October 3, 2011

What level of government do Americans trust most?

Gallup offers a clear picture (clear, that is, once you understand that "Executive branch" and "Legislative branch" refer to the federal government level):

76 comments:

Will said...

Wow, it is almost like Federalism is there for a reason...

Jason (the commenter) said...

What? The Judicial branch doesn't get a mention?

MarkG said...

An important question is how much they trust the government to spend their money wisely. That's what I think about when the Dems insist on raising taxes.

You can trust the feds to provide for national defense even when you think they waste half of the defense budget.

Cedarford said...

The numbers do not reflect the "genius of the holy Founding Fathers and Federalism" so much as the public coming to the conclusion that the 3 branches of the Federal Government are failing, and have been failing for a long time.

*An unaccountable Judiciary appointed for life.

*A legislative branch in which both main Parties are corrupted by money and unheedful of voters. And unwilling or unable by the rules of the system to address critical issues, have fiscal responsibility, or move with the nimbleness of our foreign rivals.

*Two very bad Presidents in a row, presiding over America's international and economic decline in the "new global economy".

*A dead Constitution. Unable since 1962 to be adjusted or Amended legislatively in the face of any significant organized special interest group opposition. Now only changed by narrowest of majorities of the Mighty Judges given the power to modify the Constitution.

Curious George said...

"Jason (the commenter) said...
What? The Judicial branch doesn't get a mention?"

It is, but the poll is of "former homeowners" in New London, CT.

BarryD said...

I suspect that trust in State government varies from State to State.

edutcher said...

The level which takes the least from them.

Needless to say, YMMV.

Jason (the commenter) said...

What? The Judicial branch doesn't get a mention?

They saw the pilot episode of "SCOTUS on C-Span".

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Amazing - it's easier to vote your local branch out, so your local representative runs more scared than her Federal counterpart, and stuffs less distasteful measures down your throat.

And strangely, your local rep doesn't write 3,000-page parodies of statutes with thousands of unfilled blanks for unaccountable appointees to fill in later.

Richard Dolan said...

In smaller cities and towns, many people know their local officials (not so much here in NYC). That personal connection helps overcome the (well deserved) negative reaction that most people have about politicians. In comparison, how many can say that they know (have even met) the key federal officials? And Congress is inherently unknowable on that personal scale -- many have met their congressial rep, fewer their senator, but no one has ever met 'Congress.'

That lack of personal connection is a big part of these numbers as one moves from local gov't to the feds. It's certainly not a vote of confidence in performance -- for most of the country, state and local finances are in worse shape even than the feds.

Leland said...

I guess local means municipal, and if so, I assume the higher ratings come from the greater number of more rural municipalities.

frank said...

As a gubmint specialist here's "Frank's Law"--The geographcic distance between you and gubmint, i.e. local, state, federal is inversely proportional to a gubmin't efficiency in raising revenue but directly proportional to spending revenue wisely.

frank said...

Leland said...
I guess local means municipal, and if so, I assume the higher ratings come from the greater number of more rural municipalities.

10/3/11 6:02 PM

that's a lot of 'guessing and assuming' in 1 short post :-)

ricpic said...

All three levels of government can, at any given moment, disregard whatever limiting promise they've made, in the name of an emergency. Here in upstate New York county governments that all promised to hold the line on real estate tax hikes are now excusing themselves from that promise because the state government (Albany) has saddled them with unfunded mandates that MUST be honored. Why? Why must unfunded mandates be honored if it means breaking the middle class? But the middle class is not inside the buttercup so tant pis the middle class. Better collapse then that the sacrosanct buttercup of government be limited in any way.

ricpic said...

than not then

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
frank said...

For a 'logical' proof of Frank's Law see Nixon's 'Revenue Sharing' bypassing Congress [and to a lesser extent state gubmints]to send federal tax revenue directly to local gubmints. Wildly popular because nobody can beat the IRS at efficient taxing and nobody can beat the town/city council at knowing which pothole needs fixing. Alas, Congress and Governors later realised rev sharing cost them power and money--or are power and money redundent, e.g., i.e., null and void?

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

If only the Tea Partiers could get a hold of the other branches of government and ride them into the ground the way they did the Congress...

purplepenquin said...

I'd have more trust in our Congress if the House had 6175 members instead of only 435.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Right. That works sooooo well for Italy!

richard mcenroe said...

Dear Ritmo,
One thing at a time.

Michael K said...

I suspect that trust in State government varies from State to State.

I suspect that California is off the chart at the bottom.

edutcher said...

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

If only the Tea Partiers could get a hold of the other branches of government and ride them into the ground the way they did the Congress...

He's confused (surprise! I think the food coloring has seeped into the brain).

That's what the Demos did.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

richard mcenroe wishes that America won't discover his real wish.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Only a numbskull as dumb as edutcher could pretend to believe that 36% approval is lower than 31%.

Anyone who can't count is not worth taking seriously.

AprilApple said...

They obviously didn't poll Chicago.

edutcher said...

Not sure what Ritmo is trying to say (he isn't, either, no doubt), but the Tea Partiers have stopped the hemorrhage of money out of the Federal government over which the Democrats presided.

Apparently, he's too dense to understand the implications of that.

PS I count just fine, but, when last I looked, the 31 - 36 difference is just outside the margin for error in most polls (note he doesn't say which one he's using), so the distinction, assuming he's talking about poll numbers for this Congress over the last, is negligible.

It might also be that the respondents are more upset over the Democrats in the Senate trying to find more ways to spend money we don't have than they are the Republicans in the House trying to stop them.

I know analytical fine points like these are beyond Ritmo, so, apparently, he isn't as re-animated as he claims.

Henry said...

The ratings are in inverse proportion to power. Local governments have one very basic job: make sure the trash collectors don't strike. It's amazing what crappy schools people will accept if their garbage is picked up.

frank said...

BREAKING NEWS!! Answer to AA's 'conspiracy:http://biggovernment.com/abreitbart/2011/10/03/shock-photos-barack-obama-with-new-black-panther-party-on-campaign-trail-in-2007/

Basil said...

The downfall in legislative branch approval begins exactly when Pelosi and Reid took over with the 2006 election. This is a reflection on the peoples' feelings about a real left wing government in DC.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

...he doesn't say which one he's using...

Hey Dumbfuck!

Edumacater:

If you can't see the poll that Althouse pasted into the actual fucking blog post to which you're responding (or maybe you forgot about it), you can do this:

1. Scroll up to the top of the page.

2. Hit the orange text that says: "What level of government to Americans trust most?" (This is called a "title").

3. Look at Althouse's nice little Gallup poll (with the pretty green lines).

Margin of error applies in the same poll, not different ones. When you ask the same question five months later (see, different poll!) and get a five point drop in popularity from an already low number previously, it's safe to say that Republicans are not making a more favorable impression.

Fight that reality all you want.

Also, fight the reality that is what your party believes:

Deficits don't matter.

Dick (Richard) Cheney, 2002.

"Except during a Democratic presidency."

Edutcher the un-Edumacated.

I suggest you go back to your home school and ask your fat, unemployed Mama for a refund, Ed.

edutcher said...

Hey, Ritmo, if you're so inarticulate you can't use words of more than 4 letters, try going to school.

Margin of error applies in the same poll, not different ones. When you ask the same question five months later (see, different poll!) and get a five point drop in popularity from an already low number previously, it's safe to say that Republicans are not making a more favorable impression.

Actually, moron, it says nothing of the kind. When last I checked, the Democrats still control the Senate and were still trying to tax and spend the country into oblivion and doing all they could to defeat any attempt at cutting spending, so my original point stands.

Also, a margin of error of 4 easily makes a deviation of 5 negligible.

And, by the way, at least I knew my mother.

Alan said...

They obviously didn't poll Chicago.

Nobody polls Chicago. Nobody can figure out how to get the dead to answer a telephone.

Phil 3:14 said...

Ritmo returns.

Left the Wall Street protests early?

E.M. Davis said...

I just wish people knew how to link.

Luke Sneeringer said...

I would be really curious to see these results broken down by location. For instance, it would be instructive to know if trust in local and state governments is inversely proportionate with areas that are generally perceived to be corrupt (Chicago being the in vogue example).

chickenlittle said...

Ritmo Re-Animated said...
If only the Tea Partiers could get a hold of the other branches of government and ride them into the ground the way they did the Congress...

edutcher wrote: Not sure what Ritmo is trying to say (he isn't, either, no doubt), but the Tea Partiers have stopped the hemorrhage of money out of the Federal government over which the Democrats presided.

It seems reasonable to presume that Ritmo loved and adored the Pelosi congress, the one which immediately preceded the current one.

Unless he says otherwise.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

And, by the way, at least I knew my mother.

In the biblical sense, no doubt.

edutcher said...

Phil 3:14 said...

Ritmo returns.

Left the Wall Street protests early?


