One of the reasons Congress is at such a low popularity with the American people is that it can’t get anything done.

One example is the inability of both political parties to reach a compromise on the budget.

But there are a few members who bravely supported true compromise recently.

Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., and Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, presented a budget alternative that followed the principles of the Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson commission, titled the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

It would cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade.

About 100 colleagues in the House signed a letter of support, but by the time the vote was taken, there were only 38 in favor: 382-38.

There are legitimate debates that ought to be held. These are tough decisions. But at the end of the day, we need to do something.

Said LaTourette on the House floor: “The mood in the country is: Throw the bums out. Throw them all out and replace them with new people. Americans are screaming for us to take off our red jerseys on this side, to take off the blue jerseys on that side, and put on the red, white and blue jerseys of the United States of America.”

If something like the Cooper-LaTourette budget is not passed soon, America is likely to face a financial panic.

We will look back at this resounding defeat as a great opportunity that was lost.

The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville (April 19)