topic
Congress and the Budget

Introduced: April 28 2011

The attempt by Congress to tame the budget and reduce the deficit has been an ongoing spectacle. Throughout these developments, how well do you think Congress is handling this responsibility?

 

Background: In April 2010, President Obama commissioned a bi-partisan group – the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform – to draft a plan for reducing the deficit. Leaders of the Commission were Erskine Bowles, former Chief of Staff in the Clinton Administration, and Alan Simpson, Republican and former Wyoming Senator. A draft report was released in December 2010 but a final report was never issued because only 11 members of the 18-member commission voted to approve it.

 

After that failure, another group of six Senators – three Republicans and three Democrats – nicknamed the “Gang of 6” began meeting to try to find common ground on ways to cut the nation’s deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. Now that they are receiving such attention, how well do you think Congress is handling this discussion?

 

Read a related dialogue on The Need for Congressional Reform

 

Dialogue on Congress and the Budget
114:

Watching the two parties parade their obstinancy regarding the debt ceiling crisis reminds me of two people getting divorced and being willing to damage the kids just so they can get back at one another.

194:

You asked if we want representatives and senators who compromise and hold their ground. It seems to me that democracy is based in compromise. In fact, real life is based on compromise. Anyone who’s every bought or sold a house knows you don’t get everything you want.

161:

I thought it was interesting on Thursday – when the Boehner plan was scheduled to be voted on in the House – and they needed to delay the vote – our high-powered Congress when back to the business of naming post offices. I have no problem with post offices being named to honor people EXCEPT that maybe we (as a country) need to re-think how much we can do, and what our elected officials should be spending their time on. Maybe we can no longer do all the big things and all the small things and need to make sure our legislators are focused on the right issues.

071:

Deficit- I think we have way too much entitlement and easy ways to work the system. Every time I see the government get involved, it becomes a nightmare. Let's really examine some of these crazy programs and start cutting them and the people who work for them. I think it would be a good place to start. Also the "golden parachute" retirement and health care for politicians has to stop.

048:

Some people cite what’s currently taking place in Washington, D.C. as proof that maybe our two-party system no longer works and we need a third party. But perhaps we already have a three-party system: Democrats, Republicans, and Tea Party.

129:

As the budget discussions were taking place, I happened to be listening to an audio book by Howard Isaacson (who also authored the Steve Jobs biography) entitled American Sketches. He points out the contrast between the Founding Fathers (and the way they worked together and compromised to create a country and draft a Constitution) and our current legislators who can’t come together on anything. Maybe they just don’t have the skill to do it, and they’ve never been in the position to have to strike a balance between advancing their agenda and making some concessions to others. Perhaps, just like some corporate employees go through a training program, new members of Congress should attend “compromise school.”



Note from IWD: Note from IWD: The deadline for a Congressional “super-committee” to agree on a budget deficit reduction plan came and went without agreement. As a result, automatic cuts will take place in 2013, unless a new plan can be developed. The required $1.2 trillion in cuts are to be divided between defense spending and non-defense spending. Certain programs will be exempt from the cuts and these include veterans benefits, Social Security, food stamps, and Medicaid. According to the about.com website (http://usgovinfo.about.com/b/2011/11/21/budget-cutting-super-committee-fails-now-what.htm) “cuts to Medicare, while allowed, are to be limited to no more than 2 percent and will be subject to congressional approval.”

076:

It seemed, as plan after plan fell apart, that people were forgetting that Tea Party members were elected on the basis of their hate for government – and so many, if not all, were willing to see the government default. An article in Newsweek quoted Bruce Bartlett, a former aid to Ronald Reagan, as saying, “Reagan couldn’t get elected dogcatcher these days. He raised taxes at least 11 times. Back then you had responsible adults in the Republican Party who put country over partisanship.”

Note from IWD: Tom Friedman wrote in the New York Times on July 23 “Make Way for the Radical Center.” He says “a viable, centrist, third presidential ticket, elected by an Internet convention, is going to emerge in 2012.” It seems to be a serious movement. “Any presidential nominee must conform to all the Constitutional requirements, as well as be considered someone of similar stature to our previous presidents. That means no Lady Gaga allowed.” www.americanselect.org

321:

Once again, Congress and the President have taken their stalemate to a really extreme level. Why should we think they can EVER work this out? The only hope might be when the elections are over, they can take a break from politics and get back to government.



