It looks like America has finally had it with Washington.
In fact, for many Americans, the debt-ceiling debate has literally become the last straw.
Half of the people surveyed in a new poll say that our elected leaders in the nation's capital - U.S. President Barack Obama and Congress - are doing a worse job than their predecessors in attacking the country's problems.
But out of all the survey results, here's the one factoid that really grabbed my attention: Four in 10 of those respondents are rating it as the very worst job they've seen in their lifetimes.
The USA Today/Gallup Poll - released this week - focuses on the debt-ceiling debate. Respondents said that congressional representatives on both sides of the aisle are putting their own political interests first. In fact, in one other sobering revelation, just 7% believe both sides are even negotiating in good faith.
"Unfortunately, results like these underscore what we've been telling Money Morning readers for years - that our legislators haven't got a clue, that our regulators are a sham and that Wall Street truly does rule the roost," said Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald, a columnist and commentator who has been addressing these very same issues. "What saddens me most about all this is the fact that the specific fixes are actually not that difficult to understand or implement - if we only had the political willpower to do something about a crisis that's sold Main Street down the river."
Strong words, indeed. And some sobering poll results.
But now, here at Money Morning, I'd like to know what you think about all this - and how you would answer this single question:
- What do you think about the job that President Obama and Congress have done during this developing debacle?
To help you craft your answer to that question, here are some key points to consider:
- Has Washington been a help - or a hindrance - as the U.S. economy struggles to rebound from a horrid housing crisis, high unemployment, Wall Street financial debacles, multi-trillion-dollar bailouts, and the mountain of federal debt we now have to deal with?
- Are these fixable problems?
- What will happen if all the political wrangling - especially that related to the federal budget and the debt-ceiling debate - ends up contributing to a cut in the nation's top-tier AAA credit rating?
- Are you worried about the future of this country? How about your personal future, including your current standard of living, and your retirement? Are you afraid of what our children will end up facing?
- And, finally, if you could have an audience with President Obama, our leaders in Congress, or even U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, what advice would you offer?
We really want to hear from you.
Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to write "debt-ceiling debate question" in the subject line of your e-mail. Make sure to check back after that. We'll look to use your comments in Money Morning in the days to come.
News and Related Story Links:
- USA Today:
Poll: Low ratings for Obama, Congress on debt talks.
- Money Morning:
A Sovereign-Debt-Default Survival Kit: The Four Countries That Will Keep Their AAA Ratings.
- U.S. Federal Reserve:
Ben S. Bernanke Bio.
- Money Morning:
The 2012 Election and the Truth Behind the Debt Ceiling Debate.
- Money Morning:
Sorry Mr. Bernanke: There Will be a Double-Dip Recession.
About the Author
Before he moved into the investment-research business in 2005, William (Bill) Patalon III spent 22 years as an award-winning financial reporter, columnist, and editor. Today he is the Executive Editor and Senior Research Analyst for Money Morning at Money Map Press.