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Americans' Satisfaction with the Federal Government

The Washington Free Beacon's Ali Meyer reported yesterday, "Only 28 percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the way the United States is governed, according to a poll from Gallup."

She continued, writing:

"Americans' frustration with government is focused on Washington, D.C.," Gallup states. "This is seen in trust and approval ratings they give to the executive and legislative branches—especially Congress. U.S. adults maintain higher levels of trust in the judicial branch as well as state and local government."

"The poll finds that trust in U.S. institutions has been on the decline for some time, and the federal government is rated the least positive out of any business or industry sector mentioned. In addition, out of 22 professions Americans are asked about, the honesty and ethics of members of Congress are rated the lowest.

"When Gallup asks Americans what the most important problem facing the nation is, the federal government is the most frequent problem cited.

"The issues that Americans raise when they talk about government as the top problem center more on the process of government and political personalities—particularly infighting or bickering—than on worries about government, power, size, or specific policies or tendencies," the report states.

"Only 13 percent of Americans say they approve of Congress. Approval of the president has ranged from 35 to 40 percent, which is below the historical average. While many Americans have low trust for those holding a political office, most Americans have confidence and trust in citizens themselves.

"The poll finds that views of both parties, Democratic and Republican, are near historical lows. While 36 percent of Americans find Republicans favorable and 44 percent find Democrats favorable, more believe that Republicans can make the country prosperous and protected from external threats."

And concluded:

"‘Wary' remains the watchword to describe Americans' stance toward government power in 2017," Gallup states. "Over half of U.S. adults say the government has too much power, and more Americans say the government is doing too much to solve the country's problems (things that should be left to individuals and businesses) than say it should be doing more."

The Gallup poll results can be found here, and includes links to more detailed results. Gallup notes they have "recently published a series of articles detailing Americans' views on the performance of government and how they would prefer it function." Also, they "assembled the findings to provide a one-stop summary of public opinion on the way the nation is being led in 2017."

In a related Gallup poll, "deconstructing Americans' view of government as nation's top problem," Gallup included the chart below, reflecting how Americans' "top-of-mind" mentions of government as top problem changed over the years 1939 to 2017:

Although Tuesday's election -- November 7, 2017 -- includes only candidates for state and local offices, the November 2018 elections will be on the front-burner in no time. Therefore,  Arlington citizens are encouraged to use the Free Beacon report and the Gallup poll results to engage the candidates for Federal offices. Begin by asking them what they are doing to doing to improve the operational economy and efficiency of the Federal government. Contact information is available at the Library of Congress' Congress.gov. Taxpayers living in Virginia's Arlington County can contact:

  • Senator Mark Warner (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-2023
  • Senator Tim Kaine (D) -- write to him or call (202) 224-4024
  • Representative Don Beyer (D) -- write to him or call (202) 225-4376

And ask for a written response. And tell them ACTA sent you.


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