Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Our Congress... out of touch



Drew Griffin
360 Correspondent



They're back. Yes, our elected legislators are back from a nice taxpayer-funded break, ready to tackle the big problems of the day. right?

Home foreclosures? Uh, No.

Gas prices? No.

Job growth, war on terror, alternative energy? No.

Baseball in steroids? Why, yes!

This past year AC360 had me look at earmark spending in Congress. The assignment put me closely to the workings of Congress and how our members spend your money.

In my humble opinion, I have never met a collective group of representatives so out of touch with the people they represent.

Today's hearings on steroids in baseball proves it.
Posted By CNN: 10:35 AM ET
  17 Comments
Drew,
Our congress out of touch...OMG do you even have to ask that!? They are SO out of touch with the American public it is ridiculous!! They haven't a clue how we really live or what we really care about. All they are interested in is lining their own pockets with payoffs and such from these big companies and lobbyist! We need to get rid of all of them and start over IMO!!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 10:55 AM ET
wow.
that just like makes me mad.
i'm really glad that they're so intouch with all the things that really matter.



haha, that was funny how you worded things though.
Posted By Anonymous Kayla, Greenback, TN. : 11:06 AM ET
Mr. Griffin,
First off, thank you for your hard work on the earmarks. I really enjoyed the coverage.
I would really like to hear comments from the legislators why they believe steroids use in baseball is more important than home foreclosures, gas prices, etc.
Keep up the good work and keep them honest.
Jeremy
Harrisburg, PA
Posted By Blogger drpermis : 11:35 AM ET
Hi Drew, I have been watching the hearing on steroids in baseball with interest, but, you are so right. It is so scary for me to realize that the priorities in Washington indicate that our elected officials are disconnected from our society as a whole. Where do we go from here? You can only vote so many out of office at a time so it will take a long time to change the Washington mentality and there are times when I feel hopeless that any change will happen in my lifetime.

Judy Stage/
brooklyn MI
Posted By Anonymous Anonymous : 12:09 PM ET
Drew,
This is a very important issue to report on AND continue follow ups so that the issue does not go away unresolved. For everybody's benefit, PLEASE, Keep Them Honest! Thank you.

Peter Trevino
New York, NY
Posted By Blogger Peter : 12:19 PM ET
And yet, Drew, the Baseball on Steroids story is clearly more important that alternate sources of energy... at least as judged by the number of on-air minutes of coverage it received.
Posted By Anonymous Arachnae, Sterling VA : 12:57 PM ET
by my calculations that's over three weeks vacation--- err, break for Congress. does the average American's job give them such a perk?
Posted By Anonymous nick d, denton tx. : 1:15 PM ET
Keep in mind, the Democratic candidates for Pres. want to increase the funding we give to these bureaucrats by letting President Bush's tax cuts lapse with no guarantee that they won't waste those funds. Is that what we really want?
Posted By Anonymous Laura - Tulsa, OK. : 1:17 PM ET
Hey! Congress is hard at work doing the peoples' business !
Posted By Anonymous Diane, Providence R.I. : 1:19 PM ET
I just don't get this... I mean I realize that "baseball is America's favorite past-time" but when did it become government regulated?

I could see the Justice Department investigating, maybe... but Congressional Hearings!

We have so many unresolved issues and this is what Congress is worried about? No wonder the economy is tanking, fuel prices are rising and the gates to our borders are wide open...

Mindy
Surprise, AZ
Posted By Blogger Mindy : 1:34 PM ET
Drew/AC360:
The Congressional issues you mentioned.... home foreclosures, job growth, etc. are hot beds of demands during an election year and an incumbent's agenda.

Out of touch with the public, yes....
Out of touch with the money, no.....
Scared to death of losing their jobs in Congress, yes......
Willing to sell their soul to the devil, yes.....

In my humble opinion, things have to change.

Keep them honest, Drew.
Posted By Blogger Sharon from Indy : 2:05 PM ET
We need more than an election in Washington. We need an electoral revolution to replace every single lawmaker in Washington.

Then in future elections, if the candidates don't perform as they promised in their campaigns, oust them in the next election.

We have no one to blame but ourselves for the completely out of touch government we have in Washington. We, the people, must hold our lawmakers responsible for their actions and when they don't live up to their campaign rhetoric, we must get rid of them.

After a few election cycles like this, our lawmakers would start listening to the people who put them in Washington.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 2:52 PM ET
Ya think?! They don't have to pay for any of the things you mentioned -- we taxpayers foot the bill.

Why would they be concerned with healthcare? They are never turned down for a procedure or don't have to worry about a co-pay or the rising costs. It's one of their "perks".

We pay for the gas in their chauffer-driven vehicles so who cares what a gallon of gas costs?

And they certainly are not on the verge of foreclosure of their upper-scale homes, nor do they have to worry about retirement or anything else the real America has to worry about.

The truly sad part in all this -- we, the People, allow this to continue. As Huckabee said (paraphrasing) "it's just a shifting of the seats". We've become so frustrated by the situation (no truly viable candidates; no longer 'public service' but an actual career) that we seem to content to allow "business as usual".

So if Congress doesn't get it, it's really our fault for allowing them to stay.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa, Elk Grove, CA : 3:51 PM ET
Drew,

Out of touch - they sound like they are in another dimension. No wonder the candidates for President can take so much time away from their "job" to campaign - its because they aren't missing anything of substance!

Would be nice to know how each candidate plans to change this state of affairs! Its too bad we can't tie their salaries to the actual amount of real legislation they work on. If we could they'd be as poor as the rest of us.

Annie Kate
Birmingham AL
Posted By Blogger Annie Kate : 5:43 PM ET
It might help if we install term limits in Congress, then "career politicians" would have to actually look for a normal job after their tenure in Washington.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - chicago IL : 5:48 PM ET
My Congresswoman finally emailed me about her earmarks. She says the earmarks are now posted on her website. I could not get the site to work, the day I received the email. How many months has it been since you started this story? I think she must be up for re-election!
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 6:07 PM ET
I'm impressed with my congressman. He always responds to my questions and comments. Well, someone in his office responds at least. I truly believes that he listens to our concerns. Shocking, isn't it?
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 6:17 PM ET
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