Does Congress Listen to the Will of the People?

Today the connection between the government and the public is strained at best and the amount of money which the government now spends in comparison to its income raises many questions. There are critical decisions which need to be made each calendar year which have varying degrees of support or opposition by the public. The manner in which government at all levels responds to the opinions of the public on issues creates the perception whether they are working for us or if we are working for them. Granted decisions are sometimes made for which we have no access to details which may affect the security of our country and most individuals understand this situation. Individuals do not understand though how votes are being cast in direct opposition to the will of the people.

Legislation from both parties appear to have what they feel are the right approaches to important issues for our country. The approaches are almost never on the same page as to how to achieve the actions with the goal being the same. Our economy is hurting and yet in some cases both political parties cannot come together on addressing the issues. This is not about one party or another but conflict between the two houses of Congress at the federal level and in some cases at individual state levels. Party unity appears to be the culture of the day which is fine if that culture reflects the will of the people on the issues at hand. It is sad to say that in many cases, not all, this is not the case. It is important to stand on principles when elected officials see this as the reason why they were elected or re-elected. An example is the healthcare legislation enacted over the objections of a vast number of private citizens and businesses. Whether this action is constitutional will be decided by the Supreme Court.

Government operations as they are now being conducted are seeing a low level of approval in terms of the action or inaction by both houses of Congress and in some cases the President. Our government was found on basic principles and these principles were identified by President Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address. The principle identified states: “this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” The key point in the quote identifies the fact that our government is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The last part is what appears to have been lost in recent actions of Congress.

Our government at all levels is a government of the people and by the people. Our ancestors created the government structure we have today with the principle that it work for the good of the people. The level of control that some government entities are exhibiting project the appearance we are working for them, not them working for us. Many rules and regulations are created, in some cases on a daily basis, directing our actions in relation to the topic it addresses. While many have a valid purpose others impose their opinion on the rest of the country and dictate what we must do to be in compliance with the rules and regulations they create.

The cost of government is skyrocketing to support the expanded structure which we now have. Our tax structure from the federal government down to the state and local government needs to be revamped to create an atmosphere of encouragement for individuals and businesses. The laws and regulations in existence today discourage individuals and businesses to make decisions which would have positive impact on our economy. Businesses want to know what their expenses are going to be from year to year. In the same respect individuals hold off making purchases for the same reason supported by the fact many are unemployed or fear they will be unemployed in the future.

Our present tax system is difficult at best to understand. In addition our tax rate for corporations/businesses is the highest in the world. It is a distinction no country should want to have and it should be changed. The more we earn the more we pay in taxes with little left in some cases to make us question why we made the effort. This should never be the case in a country found on individual principles. Changes to our tax structure are needed and both political parties acknowledge this to be true. What changes are eventually made will either fuel the perception whether the government is working for us or whether we are working for them. The uncertainty in what future laws and regulations are created in the future also adds to the perception. Government is exerting more influence through laws and regulations and the present path government is taking by exerting more control over our lives. Government is not the answer to all our problems and the philosophy now in place appear to be at least by some individuals the right focal point to make decisions for us.

Our system of government is great but elected officials must understand that they are working for us not their political party ideology. Decisions being made today in many cases reflect the policy of political parties to which our elected representatives belong. This may not always agree with the public position and political parties to that end need to make changes in their philosophical approach to generating legislation to reflect the will of the people.

More by this Author

Comments 14 comments

Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 4 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping by and providing your input. I do believe there are some individuals who are not changed when they enter Congress but they seldom get the recognition.

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I think it is important to get back to the constitution as it was meant to be as the law of the land. It is not a "living document", but a written document. It is clearly written in most cases. If it does need changing the proper means of changing it should be applied. Taxes should only be imposed for legitimate needs of the government, not for whims of politicians. There should be accountability for all money spent.

peoplepower73 profile image

peoplepower73 4 years ago from Placentia California

The re-election cycle of congress has a lot to do with their priorities. One half of the house and one third of the senate is up for re-election every two years. That puts congressman into almost a perpetual campaign cycle. It's take a lot of money to run a campaign. The significant funding doesn't come from you and me. It comes from lobbyists, corporations, and big moneyed interests that have their own agenda, not what the populace wants. The congressman are beholden to these entities so that they can get reelected or elected. They then support their causes, not our causes. There is also a revolving door where congressman, lobbyists, and big moneyed interests can be employed by each other. I call this the triangle of influence and have written a hub about it. Thanks for this hub, voting up, useful and sharing

ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

Our system of government started to break down when the democratic and the republican parties were formed.

Even for the last one hundred years, the two dominant political parties accomplished little for the country, and they spend most of their time moving the country to the left or right, but hardly ever forward.

The government has also steadily increased its size and scope during that time period. The politicians and the government employees are treated better than those in the private sector.

The constitution has been watered down over these years to be a cloudy version of what it was intended to be by the founders.

The three branches of the US government are no longer effective checks and balances.

The real root cause of the fall of this country are the people that are blind loyal party voters. This allows the parties to have their elected officials nest for decades in Congress.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

More times than not...NO! There is too much political influence from the outside which has nothing to do with the people but everything to do with making them individually rich. Cronyism is the order of the day for too many and too often the actions they take as a body are simply designed to hand more power to the federal government and take it away from the States. If Congress had any conscience at all, lobbyist would not be allowed within the the city limits of Washington DC. It is funny how they have the power to shove things down our throat as a nation, award themselves benefits and salaries out the ying-yang, turn what was never meant to be a full-time job into one, and yet they are powerless to police themselves and maintain a focus for the people. Congress has been in violation of the Constitution for the past three years by not producing and passing a budget...who is holding them accountable. It better be the people because this President and the Supreme Court have no plans to do so. WB

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

Arianna Huffington in her book 'Third World America' attributes it directly to the lobbyists proliferating corridors of The White House and Congress. Lobbyists not only force the Government make decisions for internal consumption, but also in foreign relations domain, all of them going against what an average American needs. Lobbyists also get those decisions out that do not increase job opportunities, although they claim to do just that. For example, building our infrastructure, which is in need of an overhaul in any case, and reforming our education system would create more jobs than bailing out some mega-manufactureres and foreign countries that we decided to invade.

Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 4 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping by, I agree with you completely. We need to get back to the constitution as it was meant to be in the beginning.

Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 4 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping by and providing you comments. A lot of what you said is right on target.

Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 4 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping by and giving your input.

Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 4 years ago Author

Thanks for your input.

Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 4 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping by and providing you comments.

Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

One of the problems in the country is the lack of voting. In the last election of President Obama only 63% of registered voted actuality voted. That is horrible. People protest but they do not vote. People watch to much tv. What people can do, is look up what the person running for office in congress has done, call them or write them, and tell them why they are voting for or against him/her. Voting is more powerful then anything. But, only if people use their right to vote. Some people cannot get to the voting polls, maybe due to a disability. If that is a problem, they can vote through the mail. Or if a person is in the hospital, two people from the voting polls will come to the hospital and let that person vote. People also need to understand that each vote does count. Voting is so important. If a person who is in Congress has missed 16 meetings, then vote for the person running against him/her. We need to let politicians know, that we are the people who hired them and we are the people who can fire them. Forget the super pac, the people who lobby. The voters are stronger then any of that. Well, only if they vote. Ok, I will stop raving and ranting now.

Dennis AuBuchon profile image

Dennis AuBuchon 4 years ago Author

Thanks for the comment and the compliment in my fan mail.

Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

You are welcome.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article