Americans are getting fed up with politics, Congress, and the Federal government, and say they no longer trust the government or Congress’s ability to fix it. A record number of Americans also say the country is on the wrong track.
According to a new CBS/NYTimes poll, the public’s trust in the government has reached an all-time low, and trust that Congress will do the will of the voters has reached a miserable 15%, with most saying Congress does the will of special interest and anonymous corporations.
This comes as the richest 1% of Americans tripled their income while the rest of the country’s effective income has dropped to lows not seen since the Great Depression. Protest movements like Occupy Wall Street and the hundreds of offshoot Occupy movements have sprung up across the country, giving publicity to what many are feeling, that they have been left out of the American dream.
The standard of living has been dropping since shortly after World War II. A household used to be able to live on the income of one person; usually, the main breadwinner was the man of the house, but not anymore. Increasingly it takes two income earners to make enough to cover the cost of living and still have an acceptable quality of living. The middle class has shrunk by 23% since 1997. The number of Americans living in poverty has reached record levels, including the number of youths in American living at or below the poverty line.
When asked which way their congressional representative would vote, 59% say it would be for the needs and interests of special interest groups and the congressman’s own pet interests. Also, nearly 2/3 say most of Congress will do what they need to do to raise money in order to stay in Congress and that usually there is no viable alternative candidate to vote for, feeling more like they are voting for the lesser of two evils.
Americans, by and large, have been able to keep their standard of living and quality of living higher by relying on credit. The Federal government, along with individuals, has been borrowing at never-before-seen rates over the last 10 years.
Overall, the polls that have come out in the last few months have shown that Capitol Hill is not truly in touch with their electorate, that they have forgotten the “will” of the voters, and impose their own viewpoints rather than the viewpoints of those who elected them.
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