Wednesday, October 22, 2014

News
Social media: Fiscal cliff situation 'jeopardizing faith in our government'
by Chris Patterson


(CNN) -- The "fiscal cliff" is hours away. And Americans are angry.

Across the country, millions are fed up with a Congress that seems unable to get some important things done.

"We need Congress to represent the people, not two arrogant parties that can't see middle ground," Garry Benner says.

"Nowhere else in this country can you get paid for ... years and not do your job," Tom Jeffries says.

By posting their views on Facebook, Benner and Jeffries joined a growing chorus of millions who are venting through social media.

The messages, which include videos sent to CNN iReport, are "so useful, because the people in Washington need to hear from the everyday American," says Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and CNN contributor.

Some are furious with Republicans for fighting against allowing tax breaks for the nation's wealthiest to expire, despite an election that made clear that a majority of Americans support the idea.

"Asking Republicans to give up money is like asking the sun for water in the desert," Thomas Hannsz complains.

Others say Democrats and President Obama aren't doing enough to cut spending. "We need to cut entitlements & spending & get people off" government reliance, Candria Crisp writes.

One of the most striking, and disheartening, iReports comes from Shannen Bazzi, an 18-year-old student of international affairs at George Washington University.

"My New Year's message to Washington is that this entire fiscal cliff problem isn't just an isolated incident. It's representative of how partisanship and polarization have taken over Congress," she says.

"i used to be excited for the future, but I don't want to live in a country that doesn't have a successful working (legislature). Congress, it's time for you to remember what your purpose really is and get back to doing your job."

What she's seeing from Washington "has almost turned me off from that field of work," Bazzi says. "Congress is not only jeopardizing our economy, it's also jeopardizing faith in our government in general."

Fellow iReporter Vernon Hill is among the many not mincing words. "My new year's message to Washington is to grow up, act like adults, do your jobs or resign immediately. We are tired of your being useless and refusing to do your jobs."

Valerie Stayskal called on Washington to put "partisanship aside" in the new year and work on behalf of the country, "fixing this mess that you have gotten us into. And bring a balanced budget to the table to grow this economy for the long term and not the short term."

But some people think the cliff isn't something to be avoided at all.

"Let's go over it," Adam Chance Campbell argued on Facebook. "It's long overdue and we need several more just like it. It's my firm belief that certain politicians have no interest in 'solving' the fiscal cliff issue, as it is the easiest way of implementing long overdue cuts without the endless Congressional committees and squabbles."

Some made similar arguments on Twitter.

But by and large, the tweets -- which helped make "Congress" the top trending topic on Twitter for a time Sunday -- are about frustration.