Don't keep taking the American public for granted

By Nick Sorrentino

July 6, 2011

It has been what seems like a decade since the Congress last passed a budget. The economy is sputtering. There is a general sense that the country is on the wrong track, at least for many. Unemployment is high officially and much higher using unofficial numbers. In a recent survey 48% of American expected to see a second Great Depression in the next 12 months.

This is a staggering statistic. Nearly half of Americans expect the economy to not only get worse, but to fall down a hole.

Polls can be manipulated, and public sentiment is rarely the best diviner of what is to come. However this number shows that the country is very worried.

I saw it at the classic southern barbeque I attended this past Independence Day. As folks gathered around the grill, beers in hand, talk turned almost immediately to the economy.

In past years talk would likely have been about football, perhaps politics broadly, but never in the past have I heard such concern over the economy. People are fearful, and have been for a good while now.

Though with this particular group there was no love for Obama and the Dems for sure, but there was little love this year for the Republicans either. People feel abandoned by both groups. They feel totally separated from the process. They feel a sense of powerlessness. Such feelings are dangerous for a country, especially if they linger.

Among many people there is a crisis of confidence. Though it has always been fashionable to complain about the "rascals" in Washington, now people are beginning to wonder if Washington can get its act together at all.

This is a fundamental distinction.

Before it was, "Can you believe these guys?"

Now it is "These guys can't get anything right."

The feeling is bigger than what we see in the Tea Party. It incorporates left of center folks who are fed up with Obama and the Democratic leadership too. Again, there is a real sense among a wide part of the populous that the system is fundamentally broken.

Washington should not continue to take the public for granted. If it does there will be hell to pay no matter one's party affiliation.

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