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Congresswoman Susan Davis challenged San Diegans to balance the federal budget at a public meeting earlier this week at San Diego State. “I think that people get very frustrated when they hear about government's inability to hammer out a deal before the United States defaults on its credit for the first time in our nation's history, and I understand that," she said. "Citizens think to themselves, ‘What the hell is wrong with these Washington half-wits? My five-year-old can conduct ice-cream negotiations with his two-year-old sister in less time and with fewer tantrums than these clowns. I thought we elected politicians to speak for us, not get into some weird game of economic chicken.' I think that the exercises certainly are instructive in helping people see that this is tough.”

But when the group, composed of both Democrats and Republicans, came up with a workable proposal - involving the closing of various tax loopholes along with some painful but necessary spending cuts - after just two days of deliberation, Davis was quick to remind participants that "what you just did here doesn't really matter. It's all make-believe. The power to save or destroy the largest economy in the world is in our hands, not yours. And don't you forget it."

“These folks are the voting public, it allows them to express their opinion,” said Janet Ryan, spokeswoman for the Concord Coalition, which sponsored the event “It gives them a sense - however false - that they are participating in their government. Isn't that cute?”

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