Debt showdown unites Americans - in frustration

Residents were critical of both President Obama and Speaker Boehner for their handling of the debt negotiations.

The wrangling over the debt ceiling has left Congress bitterly divided, but it fostered consensus among Americans elsewhere - notably cynicism, anger and frustration.

Nationwide, 72 percent describe the negotiations as “ridiculous, disgusting, stupid” or with similarly negative terms in a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

Judging by the discussion on ABC7’s Facebook page, viewers in the D.C. region are just as frustrated with the partisan bickering.

“I wish our forefathers could return from the past and straighten these so-called congressmen out!” Donnie Barrett wrote on the page.

“I personally think the whole lot of them should be fired because no one seems to be interested in what’s good for the country, they want to look good come re-election time,” wrote David Dales.

Asked on the ABC7 Facebook page last week who they blamed for the debt crisis, 46 percent of respondents said they blamed Congressional Republicans, while 37 percent said both parties and President Obama were to blame equally.

“Everyone is at fault,” Brandon Miller wrote.

WJLA Facebook fan Carrie Ann suggested an unconventional way to find a solution, saying “I think Congress needs to have a 'Take Your Constituents to Work Day' and switch roles for the day, see if we can do a better job at decision making.”

The refusal of members of Congress to compromise despite the looming economic threat drew the ire of viewers.

“This is very upsetting to me,” wrote Harold Earl Sims, Jr. “This is a non-partisan issue that needs immediate attention for the welfare of all Americans, regardless of party affiliation.” He pointed to the disastrous impact a default would have on the economy and residents across the nation.

Nationally, the Pew poll found both the images of President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have taken a hit. Among the parties in Congress, 42 percent said they viewed Republicans in Congress less favorably. Thirty percent said the same about Congressional Democrats.

“The country leadership needs to swallow their pride and come to some sort of agreement,” Sean Hines wrote on the WJLA Facebook page. “The common folks are the ones that will suffer in the end from both sides trying to further their political agenda.”

Across the country, residents echoed those sentiments. Brad Parker, who runs a hardware store in Waverly, Neb., said he was fed up with lawmakers who seemed unwilling to compromise.

"They've been saying they were hired to do this," Parker said. "No. No. The voters did not hire you to be morons."

Tom Sanders, a financial planner from Albany, Ga., predicted lawmakers from both parties could suffer electoral consequences.

"It's not going to be good for them when the election comes around in the fall," he said. "I think America is tired of their way of doing business up there."

In the Pew poll, only 2 percent of respondents had a positive view and 11 percent were neutral. The disgust level was constant across the political spectrum.

What do you think of the debt deal? Like the WJLA page on Facebook and join the discussion.

With reporting from the Associated Press

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