Note from IWD: Dialogue resumed as Congress approached the deadline for raising the debt ceiling. Some financial experts predicted that despite being able to raise the debt ceiling, the U.S. might lose its AAA credit rating and we could join the ranks of AA countries such as Bermuda, Slovinia, and Kuwait. In August 2011, the predictions came partially true as Standard & Poor lowered the U.S. to a AA rating.

012:

Let’s hope Congress can do a better job agreeing on a way to address the debt ceiling than they have so far on the budget. In the Wall Street Journal, a former counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Gartner (named Lee Sachs) said: “It’s one thing to play brinksmanship on a government shutdown, which can be fixed in a minute without many long-term consequences. It’s another thing to do it with the debt ceiling, where the impact of failure would be catastrophic for years, if not decades. “ It seems we are facing one dire economic crisis after another.



Note from IWD: By mid-May, the government is heading toward hitting a $14.294 trillion borrowing limits. It can only be raised by Congress. There are a number of emergency measures than can be put into effect – but if not resolved by July 8, the government could go into default.

091:

Any group led by sleepy Joe Biden has little chance of succeeding. We have to have some radical thinking to save this country from becoming a second rate power like most of Europe has become due to bankruptcy. Already the Chinese are looking elsewhere to lend money. Paul Ryan’s budget is a serious attempt to lead us out of the morass of government. But with Obama in office and the Dems controlling the Senate, it has little chance of succeeding.

089:

Well, it’s back to work this week. It will be interesting to hear if anything positive happened during the break. Supposedly, the Gang of 6 (the first gang of 6: three Republicans and three Democrats) is close to agreeing on a plan and they want their plan part of the discussion Vice President Biden is leading. Some expect that their plan will reflect this part of the earlier budget commission report: $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax revenue increases over the next decade.

031:

As expected: Poorly. Why? Because too many do not want to compromise (particularly on the House side). Why? Because their constituents don't want them to compromise. Congress reflects the problems of my fellow citizens...they have their heads in the sand...everybody wants to hold out for what they personally want. No view of the bigger, long-term, national picture. No sense of fiscal responsibility....of being stewards of the economy. We've been spoiled for so long with prosperity, and folks do not want their elected leaders to do what they should be doing i.e., making hard, unpopular decisions. And no wonder Congress avoids unpopular decisions...folks would not re-elect them! I'm interested in watching the Gang of 6.

Note from IWD: The Original Gang of 6: This group of six Senators – three Republicans and three Democrats – has been meeting for months to try to find common ground on ways to cut the nation’s deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. They are:

• Mark Warner (D-VA)

• Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)

• Dick Durbin (D-IL)

• Kent Conrad D-ND)

• Tom Coburn (R-OK)

• Mike Crapo (R-ID)

Warner has been quoted as saying, “Neither side has all the answers. The idea that we can do this on simply one side of the balance sheet – well, it’s just a spending problem…no, it’s just a taxing problem – isn’t the case.;”

A New Gang of Six: President Obama asked Congressional leaders to pick 16 members for a new group to work with VP Joseph Biden on the deficit, but they only came up with six – 2 Republicans and 4 Democrats.

012:

Now that Congress is taking a break, maybe people will come back in May with a more realistic perspective and a willingness to compromise.

030:

I recently went to hear a talk by Erskine Bowles on the Simpson/Bowles Budget bi-partisan proposal. The proposal was so encouraging for its content and discouraging for the support it has received from the administration (Obama appointed them and gave them goals, which they reached ...now he has disregarded them and the plan).



Note from IWD: About Simpson/Bowles: Erskine Bowles, former Chief of Staff in the Clinton Administration, and Alan Simpson, Republican and former Wyoming Senator, were appointed in April 2010 by President Obama to lead a bi-partisan group, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. A draft report was released in December 2010 but a final report has not been issued because only 11 members of the 18-member commission voted to approve it. Reactions to the report on the outside have been mixed. Four members of the Commission are also members of the Gang of 6.


