19
Apr
10

Majority of Americans distrust the government

NEWS
Majority of Americans distrust the government

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nearly 80 percent of Americans say they have little faith that the massive federal bureaucracy can solve the nation’s ills, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center that shows public confidence in the federal government at one of the lowest points in a half-century.

The poll released yesterday illustrates the ominous situation facing President Obama and the Democratic Party 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 struggling economy and lots of incumbent Democrats could be out of work.

The survey found that 22 percent of those questioned say they can trust Washington almost always or most of the time, and 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.

Majorities in the survey call Washington too big and too powerful, and say it is 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.

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 before Obama was elected. Still, a majority supported the Obama administration exerting greater control over the economy during the recession.

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