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February 22nd, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Broken Government

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=""] All next week CNN will focus on “Broken Government.”

Our question: is a broken system at the heart of all the political discontent out there?

Liberals who won’t see health care reform think government is broken. So do conservatives frustrated with runaway spending. And independents think it too when they look at a system that fails to produce solutions to our problems.

What we need from you – examples of ways you think government is broken.

Post them below – we’re going to use them to help generate ideas for our coverage next week.

Filed under: Kyra Phillips
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. Dean M

    What I see as broken:

    1. The Federal Gov. has too much control. The States need to regain that control as the constitution mandates.

    2. Federal taxes are too high. Taxes are not supposed to be a slush fund for Congress. It is to provide for the common defense and that is all! Again, read the constitution.

    3. Politicians are more concerned abot themselves then the people. We need term limits. Short ones! Our founders worked for free.

    4. Cut off Lobbyists and PACs. A politician can't make a decision for the people when his pockets are being stuffed by the most powerful businesses in the country.

    5. Too many others to list. It is time to push the reset buttton.

    February 19, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  2. Mikey

    We need to get the lobbyist out of politics. These politicians spend all of their time campaining .They are worried about the big donors, like the banking industry, or the big insurance companys interest, not the peoples.Until we get public financing this is what we get , now the supreme court has just made the people less relivent.

    February 19, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  3. Dan

    This country is in shambles because we have removed a lot of our moral values, and we are being judged by the almight.
    1) Abortion (this is murder);
    2) Gay rights (marraige is a sacred union between 1 man and 1 woman);
    3) We have removed anything to do with the ten commandments or christianity from our schools.
    I could go on and on, but this is enough.

    February 19, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  4. Bill Matthews

    Are you kidding me? Will I except his Apology? Why on earth would I need to except his apology.He is know one to me.

    February 19, 2010 at 9:17 am |
  5. John Swircek

    NO ! One encounter, maybe. Fourteen, NO !. How does one graduate from sex therapy ?

    February 19, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  6. Michael

    Frankly, I have never seen such immaturity; instead of saving the nation; the term is more like you can't play because it's my ball; let's put these decisions to a vote; health care and everything else too; the President cannot make this happen if those elected to make laws are being immature about reaching a viable solution that helps those they represent. Grow up citizen, grow up!

    February 19, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  7. Charlotte

    I think showing Tiger woods' press conference on all the major newworks and all the cable stations is a bit over kill. It is not a state of the union message. While I think what he did was wrong, that shoul not be the lead news item on all the stations when I turn the news on. If he has a sex addition, allow him to get his life together and get the help he needs. His only apology should be to God and his family. The sun will come up tomorrow!

    February 19, 2010 at 9:23 am |
  8. Anita Hoffman

    With all of the stuff going on in the world right now, I'm sure there are more importants things to report than Tiger Woods. Leave him alone .
    What he does or doesn't do doesn't do anything for my life or anyone else's.

    A. Hoffman

    February 19, 2010 at 9:27 am |
  9. James P.

    The President, along with Congress, are trying to shove Healthcare down the throats of the people of this country, against our will. They seem to "not get it" that the majority of people like their healthcare and think we have the best doctors and system in the world. Find a way to help people who don't have coverage but leave our healthcare alone.
    There is something BROKEN in government when our President and Congress label anyone who disagrees with them on this subject as radicals or uninformed. Because of their lack of listening to the voters, we now have Tea Baggers, alive and growing in numbers, in every state of our union. Because of this, we are (for the first time) going to contribute to anyone in our state and country willing to run for office who WILL listen to the voters of our country. They all are going to get a huge wake up call come election day throughout our country.

    February 19, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  10. Louise Spencer

    More demonization of government. Yes, things are polarized in Washington right now, but how about getting people to think about all the things government gets right, things they take for granted. If Americans could experience foreign bureacracies, rigidness and corruptness, they would start by acknowledging that overall, our government works – it has kept us remarkably safe, free and enjoying a high standard of living.

    February 19, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  11. Martin

    How can you expect anything BUT a broken government, when it's bogged down leaders with nothing but special interests on their agendas? We have no one to blame but ourselves, when we continue to elect politicians and lawyers, to "lead" us ; what can we expect but lies and corruption? Personnaly, intend to vote from now on for anyone that has never, ever held public office before...our only choice is to wipe the slate clean and start anew.

    February 19, 2010 at 9:56 am |
  12. Rick

    I don't care how big the gov. is as long as it's works when we need them to. They seldom give us candid talk and real solutions

    February 19, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  13. Albert Root

    First stop complaining about the past administration and get on with the process of fixing the broken Gov't. Bush tried to fix things but with the Liberal Congress & Senate they fought him on everything or would not listen. Now Obama wants everyone to believe he knows what is best and does not have the first idea about being a President. Non-military, got a bunch of losers on his Admin. Most had IRS problems or some other sort of problem, and he still leaves them in place. Health care is great, but it has to be finely defined before it can be installed, and it sure is far from that. Only his friends seem to benefit from certain things. Wonders why Republicans feel like they do. Who want a lame duck President stumping for them, He will not even produce his Birth Certificate. Until then he is not my President. DID EVERYONE NOTICE he does not even go to church very often. SHAME ON HIM. MUSLIM?? Terrorist in civil court so he does ot have to sign death warrants. HELLO. Does this tell you something. Impeachment is the salvations. Get with it. Who is this guy and where the heck did he come from out of the clear blue. Get smart Americans get the vote right the next time.

    February 19, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  14. Jeff Jarvis

    Yes it is.

    It's like a never ending football game, the score is tied and they keep adding overtime. Devotion to the "Party" should not be the main focus of politicians that we hired to represent us. Each and every one of them should be involved in the decision making process by contributing and supporting ideas that help the American people. Party support should NOT be the main focus.

    Our hired representatives are not representing us right now, they are just fighting party against party and nothing is getting done as usual.

    If you owned a business and made decisions the way our government does, your business would most certainly fail.

    February 19, 2010 at 10:01 am |
  15. Dean M

    More demonization of government. I would agree we have it pretty good in comparison to most countries. The danger that I am trying to avoid is becoming like those other countries. Just because we are the United States doesn't mean we are exempt from going the way of Rome. A good comment though.

    February 19, 2010 at 10:04 am |
  16. Doreen Mastandrea

    The government is not effective in handling the problems of the populous. The need for adequate attention to the problems of unemployment , the maintainance of our intrastructure, and the over all attention of the function of providing and developing the United States and its needs are not being met. The government should be making the banks pay for the problems in the housing industry. They created this problem and are prlonging the problem. There is to much corruption in government and it is not for the people we are being taken and we and our children are paying for it. Government is in the business of making money for themselves it is not in the interest of the people for the by the people. It is an elite society there good, not suffering they live in another world.
    They are out of control and we are paying for it with more and more people loosing there homes, there jobs and the ability to live. This should not be we live in the year 2010. The government is disfunction to the needs of its people. We need a better system that will develope gowth and productivey for the people by the people. We are being sold out and our goverment is has sold us........

    February 19, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  17. jodi sullivan

    I just watched the blurp about another assistance program for homeowner's being launched by the Fed. Govt. FL was included in the $1.5B "battered housing markets." Question: Where will the money go? Who will be receiving it? FNMA & FMHLC? If your loan is serviced by the above organizations, are they required to work with you? If it is going to local/state agencies, which ones? Will it include the unemployed & or borrowers who can't produce the verifiable income the previous loan modification assistance programs require? Please provide more specific details when covering such stories, get back to me with some answers. I'd appreciate it as I'm sure many other home owners would as well. This seems to me to be the biggest issue as to why the federal assistance products have been ineffective in helping anyone. No one, including the so called experts, seem to have a clear understanding of who is eligible to even qualify for the assistance products and then who to contact for application.

    February 19, 2010 at 10:05 am |
  18. l. a. smarrelli

    i believe the "Model" for government is no longer effective. a few weeks back a commentary by a local citizen addressing the polarization in the beltway poised the question; if both parties are just going to block each other at every turn...than all we need is 1 democrat, 1 republican, and 1 independent!! at first i laughed, but lately it keeps coming back to me!! we'd surely save a boat load of dough on salaries, full pay pensions, health insurance and office space!! my personal lament is where to start trying to dismantle this dysfunctional edifice, as the roosters are definitely not going to help tear down the henhouse?? taking all the money out of the system would be a good start. let our representatives motivated by civic duty,(remember that) meet several times a yr and "do the countrys' business". then they can go back to where ever and work real jobs, like it used to be. hey, why don't we try suspending our representatives health insurance until they hammer out some type of reform for the rest of us?? guaranteed we'd have a bill inside a week!!

