legislate 'green' for everybody else, and then Nancy takes a junket to Copenhagen on 'private/government aircraft'. It is great that the Country can afford to pay for vacations and pre-Christmas shopping trips for the chosen few. The 'rich' are singled out to help pay for the health bill, but I have not heard a single congressperson say "Bring it on, I want and am very willing to pay my fair share, and it would personally cost me and my family X dollars". Just where do Nancy and Diane have their incomes sheltered?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  220. politicalily

    Yes Congress members could have been a bit more frugal, but I see it as a non-issue. We are in a recession, but the government still has to do business. We ask the Government to do more for less, something that isn't possible. The amount of money spent by U.S Congress members to attend a crucial conference on the future of our planet is relatively miniscule compared to the trillions of dollars of debt our country is in. It was vital the U.S representatives were present at the Copenhagen Conference. The well-being of our planet is positively without a doubt worth it. The money that Congress spent was spent for necessary reasons and was merely the cost of doing business.
    -Lily Des Moines, Iowa

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  221. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    Unless a member of Congress has been unemployed they would not know how it feels.

    Also, MOST of the members of Congress BOTH GOP & Democrats are quite wealthy, they may feel empathy, but they do not know what it feels like unless they have lived it.

    Folks, remember we have been here before ........ 1983...... Ronald Reagan was president AND we had......... 10% unemployment.

    Take a breath America!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  222. BigD GottaGoTell It, Minnesota

    Feel the PAIN? I'm Sure They Truly can Feel the Pain of Their Constituents Much, Much Better after They Finally Get Their Paychecks Deposited on the Way to the Fancy Luncheon Paid For by a GHOST LOBBYIST Who Just Had the Mercedes Dealer Deliver Their New Car.

    Oh Wait, Mercedes, That's an EVANGELIST, Sorry.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  223. June

    The cause of pain never feels it.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  224. Riverton Fox

    II am outraged Jack! How can this be? How could this still be happening by the same cast of characters?! I dare you to find out how much this cost so we can insist that they pay! This is totally, unbelievably unacceptable!! Someone needs to be held accountable. If they weren’t directly involved – in the room with the delegates of the climate talks, they should have to reimburse for flight and hotel expenses!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  225. Al_in_Hawaii

    They don't feel our pain. They forget why they are in Washington. Half their time is spent improving their personal fortunes, half is spent getting re-elected. I've never yet seen a House or Senate member retire poor, which implies widespread corruption. I wish I knew how to vote them all out, every one. I wish I knew how to limit each one to a single term.

    And I only wish you had said 'what horrible behavior' rather than 'what a horrible woman'. You might be right, but in our politically correct world, you can now expect to spend the next 'n' weeks being distracted by the fallout. Anything to take our minds off the fact that our Congress, as currently constituted can no longer govern.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  226. Robert Gregory

    The short answer would be, no they don't. Personally, what angers me the most is that Pelosi and her entourage could actually pretend with a straight face that they could possibly have anything useful to contribute to the discussion about global warming or that there was anything they could do in Copenhagen that they couldn't do back home in their own districts- besides visiting Tivoli Gardens- which would be closed for the winter, anyway.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  227. Allan King


    Horrible woman is too kind, but when looking at the larger picture this is not the first time Pelosi has come under fire for her traveling ways.
    Lead by example seems to be the standard of the day when our own President can spend countless thousands of dollars on trips on a failed sell for the Chicago Olympics or claim a Nobel prize that for all intensive purposes held the luster of a Publishers Clearing House prize .

    January 12, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  228. Reginald Brookins

    Damn appalling, Jack. Damn appalling. To whom do the American people turn for effective leadership? If we through all the bums out of office, we'll be left with only Bernie Sanders and Barney Frank.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  229. Betty Danylak

    I do not like CNN or Jack Cafferty any more. It seems like
    both have turn Republican. I never heard criticism from
    either during the past administration. They all went
    around the world twice over and now Nancy Poliski and
    others are criticized ,where were y'all during the past
    administration? As for the poll numbers and people
    against the Obama admin did they like what the
    previous one did? What a bunch of crock.
    Betty Danylak from Folrt Wolrth, TX.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  230. Roxanne Thrash

    Jack, you tell it like it is!! How great is honesty these days? Nancy Pelosi is truely the most disgusting person on this planet. How can anyone not see what a 'flake' she is. Not too smart for sure. When ever I see or hear her name I need to take dramamine just to keep from throwing up. What on earth is going on in this country that allows someone like her to continue to kick us all to the curb. She is the most vain, egotistical person I have ever seen.
    Trust me when I tell you that everyone around this state feel the same way that I do. Can't we do something to please get her out of there????????????????
    Roxanne Thrash

