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Steve Hildebrand Headshot

Congress: We Need You to Lead

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There are very few times when we've faced so many challenges. Uncertainty in the economy, expensive and deadly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, 45 million people without health insurance, high unemployment, financial and corporate disasters, a climate crises with irreversible consequences, record budget deficits and a broken political system that exacerbates the problems because too many politicians care more about their own re-election than solving problems.

Hunting down campaign contributions, personal greed and a quest for power are the driving forces of too many politicians in Washington. This isn't new. The so-called campaign finance reform of the 1990's and the many corruption scandals that plaque Congress, have done nothing to fix a broken system.

Not one of the 535 members is prepared to fix it. But if we don't address the core problems within this political institution, how can we solve the huge problems our nation faces?

Can we afford to stake our nation's future on a Congress cemented in a never-ending cycle of bad behavior? Can those who run this broken political system even begin to fix a complex and broken health care system?

So what do we do?

Should we throw them out? Do we shut down the national political party committees, outlaw high-priced professional lobbying and ban political action committees once and for all?

It sounds extreme. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Is it too much to ask the politicians to stop the name-calling and the year-round re-election campaigns and start working together? Is it too much to ask for these self-titled leaders to lead?

For the sake of our country, the people who desperately need health care or a good-paying job, for the generations that come after us who will be stuck with our mistakes and for our place in the world - is it too much to ask these people to put their heads down and get to work?

As a reminder, Senators and Congressmen, you are accountable to us. We pay your salary. We give you the best health insurance money can buy. We pay to chauffer you around and for a secure retirement. We hire you. And we can fire you.

You show up for work a few days a week, dine with fancy lobbyists and take taxpayer-funded junkets around the world. Maybe we could live with that if you solved a few pressing problems along the way. But you failed to solve our country's problems, and therefore you failed us. Maybe it's why the latest Gallup Poll shows that 72% of the American people aren't satisfied with your job performance. Clearly I'm not the only one.

So, before it's too late, show us leadership and start finding solutions to our many problems. Honestly, it's not too much to ask.