“Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what's going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House?” --Will Rogers
Will Rogers had it easy. “There’s not trick to being a humorist,” he used to joke, “when you have the whole government working for you.” Politics provided Rogers with some of his best material. “Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what's going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House?” was another zinger.
But between the struggling economy, renewed threats of a government shutdown, battles over the Affordable Care Act and escalating tensions in Syria and elsewhere, government inaction and partisan sniping are not a laughing matter. A new Gallup poll released Friday finds that Americans’ trust and confidence in the federal government’s ability to handle international and domestic problems has reached an unprecedented low. Just about half (49 percent) express a great deal or a fair amount of confidence, two percentage points below the previous low of 51 percent recorded in 2007.
Only 42 percent reported a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in the government’s ability to handle domestic problems specifically, Gallup reports. This is one point below the previous low of 43 percent two years ago.
America’s confidence in its government to handle international and domestic problems peaked in a post-9/11 poll (77 percent). It’s generally been downhill from there.
While it is to be expected that Democrats express more confidence than Republicans in the way the federal government under President Obama is handling international and domestic problems, Gallup notes that their confidence levels have dropped since 2009, from 78 percent to 71 percent regarding international issues and from 74 percent to 58 percent regarding domestic problems.
Among High Net Worth investors surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner, government gridlock is of greater concern than actual economic issues ranging from the federal deficit and national debt.
More than eight-in-ten High Net Worth investors said that government gridlock—the perceived inability of the White House and lawmakers to work together to fix the nation’s economic challenges—is their primary national concern, according to wealth level research conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.Eighty-two percent responded that the stormy political environment was their primary concern. In comparison, 83 percent said they were concerned about the prolonged economic downturn, while more than seven-in-ten ranked among their national concerns, the federal deficit, the national debt, tax increases, and inflation.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.