Majority of Americans Distrust the U.S. Government

Melanie Rovinsky

Approximately 80 percent of Americans claim that they do not trust the government to make the right decisions, according to a Pew Research Center survey released on Apr. 18. The results reflect the highest level of distrust in the federal government in 50 years.

According to the research center, Americans’ trust in Washington has been declining since Eisenhower’s administration in 1958, when the question was first posed to the public.

The survey revealed that only 22 percent of Americans say that they trust the government “just about always” or “most of the time.”

The report pointed to economic instability, partisan politics, and dissatisfaction with Congress as some of the main reasons for the growing distrust. The series of surveys also showed that last month’s healthcare debate contributed to making these already negative feelings even worse.

About 40 percent of Americans believe the Obama administration is doing a good or excellent job, and 56 percent are frustrated with the federal government, the Pew Research Center said. Twenty-one percent of Americans admitted to being angry.

The main survey involved 2,505 adults and was conducted Mar. 11 to 21. Three other surveys of 1,000 adults each were taken on Mar. 18 to 21, Apr. 1 to 5, and Apr. 8 to 11. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent.