Deeply troubling trends on attitudes toward government, AEI Political Report, October 2013

The US Capitol building is seen on Tuesday morning after the federal government was shutdown when the House and Senate failed to pass a budget in Washington October 1, 2013.

AEI Political Report October 2013 PDF

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It is hardly news that almost everyone is dissatisfied with Washington these days. But just how bad are the numbers? The editors of AEI's Political Report look at the polls and find some deeply troubling trends:

* Trust and confidence in government to handle domestic and international problems are at their lowest levels in 40 years. Only 49 percent trust the government a great deal or a fair amount when it comes to handling international affairs; 42 percent said the same about domestic problems.  

* Two-thirds say they are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed, the highest response in 40 years.

* Anger is rising. Seventeen percent said they were angry toward the federal government in 1992, but 27 percent give that response today.

* The proportion saying government has a negative impact on people's lives is 64 percent, up from 45 percent a decade ago.

* Six in ten say government is too powerful, another all-time high. Furthermore, people believe 60 cents of every dollar they pay in federal taxes is wasted.

* In 1972, 65 percent had a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in people in political life. Today, 46 percent do.

There's lots of blame to go around. 

 

Deeply Troubling Trends on Attitudes Towards Government, AEI Political Report October 2013

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