‘The bums’ aren’t the problem; we are

Cal Thomas's picture

A new Associated Press-GfK poll reveals some troubling statistics for members of both major political parties, if they can be troubled, given what looks to be their lack of concern for what they are doing to the country.

The poll finds fewer people approve of President Obama’s job performance (confirmed by a new Gallup Poll, which shows a 37 percent approval rating), but that Republicans score even worse at 5 percent approval.

The AP-GfK poll “finds few people approve of the way the president is handling most major issues and most people say he’s not decisive, strong, honest, reasonable or inspiring.” It looks like hope has vanished. We can’t say we weren’t warned.

The poll also shows many people are fed up with the government, leading to a return of the “throw the bums out” mentality.

But the problem does not lie with the “bums.” If it did, the newest elected “bums” would have fixed things by now.

It’s the rabid careerism of politicians and the entitlement mentality of too many voters that has consumed Washington and led to its dysfunction. Putting healthy people in an environment where plague rages ensures they will likely contract the disease.

What is needed is an entirely new (really an old) approach to government by “we the people” and by government itself.

It’s difficult to change Washington because too many benefit from its current practices. Republicans, who appeal to constitutional limits, spending cuts, lower taxes and the repeal of unnecessary regulations, are lambasted — even by fellow Republicans — when they try to rein in unsustainable spending.

The Washington establishment is powerful and anyone who seeks to alter it risks isolation and condemnation.

Would a third political party help shock the two major parties into behaving more responsibly? Possibly, but not likely.

A new Gallup Poll finds: “Amid the government shutdown, 60 percent of Americans say the Democratic and Republican parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed. That is the highest Gallup has measured in the 10-year history of this question. A new low of 26 percent believe the two major parties adequately represent Americans.”

A third-party president, or a few members of Congress who eschewed the traditional party labels, would likely find themselves in the same rut if attitudes toward government and entitlement do not change. The problem lies less in Washington than in each American citizen.

Since Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” many Americans appear to have abandoned self-restraint, individual responsibility and accountability in favor of government as provider, protector and guarantor.

The notion that people are “owed” what others have earned is primarily responsible for our enormous and growing debt.

We once promoted individual initiative and people who overcame difficult circumstances. Now we seem to punish the successful and treat the unsuccessful as victims who have no hope of improving their lot without government. This is a fallacy of course, based on the results of the failed “war on poverty.”

Despite the fact — and it is a fact — that government does many things poorly and at too high a cost, too many of us continue to turn to it for salvation. Politicians encourage this because addicting more people to government keeps them in power, solidifies their careers and keeps the special perks flowing their way.

Nothing would change Washington faster than the transformative idea that only we can make our lives better by our financial and moral choices. It’s long past time for politicians to say “eat your vegetables, they are good for you” and for citizens to comply.

Such a message will be labeled “harsh” by some, but it is necessary to restore a sick economy and a nation that needs to return to its constitutional roots. This return is the cure for our national dysfunction.

[Cal Thomas is America’s most widely syndicated op-ed columnist, appearing in more than 600 national newspapers. He is the author of more than 10 books and is a FOX News political contributor since 1997. Email Cal Thomas at tmseditors@tribune.com.] © 2013 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Jose4
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Tooth and nail

Romney is still puzzled over why he lost. He has no idea the impact he made when he said he would "fight marijuana legalization tooth and nail."

LongTimer
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This is what our Goverment did to us last week!

Obama signed a bill into law last week and it was signed in secret.
It is HR347 and is called the ‘‘Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011’’. You have got to be $hitting me. It states Anywhere the President, Vice President, or ANYONE appointed Secret Service Agents by the President or Vice President for any reason any where there is a function can be arrested and charged with a Felony for holding signs, so no chants like "Hell no we won't go" (sound familiar 60's-70's libs) anywhere near the Secret Service or you can be charged with a felony. How is anyone supposed to know with whom the Secret Service has been dispatched. MAYBE A BIG RED ARM BAND WITH "SS" ON IT WILL WORK. Oh yeah, he's a fantastic president. And the Senate for ever putting HR 347 in front of him. What is happening here and at a seemingly accelerated pace is terrible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l80COimrB8

stranger than f...
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More Fantasy Masquerading as News from Fox

Hold your horses Long Timer. Your knee jerk reaction to a Fox "News" story is way out of line. Check out any reliable source, like the Republican Congressman from South Carolina:

http://jeffduncan.house.gov/does-hr-347-restrict-free-speech-preventing-...