    February 19, 2010 at 10:10 am |
  19. alexander hunter

    Tiger utilizes the media to create an aura, a reputation of invincibility. Today, only friend, no press, no questions. Change his name from Tiger to Tabby Woods.

    February 19, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  20. Eduardo Pineda

    Of curse I will accept his apology, nobody in this world is perfect, and those who are saying no, we won't accept his apology might have some skeletons in their closets.....

    February 19, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  21. Diana

    I am a young lady in the Caribbean island of St.Kitts & Nevis (I don't see that country listed in CNN's drop down lis)t. What Tiger did, its something millions of persons deal with everyday. I thik the media need to give the man and his family a BREAK. The media put so much pressure on the celebrities and all of those media follow ups just make the matter all the more difficult. Even though celebrities should be role models because ppl are always watching, the real fact of the matter is, they are still HUMANS. Just the fact that he checked into rehab, at least he admits he has a problem. We all know he has to admit he has a problem so therefore he can be rehabilitated. The media should air therir dirty laundry and leave the celebs alone.

    February 19, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  22. James Andrew

    As one of the very first baby boomers, I was fortunate that I was able to witness the Eisenhower administration. That was a time of stability, cooperation, and opportunity.
    Unfortunately, since then I have seen a long, slow, and possibly irreversible decline in the American way of life. When President Johnson got us involved in Vietnam, that was the turning point.
    Since Eisenhower, moderates have been buried by the extreme partisanship and rancor of the two political parties. The recent Massachusetts senatorial election pointed out something that rarely gets reported. And that is that 51 percent of those voters consider themselves independent. However, the system is rigged so that we moderate independents are totally unrepresented.
    When an important issue such as health care comes up for a vote, it always is a strict party line result. Nobody is permitted to vote their conscience. I agree with the comedian who suggested that all members of congress wear suits like the NASCAR drivers, so that we would know who owns them.

    February 19, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  23. Charles

    Time to vote out ALL INCUMBENTS from both sides of the aisle, they are petty and vindictive idiots who have not done the American People's business, instead they are finding ways to support big business instead of the real business at hand. The partisanship shown just this year alone is just plain stupid when the rest of the country is suffering and waiting for our elected officials to find some viable solutions, instead the petty bickering and political positioning has taken center stage, making them all, the House and the Congress look like stupid fools, and the public is blaming the President who can get nothing done because of the divisiveness of the Republicans and some constituents of his own party. Regarless to their difference of opinion, they need to get America's business done or get voted out of resign, and to be honest, most of them should be impeached for being totally disrespectful to the American people.

    February 19, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  24. Doug

    watching Tiger make a public Apology, and showing us all once again that he has not changed at all, by saying i will not be taking any questions, well what is new tiger you dont stop sign autographs for you fans either, oh! thats right. you Don"t even speak to them either. same old Arrogant! self centered, TIGER

    February 19, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  25. Mark

    One small example of broken government:

    News reports have been made of numerous congress members and their staffs going to the climate summit in Scandinavia and spending large amounts of money on essentially a boondoggle. Pelosi was one of them. At the state of the union speech she was sitting in full view behind Obama and stood up to give a standing ovation to his comment that they all need to tighten their belts. This is hypocricy, and shows she is completely out of touch with those she governs.

    I voted democrat but this is unacceptable. Throw the bums out!

    February 19, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  26. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Our government was fine until Nancy Palosi became speaker of the house .

    February 19, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  27. Mike (cincinnati)

    Kyra, who are we to accept or not accept Tigers apology.Those without sin,cast the first stone. This is truly a family matter,not a worldly one.

    February 19, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  28. Nikunj Sanghvi

    Hello Kyra,

    I lost my job for the first time in my life in June 2007. I had just turned 50. After 11 years with IBM, I got laid off. Then, from Sep 2007 to Sep 2008 I was rehired by IBM as a contractor. I have been jobless since then. I called Wells Fargo to modify my mortgage. I was told that under the new Federal guidelines, this modification was considered a new loan and would take from 60 to 90 day like any other loan. Later, I also heard about people in this program having totally ruined their excellent credit rating.

    My wife and I decided that we definitely had better options than The Presidents Plan.

    Thanks to you and CNN.

    Nikunj Sanghvi.

    February 19, 2010 at 10:34 am |
  29. Harold Martin

    What Right does he have to choose what story to cover .He IS still a reporter and should do just that !!!!!

    February 19, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  30. michael miller

    as far as the golf writers ass. boycotting because they can't ask questions is ridiculous. just imagine a bunch of reporters screaming questions that they already know the answers too. it's his and his wife's biz!!!

    February 19, 2010 at 10:49 am |

    I feel as if we put certain people on pedistals because they're rich or have money..In all actuallity, they are human beings and will make mistakes just like you and me. The only difference is, they have money.People should stay out of tiger business, but this is what people love and this is what society is today... full of people who loves controversy...Tiger owe his wife a huge explanation and has nothing to do with the public or the media.

    February 19, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  32. REJ

    Tiger Woods does not owe an apology to me, the media or anyone else other than his wife and family. He is a golfer and people watched him for his golf skills his private life is his private life. He is not an elected official who should answer to the public because they are elected to serve the public. Mark Sanford for example cheated on his wife his staff lied for him and he left his post to fly out of the country to cheat. His wife has left him but he still has the job of governor of South Carliona. I look forward to him coming back so I can watch golf agan.

    February 19, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  33. Richard A. "Red" Lawhern, Ph.D.

    Government is broken in multiple ways for multiple reasons. The two big trends that I perceive are these:

    (1) Our lawmakers are effectively "owned" by moneyed special interests who decide who gets nominated and then funded during campaigns. Money talks louder than character or policy these days. If we want balanced and thoughtful government policy, then we desperately need term limits and campaign spending limits as well as significant disclosure of the influence wielded by lobbyists.


    (2) Voters allow themselves to believe the something-for-nothing campaign hype and promises of the incumbents whom we reelect about 97% of the time. There can be no effective government without effective thinking rooted in reality. And voters have refused to do that thinking for at least the last 30 years if not longer.

    The cartoon character Pogo once coined a line that has always struck me as fundamental in our US politics: "We have met the enemy... and he is US!" .

    February 19, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  34. Jerry Daniel

    This government (Dems and Repubs alike) seem to have forgotten that we have a Constitution. The Constitution seems to be considered a hindrance by the Obama Administration. The government is broken, it is too big, and it no longer responds to the will of the American people. Time to "throw the bums out."

    February 19, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  35. Rick Ernzer

    I know the dept. of the interior is broken! Just look at the way the BLM is eraticating the wild horses and burro's from public lands. Sec. Salazar claims drought conditions are forcing the horses off of land that was deeded to them in the 1971 wild horse and burro act. The truth is they are being pushed out by the cattlemen and their cows whom Sec. Salazar is one of! The bad part is once removed from a management area they lose that land so it leaves it entirely to the cows who only pay a few dollars a year to use. The horses have lost 19 million acres this way! There remains aprox. 25,000 horses left in the wild on 34 million acres thats 1 horse for every 1360 acres! The president of the cattlemens association Dan Gralian has said there are between 2.5 and 3 million cows on 250 million acres and thats around 100 acres per cow and they'll tell you the horses are doing damage to the wildlands. I've witnessed some these lands first hand and the damage a cow does is twice to three times as bad as the horse! But they keep hauling them away now there are some 33,000 in holding and the BLM doesn't know what to do with them so they keep adding to them! Truth is there's enough public land for 500,000 horses but Salazar (the fox in the hen house) wont let that happen He wants them all off public land and into holding facilities back east which sounds very expensive! And there's so much more you look at the horses budget which I think is up around 60 or 70 million dollars for 60,000 horses!!!??

    February 19, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  36. Holly M.

    How is the Government broken? It's very simple to answer that! Until the corporations are shut out of politics and they stop dictating what our Government does and how we live our lives, nothing will ever change. Until our politicians once again return honesty and integrity to Governing this country, nothing will ever change! Until our Government
    once again faithfully follows and respects the guidance of our beloved constitution, America will continue to spiral down into oblivion.

    February 19, 2010 at 11:19 am |
  37. A J

    TIGER - Way to show up and be accountable and be an example for everyone of the pain that happens with hurtful choices and the positive freedom of honesty.

    February 19, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  38. A J

    Rick cerrone - you are coming off as a selfish, staging person, who has created all of this false imaging that YOU want us to see. YOU and this attitude is what is the problem with the news and media in America today.

    February 19, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  39. Ronnie

    I'm amazed how people have nothing much else to do, but worry about some man who has more money than God, and to lack the maturity of what to do with it. Some people, you just can't give money and fame...I'm sick of hearing about him, and his "transgressions"...get a life people.

    February 19, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  40. CJ Reed

    The World is a Vampire.............It sucked the life out of Micheal Jackson and I am afraid it will do the same to Tiger Woods. I hope he and his wife will be left alone to mend their lives............But I doubt it.

