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Poll: Majority Have Lost Faith In Government

From a terribly discouraged Washington Post:

Poll: Majority of public has lost faith in government ability to fix economy

By Jon Cohen
Published: August 10

Barely one in four Americans has confidence that the federal government has the ability to fix economic problems, and most share Standard & Poor’s indictment of the country’s policy-making process, according to a new Washington Post poll.

The spreading lack of confidence is matched by an upsurge in dissatisfaction with the country’s political system and a widespread sense that S&P’s characterization of U.S. policy-making as increasingly “less stable, less effective and less predictable” is a fair one…

When it comes to economic issues, the erosion in public trust is deep: Just 26 percent now have even some faith the government can actually solve problems. Confidence is down 21 percentage points from October 2010, and less than half its 2002 levels.

Isn’t this good news?

One big issue is public concern that the government is failing to address major problems. More than seven in 10 Americans say the federal government is “mostly focused on the wrong things,” a sentiment that is also sharply higher than it was last fall

Redistributing the country’s wealth shouldn’t be government’s top priority?

Fully 78 percent of those polled are unhappy with the country’s political system, up significantly from two years ago. Now, nearly half — 45 percent — are “very dissatisfied.” Dissatisfaction crosses party lines, with intense unhappiness peaking among independents, more than half of whom report being very dissatisfied.

Obama has been in the White House for the past two years, hasn’t he?

It might be little surprise then that 71 percent see S&P’s political analysis in its downgrade announcement — lambasting the country’s policy-making process — as accurate. Fewer, 52 percent, say the downgrade was a fair read on the country’s financial situation

The problem is not the "country’s policy-making process." The problem is that one side does not even recognize that there is a problem.

We are spending too much, and the Democrats want to spend even more. S&P and all other rational beings should realize that simply cannot go on.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 11th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “Poll: Majority Have Lost Faith In Government”

  1. tranquil.night says:

    Like I said before, MBM me-me: government dysfunctional/economic storms = Tea Party to blame non-stop. Fudge the polls, butcher History, lie, lie, lie.

    Is anyone out there in politics and not just commenting on it going to ever stand up for us to this 24/7 horse-s*** or are they just going to sit there going through their junior high prom king/queen election campaigns?

    From what I’ve seen, Sarah’s really the only one still with any real comprehension against whom we’re facing and how to effectively combat them. It continues to disgust me how much people still buy into the false caricature of her so thoroughly beaten into the national Psyche in 2008. At least she’s finally getting some respect lately from some broader Republican circles. She’s so far ahead of the rest of the pack.

    • tranquil.night says:

      My God, I’m listening to Hannity play the full clips of Mittoast handling the hecklers at the fair and I am shocked and genuinely impressed by both his poise and the substance of his response under such on-the-spot pressure.

      He’s very adamant: (paraphrasing) “I am not going to raise taxes to reform social security/Medicare. There was a time before the current President in America when we didn’t demonize success. All producers are a value to the Economy. Half don’t pay income taxes if we’re going to talk about fairness, etc.”

      I’ll be darned.

    • proreason says:

      Yeh, he’s actually pretty good at candidating.

      The gripe is that he isn’t genuine, and that he’ll say anything to get elected.

      Personally, I can live with him. People do change, although his history makes you suspicious. My biggest complaint with Mitt is that he is, at heart, a big government guy. I think he’s fiscally conservative enough, and probably socially conservatiave for most on the right, but his whole background makes him into a government guy.

      In any event, as you know, if I conclude he’s the most likely winner, I’ll go for him. I’m waiting now to see how Perry performs and whether Palin and Christie get in or not. I’m watching Bachmann too, who is really doing pretty good.

      Another thing I like about Romney this year is that if they go after his religion, it opens up Reverend Wright for a national advertising campaign. They will also go after his career at Bain Capital, but I also think he is relatively immune to it. That demagoguery will appeal to the droolers, of course, but thinking people will view hard-nosed business success as a plus this year. His response to Romneycare is also about as good as he can do as well. Not great, but unless he repudiates it entirely, he can’t do much better.

    • tranquil.night says:

      I agree on all points.

      This Iowa debate is shaping up pretty strong with all the personalities converging there. With Perry now in, it should get even better and we’ll see who’s ready to breakout to the next level soon. I love how Sarah is managing her presence as such a big an effective voice for the base even as its assumed she’s not a candidate. The mainstream doesn’t know what to do with her because she’s not operating by any conventional template but as a Tea Party advocate. It’s great.

      If it does come down to Romney, I think he’s manageable if he comes backed with a strong Tea Party mandate and another full sweep of Congress. Then we’ll have more power to check the establishment’s tendencies to appoint their cronies which end up tarnishing the ethical brand of the Republicans (c.f.e. Paulson, Foley, etc.).

      A more Conservative Congress would also have more influence in attempting stronger reforms even with a Moderate leader.

      Of course a Constitutional Conservative in charge is optimal, especially with the magnitude of the challenges on the horizon. We can’t afford to fall asleep again!

