What initiative would you like to see Washington take up next?

The campaign for a health-care overhaul has commanded attention for months. Today’s Question: What initiative would you like to see Washington take up next?

  • Noel

    Gay Marriage! Today my partner and I Celebrate our 18th anniversary and we still can not get married! I hope to see it in my life time.

  • Peter

    The education system in this country is no longer working for our kids. If the government can make No Child Left Behind work, great; if not, we need something new. Most of all, though, it’s time to change our tax code for our kids.

  • Stephanie

    Comprehensive immigration reform! The immigration dilemma is only getting worse while we turn a blind eye. CIR must include acknowledgement of the United States’ role (economic, political) in leaving so many with seemingly no other option than to cross the border in order to save their and their families’ lives, and real, feasible solutions to change this relationship between the US and less economically-developed countries. It is more than time to treat all people living in the US with dignity and respect no matter what country they’re from or how they entered the US.

  • Jeanette Bleeker

    Jobs, jobs, jobs! It the economy stupid–we definately need to re-order this area

  • Sue de Nim

    Simplify the tax code. Put H&R Block out of business.

  • Gary F

    Why would a someone start or expand a small business today?

    In the last year The Marx Brothers(Obama, Pelosi, and Reid)……..

    Increased the death tax. So, instead of working hard to build your plumbing business/hardware store/restaurant chain/carpet cleaning business/beauty salon/etc so you can give it to your children, the government now gets half when you die, even though you’ve paid taxes on your earnings your whole life.

    Almost passed Cap and Tax, so if you have a fleet of plumbers/couriers/computer technicians, your costs will go up dramitically with this. If you have a factory that uses electricity or natural gas to produce your product, you now have greater costs. Why build it in the USA? Why hire more workers?

    With all the new health care regulations and taxes, companies will produce less here because of all the new costs and indecision that it will bring. Why build it here?

    They plan on giving amnesty to illegals. So why hire US citizens?

    Their next plan will be a “VALUE ADDED SALES TAX” or VAT. Another reason to build it somewhere else.

    SO, for all you folks that think that government is the answer………..

    Don’t expect any recovery for a long, long, time…….

    Get used to misery, but, isn’t that what socialism/statism is all about, the unequal distribution of misery?

    Greece is the word……………….

  • Deb

    The government is not done tackling health care reform. The government has been addressing payment and coverage reform and has not focused on the drivers behind the cost of health care nor have they focused on quality. It’s time to tackle the entire health care system that we’ve created in this country and not just pump more money into a broken system. I would like to see more emphasis on quality and incentives for keeping people healthy.

  • http://quinceurbanhomestead.blogspot.com/ Devin Quince

    In all honesty, disband and realize they are a failure and let the states give it a try.

  • Steven

    Banking and investment re-regulation. Financial services were over-regulated when Reagan took office, but deregulation went too far, beginning with Clinton’s administration. If we’d had a good balance, the Great Recession might not have happened. The financial services “industry” needs adult supervision.

  • http://radiochildcare.org Michael Kauper

    Stop extreme overcharges for medical drugs, tests and procedures. fight the 500% to 2,000% excess fees we pay for ordinary drugs, exams, routine procedures, and questionable and often careless medicine.

    Introduce more competition, openness, shorter drug patents, more oversight, more freedom, to curb the terrible and immoral overcharges.

  • Deemo

    1. Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repealed & replaced with a comprehensive non-discrimination policy for the armed forces.

    2. Finance & Banking reform that creates an independent agency tasked with enforcing fair banking & investment policies.

    3. Withdraw from Iraq.

    4. Energy Policy that includes heavy investment in solar technology, wind power & hydroelectricity.

    5. In the meantime, Congress should repeal the filibuster amendment & revert back to the original bill that made you actually have to filibuster in order to hold up further legislation. If there’s one thing that this HC bill has shown me, is how distorted & perverted they have made our democratic process.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Since lying by politicians is constitutionally protected free speech, it would be nice if we could somehow prohibit people believing those lies.