    February 19, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  41. CJ Reed

    The World is a Vampire.............It sucked the life out of Micheal Jackson and I am afraid it will do the same to Tiger Woods. I hope he and his wife will be left alone to mend their lives............But I doubt it.

    February 19, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  42. Jack Wesker

    Left wings won't do this. Right wings won't do that. Eagles don't use one wing to fly so why should this country. We are more divided then unified and our country needs unification in the big house more then ever. If the bird doesn't learn how to fly something might eat it.

    February 19, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  43. Han G Thesobs

    It's the ability and positive economic return of LYING to Americans.

    Expand the Truth-In-Advertising law to include Politicians and the media.

    They ALL "talk" to make income for themselves or others. That's ADVERTISING! Just as you can't yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater, or HIJACK in an airplane or airport, you shouldn't be able to LIE to Americans to make money for yourself or others. Who decides if it's a lie? FACTS! If it's debatable...using FACTS...fine. If you LIE again after being warned, you're FINED! Additional repeats = doubling each time! Pay $10 to Americans to report them with "proof". Use the fines to pay for the program. Air Public Service Announcements to announce the fines and lies...ON THOSE PROGRAMS!

    Presto- competition by the "news" media to tell the truth and NOT have a ticker under their programming announcing how many lies they've told and how many fines they've paid!

    Remember- It was LIES that got us into Iraq. Lies that got us into FRAUDULENT bank loans. Want BIG lies investigated? Pay out MORE for larger fraud/Lies. Dibs on the first 20 minutes of Morning Joe! That'd pay for my electric bills!

    And just WHO could vote against a "No More Lies" law?

    February 19, 2010 at 11:56 am |
  44. Melissa Ricks

    The two party system keeps us forever gridlocked. Pork and special interests hold good bills hostage. How difficult can it REALLY be to find common ground and act on behalf of the good of the people – stop pandering to the far left or far right and do the people's business.

    Where is the new generations Ralph Nadar? Would we have the guts to get behind him/her?

    At this point I believe a benevolent monarchy would be better than the mess we have now.

    February 19, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  45. Ed Gall

    I don't have the least amount of interest in Tiger Wood's personal life; however, I have a great deal of interest in his golf prowess and that won't be diminished. I would venture to say there are very few people who haven't done something that they don't want anyone to know about, and it can't be left to those few to express their holy than thou opinions.

    The Island Of Antigua

    February 19, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  46. A. Smith, Oregon

    During today's Questions and Answers Town Hall meeting in Henderson, Nevada with President Obama:

    President Obama stopped and made a point. 'The Republicans are telling people it's Snowing, that proves there is No Global Warming'.

    Global warming, President Obama explained refers to the entire earth. It is growing warmer in its entirety. It might seem cooler in a given area, however in other areas of the world it is a great deal warmer than normal. Taken into a whole, the earth is growing warmer.

    I of course agree with President Obama's remark which is directly pointed to the Republican Joke of the Month of Feburary, namely, 'its snowing, that proves there is No Global Warming'.

    Ironically, several days ago when I attempted to post this nearly identical observation (a full week before todays town meeting), Anderson Cooper and AC360 DELETED that observation. I have no idea if they think global warming doesn't exist, only they apparently hated what the President of the United States stated word for word today enough to censor and delete it.

    February 19, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  47. Colleen

    1. Lobbyists
    2. Congress
    3. Self centered politicians
    4. Hate mongering television and radio talk shows

    The very people we have elected to bring unity and prosperity to our country are ripping it apart. Power, greed and narcissism. How do we compete with that?

    The thing is, just like the recent recession, none of them saw it coming, when it was so obviously inevitable. They weren't even looking. Too busy with their self interests and their personal futures in politics.

    This administration has some great ideas. Instead of voting for health care reform, which is one of the best things they could do for us, they spread false truths about the bills. I read (I know, I'm a dork) the Waxman bill and it had innovative and needed reforms to the current system. Contrary to the understanding of some, it would not have changed their current insurance, only improved it.

    Why not just vote for it. It can always be revised in the future. If it doesn't work, they can always say we told you so. Just DO something.
    Do what the majority of us want......please.

    I sometimes wonder if they don't vote with the Obama administration, because the proposed bills will work, and would make this administration look good. That is the last thing they want, even if it hurts us.

    I think it is beyond fixing. They won't change their current behavior. As long as they vote for themselves, we no longer have a true Democracy. Just like the recession, it will be beyond repair before they see how damaging their behavior is to our country. Sad.

    February 19, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  48. Mikey

    Lets give the top 1% tax breaks and take band or sports out of the local schools because we can not afford it any more.
    Lets give the top 1% tax breaks and let our infrastructure crumble.
    Lets give the top 1% tax breaks and tell America that it is ok that 45000 people die a year because of lack of insurance.
    Lets give the top 1% a tax break and let 80% of the bankruptcies be filed because of health issues.
    Lets give the top 1% tax breaks and deregulate the banking industry so we can pay their bonuses and mult-million dollar salaries with our tax dollars.
    Lets give the top 1% a tax break and privitize social security.
    You see tax breaks are the answer to all of our problems It worked so well the last 9 years why quit now.

    February 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  49. Lisa

    Loved hearing Ali describe this coverage... showing the positive side of govt as well as how it is broken. It is easy to complain and tear things down...but hard to make people realize that WE are the govt, WE make it strong or weak.

    February 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  50. Gerard Fernandez

    The number one problem with American government that is broken and must be fixed first is the Senate rule on the fillabuster. We either have to lower the fillabuster threshold (from 60 to say 55) or we have to change it so that if a Senator wants to impose a fillabuster they have to hold the floor and speak about their point of view. The next problem that must be fixed is the Senate rule regarding putting holds on Presidential appointments. I say eliminate the ability of a senator to put holds. Lets have up-or-down votes on the President's appointments in a timely manner.

    February 19, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  51. Bob Gay

    How about for starters getting rid of the corruption, then onto all the do nothing department and get rid of them. we really need a good house cleaning in the govt. Then most importantly give all members of congress an IQ test and every one below 70 gets booted. Now that would clean house.

    February 19, 2010 at 4:11 pm |
  52. JAMES

    I agree with most of people that has made comments, too many to read. I think we should immediately find a way to get rid of everyone and start from scratch, set up rules so that it can't happen again. Re balance their Pension and Health Care to be more in line with regular Americans. Take away the perks they have given themselves. If they don't have 30 years on the job, they don't get Full Pension. NO PAC's. No one should have a job for Life. It leave the door open for corruption. Make it possible to RECALL anyone when they don't do the will of the people that voted them in. FREE HEALTH CARE & EDUCATION FOR LEGAL AMERICANS

    February 20, 2010 at 6:53 am |
  53. Scott Carney

    The people of this country are the reason that our government appears to be broken. Complacent and diluted intellects twisted by greed and fear.

    Americans have traded their rights and freedoms for the illusion of security and the proposition that our neighbors personal lives are somehow public domain. (Just look at the business with Tiger Woods right now then explain to me how his personal life is any of your business).

    During the Presidents "Town Meetings" almost every question revolves around what the Government is going to do about problems people should be resolving for themselves. With all the petty and self-centered noise directed at our elected officials is it any wonder that they have no time to effectively run the country?

    Money is not going to solve the problems that we face, in fact it only pushes us further towards self-destruction by maintaining the illusion that everything will be okay. By the way, there is no "reset" button... this is not a video game.

    The comments I have read here, posted by my fellow Americans, bounce harmlessly off the hull surrounding the real problem. If you want to get to the heart of the matter look in the mirror.

    I once thought that change would have to be started by the men who hold high places but I now see that it has to start with the common man. That includes Reporters, Bankers, Lawyers and Cops. Until that happens stop calling America "the land of the free and the home of the brave", because its not. The only times we have been great in the last 60 years have been during great tragedy. Take responsibility for the state of our once great country and lets return to that place. .

    February 20, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  54. Christina

    What would it take to call a Constitutional Convention and get rid of the Senate. We don't need them anymore just a bunch of BS. No reason a little state like Montana or North Dakota should be able to hold up something so important as health care. With the House of Representatives that is good enough, why should smaller states have as much say as bigger states which have totally different needs. I'm sure there are plenty of people in Montana and North Dakota that would benefit from Health Care and a Public Option at that but they must not be in the circle so who cares about them.

    February 20, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
  55. Marilyn Grimes

    Yes, I do believe our government is broken. How can it be anything else? When the actual Congressional body of persons we elect
    to represent us, votes for their own pay raises. I have been self-employed for 20 years, an when I work hard on my own behalf I actually earn a little more, but if I lose money it's an automatic pay cut for me. So why isn' t it that way for our govenment? They are losing money right now and yet The Congress is still alowed to vote themselves a pay riase. WOW, how incrediably selfish is that? Most of us can't even afford Helath Insurance and yet they continue to give themselves pay raises whether or not they do the job they were elected to do!

