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Poll: U.S. Public Has No Confidence in Government

New Washington Post poll confirms that public trust in the U.S. government is eroding; Fox News poll says 81 percent of voters think Congress is doing a bad job.

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Americans are not happy with their current government, and their dissatisfaction with how lawmakers are dealing with the economy has grown sharply over the past 10 months, according to a Washington Post poll released on Wednesday.

According to the Washington Post:

Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they have little or no confidence in Washington to repair the economy. Confidence is down 21 percentage points from October 2010, and is less than half its 2002 levels. Roughly four in 10 say they have no confidence at all in the federal government when it comes to dealing with the economy.

The number of people who expressed no confidence at all nearly doubled since October 2010 alone. Almost half of political independents now say “none” when asked about their confidence, more than double the proportion saying so last fall….

More than seven in 10 say Washington is focused on the “wrong things.” That too is sharply higher than it was just 10 months ago.

While the Obama administration criticized Standard & Poor’s view of the United States as “less stable, less effective and less predictable,” 52 percent of people the Washington Post polled thought the downgrade was a fair assessment of the country’s financial situation.

Other surveys are picking up a similar level of disapproval.

Only 10 percent of American voters approve of their lawmakers’ performance, according to Fox News’ most recent poll, also released Wednesday. That’s the lowest job approval rating Congress has ever received in a Fox poll. A whopping 81 percent of voters disapproved of the job Congress is doing – also a record, Fox News says. Democrats (78 percent), Republicans (84 percent) and independents (86 percent) all said Congress is falling down on the job.

Congress might have been less popular before the Civil War or during the political upheavals of the 1880s and 1890s, Charles Stewart III, a political scientist at MIT, told the Washington Post. But, he said, since public polling began, it has never been rated lower than it has been in recent days.

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