  • Tanya

    End Congress’ free health care for life!!!! Doing that would save so much money. Also, make the members of Congress pay for part of it like the rest of employed Americans do for their health insurance.

  • Bonnie

    Banking and financial services regulation.

  • Steve the Cynic

    On second thought, we can’t prohibit people believing politicians’ lies. That’s freedom of religion.

  • David N.

    Gary F: You seem to be making a lot of If, Maybe, Almost assumptions. You’re first line was “In The last Year” and then your points started with, “Almost Passed, Plan To, Will Produce, Next Plan”

    I think it is important to take a step back, and just wait to see what actually happens.

    The way I see it, since the “Marx” brothers came to power, our economy has been getting better, we have completely overhauled the health system so that 30+ million people will no longer be a burden on us by using hospital facilities and not paying for them, my house is worth thousands more than it was when they came to power, and I have a job again. Things are GREAT.

  • Mary Alice Harvey

    Serious, comprehensive regulation of the financial services industry, with the resources provided to actually keep track of what they are doing. Protections for the consumers of financial services should also be included.

  • Clark

    Clawbacks of all salaries and pensions for democrats who voted for health aare Legislation if, in 10 years the program costs $2 trillion instead of saving S100 billion as they promised. All democrats who voted for this legislation would be send a bill to recover salaries, pensions and all other costs for the previous 10 years. Liens would be places on homes, bank accounts. Finally, consequenses for a bad decision!!!!

  • Sally

    Energy legislation.

    We may well be left in the dust by the likes of China and India in devleoping energy independence. Wring the politics out of moving forward to compete in the global ecomony.

  • Khatti

    Jobs–even if it means the government has to create WPA type programs.

    What seems to be forgotten in this debate is that the government is spending money on unemployed people anyway — in the form of entitlements and benefits. If you had these folks planting trees in Idaho you would at least have something to show for your money. And does anyone remember that bridge collapsing thing that happened in 2006. It’s not like the government could not find things for people to do.

    I freely admit it would be better if people could find work in the private sector. But the private sector does not seem to be going on a hiring binge right now. This may happen in the long run–but John Maynard Keynes observation about the long run still applies.

  • Ute

    Campaign Finance Reform. Since lies that are being spread by politicians and they’re pundits are considered free speech and a right-leaning supreme court considers corporations “persons” who also have the right to free speech, laws need to be enacted quickly to return to a more fair and truthful way to campaign politically. As if industry is not powerful enough yet, it would otherwise take over our government completely. Small businesses will be defeated in no time.

  • Bob Franklin

    i would like to see immigration reform addressed. defining our immigration policy would go a long way to addressing the economic uncertainty we face.

  • Lawrence

    I would like Congress to re-assess the War in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although conservatives keep talking about cutting government spending, nobody from either party has asked the American people or their colleagues about the wisdom of spending money on these two countries. Whatever terrorists are there, our military has not been able to round them up. What ever government is there, our military has not been able to get popular support for it. Quite frankly, our resources would be better spent containing Iran and forcing Israel and the Palestinians to forge peace in the Middle East.

  • James

    Pulling their heads out of the special interest butts and listening to the will of the people they are suppose to govern…. That would be nice.


  • bsimon

    Reform of the banking industry / wall street. We need to adjust the balance between allowing the free market to work & regulating the market such that entities don’t grow to the point that the rest of us get hit as collateral damage when one or more of them explode.

    i.e. if AIG and Goldman Sachs want to dabble in collateralized debt obligations and arcane derivatives of tranched mortgages, great, let them. But don’t let them do so to the point that the global financial system is put at risk when these securities end up being bad bets. If the big boys want to bet all their marbles that they’re smarter than the next guy, great – let them have their fun. But they shouldn’t be allowed to come to me & the average taxpayer with their hands out when they lose.

  • Eileen

    Civility classes for EVERYONE

  • Al Heebsh

    I would like to see Congress tackle banking and financial reform if they could do it right. However, I doubt that our current slate of House and Senate leaders could craft effective legislation on this topic. This is a complex area that would be easy to screw up. Further, I doubt most in Congress truly have the best interest of the American people as their focus. Pelosi and Reid have provided truly ineffective and highly partisan leadership for the sake of partisanship itself. As for the Republicans, what’s their position? Whatever position will make the Democrats look the worst, regardless of the value to the American people.