    February 21, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  56. indydee

    1.Our government sold us out with NAFTA. Gave all our jobs to other countries.
    Did they really think civilians can actually pay their bills w/o an income?
    What impact did they think it was going to have on the economy?
    2.Closing of Guantanamo. (Results are yet to be seen.)
    Trying terrorist acts in civilian courts?
    Reading them Miranda Rights.
    Releasing them to Afghanistan.
    Our soldiers are in a war & they are not allowed to shoot w/o permission? Who cares how many civilians we kill. If their government harbors terrorists...then they get what they deserve!
    Rebuilding any country we go to war with.
    There's more Kyra but for right now I hope this helps.
    By the way, you wanted to know of home remedies...Get Dr. Andrew Weil on your show. He'll blow you away!

    February 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm |
  57. erika

    Times have changed, with that said government is 'evolving'. Our government system is not broken, we just need to adjust.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:13 am |
  58. William

    Why waste our time in Afghanistan & Iraq. Barack Obama has done nothing for our own hemisphere. The Haitian people are
    dying, we are losing south america. Let's pay attention to our own hemisphere. If Bush were in office there would be
    a public outcry that he was ignoring Haiti. President Obama is always given a pass or a mulligan, why? Send aide to where it counts and is appreciated in our own Hemishpere. We don't need to continue sending aid into the Arab World.
    Let their own Sheiks help their own. We should help our own.

    February 22, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  59. Don

    I think we could save billions of taxpayer dollars by eliminating an unneeded middleman from the healthcare equation. I'm referring to the insurance companies. We don't need them – period. The money they have been raking in could instead be used to help the people in need of healthcare. When someone needs it, they could simply go to the doctor of their choice and expect to get it. The bill would be paid directly from tax dollars. If that means a tax hike then I would be for it.

    February 22, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  60. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    When our government is broken then America as a whole is broken and it will stay broken until we replace the industries that have moved overseas to escape unfair rules and regulations along with carried away lawsuits when it is all made in America again then our country will replenish the economy .

    February 22, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  61. Rhonda

    Many Americans feel that our government is broken but not all feel that it is beyond repair. Will CNN or any other media focus on solutions? I think it is much more important to look at what is good and what can be done to solve the problems. Constantly talking about certain incidents that have hurt the image of our government is like picking at a scab. Let it heal, quit hurting the families of the offenders all over again; it's not news.
    There are many of middle class and upper middle class, educated and informed Americans that are interested in coming to a consensus on health care, jobs and security. Try to give those stories a voice and see what will happen in America.

    February 22, 2010 at 9:39 am |
  62. Nan

    Kyra you asked for other ideas for health care. I told my House rep. recently, Govt should: STOP all nonessential spending, ENFORCE current laws, ELIMINATE fraud now in (medical) system, DEPORT all illegals (they are bankrupting hospitals), THEN see where we are. Also: TORT REFORM and limits; allow CROSS- STATE policies; do NOT threaten jail for those who cannot afford to buy insurance.
    I am retired, limited income no prohibits me from getting better insurance. The tragedy that hospitals charge SO much for things, as, pain relievers, tests, is insane.

    February 22, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  63. Nan

    Broken Govt: mandatory term limits, or go back to state sovereignty.
    Reduce / eliminate perks.

    February 22, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  64. Liz E

    It is time for the states to get behind passing a constitutional amendment to change the term for the House of Representatives from two year to a four year term.

    Since Congress has not shown the will to pass meaningful Campaign Finance reform, this would be one way to neutralize or reduce the impact of lobbyists for special interests. This would help get Representatives out of the mode of constant fundraising efforts that have been driving so many bad decisions based on congress' need to raise campaign funding.

    February 22, 2010 at 9:57 am |
  65. Bill Fitzgerrel (Bill)

    The approach to health care is an example of broken government. The attempt to use the machinations of Congress as usual failed miserably as powerful forces from all sides took over. Now, Obama has decided to think outside the box with his meeting on Thursday. Something like that should have been done in the first place. I think the big majority in Congress deceived Obama into thinking he could rush through a program. In the process, he forgot his promise to change the culture in Washington. That culture caught up with him and now he's trying to change it–possibly a little too late. From another perspective, I think the histrionic, take-no-prisoners style of the advocacy press has contributed to the whole mess we have in Washington.

    February 22, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  66. lastfairdeal

    (Listen carefully...It's not the government that's's us. We elect human beings; many with GOOD intent, into a system that is tainted by false expectations and promises that no one can keep, This is further buffered by polarized views that will never have a positive outcome and roles that fall into accordance with a similarly malnourished culture. Do we believe that an economic upturn [for example] will save us from ourselves...? We need to wake up and realize that no politician or political affiliation will save us. We need to grow and nurture our true perception of events taking place around us and then start making some decisions worthy of what we believe our future SHOULD BE.)

    February 22, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  67. Jerry

    Most of the problems with government are linked to politicians' efforts to get reelected. We need to limit politicians to one term in office. This would free elected officials from the need to constantly raise money and from the influences of lobbyists and other power brokers. I believe we would see a different type of individual running for office. Politics would not be viewed as a permanent career, but a temporary job with an opportunity to make important contributions to their country and fellow citizens.

    February 22, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  68. Scott Stodden

    Iam a liberal Democrat and yes Kyra I certainly do think goverment is definitly broken. The Democrats had a good health care bill in the House and then a broken bill in the Senate and couldn't even get it passed, its pretty bad Mr Obama when Democrats have the majority and we still can't get nothing done, truly Washington is politics as usual.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    February 22, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  69. Michael Gordon

    I would like to see term limits on Congress, maybe three terms and out. These could be imposed systematically–based on a threshhold of a 30% disapproval rating, for example—or ad hoc, by the president (hey, why not—s(he) represents the people), on an “emergent” basis where gridlock exists. Where term limits have failed at the state level, there are unique circumstances that are the cause. My home state, California, is a prime example, where the proposition process and 2/3 legislative vote create create unique problems. Key problem: how to get from here to there given the depth of influence peddling in Washington?

    February 22, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  70. Rita

    Washington State is broken – Years of wild failure to handle the budget. And they've added a new lottery game. Pandering to those least able to play. Government is to represent and safeguard society's highest ideals not lower education standards, add more gambling, and tax juice which is needed by seniors and children.

    February 22, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  71. Arvid Nielsen

    Hey Kyra,

    we can debate the moral significance of sex-scandals in the ranks of politicians. Broken government it isn't!
    Let's keep an eye on the ball, which is the question of whether politicians and government officials are doing what they were elected or appointed to do; namely, actually, work for the American people, whether locally and nationally?

    February 22, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  72. KT

    Kyra I'm recently unemployed and get up early and have become a CNN junkie and you are the best.....I'm a critic and have to say whoever is typing you ticker at the bottom of the screen has to watch their spelling of Toyota, the last week I have seen it spelled Toyoda and Toyoto....thanks you really make knowing about the news enjoyable.....though it's not all enjoyable. I'm from Detroit and the news this morning about Kwame really puts a stain on Detroit!

    February 22, 2010 at 10:57 am |
  73. Scott S

    What amazes me is that these people in Congress and the rest of the government are supposed to be the intellectual elite, born and bred to be politicians in shining armor, and they cannot seem to work a system that some of the smartest men in history once deemed near-perfect.

    February 22, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  74. HG

    Our founding fathers never saw service in the Senate or Congress as a career. They were imagining citizen politicians who came to the Gov't, served and then sent back to their farms and "real" jobs. They never thought that terms limits would be needed to prevent alienation of the leaders from the public. We now see that they are absolutely needed but will never get instituted, because the Congress will never put any limits on their own institution. It's the same as the rule on pay increases that does not require them to vote for increasing their own pay, it is automatic and they have to vote against it. These are the most arrogant, self agrandizing, power mongers you could ever find. At least Tiger has the cajones to stand up in front of the world and say the words "I felt that the rules didn't apply to me", "I felt I was entitled". God forbid any politician will ever have the integrety to do that.

