By Linda McMahon
Each week on the show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," a team of professionals and volunteers comes together to give deserving families a wonderful new home over their heads.
Typically, the featured home is unsafe or in such disrepair that it must be razed and rebuilt from scratch.
As I travel around Connecticut, people of all political persuasions tell me they see our financial house in the same way.
They see a system in shambles and in dire need of repair. They see the White House and Congress at loggerheads, the Senate failing to pass a budget for over three years, and a Super Committee issuing bipartisan recommendations on long-term deficit reduction that are completely ignored.
Washington is broken. People understand this. People also understand the price we are paying. Spending and deficits are out of control.
America's once golden credit rating has been downgraded, and unemployment is rising again in Connecticut.
What people don't understand is why our representatives can't do what is right for our country. Why can't they compromise?
I support sensible compromise. For example, on the question of taxes, I believe there is a common-sense position most people in Connecticut would agree upon. As long as our economy is struggling, no one's taxes should be raised.
However, once the economy has improved and is back on sound footing, I would be willing to pay more in taxes, provided it is done under one condition: The money must be used to reduce the deficit. I am sure there are others in my situation who would agree.
My opponent, Rep. Chris Murphy, has a different position.
A no-compromise position. He's already voted to raise taxes -- regardless of the economy -- on everyone, every individual, family and small business. This causes further deterioration of our fiscal house. It also leads to a larger point.
To achieve real compromise, to put country ahead of careers, to repair our fiscal house after decades of neglect by both parties, we must do what they do on "Extreme Makeover": We must tear down the house and start over from scratch.
But that will never happen with career politicians, those whose actions caused the disrepair in the first place. Put simply, we need a new breed of leadership in Washington.
We need leaders who have lived and worked in the real world; leaders who know what it takes to create jobs and who have spent sleepless nights wondering how they would meet a payroll; leaders who treat every colleague with respect and who won't promise one thing in Connecticut, but fail to deliver in Washington.
That is why I have drawn upon my knowledge and real-world experience to create a jobs plan that will bring our economy back to health: six common-sense solutions that will provide a middle-class tax cut, lower tax rates on small business job creators, improve job training, stop runaway spending and regulation, and develop more American energy.
That plan will be the basis for all that I will fight for if elected as your U.S. senator of Connecticut. I am prepared to do everything I can to help rescue the future for our children and grandchildren.
But it requires new blood in Washington. The election in November will be an opportunity to replace career politicians with leaders from the real world willing to undertake a massive salvage job.
Leaders willing to roll up our sleeves, grab a sledgehammer and take action to rebuild our dilapidated fiscal house, to make it stronger and more secure than ever before.