    January 12, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  231. Jim

    Nancy Pelosi and the her elite entourage used a squadron of tax payer funded jets to cruise in style to Copenhagen to fight for a "global warming" cause that is unsupported by majority of Americans. Thankfully they returned home more or less defeated and only to be greeted by the longest cold snap in decades. The new royal elite needs to focus on real problems like bringing online domestic natural gas to heat our homes during this cold Winter.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  232. Scott Stodden

    The only way they would feel the pain of the American people during this recession is if they were going through what us American's are going through. No matter if its Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barack Obama or whoever in charge all politicians are the same and that is if they have money like they do they don't feel our pain Jack!

    Scott Stodden

    January 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  233. Alan

    No they don't simply because they have a good paying job. If they lose in the next election for any reason they will just go to some board of directors of a company that they helped get breaks for. Greed rules. Maybe if we look to the good parts of any religon and attempt to live that way we can change. Otherwise as we see things will never change.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  234. John Ames

    No, the Law makers do not feel the economic crunch. The set there with their $100,000 plus salaries, and their fringe benefits, and provided health care plans and are not in touch with the common people. The can vote themselfs a pay raise, and receive a full retirement after 6 years of service. They spend our tax money like water on things that are not needed, and skimp on those that need help the most. We live in a country where lawn darts are illegal to own, but assult rifles are okay; they ban hanging airfreshener from being hung from reaview mirrors, and GPS from being mounted on windshields. But the do nothing about the more menacing problem of cell phone use while driving. How more out of touch can they be.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  235. Mike S., New Orleans

    Jack, you've finally jumped the shark. Do you seriously equate the congressional delegation's trip to Denmark with removing medical care for seniors in California? Children in California will lose their low cost health care because the voters there fell for another "lower taxes less government" Republican Governor, which always means "take from the poor and give to the rich."

    January 12, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  236. Liam

    She will keep raping us as long as we let her – we are all to blame for putting them in office- VOTE THEM ALL OUT BEFORE ITS TO LATE! . It will take years to repair this damage after they are done with US.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  237. Carol

    Nancy Pelosi should be held accountable as a servant of the people to explain her carless spending at Copenhagen. While thousands of hungry children would have appreciated a warm bowl of soup, Pelosi and her entourage are out spending taxpayer money on gourmet dinners, wine, caviar, and fancy desserts not to mention the hotel and airfare. I didn't know it was Congress' responsibility to provide "all expense" paid vacations for it's staff and their families. Shame on you Nancy, you need to be the leader that you are and step up to the plate of "accountability".

    January 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  238. Joe in Missouri

    The congress feel the pain of hurting people? You've got to be kidding me. They have Cadillac health insurance, huge salaries and massive amount of perks from lobbyists. How could they possibly feel the pain of ordinary unemployed and hurting people?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  239. bob riekofski from howard, ny

    When Nancy Pelosi proclaimed that she was going to clean up the swamp in Washington was that her attempt at humor or what. She spends hundreds of thousands of dollars for her little parade over to Copenhagen and has the arrogance to tell the public it's none of their concern what it cost. If anything the swamp is getting more polluted in Washington and Ms. Pelosi is the lead swamp rat.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  240. Maria from Minnesota

    The Democrats have never cared about the poor, they simply give them handouts in order to get votes. The Democrats have every incentive to keep the people poor and dependent on the government. It's pure evil but nothing new.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  241. Walter Wolff

    Pelosi and Congress are the new aristocracy. This American nobility live the elite life while Americans struggle. Congress doesn't serve the American people, it exploits the American people to serve its own needs. They answer to no one. Democracy is becoming an illusion as the political elite uses and abuses their positions of power to aggrandise themselves at the expense of the people.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  242. Susan in NC

    None! They continue to receive raises, go on tax payer trips (with & without their families), receive top of the line health care, and the list goes on. They have proven for years that they "just don't get it" and it will remain that way until we vote the jerks out ... republicans and democrats alike ... and replace them with "people first" representatives & senators.


    January 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  243. Tina Bauserman

    I'm laughing so hard my gut hurts!

    We are completely invisible to congress! They may change their views if they were held to endure the same struggles the "All American Family" has to endure. The job losses, home losses, lack of insurance, sick children, sick elderly parents, and the list goes on.

