We are not yet a nation of financial literates as the article "Most Americans haven't Planned for
Retirement and Other Areas of Concern" points out in some detail.
When we do become more financially literate as a society, we will insist that our elected representatives act in a time consistent and responsible manner as well. That would indeed be a wonderful development for all Americans.
In brief, the article points out that as the responsibility for making critical financial decisions has in recent years shifted to us as individuals, and in a difficult economy at that, not enough Americans have developed the capability to properly deal with these all important personal financial matters.
As an example, while the shift in retirement defined benefit pensions to defined contribution self directed plans such as the 401k and IRA has been occurring over several decades now, we have not yet become familiar enough to credibly manage these types of decisions ourselves in a responsible manner.
Regrettably, the same goes for far too many other financial choices as well.