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What is the biggest single problem facing our country (government) today?

radcen

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What is the biggest single problem facing our country (government) today?

Something that could... at least conceivably... be solved.

I say it's not a single issue, but rather voter ignorance and apathy failing to hold our elected representatives accountable. We say we disapprove of what they do (or don't do) but then keep re-electing them anyway.

I do NOT see term limits as a solution to this, by the way, as that only rotates the problem. If the majority of the voting populace is ignorant and/or apathetic, they'll continue to be deceived with new candidates chosen by the parties and other special interests. No, it's ONLY when voters care enough to educate themselves, and act accordingly, that this has any chance of being fixed.
 

lizzie

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I do support term limits, in order to keep lifetime politicians from getting too deeply entrenched in Washington, and becoming little more than paid puppets for the highest bidder.
 

Fisher

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What is the biggest single problem facing our country (government) today?

Something that could... at least conceivably... be solved.

I say it's not a single issue, but rather voter ignorance and apathy failing to hold our elected representatives accountable. We say we disapprove of what they do (or don't do) but then keep re-electing them anyway.

I do NOT see term limits as a solution to this, by the way, as that only rotates the problem. If the majority of the voting populace is ignorant and/or apathetic, they'll continue to be deceived with new candidates chosen by the parties and other special interests. No, it's ONLY when voters care enough to educate themselves, and act accordingly, that this has any chance of being fixed.

Well, you sort of didn't answer your own question--which is the single biggest problem that you see?

Mine is easy--the federalization of everything due in no small part to the progressives inability to get traction in most of the 50 states.
 

Ray410

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Mine is easy--the federalization of everything due in no small part to the progressives inability to get traction in most of the 50 states.

Excellent point!
 

AliHajiSheik

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Government being a participant and not an umpire as it should be.
 

radcen

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Well, you sort of didn't answer your own question--which is the single biggest problem that you see?

Mine is easy--the federalization of everything due in no small part to the progressives inability to get traction in most of the 50 states.

I did, you just misunderstood. The biggest problem with our government is the people who choose it. The government is the people, whether we like it or not.
 

Papa bull

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The fact that about half the people in this country now believe they have a right to vote themselves into other peoples' pockets is the biggest threat to our way of life, our freedom and our prosperity.
 

Helix

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there are a couple. here's the one that is most easily solved :

gerrymandering. this can be addressed by redrawing districts nationwide using only census data.

there are more pressing problems, but solving the gerrymandering problem will at least have some effect on all of them.
 

Oceandan

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National debt and yearly federal deficits. We don't fix this nothing else matters. We're headed for financial disaster. It's mathematically impossible to avoid if we continue current path. The crush if baby boomers reaching retirement age and living beyond same, will siphon all federal revenues within a couple decades.
 

AlabamaPaul

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there are a couple. here's the one that is most easily solved :

gerrymandering. this can be addressed by redrawing districts nationwide using only census data.

there are more pressing problems, but solving the gerrymandering problem will at least have some effect on all of them.

One question... Assuming gerrymandering was responsible for the 2012 House result, how would you explain the reversal of the Congressional makeup that occurred between 2008 and 2010 when there was no change in Congressional districts?
 

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The fact that about half the people in this country now believe they have a right to vote themselves into other peoples' pockets is the biggest threat to our way of life, our freedom and our prosperity.

How is that?
 

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National debt and yearly federal deficits. We don't fix this nothing else matters. We're headed for financial disaster. It's mathematically impossible to avoid if we continue current path. The crush if baby boomers reaching retirement age and living beyond same, will siphon all federal revenues within a couple decades.

We have had a national debt for all but one year of this countries existence. That one year when we had no national debt, our economy went into a depression due to over taxation and a lack of government spending.

I'm quote sure that ever since the late 1700's, people have been saying exactly what you are saying now.
 

Papa bull

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How is that?

When half the people in the country think they can vote themselves into other peoples' pockets with vision of wealth redistribution going round and round in their greedy little minds, the ship is on a course for shallow, rocky shoals with a hurricane moving in.
 