    I travel to third world countries and see their government corruption and let me tell you, ours is just packaged differently. What the government is doing is corrupt and who's going to stop them? How can we stop them when decisions are already made behind closed doors? Congress lies, cheats & steals and it's all legal in their world. They don't care because they are trying to play God! The "ALL American Dream" has become the "All American Nightmare".

    January 12, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  244. The Broker.

    "They don't. They just shut the window, and stire the coal's in the fire."

    January 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  245. Astrid Doolaege

    And yet the same idiots votes for the same idiots in Congress.

    It is time we have fresh faces in both parties and with a limit term.

    Astrid Doolaege
    Laguna Hills, CA

    January 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  246. weezee

    Jack ,I agree she is a horrible woman she should be escorted out of town. With Mr.Reid

    They are all in this for themselves they have the gall to set back and talk bad about bankers they are no better,no they do not care about the people that are hurting out here in our Country , all they are worried about is where they can travel to next at our expense and when they can make the news broadcast next like they have done some wonderful thing for we the people. Well I think we the people are getting tired of the same old --. So they all better be on their P's and Q's. We need to clean up Washington and start over and put people on main street to work so they can take a trip other than to the unemployment office.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  247. Sue From Idaho

    About the same as Bill Gates feels it except they can always vote themselves a raise.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  248. steve- virginia beach

    Congress has made it obvious that they don't even care what we think or want. They obviously don't feel our pain or even want to. All they care about is their "progressive" aka socialist agenda and pleasing special interest groups.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  249. Peter

    They don't feel the pain, they don't know the pain. They are out of touch with reality and out of control with the taxpayers money. They are slowly but surely taking the country down. They have no regard for those who are suffering financially and trying to pay bills and put food on their tables.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  250. bob in california

    Hi Jack,

    Thanks for your show. That's some hard-hitting reporting. As regards Nancy Pelosi, I say give her a break (not a broken leg). If I were a woman senator traveling anywhere, I'd want bodyguards like tanks and plenty of military back-up. Keep up the good work. And thanks for your essay in Kerry Kennedy's book, "Being a Catholic Now."

    Kind Regards,

    "Bob" and a fellow Catholic

    January 12, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  251. Gene, from FL

    The only pain Nancy Pelosi feels is her own. If it isn't her way everything else is wrong. The air cost for her trip and others in December were rediculious, but she is to wealthy to understand pain of the American people. By the way are the Congress people going to have the same Health plan that they are trying to force on all American?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  252. John Demello

    This is exactly the kind of behavior and wasteful spending that we teabagging, unamericans are sick of and are fighting to stop. These people are drunk with power as well as our money and they like nothing better than spending it like there is no tomorrow. I for one am tired of their bull.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  253. stuart

    I say fire `em... fire all of them....

    or see if they'll work for min. wage and no healthcare.....

    – sos from colorado

    January 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  254. rand california

    They can't. Their idea of the american family is a house with two cars a boat and two and a half children, and a modest income of $75,000 a year. They have never been poor nor middle-class a day in their lives. Of coarse they will tell you they came from the " Dust Bowl Era" but they only want you to" believe" they did. I lost everything do to "Homeland Bushenomics", or the lack there of. With four children to feed and no home to live in. With no income to speak of, my children scattered around the country. I am currently "Shining shoes", so to speak, where ever I can. I still can't believe it. They can't begin to understand. How could they? I don't, and I'm living it.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  255. AB

    The fact that she strongly believes that climate change is vital to
    our lives on earth . This was a huge opportunity in a lifetime to push
    for it with a big delegation to show how an important an issue it is
    to the American people. Frankly, it is much better of a cause than
    golfing like some men do most of the time. This is embarassing
    to be gender biased when she has done a lot more than the do-
    nothing male Republicans.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  256. joan

    congress feels no pain, their to busy enjoying life as they know it ! !

    January 12, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  257. fed up

    princess pelosi and her minions could care less, as long as they have the private jets, butler service, and their families get treated as royalty, time to revist the declaration of independance. yes we have representation but they are not in touch with those who elect them!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  258. Steve Payaslian

    Mr. Cafferty
    I find your candor very refreshing and agree with you most of the time. I just wish our elected officials had the same attitude when it came to spending. The problem is once they go to Washington, they lose touch with reality. Don't know if its the water they drink there or the air they breath, but they completely ignore the problems of every day people. The American people are to blame. We the people allow them to conduct business without oversite. We sit on our asses and just watch these so called elected officials act as though they are royalty. We the American people are the only ones that can humble and refocus our elected members. We the American people are the only ones that can remind them that they are there for a specific reason and that is to serve the people not themselves.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  259. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    They have great paying jobs with all kinds of benefits that cover them and their families in ways that we couldn't buy with a big lotto win.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  260. Mark Kennedy

    In response to Richard's comment, I would phrase it a little differently:

    we have a government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich.

