I have a few suggestions for you. Since normally these ideas are reserved for friends who purposely set me off on a rant, you should make sure you pay attention.
1. Immigration- it's easy. Issue a 5 year work visa. Tax them. Give them ID cards. Track them. Make it so that families don't huddle in fear at the mention of INS. Done.
2. Healthcare- here's the deal. I'm a teacher with a master's degree. And I have to put off needed medical and dental care because I simply cannot afford it. I'm 33, and in pretty good health, so this is not an immediate problem. However, lacking preventative care is going to seriously affect me in the future. I am willing to pay more taxes if it would ensure that I wouldn't have to make these decisions. People who say they want healthcare but aren't willing to pay for it are stupid and you should stop listening to them.
3. Education- very simple. Adopt New York's Regent tests as mandatory for graduation nation wide. They're fair, a good assessment tool and don't require teachers to teach to the test. Everyone gets graded according to the same requirements. Then you supply the training teachers need. You nationally certify them instead of this state to state nonsense. And while you're at it, require ALL teachers to have an advanced degree. In some states you can teach with a bachelor's degree and it doesn't even have to be in the subject you teach, as long as you pass some pansy test that a trained monkey could pass. When you have trained professionals who are dedicated, you can accomplish anything with any child.
4. Lobbyist- make them illegal. They do no good, they corrupt the system and contribute nothing.
5.Gay marriage- is a civil rights issue. You are denying them a basic right. Government doesn't have the right to this any more than they had the right to deny the right to vote to minorities or women. If religions wish to deny people this right, then that is THEIR right. The government should have no say.
6. Abortion- see last two sentences of last suggestion. Done.
7.Military- it's necessary unless the entire world suddenly becomes Quakers. So pay for it, but remember that in the end we'll PAY for it. Use your resources wisely, realize that we will hold you accountable. Don't send in 20,000 troops when two Black Ops missions will do. And stop trying to recreate the world in our image. It won't work. When we all have healthcare, we have a 100% literacy rate and our prisons are empty and our streets aren't littered with homeless (read: when we have fixed ourselves) then feel free to hold ourselves up as a great society. Until then, you've got crap to do here.
8.Mandatory service- make it required that everyone serve their country. Americorp, the military, teaching/lawyering/doctoring in underserved communities, something that gives back to the communities we live in. One year. Not so long. Teach children that they need to be informed AND involved. Help our communities that need it most.
9. Higher education- make it so that everyone who wants it, gets it. See previous note about being willing to pay taxes. At the very least forgive the student loans of people who do their mandatory service. They've already given, why must they then pay?
All of the above ideas are common sense. Which practically guarantees that you won't do any of them. Congress and the legislative branch in general seem to be allergic to common sense. However, I felt the need, as a concerned, informed, involved citizen to tell you that some of us have noticed how easy the answers are and wonder why you aren't making any progress.
Some of us will be watching you. Try, just once, not to disappoint us.