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The biggest two problems that we have right now are closely related, and they are unemployment, and a lack of wage growth. The most politically viable solution is reducing the tax rate on the bottom few tax brackets in order to increase demand. Once unemployment drops below it's natural rate (frictional plus structural), then wages should start to rise due to employers having to compete harder for employees.

Longer term though, our biggest problem will be figuring out how to provide every family with an income, once we get to the point that the growth in productivity due to technology exceeds the growth of demand. We may already be seeing that happening. There have been signs of this ever since around the year 2000, and some of those indicators significantly increased during the Great Bush Recession. We will eventually have to make a choice between there being just a few jobs, and everyone else being on welfare, or incentivizing people to work fewer hours, so that jobs are spread around, and we could live more or less like the Jetsons, where only George had to work, and he worked 3 hours a day, one day a week.
 

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One question... Assuming gerrymandering was responsible for the 2012 House result, how would you explain the reversal of the Congressional makeup that occurred between 2008 and 2010 when there was no change in Congressional districts?

i think it has played a role in every election result for many, many years, and it is a big part of what keeps the duopoly in almost uncontested power. letting politicians draw their own districts is the ultimate conflict of interest. i believe that narrowing the choices to two parties artificially limits the potential solutions and new ideas. it also contributes to the current teamsport view of governance, which is undeniably counterproductive.
 

Morrigi

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The complete lack of accountability and authoritarian power of the government. The "checks and balances" only check that they are getting enough bribes and balance the slow but steady erosion of our rights.

And the complacent, apathetic manner of much of the population only ensures that the government will continue with such practices.
 

justabubba

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we have the best government money can buy

identifying a problem is not enough. we then need to figure out what solves it:

eliminate political bribes now available in the form of 'campaign "contributions"

allow only registered voters the ability to make campaign contributions

not to exceed some amount

payable only to candidates which could appear on their ballot

require all such contributions to be posted on a federal internet board, listing the individual, their voting precinct, the contribution amount, the form of contribution (cash, check, in-kind, etc.), and the recipient's name

any contribution made but not posted within one week will be considered a bribe, subject to the federal bribery statutes; it is incumbent on the donor and recipient to assure the posting happens


here are the results once implemented:

entities such as corporations, unions, PACs, foreign countries, felons, anyone who is not eligible to register to vote, will be found making bribes if they tender contributions to political candidates

since contributions can only be made to those who the contributor could vote for, we no longer allow george soros et al to disproportionately affect election outcomes with their wealth in modest voting districts

political campaigns would have to operate more efficiently as they will likely receive less money than under the present system where government is for sale to the highest bidder. and that is a good thing. we want to elect politicians who are effective with smaller budgets; those who campaign best with limited money are also likely to govern best with limited tax revenues

and most importantly

politicians will return to being responsive to the voter rather than the corporations with the deepest pockets


discard the 'for sale' sign when it comes to elections and many of the other problems we now face will soon be resolved
 

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What is the biggest single problem facing our country (government) today?
The jackhole in the White House. He is a bigger threat to our country than any terrorist group, or natural disaster. See, we can rebuild from terrorism or natural disasters. 0bama has the ability to permanently screw this country over, solely in the name of retention of power for his party. It's almost like Soviet politics. The guy is an enemy of the state.
 

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The rational ignorance of voters and lack of pragmatism in our government.
 

douglas

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In my mind, a lack of real alternatives is the biggest problem in America. When I type "alternatives", I mean better choices within every level of our government, economy, and society.

Within the government, we need to get out of the two party system. We're tired of picking the lesser of two evils. Duverger's law has shown that a winner-take-all democracy will typically go towards two party systems and limit choices. It's the issue of tactical voting; people are afraid to "waste" their vote on the candidate they want, so vote for who they think can win. The solution would be to have a ranked voting system, like single transferable voting, where you can give "partial" votes to multiple candidates. Single transferable vote - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This doesn't necessarily increase the number of alternative candidates, but validates them as realistic choices when you vote.

