Our Broken Government

TIME and CNN are taking an in-depth look at the problems with Washington and what can be done to fix them

Illustration by Kelly Blair for TIME

Distrust of government is as old as the Republic. In fact, it's in some ways the basis of the Republic; the framers took great pains to dilute and spread out the powers of the central government. They did not want an overweening concentration of power at the center of our national life. At the same time, they arrived at those checks and balances through a spirit of compromise--something that's notably absent today in Washington. On the final day of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin noted that every member should "doubt a little of his own infallibility."

I remember when...

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