    February 22, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  75. Sandy

    Four years ago after several FL hurricanes, flooded home, & having broken sewing needle off in my foot while unemployed, I was forced to walk on it for a week prior to surgery with no health insurance. Due to the economy flew to TX to find employment & after being hired unable to get the loan to relocate. I flew back to FL with no where to live, worked 2 jobs FOR 2 YRS to obtain funds to move....then I was diagnosed with cancer while my mother had a stoke in Texas. It took 3 years to finally make it with strangers and paying rent for a room with no heat while going thru chemo and radiation, AND verbally abused by a supervisor just to be able to keep my job to ensure I COULD get my treatment...I have been receiving unemployment for the past year...HAVE BEEN DENIED follow-up treatment recommended by my doctor and do not know if I am cancer free!! I have a chemo port which has to be "flushed" every 8 weeks at over $80.00 each time and no funds to pay for it. I accepted a job at $3.00 less a hr., I normally would make...where I was exploited to do the work of 3 employees, disrespected, verbally and emotionally abused...LAID OFF 4 mos later. I had no where to live, no food, no health care, no money for 3 months, and sick with the flu. Thank God a church family has provided a room for me to live, but I cannot stay here forever... I need a job...Everything the flood has not destroyed, or lost in storage due to insects and rats, was stolen...I do not even have a bed and now everything that was in storage for 3 years is in storage again being damaged by the freezing cold. Alive but not well!


    February 22, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  76. Frank

    How about government programs in Iraq? KBR (and similar companies) continues to hold its super contracts and consistently fail to perform their required duties. Do we kick them out and get a different, more competent group to come in and replace them? Do we dock their pay and hit them in the wallet? No. The government does absolutely nothing to enforce their own contracts, and Americans are hurt and killed as a result – at an enormous cost to the taxpayers.

    February 22, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  77. DB

    Government broken – does government have broken pieces?...absolutely. Are there pieces that work for the American people?...absolutely. Why frame it to the public as a huge negative, stirring up feelings of anger? Why WOULD YOU SHOW CLIPS OF PRES CLINTON BACK IN 1998? That was really out of line and negative. That was then, THIS IS NOW KYRA!
    Yes, things like campaigning and lobbyists make our government not work but why don't you ask for solutions instead of showing clips that are 12 yrs old.
    The media, including reporting like this, is part of what makes our government broken.

    February 22, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  78. Mark S.

    Time to hit the RESET button and vote every incumbent out of office.
    Make every new congressperson READ OUTLOUD the Constitution
    and the Bill of Rights. Learn it and live it! We want our freedoms and our country back.

    February 22, 2010 at 11:13 am |
  79. Arlene

    Broken Government – Is Government not wanting to recognize the American worker was sold with “Outsourcing.”
    Even if new companies spring up, it’s only a short matter of time before they too outsource their labor.
    For Corporate/Management and Shareholders, there will never be a labor force in America again.
    It’s all over for America.

    February 22, 2010 at 11:26 am |
  80. Robert d'Amato

    CNN's theme of the week, that the "Government is Broken," is a form of journalistic extremism. The government isn't "broken": the President is in the White House, Congress is sitting, Social Security Checks go out, taxes are collected and spent, etc. You state it as a fact that the government is broken - perhaps you should be asking whether or not that is the case instead of proclaiming it all over the news then launching a poll that says 86% of Americans agree with you. Instead, you have people like Kyra Philips using any local scandal (almost gleefully) as evidence that "the government is broken." All you do is play into the current distrust and paranoia that is infecting America. What irresponsible nonsense.

    February 22, 2010 at 11:27 am |
  81. Charlie Erickson

    The best examples of broken government is firstly, the existence of legal bribery......."K" Street style. Next is the dominance of the 2 party system. There are those who will say that this is the American way; having two opposing parties as a balancing act.. The truth is, they are blocking legislation from occurring because the party mentality, is more like that of club/gang mentality. The individual and the party are more important than the people, no matter what they may say, in any words they choose to put it in, and no matter how many times they say it..

    True Independent thinkers in office, are what's needed. The further from the center that an individual (or group) is; the less open minded, less realistic, and less flexible they are. The less open minded, flexible and realistic that people are, equates to them being less effective legislators and leaders. Their reduction level as effective legislators and leaders, is directly proportional to how far to the left or right they are.

    It's all a rather simple concept. In the world of politics however, simple concepts are virtually always transformed into mass confusion, and anthropologically slow destruction. Just listen to the words of the numerous politicians who fall into the aforementioned ineffective categories, and to all of the comments from those who follow them, as if they were all Pied Pipers of Hamelin.

    February 22, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  82. Charlie F

    How can anyone look at the Senate and Congress and say the system isn't broken? These two play politics with everything at the cost of citizens jobs, money, and lives. Term limits are absolutely nessessary to break the stalemate of ideologies. By that i mean, a Dem won't vote for a bill by a Repub, and visa versa. They don't care if the people could or would benifit, just the way they have to play the game. Many other political offices have terms but these two don't? Why the citizen won't vote them out is beyond me. It's broke, they stay it will remain broke, Start all new! Can't really be worse than it is now. I saw the other day, I believe it was a white offical, says evrything for cuts is on the table? Hmmm. Does that mean all of the congress and senate are in notice for pay cuts, health coverage cuts, retirement benifit cuts? I think not. It is broken and they won't fix it.

    February 22, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  83. Dan

    Yes, our Government is broken; however, who's fault is it, and who is to blame? OURS people.
    We keep voting these "career" politicians in to office. If you don't like the personnel in office, vote them OUT. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

    February 22, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  84. Erika C., Chicago IL

    Yes, it's broken because the politicians don't care about the citizens, only their personal and lobbyist interests.

    They behave like children instead of adult being paid to do a job. If any of us behaved the way they do, we would've been fired from our jobs eons ago. It's deplorable and embarassing, as the world is watching. Our so-called leaders need to grow up, do their jobs and actually take care of the country and its people they claim to love so much.

    We're sinking and they have the lifeboats, but their definitely not using them.

    February 22, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  85. Chili Sauce Burgers

    I live on the American Mexican border and it is obvious the United States Government has gone to great monetary strides to protect Americans. The city of Juarez has become a blood bath for the Drug Cartels that once worked in collusion with the Mexican Government. The ties that bonded these two interest in Mexico have now become rival enemies. Throwing money at their own ill created problem. One only needs to see the movie/mini series “Drug Wars: The Camarena Story” with stars like Benicio Del Toro, Steven Bauer, Raymond Barry and many more. After seeing the events transpire in a country filled where lack of ethics resulting in vast corruption makes justice non-existent. Mexican politicians have long protected and harbored major drug dealers and their networks by playing to the violins of their self made drug laden world. And now the effect is obvious in a city like El Paso. Those that were involved in the mass transit and distribution of drugs and have been sitting on a heap of illegally received cash are now living in the United States. These people are protected with their ill gotten moneys and can afford to live in lavish American communities and feel they are entitled to protection. Given, their assets brought over from their country have been washed through the American financials systems to appear legitimate. And they are allowed to live right next door to Americans. The country they left behind is up for grabs for those that created the problem with them. And the victims in this drug war are the poor peasants that have been ignored ever since the French occupied Mexico. It has been reported that over 75% of the victims in the daily murders in Juarez teenagers and early twenties. The drug cartels recruit in the slum where families living in squalor with no basic utilities. And they are easy prey for the drug factions to do their dirty work. Kyra, Anderson Cooper did a story last year in El Paso. I have been a fan of Anderson ever since. Now I would like to become a fan of Kyra. Bring more light to the plight of Mexico. In a time where uncertainty makes headlines on a world wide scale, Mexico being name a failed state years ago by the U.S. Department of State, it only seems fair to bring more attention to it. El Paso has been filled with cars having Chihuahua license plates. To understand them is to live in this city where a new Federal Court House is in its completion. El Paso and Juarez now populate over 1.5 million residents.

    February 22, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  86. Anne

    As a news organization, it is incredibly irresponsible to do a week long segment called "broken government." News organizations have a responsibility to adhere to unbiased reporting, and "broken government" frames an argument that government is already broken; it presupposes an opinion and misleads viewers to conjure negative ideas about government that may or may not be true. Please try to educate viewers to form their own opinion, not have them agree or disagree with a certain new producer's idea for a catchy segment that is journalistically irresponsible and misleading. It is these kinds of segments that fuel uninformed rage against government.

    February 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  87. Kae Pea

    Republicans use the phrase "the American people want ..." followed by a statement supporting their own agenda. To validate their point they often refer to the Massachusetts, New Jersey, and one other state's recent election results. However those results do not represent the values of the majority of Americans. You can always find some element of society that has some particular point of view (i.e., "Tea Partiers").

    February 22, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  88. akirafuji

    I think the government just needs to do a few things and one of those things is to set term limits for people in congress, the senat, and the supreme court like the president has. 2 terms that way you get nothing but fresh blood circulating through the institutions. It should be an honor to serve the people not a permanent stay. We need to abolish lobyism as well, they dont serve american interests they serve greedy corporations. Overturn the supreme court decision that allows corporations to give to politicians cause that has probably started the beginning of the end.