    Congress should tackle financial reform, but I’m afraid they are so disfunctional at this point that they’ll only screw it up.

  • http://blog.clarosysy.com Comrade Greg Burneske

    I don’t understand why the healthcare bill is such a big deal. We all know that food is much more essential to our day to day existence.

    I would like to see congress take up a food bill. Let’s stop the insanity of having to spend our hard earned money at the grocery store. Corporate groceries are making money hand over fist and it just isn’t right. Do you know how much money the CEO of Kroger’s made last year?

    Individual families struggle with the meal planning and the worries about a getting balanced nutrition. And what if you can’t afford food?

    Let’s pass a bill that would require the government to deliver every household “three squares” a day. Let’s take care of people’s needs before we worry about luxeries like health insurance.

    From each according to his ability, to each according to his need!

  • Mark

    The next issue has to be financial services/banking/Wall St. reform. It is quite stunning that the government has not made any changes to prevent this from happening again, and this needs to be the next big reform issue.

  • Gordon in Two Harbors

    Banking Reform is critical for the long-term prosperity of individuals and businesses in this country.

    Next, would be immigration reform. Unfortunately, there is no way to deport 12 million illegal immigrants, so we’ll have to follow Reagan’s example by giving most of them amnesty, followed by limiting all immigration to 100,000 per year (currently, it’s a stunning million per year, counting illegals). Border security must be given high priority.

    America already has well over 300 million people, and we’re headed for 400 million within twenty years. How do you want your grandkids to live?? At some point we pas that fine line that divides living from mere surviving.

  • http://minnesota.publicradio.org/publicinsightjournalism/ comments sent to MPR

    Comments texted to MPR:

    I would like them to focus on the food industry and putting more regulations on Closing down companies. -Lily, Rochester

    Nothing! -James, Grand Forks

    Food banks for the poor. Because children need to know they’re going to get a good healthy meal for breakfast and dinner. -Chris, Brooklyn Park

    Next job for congress: Create real, long-lasting jobs then reform financial sector. -Martin Kappeyne, Wayzata

    Financial reform and gay rights. The dehumanization of this population has gone on for far too long. -Mike, Savage

    Next issue: Without question re-regulate the irresponsible actions of the financial and banking industries with consumer protection. -Jim, Strandburg, SD

    U.S. bankruptcy for individuals and small businesses. -Mike, Lakeland

    Immigration reform should be next. U.S admits 50,000 people yearly via the Diversity Visa Lottery. Those already here should be given a chance to live here. -Pius, Saint Michael

    Climate change legislation! -Kristen, st. Paul

    This is financial reform, not medical care reform. It could level primary/specialty care money, but does not yet. -Bruce Parker

    Immigration reform. -Nicole, Mankato

    Comity! We need to start “binding our nation’s wounds” after this health care civil war. -anonymous

    It is a high time for immigration reform! -anonymous

    Energy and climate change. A climate bill will put us on the road to economic growth and energy security! -anonymous

    Education – pay teachers the salary they deserve with less testing and micro management and Nclb. -anonymous

  • Tony

    Jobs. Then re-regulation of banks and Wall Street, and repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

  • Jesse

    Energy policy.

  • Betsy

    End the wars!

  • Chad

    Progressive taxation. No other single topic effects more.

  • Philip

    It’s the economy, stupid.

  • Tim Eiler

    The next thing on which the federal government should focus is figuring out how to delete one funded thing for every new funding requirement it adds.

  • Tom

    I’d apprecaite less government.

  • John in Saint Paul

    cut the defense department budget 20%.

  • Lois

    Addressing the twin challenges of climate change and fossil fuel depletion. If we don’t start developing a fossil-fuel-free economy soon our children will face a life of dire poverty.

    Campaign finance reform is a close second. Until we get the influence of big money out of politics it will be very difficult for Washington to do any of the myriad of other things that need to be done.