    And of course our so called representatives are all bought off. It is sickening. And they are so sure of their invulnerability that they don't even feel that they have to explain their misdeeds. Pelosi wouldn't even tell the taxpayers how much she had spent.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  261. Joseph Manos

    They Don't! Why? Because they believe there is an endless supply of money. They believe that their needs are above the rest of us and they are more important therefore they deserve whatever they want or need.

    Where's the transparency and accountability that the President promised for his administration? With all of the pain that the average American is experiencing how could American leadership be so irresponsible?

    The simple answer... they don't care about the pain as long as it isn't there own!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  262. chris

    well i hope they had a great time in Copenhagen while at least 10% of America was begging for "CHANGE" which they hoped to get at the beginning of 2009!!!!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  263. Nancy, Tennessee

    Congress members are so out of touch with main stream America that most of them need to be dethroned and sent to find out what its like to be unemployed. The disgraceful way they are acting with millions out of work has reached the apex of unacceptable behavior. It is time to take them off their high horses.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  264. Ollie Treadway

    Clearly Wall Street is not the only place completely out of touch with the hard times endured by the American people. This is an outrage.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  265. Andrew Klatkiewicz

    Hear our pain? Maybe. Feel it? Not a chance. It sure must be nice to be so well compensated for… oh, what is it that they do again besides telling us to eat cake?

    Vero Beach, FL

    January 12, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  266. PA

    Jack, its pretty simple they feel squat from the american people. Congress and the white house can tell us all the Kumbaya stories all they want. Whether its about some poor family who can't afford meaningful healthcare or if its some story about a single mom who is on foreclosure looking for the job.The problem hear is the corruption from the corporations and lobbyist is downright offensive and has to stop immediatly or soon those people will control you or me. We'll be like freaking robots. What a sad, sad, country we have right now, France anyone!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  267. Colleen

    I do not think Congress or any other branch of the United States government fully understands, nor grasps the recession or what the American people are going thru! If our government had any sense of compassion or integrity, they would not accept any increase in pay or go on any "business" trips that cost we the American public millions of dollars.
    I believe if all branchs of our government gave up even 1/3 of their salary and put themself on the same HealthCare they want the American people to have, we might just save billions of dollars and pull ourself out of the recession.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  268. Jim Laietta


    Why focus on just Congress, no one in governments know what the word means. Pelosi needs to be called on the carpet by her boss... and reminded that she is a public servant spending the peoples money. Pelosi would be the first to tell us about some one on Wall Street if that were the case. The problem is "WE The People" are powerless to stop the abuse. I don't even know who to call. You want to cut the deficit, cut all these useless trip. Its a start.



    January 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  269. Carl

    Is anyone really surprised? We need to demand accountability. Start by publishing expenses for all of the "leaders in government". By the way Nancy also spent $6000 on flowers and bottled water for her office in 6 months, as I understand it. Government is not answerabler to the people and truely do not know what they are doing. It is what the people can do to support the government. More so under this administration. Another question is how come the government is not paying down the debt with the "paybacks" coming from the banks? Instead of paying off the lenders they (the government) got the money from they are looking for new ways to spend it, again. Keep in mind this is money we never had to begin with.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  270. norma

    Sugar Land, Texas

    I'm glad we're not living with a McCain-Palin admiinistration. As disappointed as I am in President Obama and some of the people he chose for his cabinet, I am disgusted by our Congress, especially the Senate. Jack, how does a voter show their outrage in a tangible and effective way? I'm wondering if it might be a good idea to go after the lobbies who finance the candidates. eg: stop using Citibank, Bank of America, etc. and invest money in local banks. What do you think?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  271. Ana

    We exposed CEOs on Wall st when they were spending the money they got from the bail out on bonuses etc. Nancy Pelosi is doing the same thing waisting our TAX DOLLARS, that we work so hard for. It's a shame that there is no one regulating all the unecessary expenditures; while Americans suffer tough economic times.
    Shame on you Nacy Pelosy and Congress!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  272. Al


    They don't care about their fellow Americas, they only care about themselves.