    February 22, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  89. akirafuji

    Maybe we should disband congress and the senate, things would flow alot faster and no stalemates. Nationalize the banks and set our own interests rates, which would mean that if someones having a tough time paying back then the rate could be lowered and a majority of foreclosures would be prevented, also nationalize healthcare and you can set your own rates that way they wont spiral out of control. Next, set caps on university spending and regulate them so that you can set limits.. Start a new public works project like fixing the train systems by upgrading to a highspeed rail system breaking our need for gas from countries that hate us. eliminate the electoral collage, it was created to reverse the ignorant masses, people arent so ignorant anymore. Im sure these comments will create a few gasps but most suggestions work for europe except the first comment. If we could figure a way to merge some european concepts and american concepts there would be no stopping us. abolish lobyisim!

    February 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
  90. Bill from Greensboro

    Unfortunately, our government is doing exactly what it is paid to do by their boss, Wall Street, and that's as little as possible. Blocking any attempts at business reform and continuing the transfer of wealth from the working class to the rich. Both Dems and Repubs are being paid, in the form of campaign contributions and business dealings, by the same businesses (the banks, big pharma, the energy conglomerates, the insurance industry, etc.) with an implicit understanding that to stay in office, they must avoid any significant changes and work to prevent any real reform or regulation.
    The trick is to prevent the real agenda from being perceived by the masses (dumbing down the education system??), and gerrymandering the election laws to preclude any potential intrusion by a significant third party. Yep, our government is well-oiled ($$$$) and humming along like a sewing machine !!!

    February 22, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  91. RAT

    Re: Broken Government

    We the people are at fault. Ignorance, arrogance and greed are the hallmark of modern America.

    The ignorance of the anti-tax, NIMBY attitude which prevails at all levels of American life, when coupled with the arrogance of the politicians bought and paid for by big business and lobbyists, has lead to a steady undermining of our democractic principles.

    We watch too much tabloid television, re-elect "our" representatives whether they deserve it or not, and want everything provided to us, without paying for any of it. We have become a bully in the world over the past fifty years, and pretend that we are in all ways superior to everyone else on the planet.

    Until we realize that "we the people" actually do want government to solve problems, provide for the common good AND are willing to work together to accomplish the things we want in life, our existence as a viable society will continue to deteriorate.

    It would be helpful if "we the people" were somewhat less greedy, too! The anti-tax movement which began with Califonia's Prop 13 in 1978, and which impedes everything government is expected to accomplish, is a perfect example of our greed. We don't want to pay for anything, although there is much that we expect from government (education, police and fire protection, etc.) We have forty years of unfunded infrastructure maintenance and complain loudly about things "falling apart." Yet we refuse to fund ANYTHING!

    Ignorance, arrogance and greed - it is a description of the American public and is the entire, underlying cause of our "broken" government ...

    February 22, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  92. Peoria Dude

    Fay Buchanan is talking nonsense: she says the American people don't want this health care reform when in fact the last national election proves otherwise. When she says "American people" what she really means is "Republicans" – the minority doesn't want it, that doesn't mean the American people don't. Last time I checked, we still (with the exception of the Senate) operate on the basis of majority rule.

    Roland has it exactly right: the Dems need to suck it up and govern. Either your ideas are good enough or they're not; quit trying to create political cover by gaining bipartisanship. It doesn't exist, so start governing!

    February 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  93. mary

    I do not understand the fuss about reform to health care. If someone who does not have healh insurance goes to the hospital with a very ill child. the child is treated and they do not pay the bill.

    It is the person with health insurance that ends up paying more to cover the cost of the non paying patients anyway.

    The hospital can not keep operating if the bills are not covered by someone. If that same hospital is in an area with the very poor how do they keep open?

    I really think when I hear about stopping some of the law suits, it seems to make more sense.

    February 22, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  94. tom nowacek

    My wife and I make around 80k live well with in our means, drive two older cars have little if no savings – some investments. All I know is we are not ,nor have we lived in a democracy for a very long time. Maybe 70 years at a minimum. We have a president who uses the constitution as an actual weapon to defend his policies which incidently are going no where and probably won't.
    What Joe Stack did was deplorable – the act of a mad man. In my mind he was driven over the edge by his own government. So my tax's go to rebuild a building in the U.S. instead of the Mideast or some other war torn country whose residents would shoot us in the back in a minute . As long as the elite rich keep getting richer and no one care's that cities like Detroit have literally fallen to the ground (all due to politicians) and it's residents rely on theft and the dealing of drugs for survival I guess this is the America of the future.
    Doesn't anyone care?

    February 22, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  95. Marlena Wickens

    would some please tell me just where in the constitution does it state that we have a right to health care!! We have a right to life liberty an persuit of happiness not health care. We could reform the health care system by tort reform. About unions all they do is keep slackers in a job an get hourly wages so high that it forces companies to close down. Thats what happened to the steel workers up in Pittsburg. Good going Unions.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  96. Joe

    Term limits – no more than 2 terms
    Limit funds given for campaign, no reason that in todays modern technology era that equal media exposure could be given to qualified candidates. Need to always narrow field down to 2 for the final election also. Throw everyone out that has been in for more than two terms.
    No riders on bills. Let each one stand on it's merits.
    Let public see what is going on by politicians, no more back room deals.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
  97. Randy N

    We the people do not need to be held down by these oppreesive goverments, are we not free? ( so to speak ). But you at CNN are promoting these socolist ideas. All I want to know is when you are going to be for the people and not the money?

    February 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  98. Kurtis Amos

    The members of congress, both party's need to be sent home without pay and benefits until after the next election. They are a waste of resources and money. There will be nothing accomplished for the real people on main street this year due to posturing for November. We should save the money spent on their sorry butts and apply it to the federal deficit.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  99. Jack Cornn

    Obama has caused the gridlock in D.C. He has been pulled in one direction by the wealthy liberals who bought the oval office for him and the other direction by what his core values tell him is the right thing to do. He allowed his backers to place their people in important positions as czars covering all aspects of government as well all phases of everything having to do with the GNP. By allowing Pelosi and Reid to dictate policy and legislative action he hoped to shelter himself from the chaos that would follow. Almost all Americans
    believed Obama was a super intelligent highly skilled and efficient person and with the assistance of the liberal media( CNN included)
    he was elected. The media sugarcoated the Rev.Wright fiasco as well as the deal on his house and the money his campaign received from
    his Middle East friends. We have a problem that will not be resolved until the midterm elections remove many of the current members of the house and senate. Perhaps we will have an opportunity to evaluate Obamas leadership when he no longer has a majority in the house and senate. He is currently scoring an F- and has had a majority in both houses so in reality we should not expect him to improve much if at all.............

    February 22, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  100. THY

    Is government broken YES IT IS!!!

    People are not some papers that can be glanced over or slid off there desk.

    We helped banks by giving them tons of money while watching them foreclose on peoples homes.So do you think they could of saved these peoples homes by giving the first batch of money to the people indebted to the banks then the banks would of received the money well part of the money they needed cause they would of needed more yet we would of helped people first!
    Did anyone happen to notice these banks giving bonus to there higher ups yea did we Mess that one up yea.

    Government Was never to control people it was to help the people.
    That was the government that we overtook long ago maybe its time again to relive the past.

    Even when people are innocent in this country we are treated as guilty if you think differently you have not enjoyed the court system recently.

    Just a drop of whats wrong!

    February 22, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  101. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    What do I see broken:
    1. Although the Federal Gov. has too much control. The Health System does not work effectively and the States need to understand to control this situation which is affecting constituents.
    2. A decision on Federal taxes has to made to help constituents. Taxes are not supposed to be a slush fund for Congress and the Congress has to do their job. Delaying everything is just apathy. I guess we need to review and read the constitution.
    3. Politicians are more concerned about themselves and not the people. We need change the term limits. They need to be short! Our founders worked for free.
    4. A reform has to start at the Congress and a cut off on Lobbyists and PACs has to take place. A politician can't make a decision for the people when his pockets are being stuffed by the most powerful businesses in the country.
    5. It is time to push the reset button.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  102. Mikey


    I would like to see the amount of money each senator has taken from either the drug industry or big Insurance and the monopoly the insurance industry enjoys in that paticular senators's state on Thursday..

    I would like to see this flashed on the bottom of the screen as the senator speaks for or against this health care bill in his state.

    I would also like to see the pecentage per state of uninsured Americans and that put on the screen as the senators speak.