Relevant Reading: Guest Column by Erskine and Bowles in April issue of Fortune magazine

089:

Can anyone explain why Paul Ryan released his 2012 budget plan before the 2011 budget was finished? Is that timing typical in our hallowed halls of Congress – or did it have something to do with posturing for the 2012 elections? It appears that, after health care, the main targets of that plan’s cost-cutting would be things like environmental protection, food safety, law enforcement. But probably the most troubling is that Medicare and Medicaid would be changed from entitlement programs and would instead allocate funds to be used to buy private insurance. Sounds good for the insurance companies, but how about seniors, people with disabilities, and people living in poverty?

060:

The Republicans point to deep spending cuts and Medicare reform. The Democrats want more modest cuts and increased taxes for the very rich. Doesn’t it seem it’s going to take some of both? Or maybe we ought to re-visit the flat tax rate.

114:

Watching the two parties parade their obstinancy regarding the debt ceiling crisis reminds me of two people getting divorced and being willing to damage the kids just so they can get back at one another.

194:

You asked if we want representatives and senators who compromise and hold their ground. It seems to me that democracy is based in compromise. In fact, real life is based on compromise. Anyone who’s every bought or sold a house knows you don’t get everything you want.

161:

I thought it was interesting on Thursday – when the Boehner plan was scheduled to be voted on in the House – and they needed to delay the vote – our high-powered Congress when back to the business of naming post offices. I have no problem with post offices being named to honor people EXCEPT that maybe we (as a country) need to re-think how much we can do, and what our elected officials should be spending their time on. Maybe we can no longer do all the big things and all the small things and need to make sure our legislators are focused on the right issues.

071:

Deficit- I think we have way too much entitlement and easy ways to work the system. Every time I see the government get involved, it becomes a nightmare. Let's really examine some of these crazy programs and start cutting them and the people who work for them. I think it would be a good place to start. Also the "golden parachute" retirement and health care for politicians has to stop.

048:

Some people cite what’s currently taking place in Washington, D.C. as proof that maybe our two-party system no longer works and we need a third party. But perhaps we already have a three-party system: Democrats, Republicans, and Tea Party.

129:

As the budget discussions were taking place, I happened to be listening to an audio book by Howard Isaacson (who also authored the Steve Jobs biography) entitled American Sketches. He points out the contrast between the Founding Fathers (and the way they worked together and compromised to create a country and draft a Constitution) and our current legislators who can’t come together on anything. Maybe they just don’t have the skill to do it, and they’ve never been in the position to have to strike a balance between advancing their agenda and making some concessions to others. Perhaps, just like some corporate employees go through a training program, new members of Congress should attend “compromise school.”



Note from IWD: Note from IWD: The deadline for a Congressional “super-committee” to agree on a budget deficit reduction plan came and went without agreement. As a result, automatic cuts will take place in 2013, unless a new plan can be developed. The required $1.2 trillion in cuts are to be divided between defense spending and non-defense spending. Certain programs will be exempt from the cuts and these include veterans benefits, Social Security, food stamps, and Medicaid. According to the about.com website (http://usgovinfo.about.com/b/2011/11/21/budget-cutting-super-committee-fails-now-what.htm) “cuts to Medicare, while allowed, are to be limited to no more than 2 percent and will be subject to congressional approval.”

076:

It seemed, as plan after plan fell apart, that people were forgetting that Tea Party members were elected on the basis of their hate for government – and so many, if not all, were willing to see the government default. An article in Newsweek quoted Bruce Bartlett, a former aid to Ronald Reagan, as saying, “Reagan couldn’t get elected dogcatcher these days. He raised taxes at least 11 times. Back then you had responsible adults in the Republican Party who put country over partisanship.”

Note from IWD: Tom Friedman wrote in the New York Times on July 23 “Make Way for the Radical Center.” He says “a viable, centrist, third presidential ticket, elected by an Internet convention, is going to emerge in 2012.” It seems to be a serious movement. “Any presidential nominee must conform to all the Constitutional requirements, as well as be considered someone of similar stature to our previous presidents. That means no Lady Gaga allowed.” www.americanselect.org

321:

Once again, Congress and the President have taken their stalemate to a really extreme level. Why should we think they can EVER work this out? The only hope might be when the elections are over, they can take a break from politics and get back to government.



Note from IWD: Dialogue resumed as Congress approached the deadline for raising the debt ceiling. Some financial experts predicted that despite being able to raise the debt ceiling, the U.S. might lose its AAA credit rating and we could join the ranks of AA countries such as Bermuda, Slovinia, and Kuwait. In August 2011, the predictions came partially true as Standard & Poor lowered the U.S. to a AA rating.

