Who’s More Popular Than the Federal Gov’t?

by Andrew Stiles

As it turns out, literally every other “business sector” in the United States, according to a new Gallup survey. Just 17 percent of Americans said they have a positive overall view of the federal government, compared to 63 percent who have a negative view. As you can see from the graph below, public sentiment toward the federal government is at its lowest point in eight years. Apart from a slight bump following Obama’s election in 2008, it’s been on a steady decline, which has resumed now that people don’t seem to be as “hopeful” about “change they can believe in.”

It is data like this that make the president’s push for an ever-increasing role for the federal government all the more baffling. As a result, Obama must resort to increasingly desperate pleas to the public to have more faith in government. For example:

“Government and politics are two different things,” Obama said, before listing all the parts of government that make people’s lives better, like soldiers in combat, FEMA relief workers, public school teachers, firefighters, police officers and even EPA workers who monitor pollution. “That’s government. So don’t be confused, as frustrated as you are about politics. Don’t buy into this notion that somehow government is what’s holding us back.”

That he fails (or simply doesn’t want to) see the connection between the two is truly beguiling. Going down the list of private sector industries that poll better than the federal government, the results are rather astonishing:

  • Oil and gas industry (20 percent view positively)
  • Airline industry (29 percent)
  • The legal field (29 percent)
  • Banking industry (30 percent)
  • Advertising and public relations (32 percent)
  • Accounting (36 percent)
  • President Obama (38 percent approval rating)

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