    . I know I will not see this on FOX but I would like to see it on any of the NETWORKS,CABLE, CNN, or C-SPAN that would be true transparency.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  103. jodi sullivan

    Wake up ya'll...the government isn't broken it is doing exactly what it has been programmed to do by the controlling elite. Focus on health care all you want, boo hoo. That's just another orchestrated distraction meant to keep everyone focused on the wrong thing. The issue is economic collapse, due to devaluation of the U.S. dollar. The only thing the U.S. has had going for itself for decades is the value of our dollar. What is it that our great country actually produces anymore anyway? How much longer can the Fed go back to the printing presses to pump monopoly money into the system? How long can interest rates be kept at artificially low levels? The housing market is now going to start feeling the pain of Pay Option Arm and Alt A products hitting their re-adjusting points. There will be a whole new wave of foreclosures hitting the system well into 2012. My question long till the U.S. is officially bankrupt? What will be the government's response to hyperinflation, and civil unrest. Well folks, since 9-11 we've allowed government to quietly and secretively sign away almost all of our constitutional rights....what will be the big boy's move then? Do you all think we'll be talking about healthcare at that point? My question is, how long till this happens? I welcome all responses and insight.

    February 22, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  104. Prof. Jim

    Our government was designed to be broken. That's why the
    Constitution gives the small states in the Senate the ability to block virtually anything. And why the Supreme Court can cancel the will of the people shown in the Congress. It's why a popular President can't get his mandates enacted into law or his appointments confirmed.
    We have a very "conservative" representative form of democracy–with multiple checks and balances.
    I am concerned that the politicians have been pandering to "the People" too much by cutting taxes and increasing entitlements.
    (The U.S. has some of the lowest overall tax rates in the world and the highest unfunded entitlements.)
    We may gridlock our economy out of existence if this continues.

    February 23, 2010 at 12:07 am |
  105. Bob Holmes

    I am commenting on the obvious tactics used by the Republicans in Washington to stop any and all programs initiated by President Obama solely for the purpose of making future political gains. I am especially irritated by the Republican efforts to block health care reform at the expense of the country. The Republicans blocking these efforts should be voted out of office at the earliest possible opportunity. The voters of this great country should let everyone know with their votes that we still have a strong voice. My wife and I retired recently with very modest retirement compensation. In less than two years, the deductions taken from our retirement compensation has already been raised by approximately 33% and we are hearing that further deductions can be expected. That is in affect less money for everyday expenses. Our retirement compensation can essentially be deleted over time at the present rate. Someone needs to stop the political bickering and think of the people. At least there is one thing the Republican politicians cannot control…and that is the fact that one does not have to be rich to vote them out. Just like on the TV show SURVIVOR, I suspect the Republicans are going to get the largest amounts of “blindsides” in history by being voted out.

    February 23, 2010 at 9:19 am |
  106. Georgia, from Ohio

    Hell yes the government is broken!!

    We need to act as ONE and throw these "parties" out the window!
    left, right, democratic, republican.....income tax,sales tax,property tax tax...isn't that double taxation? How can anyone ever get ahead, or break even for that matter.

    Greed is the reason we are in a stale mate. God forbid that we live EQUALLY as "human beings". Someone always wants more. Jump on the treadmill. the harder you work the more you're going to get taxed.

    Every human deserves health care EQUALLY. I heard about Chenneys heart problems...who cares? He's loaded and can afford the best doctors, the less fortunate cant even pay for their perscriptions!! So they don't get them. WHY DON'T YOU TALK ABOUT THAT???
    Credit cards?? get rid of them! No credit. You don't have the money you don't get everything you want, you get what you need.

    I like that Trafikant(?) guy from Ohio. Someone with a brain. Too bad the big money will win as always.
    Keep supporting the big conglomerates everyone, they control everything now and will continue to as long as we keep giving them our money. That is how our government is working for us now. Made in China, Indonesia, Mexico, phillipeans......American jobs?

    February 23, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  107. THY

    You want health care fixed.............................................................
    Start by cutting the doctors $$$ by 3/4 then the insurance people can't charge as much.
    Don't defend doctors who besides them gets paid even if they mess up!

    'Cough' 'Cough' -Government – banks – auto corporations ....

    Not the people they just pay for it.

    February 23, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  108. Linda D'Agostino

    It may not be the all encompassing fix for our government but a good start would be to get Congress back to where it was originally meant to be. They should not be set above the common citizen with special advantages. The bills they vote on should directly effect them as well as their constituents, such as Social Security & Medicare. Then, a bill should deal with one issue and not have several incidentals buried in it. Especially when the majority of lawmakers do not read the bill in its entirety and have no idea of what they are voting on, other than the major issue. Lastly, and probably most important, our Senators and Representatives should be guided by what is in the best interests of their constituents, not for their personal gain or in the interest of their political career, which would include not necessarily voting along party lines, or "bipartisanship".

    February 23, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
  109. gabriel h.

    I'm from seattle, washington and i think a huge problem is the route that is available to get bills passes once a party fails to get a super majority. You should be able to get things done in government with a majority, we are in 2010 and this is something that needs change. Hey maybe even make a 55 vote process still keeping the super majority but having this as a still convincing majority with a backup process that is actually installed in away that allows things to get passes reasonable manner of time.

    February 23, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  110. manuel herrera

    I don't think government is broken but i do believe the financial system is broken and that's what is cuasing all this government backlash. I believe the problem is for most poeple a financial one. This is no mathematical way to fix the financial problem except for people to pay his/her debt. Most people are mad that their finances and think that government can do something about it, but the reality is that it can't. Is government broken? Yes if can't reform health care and the financial system. Both parties are responsible for where we're at on these issues. I also don't think the teaparty has any reasonable answers either. So where do we turn now?

    February 23, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  111. Randy N

    It is broken! I am an Indpendent I am running for Obamas' office. I can get jobs going which is structuring you can never start at the top without a base, it will always crumble.

    February 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  112. Christina

    1. Politicians have too much control, not government.

    2. Most politicians are rich and attorneys. Two things that should disqualify them from representing the average person. What happened to the shoe salesman running for office in his town because he wanted to help his community. All the rich lawyers have pushed out the the people who should be in office. Lawyers may no the law but that doesn't make them great managers.

    3. Why do we need the senate anymore? What would it take to hold a Constitutional Convention to get rid of the Senate. Why should small states have the power to hold a whole nation based on their ideology and not what is good for the American Public as a whole. The House of Representatives are a more representative body of the people and the states as they are now.

    4. Our country has some 300 million people and growing. This kind of population does need government involvement. This is not 1776 so quit hiding behind the Constitution and the people who wrote it. Move on. They were much smarter than the politicians today and none of the politicians citing the Constitution and spinning it for their purposes were around them so get over it.

    5. Now that the Supreme Court is allowed any one and every one to donate as much as they want to campaigns we will really be in trouble. Speaking of the constitution what happened to checks and balances? Thats a joke now.

    February 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  113. Jeannie

    After reading most of the "broken government" responses....I think we could get a lot more done for the people if we skipped the stupid congressional polarized baloney and put every major law or reform
    such as Health Care into a national referendum.,..and let the people decide. Whoops!..that won't work either, because the special interests would be able to bombard our media with false advertising...and an ignorant population or a bunch of nut-cases like some of the Tea Party souls...would find a way to kill any decent proposal...
    So....maybe we need a King?

    Jeannie Caldwell ID

    February 23, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  114. marilyn

    "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" need I say more? I mean really folks, does anyone know when the Congressional body first started receiving paychecks. Also, when was it first proposed that they should all receive retirement benefits? And this is a real kicker,
    just heard on CNN that even if they have been found guilty of felony charges, they will still receive their retirement funds, WOW, what a country! I mean really, their are convicted felons among us, that can't even find a job much less get a retirement benefit for the rest of their lives.

    February 23, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  115. ronnie patrick

    The problem is the Republican Party.

    February 23, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
  116. mark bloomfield, in

    i think its time to drop this health care reform for now and then get this spending under control and wasting billions on all these so called job bills sorry around southern , in all we keep seeing is jobs leaving going to mexico or over sea's to china the plant i worked in had 4,500 workers til the day after nafta was passed then 3,000 worker were gonna jobs went to mexico and in 2000 and in 2009 theres now less than 500 left for another year or so they was told take the contract or we'll move now and that company well now is making billions in profit a year instead of millions and they just got another 25 year military contract worth billions after sending a half million american jobs to mexico so who is running the government now the people or general electric and the oil companies ? answer me that

    February 24, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  117. Mikey

    Mark Bloomfield
    I could not disagree more with you,we need this bill NOW.

    I wonder if your company did not have to worry about insuring 4,500 workers if that may have made a difference about moving.

    I too watched my plant go from 5000 to 500 and i know heath care is one of our major issues are wages do not rise because the cost of insurance is out of control for my company.

    It is harder to compete with a company that does not have to insure its employees for whatever reasons as every other industrial nation has Gov't controlled health insurance.

    NAFTA killed America's Industry off , Just like Ross Perot said it would.

    These trade agreements were all fast tracked through congress so the working man did not have much time to protect any of their interest.

    You can thank Bill Clinton and every Republican ever born for our trade laws as NAFTA was championed by G. Bush senior too.

    These are the same politicians that have been not doing anything on health care for a year now. 45000 Americans die a year for lack of insurance.
    Wish they would have spent that much time on our trade agreements.