012:

Let’s hope Congress can do a better job agreeing on a way to address the debt ceiling than they have so far on the budget. In the Wall Street Journal, a former counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Gartner (named Lee Sachs) said: “It’s one thing to play brinksmanship on a government shutdown, which can be fixed in a minute without many long-term consequences. It’s another thing to do it with the debt ceiling, where the impact of failure would be catastrophic for years, if not decades. “ It seems we are facing one dire economic crisis after another.



Note from IWD: By mid-May, the government is heading toward hitting a $14.294 trillion borrowing limits. It can only be raised by Congress. There are a number of emergency measures than can be put into effect – but if not resolved by July 8, the government could go into default.

091:

Any group led by sleepy Joe Biden has little chance of succeeding. We have to have some radical thinking to save this country from becoming a second rate power like most of Europe has become due to bankruptcy. Already the Chinese are looking elsewhere to lend money. Paul Ryan’s budget is a serious attempt to lead us out of the morass of government. But with Obama in office and the Dems controlling the Senate, it has little chance of succeeding.

089:

Well, it’s back to work this week. It will be interesting to hear if anything positive happened during the break. Supposedly, the Gang of 6 (the first gang of 6: three Republicans and three Democrats) is close to agreeing on a plan and they want their plan part of the discussion Vice President Biden is leading. Some expect that their plan will reflect this part of the earlier budget commission report: $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax revenue increases over the next decade.

031:

As expected: Poorly. Why? Because too many do not want to compromise (particularly on the House side). Why? Because their constituents don't want them to compromise. Congress reflects the problems of my fellow citizens...they have their heads in the sand...everybody wants to hold out for what they personally want. No view of the bigger, long-term, national picture. No sense of fiscal responsibility....of being stewards of the economy. We've been spoiled for so long with prosperity, and folks do not want their elected leaders to do what they should be doing i.e., making hard, unpopular decisions. And no wonder Congress avoids unpopular decisions...folks would not re-elect them! I'm interested in watching the Gang of 6.

Note from IWD: The Original Gang of 6: This group of six Senators – three Republicans and three Democrats – has been meeting for months to try to find common ground on ways to cut the nation’s deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. They are:

• Mark Warner (D-VA)

• Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)

• Dick Durbin (D-IL)

• Kent Conrad D-ND)

• Tom Coburn (R-OK)

• Mike Crapo (R-ID)

Warner has been quoted as saying, “Neither side has all the answers. The idea that we can do this on simply one side of the balance sheet – well, it’s just a spending problem…no, it’s just a taxing problem – isn’t the case.;”

A New Gang of Six: President Obama asked Congressional leaders to pick 16 members for a new group to work with VP Joseph Biden on the deficit, but they only came up with six – 2 Republicans and 4 Democrats.

012:

Now that Congress is taking a break, maybe people will come back in May with a more realistic perspective and a willingness to compromise.

030:

I recently went to hear a talk by Erskine Bowles on the Simpson/Bowles Budget bi-partisan proposal. The proposal was so encouraging for its content and discouraging for the support it has received from the administration (Obama appointed them and gave them goals, which they reached ...now he has disregarded them and the plan).



Note from IWD: About Simpson/Bowles: Erskine Bowles, former Chief of Staff in the Clinton Administration, and Alan Simpson, Republican and former Wyoming Senator, were appointed in April 2010 by President Obama to lead a bi-partisan group, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. A draft report was released in December 2010 but a final report has not been issued because only 11 members of the 18-member commission voted to approve it. Reactions to the report on the outside have been mixed. Four members of the Commission are also members of the Gang of 6.


Relevant Reading: Guest Column by Erskine and Bowles in April issue of Fortune magazine

089:

Can anyone explain why Paul Ryan released his 2012 budget plan before the 2011 budget was finished? Is that timing typical in our hallowed halls of Congress – or did it have something to do with posturing for the 2012 elections? It appears that, after health care, the main targets of that plan’s cost-cutting would be things like environmental protection, food safety, law enforcement. But probably the most troubling is that Medicare and Medicaid would be changed from entitlement programs and would instead allocate funds to be used to buy private insurance. Sounds good for the insurance companies, but how about seniors, people with disabilities, and people living in poverty?