    Here we are with people all over the Country losing everything and Congress is spending all this money on themselves that could be used to help Americans in need! It's sickening.
    We have police losing jobs and Americans becoming less safe in their own backyards, Tulsa Oklahoma can't even keep many police anymore because we have no money to pay them. Many have to leave State to find work.
    Congress needs a boot kicked up their butts.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  273. Ken McConnell

    Yes Jack, Pelosi & friends are so out of touch with the folks back home, it is a disgrace the way they thumbed their nose at the people who put them in office. I hope those same people will vote to remove any incumbant in the upcoming elections. We as voters, need to really start to fill their mailboxes and let them know how we really feel. Its a disgrace that they can vote themselves a raise, when they find it impossible to pay a cost of living raise for the SS recipients and having just read the book, Bail Out Nation, which states that they have figured out a new way to measure inflation so as not to have to pay a COLA to the SS people.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  274. Gail, Plano,Texas

    Jack: While I sympathize with your indignation concerning the Pelosi Congressional trip to Copenhagen, I already asked myself this question when the trip took place. And please do not limit your criticism Pelosi. What was Senator Inhoffe of OK doing there? Why does Senator Demint and others go to Honduras? And what are Senators doing in Africa? How about McCain and Leiberman and John Kerry staying out of Iraq and Afghanistan? All of this unnecessary travel costs money and people are desperate to make ends meet. The people who hold office in the Capitol are absolutely worthless. Plus, they are way too old!!!!

    January 12, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  275. Neil

    Jack, like thats even a question. Of course they don't feel the pain of the recesion, they're in congress they can just add another tax if they start to feel the hurt. They will only start to care when the well is finally empty. The fact that any of these congress members are angry with the banks over the bonuses, but okay with flying to Denmark for no reason is absurd.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  276. Nils I. Larson

    Of course congress does not feel our pain! There are many problems with Washington, but two big ones are these:
    1) Few if any of the clowns we send to Washington have ever had to turn a piece of cast iron into a dollar bill.

    2) Congress is not supposed to be a career. I'm starting the OWI (Out with Incombents) party. Too many of these folks have been swilling at the public trough way too long.

    Nils I. Larson

    January 12, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  277. WAYNE

    They are so out of touch that they feel nothing and have no regard for the American people. They are all horrible people whose arrogance, ignorance, stupidity, greed, and corruption is astounding. I only wish that they had to live like the rest of us for a year. Perhaps then they would develop some empathy for the people they are supposed to be serving.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  278. Suzanne

    Congress should be embarrassed and all of them thrown out come election time.
    Would like to know how many were Republicans and how many Democrates. They do not have a clue how people are suffering and worrying about their futures. As long as they can receive their benefits and go on five star paid vacations, all is well in the World.
    Shame on you, shame on you.
    North Carolina

    January 12, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  279. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    How much do members of Congress feel the pain of a recession? Not at all. They still get paid.

    Democrats, in particular, seem to actively like bad economic times–"Never allow a crisis to go to waste,” and that sort of thing. I think they think that the worse things are for citizens, the more those citizens will come to rely on government for "help"–and there's nothing a Democrat loves more than taking credit for "helping" people with other people's money. (Or, for that matter, helping themselves to other people's money through taxes.)

    January 12, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  280. Petagay

    Wow i wonder how is it that a group of persons like congress cant come together to agree on a simple plan to help the country during this recession! Yet they wanna do what each of them think is right! Hey wake up congress you and the people help to make up the country.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  281. Greg Erickson

    Too bad we can't all go to work for cash money. Taxpayer money would be hard to come by then wouldn't it!!

    Minneapolis, Mn

    January 12, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  282. Carl McCauley

    The exeses of this congress are just the tip of the iceberg. We are only beginning to realize the full extent of the crimes of these self-servng congressman. When you add them to the greedy bankers, the
    various branches of the military overly protective off their service. It's that same old story "Everyman for himself>" We need less selfish
    people serving us.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  283. Jane/Seattle

    I think there are some members who feel it on our behalf – like Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, Dennis Kucinich and others for sure. The vast majority are in it for their own self-service in my view. If they were in government for "The People" then why is it that We The People get the crumbs that fall from the tables of these elites who are definitely not suffering much! It is our tax dollars that must pay for this largesse which DOES NOT benefit Joe Blow Public! Why are laws not passed NOW to regulate the fraudulent practices that got us here? Why are we subjected to paying for these WARS Of Choice? Why NOW can't We The People get a good Public Option for the CARE of our HOMES Our Bodies? The answer is that too many in government are beholden to the Insurance companies for campaign cash! Thanks for reading.

    January 12, 2010 at 5:56 pm |