Politics as Usual Will Kill This Country

My view on how the Congress is to blame for the current situation in our country, not President Bush or Obama.

I consider myself one of the 99 percent.

Not because I am jobless (I am not), not because my house was foreclosed on (it wasn't), not because my business is suffering or anything like that (it isn't). I simply consider myself one of the 99 percent because I am not a millionaire.

I am a member of what is left of the middle class. I have viewpoints on both sides of the aisle. But generally speaking, I am socially liberal and fiscally generally conservative. I say generally on both of these because even within my definitions there are exceptions. What I am trying to get across is that this is not about Republican v. Democrat, it is bigger than that.

This country is broken; I say that as an American, not a member of any political party. We have a very high unemployment rate (as of right now 9.1 percent, this is not adjusted to include the "underemployed") that is continuing to eat away at the middle class. Every week that goes by the evening news reports about another company having downsize or close their doors. Just this week Lowes announced it was closing stores and laying people off. Where are these people supposed to work?

Oh, that is right, there are no jobs outside of healthcare and some I.T. companies and not everyone can do that work. So here we are with our unemployment rate, companies closing their doors and more and more citizens getting laid off and having to go on unemployment, and/or food stamps. This has created and continues to create one vicious cycle. People lose their job for whatever reason, and they lose their ability to spend money. This has a ripple effect that now these people have to trim their budgets to the essentials, food, power, etc.

They don't have money to spend on frills if you will. They may put off doing that repair on their car or their house, and then as a result, other companies are feeling the income dry up, so they in turn lay people off as their revenue streams are diminish. This cycle keeps going and going, and until money starts to flow at the most basic level (the individual) this is going to be a continuous problem.

Every Democrat out there wants to blame our last president, George W. Bush for the economy. Wrong - I am sorry but you can't put it on his doorstep - he had a partner in crime and that is the Congress. Every Republican out there wants to blame our current president Barack Obama for the mess the country is in. Again, wrong - he too has a partner in this game, Congress. It does not matter who is in The White House right now. It could be Ron Paul, Mitt Romney or Barack Obama it will not make ANY difference in the long run.

The problem is The United States Congress.  As long as we as a nation hold onto the belief that we hate congress but love our congressman, congresswoman or senator we are a nation with a doomed political system. Here are a couple examples, right here in Florida.

The 9th Congressional District, presently held by Gus Bilirakis-R, before Gus was his father, Mike Bilirakis-R. Do you have any idea when that seat was not held by a Bilirakis-R? Let me help you out, 1982. Michael Bilirakis' first term started in January of 1983. So for nearly 29 years, that one family has controlled the voice coming out of the 9th district.

The 10th Congressional District, just to the south of us, sits C.W. Bill Young-R. Representative Young has been elected to congress 20 times, and has been a US Representative since 1970, I was born in 1971 so all I can say to that is wow.

Don’t think this is a Florida problem or a Republican problem, this is nationwide and political affiliation has no role in the problem.  Robert Byrd-D a senator from West Virginia held his seat from 1959 to 2010, he only left because he died in office but for 51 years that voice was the same.

Presently well over 90% of congress is re-elected year after year. There are no term limits for the House or the Senate so they keep going back over and over again until one of a few things happens. They do something so unpopular that it upsets the opposition to the point they rally against them and get them voted out of office. They are involved in a scandal that makes it impossible to do their job. Or they die, see also Senator Strom Thurmond-R (he did not die in office, but close to it), and Senator Ted Kennedy-D.

The only people served by such long congressional terms are the 1% those who want the establishment to stay the same because for them quite honestly, life is good why would they ever want to change it? It is up to those of us who are of the 99% to change the way congress works, and that starts by electing a new congress. It has to be a complete change, just picking and choosing a congress man here, or a senator there will not bring about true reform.

They are not for you or me, they are for whoever keeps bankrolling them to stay in office. It is time to awaken from your slumber America, if you want to take your country back as seems to be the catch phrase these days, we need to start with cleaning out The People's House.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Gabriele Colsant October 23, 2011 at 12:49 PM
Thank you for a well written article. I have been saying this as well for a long time....it's very difficult to fight the "old boys" club. We must in order to bring this country back.
Diane Carlstrom October 27, 2011 at 02:38 PM
We have term limits in something referred to as the voting booth. There are a few, very few, rare birds that do actually serve the people they represent and it would be a shame to lose them. The honest root of the problem is money in politics. There is a revolving door between Wall St and congress. Former congressional staffers go to work for a lobby or lobbyists get elected to office. In Tallahassee if you want something done feel free to simply write a check to the appropriate representative. That was passed this year with Mike Fasano as the sole republican to vote against it. We have elections and thus, positions, for sale to whomever raises the most money. Much of that money can be easily hidden in super pacs. President Obama has raised over $85 million towards his re-election and there was a school board election in Colorado that involved over $1 million. This is insanity. We are missing out on plenty of very good alternative candidates simply because they don't raise that kind of money. Chances are, if a person is really for the people and working to end the corruption in government, they won't be getting the big bucks from special interests and their opponent will win. The playing field is far from level and the only ones that lose are we the people. There are several organisations making an effort to get the money out of politics. To learn more one place to look is getthemoneyout.com


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