Americans Not Happy With Capitol Hill

Posted on August 2, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

By Carl Chancellor

Enough—that is the simple one word message that No Labels, a group of Republicans, Democrats and Independents formed last year to elevate the nation’s political discourse, has for our federal leaders.

In a commercial currently airing on cable stations nationwide, No Labels echoes the sentiment shared by the vast majority of voters across America—we are fed up with the partisan gridlock in Washington.
The contentious, uber-partisan debt limit debate, the “Washington-made crisis” that nearly drove the country into default and to the brink of economic disaster, created unnecessary anxiety for the nation.

A recent Associated Press story reported that no matter their political view, frustration about the debt debate among Americans was near universal. Voters were so incensed by the games of brinkmanship being played on the Hill that in the last few days of the debt debate, as the Aug. 2 deadline neared, they flooded lawmakers with thousands of phone calls and emails calling for compromise. Several GOP House members said that their websites crashed and the House’s technology center reported that telephone lines serving House office numbers neared capacity last week and over the weekend.

Fortunately, those pleas got through and a debt limit deal was struck late Sunday night, mere hours before the deadline.

Yet, while the nation breathes a collective sigh of relief, Americans are more frustrated than ever. The debt deal battle clearly illustrated the view stated by President Obama when said during a national address—compromise has become a dirty word in Washington. Further, Americans are angry that as a result of the protracted debt limit debate no attention is being paid to the nation’s number one concern—the economy.

Yes, dealing with the deficit is important, but with unemployment stuck at above 9 percent, with 14 million Americans jobless, and more than 400,000 people filing for unemployment benefits every week, creating jobs is priority number one.

A recent Gallup poll indicated that voters list the economy and unemployment/jobs as the nation’s top problems with deficit/debt reduction running a distant third. When asked to respond to the questions: What do you think is the most important problem facing the country today?—58 percent indicated the economy and unemployment/jobs as the nation’s most pressing concern. Only 16 percent of those surveyed said that the federal budget deficit/debt is America’s biggest problem.

Having just averted economic disaster coming out of the debt limit debate, the No Labels’ commercial probably best sums up the national mood—“We are Republicans, Democrats and Independents. But above all we are Americans. We deplore that extreme partisan politics has trumped our patriotic duty. We have one word for our elected officials: Enough.”

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