  2. proreason says:

    What’s amazing to me is the word ‘lost’.

    Where are the people who have had any faith in government since 1993?

    I must live in a parallel universe.

    • Petronius says:

      I had the same thought, pro.

      Also note the inherent bias in this Washington Post poll in favor of government central planning :

      “Just 26 percent now have even some faith the government can actually solve problems.”

      When will they ever make the mental leap from understanding that government-doesn’t-solve-problems to government-interference-is-useless-and-often-dangerous?

      When will they realize that there are no solutions to most social and economic problems, which are in fact not problems at all, but permanent conditions of human existence?

      And perhaps then attaining the understanding that government, by tampering with the existing social order, invariably substitutes new and worse problems by undermining the healthier sectors of society?

      Then perhaps comes the realization that it is the Liberals in government who have a vested interest in creating problems, both real and illusory. And that by creating problems Liberals are able to extend their power over society.

      Then finally the realization that it is neither possible nor desirable for government to attempt to solve all problems. But rather that the purpose of government is to maintain conditions within which the citizens are free to make their own arrangements to deal with their own problems, as they think best.

      And ultimately the understanding that that is how free societies function.

    • proreason says:

      “When will they realize that there are no solutions to most social and economic problems, which are in fact not problems at all, but permanent conditions of human existence? ”

      The whole post is great, Pertonius, but this kernal is really important.

      Somehow, people have let themselves be persuaded by people whose sole purpose is to con them, that normal states of humanity are things that the con men can “fix” by waving their magic wands after confiscating other people’s money.

  3. JohnMG says:

    Petronius; Here, Here!

    The only flaw I can find in the entire post is; “When will they realize….”

    You’re asking quite a bit from people who, for the last five decades, have been educated(?) primarily through the public school system.

  4. sticks says:

    Hi everybody, I am a long time lurker who has never posted because all of you do such an outstanding job of bringing clarity and understanding to the insanity that goes on in our nation these days. The comment made by Petronius, however, has flushed me out.”[T]he realization that it is neither possible nor desirable for government to attempt to fix all problems. But rather the purpose of government is to maintain conditions in which citizens are free to make their own arrangements…” This idea was foundational to the establishment of our republic, yet this same idea has been constantly undermind if not attacked outright. All throughout our country children in public school are being taught the exact opposite, that the purpose of government is to “fix” our “problems.” The intent of this teaching is clear to those who are willing to see it, a change in the purpose of government will bring about a change of government from a nation where men are granted liberty and rights established by law to something else. this change like a snowball rolling downhill is gaining momentum (the Marxists are literally pushing the snowball). Only the willingness to face the truth and accept respnonsibility will change the direction we are going in, but do Americans have the ability to do that? Actually I think most Americans still do, but we must stand our ground and it will be a fierce battle.

  5. Rusty Shackleford says:

    What I read into this article is a subversive attempt to identify our governmental system as “wrong” or “incorrect” when nothing could be further from the truth. Our system was designed perfectly. It is cumbersome, etc. Intentionally so, so that no one individual or group of individuals inside it can commandeer it to become a socialist dictatorship, though with the democrats owning all three branches of it, it can come close. But the founders of this nation anticipated that and as long as elections happen, the people can still have a voice and the system can self-correct. (Hello, November 2010).

    But the article, by quoting people who think that “government can’t solve problems” is steering the argument in the direction that the people want problems to be solved, when, as has been made abundantly clear here, it is the PEOPLE who should be solving their own problems and given free reign to do so, within the confines of accepted custom and law.

    As Reagan said, “Government is the problem.” and that means government, more often than not, needs to get out of the way. But then there’s that 20+% of those people who want someone else to do their thinking for them. The lazy bastards who are the same ones who cut you off or pull out in front of you at the last second on the road. The ones whose brains aren’t wired to accept anything other than being told what to do/think/eat/say, etc. The ones who want to be free, but only as long as they are told what “free” is. Theirs is a warped perspective on what freedom really is and the responsibility it entails. We have one of those people in the white house right now. They are the first to insist, “there needs to be a rule” but are the most upset when they find that rule applies to them.

    So, as always, “you just can’t fix stupid” and thus, the thinkers and doers in this nation have to find a way to move around them and let freedom ring.

  6. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Great posts, one and all. I’ve always felt that those who try to save the world through laws and regulations are the most miserable people on the face of the Earth because they realize that they can’t. As I consistently remind my children, you can’t save everyone (or even yourself) from the trials of life. There will always be someone poor and another who is rich beyond belief. It seems unfair but that’s life.

    As for me, I lost faith in our government early into my military career. What sealed the deal was when I returned from the Persian Gulf and the medics issued me a new shot record. They had no problems of jotting down every injection I ever had from my old shot record, but for some odd reason reason drew the line on the two entries where I received anthrax shots. When I pointed this out they said it wasn’t necessary but I told them to list it anyway. To this request they refused and said that if I wanted that data entered into my new record then I’d have to do it myself. I asked what were they hiding, but they just looked at me as if I were speaking an unknown language. From that point on I became very cynical of our government.


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