12/8: How do you rate Congress?

Moderated by Rick Badie

Congress’ approval ratings are in the tank. Last year, a Gallup poll that tracks congressional job performance found an 83 percent disapproval rating, the worst results in 30 years. Likewise, this month’s Rasmussen Report found that 68 percent deem Congress’ job performance as poor.

U.S. representatives David Scott and Tom Graves offer their takes on the assessments.

What do you think of Congress?

17 comments Add your comment


December 8th, 2011
5:34 pm

They do better when one party doesn’t control both houses of Congress. At the moment we’re all safer because of the stalemate.

The worst case scenario was the six years of the GWB administration when the Republicans controlled the House and Senate. We witnessed human nature at it’s worst kick in when they realized they had unrestricted complete control, with no accountability to anyone.


December 8th, 2011
12:46 pm

I agree with Mary E.

Bill is so delusional he doesn’t even know it.


December 8th, 2011
12:40 pm

Yeah we all need to buy motels.

Free Market

December 8th, 2011
12:37 pm

lkjasfd – You suggest cutting the number of representatives in half. I think you have this completely backwords.

When this country started, there was 1 rep for every 30,000 persons counted in the census (yes, I know, the 3/5 rule, etc. but you will get my point). Given that blacks couldn’t vote nor women, this boiled down to about 1 rep for every 5000-7000 actual voters. The number of citizens per rep has steadily climbed as have the number of representatives. When the congress fixed the number in 1913 at 435 (without consitutional amendment, just like all the other changes), the number stood at 1 rep per 213,000 roughly. So in that time period, representation in congress decreased by over 7 fold. Within a couple of years we saw the elimination of state election of US senators, the implementation of an income tax, the creation of the criminal federal reserve, WW1, and plenty of other horrible things whose consequences we still feel today.

Today however we are at roughly 1 rep per 730,000 and in one Montana district it is 1 per 944,000. Overall that represents an official decrease by a factor of 24 times from what we originally had an even more if based only on eligible voters.

I don’t know about you, but the useless turd I have “representing” me does not represent my opinions or values one bit. One cannot meet all 730,000 of ones constituents. Even 30,000 would be a challenge, but certainly would be far better representation.

Two keys issues come from this analysis.

First, this country is FAR too big to remain intact. We are no longer a representative republic. We have become an oligarchy dominated by special interests who have only a limited number of folks they need to “buy” in order to affect serious changes in their favor.

Second, if we are to remain intact, the number of representatives in the house must increase by a factor of 20-25. Yes, that would created massive gridlock, but it would also likely facilitate the creation and sustainability of numerous other parties who might actually be based on principles, and anything we can do to keep congress from passing laws would be a great plus in favor of liberty and freedom.

A restoration of citizen legislators would be outstanding, as would something more along the lines of a lottery for serving in office. Back when this country began, all of our reps actually had real jobs that they needed to return to. Congress did not meet all year and most folks wanted to get back to their real jobs so generally did not serve long and multiple terms.

Really and truly the original concept of 50 independent states that created a federal government to facilitate their needs was an outstanding one, but Lincoln destroyed that concept when he illegally invaded the south. Peaceful secession was always constitutional as the many New England states that nearly secceeded during the war of 1812 shows.

Congress gets a poor rating because they are not properly staffed to do an appropriate job of representing us. There are only two ways to fundamentally fix that.


December 8th, 2011
11:44 am

Obama following Bush policy passing drug bill,fighting wars,no way to pay for.Do as we are being forced,leave debt to next generation/administration.


December 8th, 2011
11:37 am

Statemanship thing of past,none are worth voting for.Corzine should run along with Newt.balance out with Gov.we have.


December 8th, 2011
11:34 am

Hey Mary Elizabeth:

Yes the 2009-2010 Congress passed a heath care law. But they did not pass a way to pay for it. They started new taxes this year pay for the law, but the benefits do not start until 2014, to dishonestly get around the 10 year CBO score for the bill. The law puts more people on Medicare and Medicaid, but did not address the huge budgetary deficits now and in the future of both programs. And if you remember, they had to break Senate and House rules to pass the legislation, because of Scott Brown’s election to Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat. And if the bill is so good and so popular, why did a House and Senate with overwhelming Democratic majorities have to pass the bill in the dead of the night, without the bill even being read?

The Democratic Senate has not produced a budget since the Bush administration. The Democratic House did not pass a budget during its two year run during the current administration. That is the first responsibility of the House, to pass the government budget. The House has passed a budget for last year, but it was never approved by the Senate and the Senate never produced one.

Both parties are crooks, no doubt as well as the permanent political class in Washington. I think their popularity is exactly where it should be.

No matter what their other policies, I will vote for whomever will make the government less powerful.