060:

The Republicans point to deep spending cuts and Medicare reform. The Democrats want more modest cuts and increased taxes for the very rich. Doesn’t it seem it’s going to take some of both? Or maybe we ought to re-visit the flat tax rate.

060:

The Republicans point to deep spending cuts and Medicare reform. The Democrats want more modest cuts and increased taxes for the very rich. Doesn’t it seem it’s going to take some of both? Or maybe we ought to re-visit the flat tax rate.

089:

Can anyone explain why Paul Ryan released his 2012 budget plan before the 2011 budget was finished? Is that timing typical in our hallowed halls of Congress – or did it have something to do with posturing for the 2012 elections? It appears that, after health care, the main targets of that plan’s cost-cutting would be things like environmental protection, food safety, law enforcement. But probably the most troubling is that Medicare and Medicaid would be changed from entitlement programs and would instead allocate funds to be used to buy private insurance. Sounds good for the insurance companies, but how about seniors, people with disabilities, and people living in poverty?

030:

I recently went to hear a talk by Erskine Bowles on the Simpson/Bowles Budget bi-partisan proposal. The proposal was so encouraging for its content and discouraging for the support it has received from the administration (Obama appointed them and gave them goals, which they reached ...now he has disregarded them and the plan).



Note from IWD: About Simpson/Bowles: Erskine Bowles, former Chief of Staff in the Clinton Administration, and Alan Simpson, Republican and former Wyoming Senator, were appointed in April 2010 by President Obama to lead a bi-partisan group, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. A draft report was released in December 2010 but a final report has not been issued because only 11 members of the 18-member commission voted to approve it. Reactions to the report on the outside have been mixed. Four members of the Commission are also members of the Gang of 6.


Relevant Reading: Guest Column by Erskine and Bowles in April issue of Fortune magazine

012:

Now that Congress is taking a break, maybe people will come back in May with a more realistic perspective and a willingness to compromise.

031:

As expected: Poorly. Why? Because too many do not want to compromise (particularly on the House side). Why? Because their constituents don't want them to compromise. Congress reflects the problems of my fellow citizens...they have their heads in the sand...everybody wants to hold out for what they personally want. No view of the bigger, long-term, national picture. No sense of fiscal responsibility....of being stewards of the economy. We've been spoiled for so long with prosperity, and folks do not want their elected leaders to do what they should be doing i.e., making hard, unpopular decisions. And no wonder Congress avoids unpopular decisions...folks would not re-elect them! I'm interested in watching the Gang of 6.

Note from IWD: The Original Gang of 6: This group of six Senators – three Republicans and three Democrats – has been meeting for months to try to find common ground on ways to cut the nation’s deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. They are:

• Mark Warner (D-VA)

• Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)

• Dick Durbin (D-IL)

• Kent Conrad D-ND)

• Tom Coburn (R-OK)

• Mike Crapo (R-ID)

Warner has been quoted as saying, “Neither side has all the answers. The idea that we can do this on simply one side of the balance sheet – well, it’s just a spending problem…no, it’s just a taxing problem – isn’t the case.;”

A New Gang of Six: President Obama asked Congressional leaders to pick 16 members for a new group to work with VP Joseph Biden on the deficit, but they only came up with six – 2 Republicans and 4 Democrats.

089:

Well, it’s back to work this week. It will be interesting to hear if anything positive happened during the break. Supposedly, the Gang of 6 (the first gang of 6: three Republicans and three Democrats) is close to agreeing on a plan and they want their plan part of the discussion Vice President Biden is leading. Some expect that their plan will reflect this part of the earlier budget commission report: $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax revenue increases over the next decade.

091:

Any group led by sleepy Joe Biden has little chance of succeeding. We have to have some radical thinking to save this country from becoming a second rate power like most of Europe has become due to bankruptcy. Already the Chinese are looking elsewhere to lend money. Paul Ryan’s budget is a serious attempt to lead us out of the morass of government. But with Obama in office and the Dems controlling the Senate, it has little chance of succeeding.

