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Poll: 4 out of 5 Americans don't trust Washington

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    Post Poll: 4 out of 5 Americans don't trust Washington

    Poll: 4 out of 5 Americans don't trust Washington
    By LIZ SIDOTI (AP)

    WASHINGTON — America's "Great Compromiser" Henry Clay called government "the great trust," but most Americans today have little faith in Washington's ability to deal with the nation's problems.

    Public confidence in government is at one of the lowest points in a half century, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. Nearly 8 in 10 Americans say they don't trust the federal government and have little faith it can solve America's ills, the survey found.

    The findings illustrate the ominous situation President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party face as they struggle to maintain their comfortable congressional majorities in this fall's elections. Midterm prospects are typically tough for the party in power. Add a toxic environment like this and lots of incumbent Democrats could be out of work.

    Released Sunday, the survey found that just 22 percent of those questioned say they can trust Washington almost always or most of the time and just 19 percent say they are basically content with it. Nearly half say the government negatively affects their daily lives, a sentiment that's grown over the past dozen years.

    This anti-government feeling has driven the tea party movement, reflected in fierce protests this past week.

    "The government's been lying to people for years. Politicians make promises to get elected, and when they get elected, they don't follow through," says Cindy Wanto, 57, a registered Democrat from Nemacolin, Pa., who joined several thousand for a rally in Washington on April 15 — the tax filing deadline. "There's too much government in my business. It was a problem before Obama, but he's certainly not helping fix it."

    Majorities in the survey call Washington too big and too powerful, and say it's interfering too much in state and local matters. The public is split over whether the government should be responsible for dealing with critical problems or scaled back to reduce its power, presumably in favor of personal responsibility.

    About half say they want a smaller government with fewer services, compared with roughly 40 percent who want a bigger government providing more. The public was evenly divided on those questions long before Obama was elected. Still, a majority supported the Obama administration exerting greater control over the economy during the recession.

    Only twice since the 1950s has public skepticism dipped this deeply — from 1992 to 1995 during which time it hit 17 percent, and 1978 to 1980, bottoming out at 25 percent. The nation was going through economic struggles during both of those periods.

    "Trust in government rarely gets this low," said Andrew Kohut, director of the nonpartisan center that conducted the survey. "Some of it's backlash against Obama. But there are a lot of other things going on."
    And, he added: "Politics has poisoned the well."

    The survey found that Obama's policies were partly to blame for a rise in distrustful, anti-government views. In his first year in office, the president orchestrated a government takeover of Detroit automakers, secured a $787 billion stimulus package and pushed to overhaul the health care system.
    But the poll also identified a combination of factors that contributed to the electorate's hostility: the recession that Obama inherited from President George W. Bush; a dispirited public; and anger with Congress and politicians of all political leanings.

    "I want an honest government. This isn't an honest government. It hasn't been for some time," said self-described independent David Willms, 54, of Sarasota, Fla. He faulted the White House and Congress under both parties.
    The poll was based on four surveys done from March 11 to April 11 on landline and cell phones. The largest survey, of 2,500 adults, has a margin of sampling error of 2.5 percentage points; the others, of about 1,000 adults each, has a margin of sampling error of 4 percentage points.
    In the short term, the deepening distrust is politically troubling for Obama and Democrats. Analysts say out-of-power Republicans could well benefit from the bitterness toward Washington come November, even though voters blame them, too, for partisan gridlock that hinders progress.
    In a democracy built on the notion that citizens have a voice and a right to exercise it, the long-term consequences could prove to be simply unhealthy — or truly debilitating. Distrust could lead people to refuse to vote or get involved in their own communities. Apathy could set in, or worse — violence.

    Democrats and Republicans both accept responsibility and fault the other party for the electorate's lack of confidence.

    "This should be a wake-up call. Both sides are guilty," said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. She pointed to "nonsense" that goes on during campaigns that leads to "promises made but not promises kept." Still, she added: "Distrust of government is an all-American activity. It's something we do as Americans and there's nothing wrong with it."

    Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican who won a long-held Democratic Senate seat in Massachusetts in January by seizing on public antagonism toward Washington, said: "It's clear Washington is broken. There's too much partisan bickering to be able to solve the problems people want us to solve."

    And, he added: "It's going to be reflected in the elections this fall."
    But Matthew Dowd, a top strategist on Bush's re-election campaign who now shuns the GOP label, says both Republicans and Democrats are missing the mark.

    "What the country wants is a community solution to the problems but not necessarily a federal government solution," Dowd said. Democrats are emphasizing the federal government, while Republicans are saying it's about the individual; neither is emphasizing the right combination to satisfy Americans, he said.



  2. #2
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    big suprise.the only thing thats going to make those folks do their job is campaign reform and shorter term limits.gotta take money out of washington.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diablomex View Post
    big suprise.the only thing thats going to make those folks do their job is campaign reform and shorter term limits.gotta take money out of washington.
    And remove the special interest groups.

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    I assume the other 1/5th are politicials?
    Quote Originally Posted by Phineas View Post
    Don't you want to be compared to Chuck Norris? Hmm?? Don't you???

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    i think a lot of people have it wrong on what their getting mad about.if they fight for the things i said and to keep the special intrest outta of washington.things would work out for the better.when the only thing they have to worry about is your vote,the only thing.things will get done.

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    lol and you cant do a damn thing to change it. Basically you're fucked, and by extension so is the rest of the world.

    What America needs is a 'cultural revolution', kinda like what Mao and his buddies started



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    TheCaptn' is not a registered proctologist. His post are for his amusement only. Please seek proper medical advice if symptoms persist.

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    1 out of 5 American's out of touch with reality
    Coarse edged youth, the irish pendants string from their smiles
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    but oh they have yet to be experienced and that makes aging so very worth it...ML circa2012

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    whats that mean

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    i meant what capt said

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    Quote Originally Posted by diablomex View Post
    i meant what capt said
    google it....he means be a commie red....
    If you strike me down(ban me)I'll become more powerful than ever.. Don't say i don't warn you.


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    Quote Originally Posted by The Situation View Post
    google it....he means be a commie red....
    not neccessarily . . I ment deconstruct society for a utopian future . . . you dig?



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    i did look it up,and thats stupid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diablomex View Post
    i did look it up,and thats stupid.
    what's stupid is the way America is fucking itself up the arse . . rotten to the core



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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptRichArund View Post
    not neccessarily . . I ment deconstruct society for a utopian future . . . you dig?
    Every Utopian Dream has ended up being a dystopian holocaust....when our forefathers decided to change America they chose to make it a "more perfect" union" no jaded beliefs that it would be flawless and everyone would have rainbows in their eyes, they wanted to promote the general welfare not level the playing field.....
    Coarse edged youth, the irish pendants string from their smiles
    not yet plucked as to slacken the seams
    and drag down the features of age,
    no folds or creases from unkempt wear
    eyes of tranquilty, crystalline-beads
    no sign of despair in their hair, nor their hearts
    but oh they have yet to be experienced and that makes aging so very worth it...ML circa2012

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