The results from a recent Gallup survey asking Americans whether they approve or disapproved of Congress' work were published on Tuesday. The results are not surprising. American congressional approval is at an all-time low of 9%, which is the lowest in Gallup's 39-year history of asking the question.
What could have caused such a substantial drop in approval? Fingers point to the recent government shutdown, which lasted a damaging 16 days and ended nearly a month ago.
But confidence in small businesses is falling as well. The National Federation of Independent Business saw its Small Business Optimism Index fall 2.3 points to 91.6 during the shutdown, which is the lowest since March. It makes sense that the fight over budget in Washington would also affect optimism concerning businesses and sales prospects.
Despite the declining confidence in Congress and small businesses, another Gallup survey has delivered slightly contrasting results. The U.S. economic confidence is slowly increasing four weeks after the end of the government shutdown, when lawmakers finally reached a debt ceiling agreement. Since then, Americans' confidence in the economy has increased from -39 to -27, still considerably lower than the -15 that was measured in September .
Such low opinions of Congress and the state of the economy pose the question: Could ratings get any worse? Perhaps another government shutdown would do it. President Obama has stated that he wants to avoid another devastating partisan standoff. He said, "We've got to get out of the habit of governing by crisis."