Congress finds it difficult to make policy that solves national problems because
A. Constituents reward them for taking care of their individual interests.
B. They are in debt to special interests.
C. Government is inefficient.
D. They are too interested in scoring political points.
E. They do not want the president to get credit for solving problems
The answer to this question is something of a matter of opinion. There is no objective way to determine which of these answers is correct. I strongly suggest that you check your class notes to see which of these answers your instructor believes is correct. My own view is that Option A is the best answer, but it would be possible to make arguments for all of the other answers as well.
I would not use answers B, D, or E because they are, in my mind, too judgmental. I prefer to teach my students answers that are based more solidly in fact than in opinion. These three answers are based in opinion. It is, for example, hard to objectively determine whether members of Congress are “in debt” to “special interests” (both of these are judgmental terms in and of themselves) or whether Congress would be willing to accept specific proposals if only they came from a different president.
Option C is more plausible. The government was set up to be inefficient. The Framers purposely created a bicameral system and a separately elected president so that it would be hard to get things done. They did not want it to be easy for the government to do things for fear that the government would do things that hurt the country and take away people’s rights. However, I would not pick this because I do not think it is worded well. Its wording sounds to me more like an argument for privatization of government functions. If I were writing this question and wanted C to be the right answer, I would have said “the government is set up to make it hard to pass laws.”
To me, Option A is the best because it relies on a structural fact about our system. Our legislators are expected to solve problems that affect the whole country, but they only get elected by people in their districts. Therefore, they are more likely to act in the interests of their district than in the interests of the country. This is one reason why we have military bases and weapons systems that the military does not want. Members of Congress fight to keep military bases located in, or weapons systems built in, their districts because those things bring jobs and money to their local constituents. Thus, their constituents push them to do things that are good for their districts but bad for the country as a whole. For these reasons, I see Option A as the best answer, but it would really be best if you looked in your class notes to see if your instructor thinks the same way.