012:

Let’s hope Congress can do a better job agreeing on a way to address the debt ceiling than they have so far on the budget. In the Wall Street Journal, a former counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Gartner (named Lee Sachs) said: “It’s one thing to play brinksmanship on a government shutdown, which can be fixed in a minute without many long-term consequences. It’s another thing to do it with the debt ceiling, where the impact of failure would be catastrophic for years, if not decades. “ It seems we are facing one dire economic crisis after another.



Note from IWD: By mid-May, the government is heading toward hitting a $14.294 trillion borrowing limits. It can only be raised by Congress. There are a number of emergency measures than can be put into effect – but if not resolved by July 8, the government could go into default.

321:

Once again, Congress and the President have taken their stalemate to a really extreme level. Why should we think they can EVER work this out? The only hope might be when the elections are over, they can take a break from politics and get back to government.



Note from IWD: Dialogue resumed as Congress approached the deadline for raising the debt ceiling. Some financial experts predicted that despite being able to raise the debt ceiling, the U.S. might lose its AAA credit rating and we could join the ranks of AA countries such as Bermuda, Slovinia, and Kuwait. In August 2011, the predictions came partially true as Standard & Poor lowered the U.S. to a AA rating.

076:

It seemed, as plan after plan fell apart, that people were forgetting that Tea Party members were elected on the basis of their hate for government – and so many, if not all, were willing to see the government default. An article in Newsweek quoted Bruce Bartlett, a former aid to Ronald Reagan, as saying, “Reagan couldn’t get elected dogcatcher these days. He raised taxes at least 11 times. Back then you had responsible adults in the Republican Party who put country over partisanship.”

Note from IWD: Tom Friedman wrote in the New York Times on July 23 “Make Way for the Radical Center.” He says “a viable, centrist, third presidential ticket, elected by an Internet convention, is going to emerge in 2012.” It seems to be a serious movement. “Any presidential nominee must conform to all the Constitutional requirements, as well as be considered someone of similar stature to our previous presidents. That means no Lady Gaga allowed.” www.americanselect.org

129:

As the budget discussions were taking place, I happened to be listening to an audio book by Howard Isaacson (who also authored the Steve Jobs biography) entitled American Sketches. He points out the contrast between the Founding Fathers (and the way they worked together and compromised to create a country and draft a Constitution) and our current legislators who can’t come together on anything. Maybe they just don’t have the skill to do it, and they’ve never been in the position to have to strike a balance between advancing their agenda and making some concessions to others. Perhaps, just like some corporate employees go through a training program, new members of Congress should attend “compromise school.”



Note from IWD: Note from IWD: The deadline for a Congressional “super-committee” to agree on a budget deficit reduction plan came and went without agreement. As a result, automatic cuts will take place in 2013, unless a new plan can be developed. The required $1.2 trillion in cuts are to be divided between defense spending and non-defense spending. Certain programs will be exempt from the cuts and these include veterans benefits, Social Security, food stamps, and Medicaid. According to the about.com website (http://usgovinfo.about.com/b/2011/11/21/budget-cutting-super-committee-fails-now-what.htm) “cuts to Medicare, while allowed, are to be limited to no more than 2 percent and will be subject to congressional approval.”

048:

Some people cite what’s currently taking place in Washington, D.C. as proof that maybe our two-party system no longer works and we need a third party. But perhaps we already have a three-party system: Democrats, Republicans, and Tea Party.

071:

Deficit- I think we have way too much entitlement and easy ways to work the system. Every time I see the government get involved, it becomes a nightmare. Let's really examine some of these crazy programs and start cutting them and the people who work for them. I think it would be a good place to start. Also the "golden parachute" retirement and health care for politicians has to stop.

161:

I thought it was interesting on Thursday – when the Boehner plan was scheduled to be voted on in the House – and they needed to delay the vote – our high-powered Congress when back to the business of naming post offices. I have no problem with post offices being named to honor people EXCEPT that maybe we (as a country) need to re-think how much we can do, and what our elected officials should be spending their time on. Maybe we can no longer do all the big things and all the small things and need to make sure our legislators are focused on the right issues.

194:

You asked if we want representatives and senators who compromise and hold their ground. It seems to me that democracy is based in compromise. In fact, real life is based on compromise. Anyone who’s every bought or sold a house knows you don’t get everything you want.

114:

Watching the two parties parade their obstinancy regarding the debt ceiling crisis reminds me of two people getting divorced and being willing to damage the kids just so they can get back at one another.

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