Within the economy, we need to have more options in employment. Capitalism is often touted as being all about constructive competition, eg. consumers will go to a business' competitor if they have more varieties, better quality, cheaper prices, etc. But, this only fixes the consumer side of the economy. When there aren't enough jobs to go around, there is no "competition" for employees. There is no incentive for employers to pay themselves less, pay their employees more, or to create jobs. The way the rich are concentrating the wealth away from both the consumers and the average employees, there can never be real competition. We're like rats fighting over crumbs; We might get lots of choices in the shapes and flavors of the crumbs and be told that it's capitalism at work, but in the end they're just crumbs. Although I'm typically for the reduction of government regulations, I'm definitely for CEO caps and an increase in the minimum wage; this is one area where capitalism has failed the American people.

From the aspect of society and the 1st amendment, we have all sorts of choices. We can read anything, watch anything, say anything, etc. But, there is still a very big problem with self publishing and the way "traditional" media has shut themselves off from newcomers. Although anyone can blog and twitter and text whatever the hell they want, including their dislike for our two party system or failures of capitalism, that is the extant of our abilities to express our 1st amendment rights. Until I find that million dollars I left lying around in my sock drawer, I can't buy the rights to air a political ad on nationally broadcasted television or radio. Right now, the internet is essentially the only place a regular guy can publish his ideas. Since we the people own the airwaves in the end, the government should set aside some time just for independent political groups to air their grievances without having to pay these astronomical advertising fees. It's one thing for them not to give a crap about one crazy guy screaming on the street corner, but entire political parties are essentially silenced by having been bought out of the process. We can't care about alternatives that we don't know about.

So, we really need alternatives. Without the ability to have real competition between candidates, jobs, and ideas, we will never have the chance to make the right choice.
 

Bob Blaylock

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What is the biggest single problem facing our country (government) today?

That's really two questions.

The biggest problem facing our country is that our government has become bloated, overbearing, and out-of-control.

The biggest problem facing our government is that the people are increasingly becoming aware of the abuses that it is inflicting upon us, and will not continue to tolerate these abuses indefinitely.
 

KevinKohler

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The number one issue is accountability. And the only folks who can fix it are the American people.


When you hire someone making a claim, and they fail to deliver on that claim, you fire them, and when possible, you get a refund. Why is politics so different? When a man running for office promises the world, like closing GITMO, ending the invasion in Afghanistan, and increased transparency in DC, and then not only doesn't deliver on any of those things, but actually works contrary to those goals, he should be fired. Period. And every single public servant should be treated the same, without exception, ever. It's high time we applied a few so called free market principles to the very people who are supposed to enforce and safeguard those very principles.
 

justabubba

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The number one issue is accountability. And the only folks who can fix it are the American people.


When you hire someone making a claim, and they fail to deliver on that claim, you fire them, and when possible, you get a refund. Why is politics so different? When a man running for office promises the world, like closing GITMO, ending the invasion in Afghanistan, and increased transparency in DC, and then not only doesn't deliver on any of those things, but actually works contrary to those goals, he should be fired. Period. And every single public servant should be treated the same, without exception, ever. It's high time we applied a few so called free market principles to the very people who are supposed to enforce and safeguard those very principles.

your supposition is misguided
it appears Obama has taken efforts to close gitmo
only the opposition party thwarts his efforts to do so

when we hold people accountable, we should want to know whether their failure to perform is theirs alone
in the instance you cited, that would not be the circumstance
 

AlabamaPaul

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your supposition is misguided
it appears Obama has taken efforts to close gitmo
only the opposition party thwarts his efforts to do so

when we hold people accountable, we should want to know whether their failure to perform is theirs alone
in the instance you cited, that would not be the circumstance

What opposition stopped the closure in the President's first two years in office? Can you point to some specific legislative maneuver where it might have been blocked?
 
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