As Professor Jacobson notes, he fits the pattern, "#OccupyWallStreet is organized agitprop designed to deflect attention from the Obama administration’s failings onto ‘Wall Street,’ although many of the participants don’t understand how they are being used. The Washington Post now is fully aboard Team Obama, doing its best to take down Rick Perry this week, next week someone else. AxelPlouffe messaging is all class warfare all the time, and will be for the next 13 months."

chickenlittle said...

@Phil 3:14: You really should check out some of the protest babes Ritty linked to here. I mean, in all the coverage Althouse did in Madison over the months, I never saw that kind of uncoverage, male or female--quelle carnage.

Too bad their brains don't match.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

the Democrats still control the Senate and were still...blah blah blah...my original point stands.

Which is apparently that when the Teahadists took over one house of Congress, and the popularity of the entire branch still managed to fall, that decrease was either insignificant, or the fault of the house of Congress that the newly elected Teahidists did not take over.

With reasoning as fucked up and convoluted as yours, your alleged verbal skills aren't doing you any favors.

Stick to the basics: "Hello." "How are you?" "Which section of the bible is best to read while masturbating into my gun?"

Ritmo Re-Animated said...
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Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Too bad their brains don't match.

Apparently Chickie prefers Nazi propaganda such as Gott mit uns* to Goethe.

*BTW, you spelled that wrong in the other thread.

P.S. A brain without a heart makes one a robot. And a robot is nothing more than a high-tech tool.

chickenlittle said...

My Congressman, Darrell Issa, is doing a great job in the Republican Congress, holding Eric Holder's feet to the fire.

I hope Holder caves and resigns.

Chu too.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Chu too.

Of course, you'll never say why.

What the hell is it with Republicans being such babies and never being able to accept elected government when they can't get their way?

Always threatening this appointment and that. Impeach. It's tired.

It's an elite version of the early anti-war protests. Just as immature and tantrum-y.

chickenlittle said...

*BTW, you spelled that wrong in the other thread.

OMG, you're worse than J! He took me seriously that I thought dicke meant dick in German. He spent an hour wrestling others with that one.

"Got Mitt Us!" was supposed to me a pun involving the German slogan, Mitt Romney, and "Got Milk."

Get it? Perhaps had put a question mark instead of an exclamation mark it would have flown?

chickenlittle said...

If you can't figure out after reading my "Chu on this" series why I think he's unfit, I can't help you.

I was pleasantly amused to find him edging closer to the center of the Solargate scandal.

Titus said...

Some of the Wall Street Protesters are fucking hot.

I went on some website and had pics.

Nice hot tits, abs, fucking hot.

Yes we hate them but we would def. fuck them.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Perhaps. The thread was otherwise bereft of Romney-flavored context, as far as I recalled...

chickenlittle said...

What the hell is it with Republicans being such babies and never being able to accept elected government when they can't get their way?

Chu was never elected--he was appointed. Approved, yes, but never elected.

FYI, I'm not a Republican! (I'm actually a registered independent).

Titus said...

I would def. do Van Jones. He is fucking hot.

xnar said...

At the most local level, I trust me 100%.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Chickie, we had that discussion (on Chu) and it seemed to go nowhere after I challenged you to tell me why the alleged public opinion of a science agency such as DOE should mean so much, coming from such an uneducated electorate.

You never answered me on that. So my point still stands. You wanted to see Chu as a political emissary. Fine. I asked why his criterion for success or failure should stand on uneducated public opinion.

I'm starting to wonder if you wanted me to assume, that you think an uneducated public is a good thing.

chickenlittle said...

Perhaps. The thread was otherwise bereft of Romney-flavored context, as far as I recalled...

Well, yes, but my phrase chime well with Althouse's themes message, no?

Fer Gott's sake we're arguing whether jokes are funny...pathetic!

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Chu was never elected--he was appointed. Approved, yes, but never elected.

This is what bothers me. Republicans get to appoint any old unqualified crony they want, and the opposition doesn't do (or even say) squat.

But they seem to want to chip away at the legitimacy of a Democratic administration by squirming as much as they can and blocking every appointment the president should have the prerogative to make. It's obstructionist issue-avoidance at its best.

FYI, I'm not a Republican! (I'm actually a registered independent).

I sympathize (although too many other Althousians seem to use this protest point for me to be that comfortable with it). But the problem is that too many of the ideas that the Repubs have sprinkled over the republic over the last 30 years have been swallowed and uncritically digested, that it's caused the republic to rot. The culture has become unthinkingly conservative, to the point where they stopped recognizing that problems that could spring forth from overweening Republican ideas.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Your jokes are always funny, Chickie. I just didn't get it the first go-round!

