Ultimately, I think Congress will get the job done. I don't really believe they will completely drop the ball. However, I do think there are enough people only concerned with their own gain, and I am afraid they will do everlasting damage before things are corrected.
I don't have much confidence in Congress for several reasons, including the following:
- members of Congress are often more interested in advancing (and/or securing) their own careers than in taking principled stands.
- members of Congress are often highly influenced by paid lobbyists
- members of Congress are often more interested in "getting along" than in "rocking the boat"
- politicians can use Congress as a means of enhancing their own power (e.g., by promoting popular, expensive, but unfunded programs) rather than behaving responsibly, especially in fiscal matters
I personally have no confidence in Congress because so many members on both sides of the aisle are willing to sacrifice progress and stability for the sake of ideology. There is no reason that the U.S. should have been brought to the brink of default recently, other than that Repubicans and Democrats both believed their political positions to be more important than the welfare of the country. The recent rise of the "Tea Party" frightens me, frankly, as these people seem willing to destroy the entire governmental structure as long as they get their way. Until such time as obstructionism becomes seconday in importance to progress, I fear Congress will do nothing to solve the country's problems.
When you ask questions like this, it is much better to put them in the Discussions section so that you can get a wide variety of answers.
Many people have no confidence in Congress because they believe that members of Congress do not really care about the welfare of the United States as a whole. Instead, they believe that members of Congress are out to promote their own careers or, at best, to get their party to win at any cost. People see that members of Congress change their minds on issues (Medicare is a big one for this) depending on what would benefit their party. Democrats were for cuts to Medicare a couple years ago and Republicans were opposed. Now that dynamic has switched. When Americans see things like this happen, they become cynical and this helps them to lose faith in Congress.
Can we please move this question to the Discussions area? You would get much better answers to it there, and it is really a matter of opinion rather than a simple Q&A type question.