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

Hillbilly D

December 7th, 2011
8:05 pm

What do you think of Congress?

I’d tell you but this is a family newspaper.

MrLiberty

December 7th, 2011
8:50 pm

I would rate all but 2 congressman an F. Ron Paul however gets an A+ as does his son Rand. Dr. Paul will make a great president once elected. Ron Paul 2012. It will be a great loss when he leaves congress. Nobody else actually stands up for the constitution, liberty, freedom, or rights the way he has for the past 30 years. Hopefully his Campaign for Liberty group will be able to propel many others into congress as they did with his son. It would be nice to actually have members of congress who treat their oath to the constitution with some integrity.

mountain man

December 7th, 2011
9:58 pm

I would think their disapproval rating would be around 110%.

Mary Elizabeth

December 8th, 2011
12:17 am

I do not think that citizens can rate Congress as a total group because Democrats in Congress have performed quite differently than Republicans. Democrats were able to pass a national health insurance bill into law without Republican support. Although passing a national health insurance law had been attempted for 50 years, its success had never before been accomplished. Now, those with pre-existing conditions will not be penalized. Millions who had not been able to purchase health insurance previously will be able to do so. Now, adult children will be able to remain on their parents’ health insurance plans until the age of 26. So, I would rate the Democrats in Congress with high marks.

However, I would rate the Republicans in Congress quite low. Most have signed a pledge designed by Grover Norquist to never raise taxes, which is irresponsible in that that pledge does not allow for changing times or circumstances. Furthermore, most Republicans in Congress have been unreasonably intransigent in working with President Obama to accomplish positive results for our nation. They seem to vote according to those who direct them, instead of voting their own consciences.

Thus, I would give a thumbs up to the Democrats in Congress, and a strong thumbs down to the Republicans in Congress.

SAWB

December 8th, 2011
9:22 am

The problem is everyone disapproves of Congress as a whole, but approves of their individual Senators and Representatives. At some point we have to realize we cannot keep electing the same people and expect different results. We really need major campaign finance reform and term limits, but it is difficult to imagine Congress will implement any genuine reforms.

Bill

December 8th, 2011
9:24 am

doing nothing is better than passing crap bills like Obamacare. Sorry Mary E. you are a delusional socialist.

Laurie

December 8th, 2011
10:11 am

The problem with Congress is that they no longer represent the people voting them into office, but now favor corporate and special interest lobbyist groups that fill their pockets with money and job prospects if they are ever ousted out of office. Limit lobbyist influence, implement term limits, and curb the health benefits and pension plans for these folks. I bet we’d have a better Congress, one that does the job intended for them to do.

zeke

December 8th, 2011
10:40 am

If we could get rid of all the democraps, the so called independents, and the New England RINOS, I would rate them pretty good! We have to fix the deficit/debt problem ASAP, and, tax increases are not the answer! SPENDING, ESPECIALLY ON FEEL GOOD SOCIALIST REDISTRIBUTION GIVE-A-WAYS IS KILLING US! ALL THE LEFTIST TALK OF CORPORATIONS AND HIGH INCOME INDIVIDUALS NOT PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE IS A SCARY REMINDER THAT THE COMMIES MARE AMONGST US! KRUSCHEV SAID THAT RUSSIA WILL DEFEAT US FROM INSIDE OUR BORDERS. THAT MY FRIENDS IS HAPPENING TODAY WITH ALL THE REDISTRIBUTION CLASS WARFARE POLICIES AND RHETORIC! First of all, almost 50% pay no income tax, but, are allowed to vote on raising that tax for the other 50%! ABSURD! IN FACT, THE TOP EARNERS PAY MORE THAN THEIR FAIR SHARE, THEY ACTUALLY PAY THE SHARE OF THE 50% WHO PAY NO INCOME TAX! AND THERE SHOULD BE NO BUSINESS OR CORPORATE INCOME TAX! THAT IS A DOUBLE TAXATION WHICH SHOULD CONSTITUTIONALLY BE ILLEGAL! SAME FOR THE DEATH TAX, WHICH TAXES FOR THE SECOND, THIRD OR MORE TIMES THE ASSETS OF THE PERSON WHO DIES! THAT IS NOT THE USA! THAT IS SOVIET RUSSIA! THAT IS PITIFUL!

meno

December 8th, 2011
11:02 am

It’s interesting that the repub does nothing more than rehash the partisan talking points that creates the gridlock. Why does he think putting Americans in charge is the answer when the public, itself, disagrees, on what to do? How can he assume Americans all think like he does?

lkjasfd

December 8th, 2011
11:29 am

how to fix congress:
1 – cut the number of reps in half
2 – make the job part time
3 – take all those running for office from each state, put their names in a hat and let each state governor pick a state from the hat. this will allow people from one state to vote for the reps for another state. this will eliminate the need for term limits and the old saying that all reps are bums except for the ones from my state.

Doug

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.

double

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.

double

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.

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.

double

December 8th, 2011
12:40 pm

Yeah we all need to buy motels.

Greg

December 8th, 2011
12:46 pm

I agree with Mary E.

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

Natekeshia

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.