Poll: 81% unhappy with U.S. government

Posted Sep 26, 2011 by Kim I. Hartman
An overwhelmingly majority of American said they are dissatisfied with our political leaders in Washington and the way they are governing the nation, according a new poll.
White House South Facade
The south facade of the White House.
Matt H. Wade (CC BY-SA 3.0)
The annual Governance survey conducted by Gallup in September found that Americans are not pleased with the US government on many levels, and those numbers have hit an all-time high.
In a poll compiled from a random sampling of people living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 81 percent of Americans said that they are not satisfied with the governance of the country, compared to 19 percent who are satisfied. Those numbers were higher for Republicans with 92 percent saying they disapproved of the way the country is governed. 65 percent of Democrats voiced their displeasure in the 2011 survey.
Even more American disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job with 82 percent responding negatively, according to Gallup. The approval rating of Congress saw a rally following 9/11 but has continued to fall since the terrorist attacks that claimed thousands of lives.
In a separate Gallup survey "seventy-seven percent of Americans say the nation would be better off if leaders followed public opinion more closely. One in five Americans say the nation would be worse off if leaders paid more attention to the public's views."
When questioned on federal spending Americans estimate that 51 cents of each tax dollar collected by the government is wasted, an increase of 13 percent from 1986. The results of the survey were the highest estimated percentage of waste Gallup has measured since they began asking the question in 1979.
In an August Gallup survey President Barack Obama saw his job approval rating drop to 40 percent, an all-time low for his presidency.
“Americans’ various ratings of political leadership in Washington add up to a profoundly negative review of government — something that would seem unhealthy for the country to endure for an extended period,” Gallup wrote. “Nevertheless, with another budget showdown looking inevitable and a contentious presidential election year getting underway, it appears the ratings reviewed here could get worse before they improve.”