The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Congress needs to shape up or ship out

New polling data released this month shows Congress hitting a record low approval rating in light of the government shutdown that began this month. Although popularity was never its strong suit, a new poll has found Congress to have a lower approval than hemorrhoids, cockroaches and dog poop.

“Voters say they have a higher opinion of hemorrhoids than Congress, by 53 percent to 31 percent. More than seven in 10 voters say they view jury duty more favorably than Congress,” according to USA Today. “Even toenail fungus rates 3 percentage points higher than Congress.”

Public confidence in our government institutions is eroding, especially with the U.S. economy losing $1.6 billion a week during the government shutdown, according to Standard & Poor’s, a credit rating agency.

The crumbling facade of so-called American exceptionalism is coming to bear as normal systems of government can no longer be trusted to perform all the necessary business once considered common practice, such as paying its bills on time and keeping government open.

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“As U.S. politicians of both political parties are still shuffling back and forth between the White House and the Capitol Hill without striking a viable deal to bring normality to the body politic they brag about,” Xinhua News Agency, China’s leading government-controlled news outlet, wrote, “it is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world.”

The unprecedented breakdown of American politics can be attributed to miscalculation and poor strategy by the insurgent wing of the Republican Party, who favor dismantling government and upending the nation’s most prized social insurance contracts, such as the Affordable Care Act, which House Republicans tried repealing 42 times as meaningless gestures of symbolic governance.

With all the disaffection toward U.S. politics, what the country may be experiencing is the outgrowth of the Reagan Era mantra: “Government isn’t the solution, government is the problem.”

For the Millennial generation hobbled by the Great Recession — stagnant wages, crippling inequality, rising tuition and high cost of living — government may not entirely be the solution to such problems. However, the realization of the important role Congress should play in easing economic instability for millions of Americans is perhaps why a dwindling 10 percent of Americans continue to approve of its current membership; in the hope it can once again work to find solutions to our sizable problems.

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