Chicago Tribune

Mistrust in government: ‘Perfect storm’
Chicago Tribune

Only 22 percent of all Americans surveyed say they trust the government in Washington almost always or most of the time — among the lowest measures in half a century – according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

The results point to « a perfect storm » of public unrest, Pew reports — « a dismal economy, an unhappy public, (a) bitter, partisan-based backlash and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials.

« Growing numbers of people want the power of government curtailed, » Pew reports of a mid-March survey that has found « less of an appetite for government solutions to the nation’s problems – including more government control over the economy – than there was when Barack Obama first took office…

There have been political ramifications in the past when the public mood grew this sour: In 1980, Ronald Reagan unseated President Jimmy Carter. In 1994, the GOP won the House.

The current level of public skepticism was matched previously only in the periods leading up to both events — from 1992 to 1995 (reaching a low of 17 percent trust in government in the summer of 1994), and from 1978 to 1980 (bottoming out at 25 percent in 1980).