'This Week' Extra: The Roundtable's Pre-Show Thoughts

PHOTO: Journalist Greta Van Susteren arrives at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, April 26, 2008 in Washington, DC.
Nancy Ostertag/Getty Images

Before "This Week" Sunday, we asked our roundtable participants to tell us what they are looking forward to discussing. Here are their pre-show thoughts.

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Greta Van Susteren: Politicians Are Talking About our Nation's Problems, not Working to Solve Them

Where is the outrage? Where are the politicians and why isn't the media pounding the politicians to do their urgent job? The economy is at a virtual standstill and politicians are talking about our nation's problems, not working to solve them. President Obama should summon the House and Senate back to Washington so they can get to work on sequestration and taxes. The American people – regardless of their economic status – can deal with the government's decision on tax cuts or raises. What they can't deal with is the uncertainty. If everyone is on the sidelines waiting for our politicians, and they are doing nothing to get us an answer on sequestration and taxes, how can we rev up the economy so that hurting people can get jobs?

We understand the importance of the campaign but we need some action now. We don't need to be in this holding pattern for months while they concentrate only on their own campaigns. No one is in Washington actually working on the problems. They are all on hiatus campaigning for their jobs. It is one thing if they had already done their jobs but they have not. They have known about this crisis about sequestration for almost a year and the tax issue longer so why are they not working on their unfinished business now?

Because of my job, I travel across the country. I see up close what the inactivity of Washington is doing to the economy and to the American people. Money is not being lent and people are not investing or spending – everyone is simply waiting, and waiting stops the economy. I don't want to be a flamethrower, but this is critical. I'm not letting the media off the hook, either – they should be putting a spotlight on what the inactivity is doing to Americans and not just reporting on the chatter between the campaigns and their gaffes.

Greta Van Susteren is a FOX News anchor.

Mary Matalin: A Response to Greta Van Susteren

My long time friend and fellow Midwesterner, Greta, is spot on in her depiction of the frustration, anxiety and anger with the dysfunctional federal system which cuts through every stratum of America.

I must respectfully disagree, however, with her prescription for relieving it. The economic uncertainty wrought of ill conceived, failed federal policies will not be remedied by temporary sequestration and tax tweaks. Neither big or small businesses nor families— blue, red or purple—organize their plans, lives and futures around short-lived but far-reaching, ever-changing intrusive federal policies.

We need long term, methodical and practical reform. Regulatory and tax reform that give businesses the confidence to grow with certainty; health care and energy reform to provide cost predictability and stability for families and businesses. We need free enterprise enthusiasts inspired to invest in American entrepreneurs and innovators, not our more business-friendly competitors around the globe. We need the feds to quit doing so much, not do more!

Mostly, and most importantly, we need a restoration of the American spirit, a renewal of our confidence and sense of purpose born of the time-honored values, virtues and work ethic that both launched and sustained this unique, exceptional country.

This is a mandate election at a cross road in history. Let the, for the moment, still free people tell their federal representatives their aspirations for our country...a centrally controlled and dependent stagnant land of lemmings or a vibrant, creative, innovative people-powered land of liberty.

Mary Matalin is a Republican strategist.

Rep. Donna Edwards: There Is Little Daylight Separating Akin From Romney-Ryan on the Question of Women's Reproductive Rights

Here's what's on my mind as I look forward to Sunday's roundtable.

1) Thanks to Citizens United, there has been a tremendous surge in unaccountable advertising that drown out the real choices facing our country this November. But the Republican and Democratic national conventions remain a tremendous opportunity to showcase the stark differences in policy between the two parties. Americans will be able to see clearly that President Obama and Democrats are dedicated to protecting Medicare for future generations, ensuring women have control over their health care decisions, and restoring certainty and prosperity to middle class families. If Republicans are honest about their agenda, Americans will see a presidential nominee and party bent on ending Medicare as we know it, restricting a woman's access to health care, and balancing the budget on the backs of working families, and the poor, while asking even less of the wealthiest Americans. Elections are about choosing a course for our country's future, and the two courses to be offered over the next two weeks could not be more different.

2) There is no question that Congressman Todd Akin's remarks about so-called "legitimate rape" were offensive. His explanation was alarmingly devoid of facts or science. More significantly, Congressman Akin's sentiment is consistent with the Republican Party convention platform and with the public policy agenda of the party's standard bearers, Governor Mitt Romney and his running mate Congressman Paul Ryan. Indeed, apart from being offended by Congressman Akin's words, there is little daylight separating Akin from Romney-Ryan on the question of women's reproductive rights, including family planning. And, while Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan would rather talk about other things, they cannot duck and cover from the extreme social agenda of the Republican Party that would use the long arm of the government to restrict women's access to health care, including family planning.

Rep. Donna Edwards is a Democrat from Maryland.

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