I normally don't blog about politics, and I don't intend to do so much, but I believe almost every citizen of the US is sick to death of how bad our politics have gotten. There is no one on any side of the spectrum who is willing to do the hard things that are necessary in order to stave off some pretty nasty things that are coming in the not so distant future. It doesn't matter what they believe, even if they are for it, they still won't vote for anything that they feel may endanger their reelection chances.
That one word, 'reelection', is the cornerstone of our political problems. From the moment an official takes office, almost everything they do is based around their reelection. They know that we must fix many big problems, like Social Security or the mounting debt, but even if they are for doing this they still won't touch it, because it means death to their reelection hopes.
I think the solution is rather simple, though of course it will never be implemented. There should be no reelections.
I would lengthen the term of each office by some reasonable amount, say 8-10 years for presidency and senators and 6 years for a representative, but no one is allowed to be reelected to any office. The benefits to this are clear -- officials would not be worrying about being booted from office and could focus directly on their actual job. An additional benefit would be the flow of fresh 'blood' through the system on a regular basis. People will argue that there are good things to be said for getting seniority in office, but I don't think it is hard to see that the current system is quite broken and having seniority is certainly not a valid enough reason to keep a system where people refuse to do what is right in favor of their own tenuous grips on power.
In the comments, Bethany mentions that people will not want to aim for politics as a career if they can't remain in power. Well, I don't believe it should be a career, nor do I think our founding fathers meant for it to be. Much as with juries (and the founding fathers themselves), political office should be a temporary public service performed by good, intelligent citizens concerned for their country.