Come on, man! Does a comedian blame his audience if his joke didn't get the laughs he wanted? Geez!

chickenlittle said...

You never answered me on that. So my point still stands. You wanted to see Chu as a political emissary. Fine. I asked why his criterion for success or failure should stand on uneducated public opinion.

I thought I agreed with you that most people didn't know who Sec. of DoE's were in the past. They shouldn't. Secretaries should be like the Ship of State's mechanical engineer, making sure things run smoothly, keeping the stokers to the fires. But this guy forgot to stow enough coal and worse, he brought along sails to power the ship. I'll give him half credit for turning the ship around: he's bringing it to a standstill.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

I'll give him half credit for turning the ship around: he's bringing it to a standstill.

So... is going all the way or even an energy mix that's half traditional fossil fuels, half renewable an inherently bad thing?

What about the energy grid? Shouldn't we be upgrading and decentralizing that? Would other Energy Dep'ts be pushing this, and shouldn't they?

Some girl just won a prize today for using a flexible metal (that expands with heat) to bring the cost of solar down by 5/6ths. The metal expansion causes the panels to follow the heat of the sun.

The Scots are harnessing waves.

Why should traditional energy be subsidized and favored and investments in newer energy sources discouraged?

I don't get it.

Please admit that you, too, prefer the gov't pick a winner in the marketplace - just a different one. One that economics has no reason to favor, given the history of technology.

chickenlittle said...

Some girl just won a prize today for using a flexible metal (that expands with heat) to bring the cost of solar down by 5/6ths.

Please put up a link for that here or at your blog. It sounds like it has interesting niche applications. I'd like to know the elements involved.

So... is going all the way or even an energy mix that's half traditional fossil fuels, half renewable an inherently bad thing?

The "problem" with ignoring fossil fuels is that they're cheap, powerful, and plentiful, no matter how dirty you say they are. It's a use them or lose them scenario too on the world stage. We abandon them into the welcoming arms of the next overlords.

David said...

The more money they have to spend, the less we trust them.

Hmmmmmmm.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...
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Ritmo Re-Animated said...

Please put up a link for that...

You should know me better than that by now!

This sounds like what I was listening to this morning. Seems very, even exceedingly simple... (not a bad thing).

Maintaining hard power isn't the worst argument one could come up with for keeping up with the Joneses. Or the Ahmedinejads. Or the Putins. Or the Hu Jintaos. But at some point we should be attracting global sentiment through inspirational leadership both culturally and scientifically (soft power) and not just through an iron, oil-lubricated fist.

Someone the other day tried to convince me that Canada was the exceptional fossil fuel behemoth that somehow didn't prove the rule. Still, I wonder if these attempts to emulate the economic infrastructures of Iran, Russia and China can come completely free of the political costs that those pariah nations bear...

edutcher said...
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edutcher said...

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

the Democrats still control the Senate and were still...blah blah blah...my original point stands.

Which is apparently that when the Teahadists took over one house of Congress, and the popularity of the entire branch still managed to fall, that decrease was either insignificant, or the fault of the house of Congress that the newly elected Teahidists did not take over.


At least Ritmo knows when he's lost. He certainly can't make a point stick.

Well, now we know who J becomes at night.

Stick to the basics: "Hello." "How are you?" "Which section of the bible is best to read while masturbating into my gun?"

I'll bet he thought that one up all by himself. Which only proves he needs to stay on his meds.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

I know how hard you find the act of reason, Ed.

Do tell us, once again, about how the all-powerful Senate has polluted the otherwise sky-high popularity ratings of the Tea Party-dominated House of Representatives.

Or better yet, go tend to your precious bodily fluids.

Clearly my sentences are not short enough to keep your attention. I'd use grunts, whines and howls, as is your wont. But the internets will not transcribe them so easily.

rcommal said...

The level which takes the least from them.

Needless to say, YMMV.


What a weird way to put that.

How about: the level to which they're most close, the one at which the most "they" have the opportunity to be directly involved (even though, of course, way beyond the vast majority of "they" choose to not take the opportunity to be directly involved)?

Also, should efforts to shrink the federal government succeed such that most responsibilities fall back onto individual state governments (even if federal mandates, previously unfunded or otherwise, go away), who could think that this won't lead ultimately to more responsibility (and even more power) at the local level. It's a mistake to think that this *necessarily* would mean that folks would pay fewer taxes, much less lower taxes, over all. The point would be more local control. How that more local control--from soup to nuts--might, could, would be played out is an entirely different question. This is an important thing to keep in mind, especially among those of us advocating the smallest, nearest, and most local of government (specifically including the corresponding "accountabilities").

Let's not forget what freedom requires and costs at the most basic, local level.

rcommal said...

Never forget that most zoning ordinances, for example, are local, if not hyper-local ....

Roger J. said...
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Roger J. said...

Dont think these polling results describe anything unexpected--proximity to local government is probably the significant factor--most citizens interact with local government more than they do with the state or feds--in fact, I suspect the only federal person who routinely interacts with citizens is the postal worker whom they see every day.

For the poll to be a bit more relevant, I suspect, as others have noted, the information has to be disaggregated. I suspect there are some levels of local government that are highly distrusted.

I think Tocqueville identified this phenomenon in the early 1800s when he wrote Democracy in America.

What Will said in the very first post is on the money IMO

Robert Cook said...

"You can trust the feds to provide for national defense even when you think they waste half of the defense budget."

"Half?!" How about 95%?

Barely a penny spent by the War Department since WWII has been necessary for our "national defense."

It's long past time the Pentagon was shuttered and turned into a yoga center.

Carol_Herman said...

Judges were afraid to show their collective heads, huh? While all politicians are crooks and thieves.

So you get local. (Not respected at all, really. Considered by business people, the two of three hands you have to grease.)

Then, the state. 50 states. And, with Wisconsin's flee-baggers pointing out what's wrong with them.

Congress, in DC, is the squat palace. Because those politicians like being in the limelight. And, they figure out ways to get it. Then, like B-1 Bomber (Bob Dornan), they discover once they're well known, they get bounced out of office by a Latina.

It's still the best system in the world! But when the bankers corrupt the politicians ... then banks can't be trusted, either.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO WANTING ONE'S GOOD NAME KEPT RESPECTABLE?

Carol_Herman said...

Well, the last well liked PRESIDENTS, are:

FDR
Eisenhower
Reagan

Bill Clinton's famous for his putz.

And, being on the list doesn't mean anything more "than you're good at the role you play."

It was said FDR smiled at everybody. Was a "great listener." And, people left his office convinced that he was going to do as they said to him. THEY WERE FOOLS.

But FDR learned the game. Don't be antagonistic. Don't write anything down. And, convince people you like them. You really, really, like them.

FDR wasn't even a friend to Winston Churchill. And, Churchill held back what he could'a wrote. Just as Dick Cheney just did.

Carol_Herman said...

The skinny on New London, Connecticut. And, KELO.

It was done for the drug company, Pfizer. The homeowners were poor. They had these waterfront homes. And, Pfizer wanted to buy the land. When the homeowners found out how little they'd get, they balked at selling.

So, along came the State, that wanted to substitute a big employer's drug park ... for the mickey mouse taxation the homes brought in.

The developer then pushed the state. Who used Eminent Domain to get rid of the homeowners. And, the lawsuit you know got up to the Supreme's.

KELO forced the homeowners out. BUT Pfizer, seeing the shitty bad publicity lost all interest. So, the developer was stuck with land cleared of their homes. (And, the state, instead of taxpayers, got a DUMP.)

The land is now a dump.

But it shows you how the powerful work. Pfizer's fingerprints are not on KELO.

Yet nothing would have been done to get those homeowners to leave, other than what Pfizer wanted: A big complex for it's coporate offices.

Connecticut lost. Because all the other homeowners have to be gouged by taxes, to keep the state running.

Up ahead? Watch the real estate tax losing its deduct-ability from your IRS return.

KELO didn't do Souter's reputation a bit of good.

You talk of bad presidents. But Souter was picked because he never said a word about Roe.

You get the worst judges when you use a litmus test.

And, then, of course, the MORMONS!

Orin Hatch is one. Harry Reid is two. And, Hatch is totally responsible for the list the president sees when he's picking GARBAGE to fill a seat on our supreme's.

Jay said...

Also, fight the reality that is what your party believes:

Deficits don't matter.

Dick (Richard) Cheney, 2002.


Yes, because as we all know, a truncated, out of context quote by a person no longer holding office represents the thoughts of an entire political party!

Are you this dumb, or just pretending?

Jay said...

Ritmo Re-Animated said...
If only the Tea Partiers could get a hold of the other branches of government and ride them into the ground the way they did the Congress


Hey drooling imbecile:

The "tea party" doesn't control the Senate or Congress.


Watching you barf your stupidity all over this comments section is boring.

Ritmo Re-Animated said...

This video reminded me of Jay.