Or God forbid, try a neutral source like fact check:

http://www.factcheck.org/2012/05/obama-criminalize-free-speech/

When will conservatives begin getting credible news from reliable sources?

Spyglass
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Has anyone actually read the text of the bill?

I will link it here. It seems to amp up ( or maybe clarify is a better word, since I didn't know the penalties from before) penalties for protesting near or on grounds where the POTUS is located. That's my opinion, what say you?

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr347/text

PTC Observer
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Spy - Power of Law

"Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions." --James Madison, essay in the National Gazette, 1792

Individual freedom is and always has been a fragile thing against the power of the law.

Spyglass
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I guess STF did not like what the bill said..

Either that or he can't read...he was quick to call out before on it for sure..

stranger than f...
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Spy-guy and PTCO

I read the bill before my original post, and I find no sinister intent whatsoever. Obviously, the entire Senate and all but 3 members of the Republican-controlled House agree with me.

My frustration with fear-mongering by conservatives for bogus claims is that it anesthetizes the general electorate to real concerns raised by conservatives that deserve a fair hearing. Fox "News" plays a major role in marginalizing conservatives by this type of nonsense. Please don't perpetuate foolishness like this.

PTC Observer
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STF - Post

My post has little to do with this specific bill, please re-read the post.

The fact is that to the degree this bill limits free speech, it incrementally reduces individual freedom of expression. I certainly understand that those charged with protecting the President need the benefit of the doubt. However, like all well intended laws, they tend to "creep" in their scope.

The Republicans, after all, thought up the whole idea of the Patriot Act and it continues to be re-enacted by Congress. Now that's sinister.....

stranger than f...
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PTCO - Thanks for the Clarification

I understand your concerns and can see your point.

Spyglass
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I feel the same way

Beware of the creep.

S. Lindsey
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Congratualations: $148,133 is owed per TAX payer

Enjoy it now cause your kids sure won't.

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

moelarrycurly
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2.8 Billion dollar dam for

Mitch McConnell's Kentucky. That's BILLION. Yes, S. Lindsey, mine won't, yours won't, but his sure will.

There are no words to describe it.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/johnstanton/shutdown-deal-includes-nearly-3-bill...

Cyclist
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Kicking the can...

down the road. In the near future, there will be no road left to kick that can any further.

stranger than f...
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Vote the bums out every time

The electorate can control term limits simply by refusing to vote for any incumbent. If you choose to vote for someone with an "I" beside his/her name, please don't show up on this blog or elsewhere complaining about how bad our career politicians are. We can get rid of Deal, Isakson, Westmoreland, Chance, Ramsey, and all of the Fayette County Commissioners if WE only demonstrate the will to do so. I'm for firm term limits. How about you?

G35 Dude
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A good quote!

The American people as a group are too soft. We've been spoiled. It's going to take a lot of effort to make significant changes and we as a group are not up for it. The life span of democracies is 200-250 years historically. This one is now 236. The following unverified quote is credited to Alexander Fraser Tytler.

Quote:

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

People have found a way to vote themselves gifts from the Government treasury. The outlook is not good.

S. Lindsey
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The Law by Bastiat

They have learned the art of PLUNDER...

http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

PTC Observer
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S. Lindsey - Thanks

For this link, for the readers, this is one of the most important books on economics ever written.

All, please read it and understand that it is not a contemporary work but the fundamental truths are still sound, as truth is always enduring.

BobbyBiplane
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Cal is Correct

I have said it before and I will say it again - whether national or local, we get the government we deserve in the light of our collective decisions at the ballot box.

Bob