Government Now So Dysfunctional Americans Only Trust the Military, Small Business, and the Cops

A new Gallup poll asking Americans how much they trust institutions in American society has found that only three institutions — the military, small businesses, and the police — have the confidence of a majority of Americans.

Americans' confidence in Congress is down to 10%, the lowest level ever recorded not only for Congress, but for any institution. Not only does Congress have a tiny confidence rating, but in fact a majority of Americans (52%) say they have little or no confidence in Congress. About half (46%) of Americans, though, say they approve of the job the representative from their own congressional district is doing.

The same poll found that Americans have an equally abysmal level of confidence in newspaper and television news alike, at 23%.

The biggest year-to-date changes came for banks and the medical system. Banks gained 5% while the medical system’s confidence level fell by 6%.


Although the confidence numbers are different than approval ratings, the two are deeply linked. For instance, 78% disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job. Of those who disapprove of the job Congress is doing, gridlock is the primary reason.  


Nearly four in five Americans in June, 78%, disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job, marking the 45th consecutive month that more than two-thirds of Americans have given Congress the thumbs down. Americans' high level of disapproval is less about what Congress is doing than about what it isn't doing: putting aside partisan bickering and getting things done.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Maxime Fischer-Zernin

Studying Political Science at Duke University (T. '15). His interests lie primarily in American national security and foreign policy. He is currently an Editor-at-Large for the Duke Political Review, and is a contributor for PolicyMic.com.

MORE FROM

Trump’s legal team spokesman resigns after just two months on the job

Mark Corallo is out after just two months as spokesman.

German president signs legislation legalizing same-sex marriage

According to the German president's office, the bill will come into effect on Oct. 1 at the earliest.

‘New York Times’ interview sparks latest wave of GOP frustration with Trump

The President’s “disturbing” comments on Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller drew sharp rebukes from his own party.

Jordan Edwards’ mother speaks out after Monday’s indictment of the officer who killed her son

“We will not allow Jordan’s death to be another statistic.”

Trump keeps saying he wants to “let Obamacare fail.” How would that happen?

There are several ways the administration could sabotage the law, experts said.

Trump’s legal team spokesman resigns after just two months on the job

Mark Corallo is out after just two months as spokesman.

German president signs legislation legalizing same-sex marriage

According to the German president's office, the bill will come into effect on Oct. 1 at the earliest.

‘New York Times’ interview sparks latest wave of GOP frustration with Trump

The President’s “disturbing” comments on Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller drew sharp rebukes from his own party.

Jordan Edwards’ mother speaks out after Monday’s indictment of the officer who killed her son

“We will not allow Jordan’s death to be another statistic.”

Trump keeps saying he wants to “let Obamacare fail.” How would that happen?

There are several ways the administration could sabotage the law, experts said.