    They are bought and paid for by the big insurance and big drug companys.
    The rest of them are being controlled by big trial lawers who interest do not include the working man.

    February 24, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  118. Nancy Redburn

    Senators retire at full salary for the rest of their lives, even after only one term. They should have to rely on the SS system like the rest of America. Look at the expenditure of funds to every living senator/rep and their families. Start the cuts right there!

    February 24, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  119. GBSteve

    The only way to really fix Gov. is to outlaw political parties. Make it illegal for anybody running for office to belong to a political party. The Dems and Repubs operate They elect their own leadeship and dictate how others in the party are to vote. If nobody belonged to a political party, then they will all stand for what they believe in.

    February 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  120. Donald Jaster

    Listening to newsroom about broken government. 2/24..
    My suggestion on government pay, not for "porformance" but
    have each US senator or rep. to be payed by their own state government.. The sate pays them what they are worth.
    And have state government Reps and senators payed by the countys the come from.
    That really puts the system of pay directly in the hands of the voters.
    I believe the original US government did not have any system of pay for the elected officials. They voted that in themselves and can be changed.

    February 24, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  121. james davis

    Yes I think our government is broken. Major example; the current battle on healthcare reform. instead of looking at the cause and trying to find realistic solutions both republicans and democrats are trying to find ways to include unrelate pork packages into this arena. This tells me that the focus is more on campaigning than concern for my health or the health of there constituants.
    If government wants to create jobs and keep a promise to help Veterans the can accomplish both by passing House Bill H.R. 1477.
    By passing this bill the Depart. of Defense would have to hire more workers to staff the facilities mentioned in this Bill. They would also be required to expand some of those facilities which would create new construction projects. These projects can be bidded on only by the small business construction companies who can hire more workers to complete those projects. This would also show that Government can work without always adding pork to the solutions.

    February 24, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
  122. Mark Farley

    The government comes to stalemate because of the 2 party system.
    Open up the elections to more parties and bi-partisanship will follow.
    The electoral college is a dis-service to the people who want real majority rule and should be replaced by popular vote.
    We forced the issue of "one man, one vote" and opening up the process to more parties on South Africa when we don't even have that here in the U.S.

    February 24, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  123. Jack A. Carter

    I have enjoyed your panel discussion this morning, 2-24-2010, about our broken government and job creation. I agree with most of the your panels comments. But, I want to lend a little more credence to Rolands reference to the problem being leved toward the public. We must be reminded that this is a government "Of, By, and For the People". The problem with our economy has been created by us the people. The health of our economy is directly tied to the employment of our society. I hear you making comments about the Government creating jobs. The Government can't create and sustane long lasting jobs without the deficit becoming worse. There must be an outlet for the products produced from new jobs. The President wants to increase exports for American products. But, the cost of our products is so expensive that the people of other countries can't afford to purchase them. The greed of the American worker, where everyone wants to become a millionaire over night, has created the mess we are in. The answer to job creation is cutting salaries from top to bottom. This would a produce a product cost that would be affordable for domestic consumption and export use. When one climbs a ladder and reaches, he can continue and fall and get hurt or back down and go at it again.

    February 24, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  124. Gary P

    It really scares me to see just how corrupt our government has become. The good old boys with their backroom agreements rarely serve the public good. Our grandchildren may never know just how great this nation was.

    February 24, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  125. william white

    Government is broken.
    The first thing I would do is not allow lawyers to write the laws. They purposely write in shades of gray in order to require at least two of them. If everyday Americans wrote these instead they could be in black and white, allowing for occasional different circumstances.
    Next, both houses of Congress should have minimum hours they are in session and attendance should be mandatory. We certainly cannot do our jobs by just showing up to make a speech in an empty facility. Any filibuster should have to be done the old way of actually being there and talking in front of a full house.
    In addition, all members should be required to list all campaign contributions and these should be displayed on tv when issues are being debated.

    February 24, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  126. Jack

    The idea of Google assessing Congress spending and job growth would go a long way in correcting the problems of Broken Government. Wonder if they could add Lobbying and Special Interest receipts?

    February 24, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  127. Jay Anderson

    Is the government broken. NO. IS the government to big. Maybe. The system is working fine. Like all of us we all have are own agendas. The problem is. When we buy something we get something back, groceries, gas. When we are taxed. Like a payment what do we get back. We can not see it. We can not use it. Government is not a business. To Solve the problem, You have government run business like motels,hotels and other things. When we pay for it. The money would be for all of us not one man or a corporation. This could pay for Healthcare the nations deficit, what we need it for.

    February 24, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  128. Brian K Miller

    Did you notice how many aid recepients in your "Hunger in America" segment were obese. Not just overweight, but visibly obese.

    The American government is broken because too many American people have become lazy, arrogant, and selfish. People in all walks of life have developed a grossly inflated sense of entitlement, from brokers and traders who conduct unauthorized transactions that allow them to levy unnecessary fees against their clients to homeless families with adult members who would rather smoke pot than work for a living. Every one of these narcissists votes and in today's America, the narcissists outnumber the rest of us.

    The American government will remain broken and will probably collapse unless the American people stop feeling entitled to food they do not grow, wealth they do not create, and free consumer products they do not make.

    It is not the government's job to fix our problems. It is not the government's job to take care of us. The only jobs the government has is protecting the nation, insuring the free flow of interstate commerce, negotiating international treaties, and calling out the militia in time of war. Everything else we are supposed to be doing on our own, individually, though creative problem solving and hard work.

    Nothing will improve until all of us take charge of our own lives, stop blaming others for our problems, and stop expecting the government to take care of us.

    February 25, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  129. Jane

    Government programs operate on taxes from the public. The private sector, on the other hand, relies on voluntary exchange. It is proven that government spending can balloon out of control without being required to show optimal results. Spending is never reigned in. Taxpayers are simply asked to contribute more. Our education department would be one example. Medicare is another.

    Entitlement programs will ultimately bankrupt the country. The danger is we are sacrificing security and the economy while destroying our quality of life and peace of mind. My friends and acquaintances tell me they are angry, bitter, and frustrated over having to support entitlements while over 40% of the population get a pass. When you allow 40% of able-bodied individuals to opt out of their civic and moral obligations, how are you NOT going to have dissention?

    February 25, 2010 at 5:08 pm |

    CNN has done more than most news outlets when it comes to putting the spotlight on the problems with our govwernment... but even more needs to be done.

    For example, survey after survey has shown that the voters WANT a public option, yet the Republican talking point in that regard is just the opposite!

    Time after time politicians like Boehner and McConnell repeat things as fact, that the surveys I have seen indicate otherwise.

    Time after time the Republicans say things that are inconsistent with what the CBO figures have indicated.

    On top of that, a number of media outlets continuously attempt to diminish and discredit the President and his programs, and create polarization of their viewers and listeners... often suggesting or flatly stating things that are slanted or completely false.

    As a retired broadcaster and former TV news anchor, the biggest thing I see that would help would be the return of the old "Fairness Doctrine", but I'm not going to hold my breath until that happens!

    February 26, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  131. Jane

    Also, remember, the real catalyst behind the recent economic meltdown, the government entitlement programs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, trillions of dollars in the hole – another black-hole spending initiative sponsored by Democratic politicians, providing individuals with yet another opportunity to evade their responsibilities.

    Democratic government entitlement programs, Medicare and Medicaid – several trillions of dollars in the hole, loaded with frills and non-life-threatening remedies and treatments, again, unsustainable financially, and what is the remedy? Beg, borrow, or steal an additional trillion dollars to keep it going. Why not cut out the vast amounts of waste, fraud, non-life-threatening treatments and elective surgeries afforded under these government programs to virtually anyone, regardless of citizenship?

    We continually hear of people losing their homes and life savings due to health care costs. Those individuals actually have a home, life savings, and a job to LOSE. The remaining 40% of the population, who depend on government for their livelihood and pay nothing into the system, are a DRAIN on health care budgets. What does the government suggest? Raising taxes so we can cover MORE individuals who cannot afford to make their fair share contribution.

    What part of economics does this rationale fall under? Can you imagine GM or CNN operating in this manner? The word ‘economics’: the management of the resources of a community, country, etc., especially with a view to its productivity. Economy: thrifty management; frugality in the expenditure or consumption of money, materials, etc. When did government change the definition?

    February 26, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
  132. Mark Farley

    Maybe we should be sending these comments to our Senators and Congressmen. I don't think they'll go out of their way to read them here.
    Most people would say they don't have time for that.
    They'd have to turn off the ball game.
    Maybe we could have "Fantasy Government" (like Fantasy Football")
    where people would have to learn the rules and the players.
    The Fantasy part is where they do what we ask them to and not cater to big media and the Israel Lobby.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm |