It is perhaps not surprising that 77% of Republicans trust their own judgment more than that of the average member of the Democrat-controlled House and Senate, a view shared by 79% of adults not affiliated with either party. But nearly as many Democrats (69%) agree with them.
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Perhaps this skepticism is explained by the new finding that 77% of Americans believe, generally speaking, that relatives and close friends of politicians get special treatment when seeking government favors and contracts. Just six percent (6%) don’t think this is true, although 17% are not sure.
There is little partisan disagreement on this question. While 88% of Mainstream Americans say the relatives and close friends of politicians get special treatm ent, even a majority of the Political Class (54%) agrees.
By a two-to-one margin, voters believe that no matter how bad things are, Congress can always make them worse.
It’s not just Congress that people are skeptical about on the economic front. Sixty percent (60%) of voters nationwide now trust their own economic judgment more than President Obama’s.
But then 60% of all Americans say most politicians will break the rules to help people who give them large campaign contributions.
Earlier this year, voters accurately predicted that most members of Congress wouldn’t know what was in the stimulus bill when they voted on it.
Forty-five percent (45%) of Americans now say the rest of the new government spending authorized in the stimulus plan – Congress’ primary economic initiative so far this year – should now be canceled, but 36% disagree.
Seventy-six percent (76%) of Americans say it is at least somewhat likely that a large amount of money in the stimulus plan will be wasted due to inadequate government oversight.
The majority of voters even oppose the “Cash for Clunkers” bill just approved by Congress that offers owners of older cars up to $4,500 towards the purchase of new, more fuel-efficient models.
Only 23% of voters now say Congress is doing a good or excellent job, but still that represents the legislature’s highest rating since May 2007. Seventy percent (70%) believe members of Congress are more interested in furthering their own political careers than helping people.
In mid-February, 67% of U.S. voters said they had more confidence in their own judgment than that of the average congressman.
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