Trust in Government: Is Government the #1 Problem Today?

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Trust in Government

The US Capitol trust is fadingTrust in government has been declining for decades, but some Americans distrust some government agencies more than others. As we discussed this week, the IRA is reviled by more Americans than any other government agency, while the CDC is seen more favorably than any other. Millennials have an especially favorable view of the NSA, while the favorite agencies of Republicans are NASA, the CIA, and the Department of Defense.

Today, we conclude the series by taking a look at what Americans feel in general about their government. It’s not a pretty sight.

Every month Gallup asks Americans the MIP (most important problem) question: What do you think is the more important problem facing the country today? This is an open-ended question, meaning that respondents are not given a set of choices but can say whatever they want. What’s seen as the #1 problem?

It’s the government. More Americans name the government as the most important problem than any other problem, according to a Gallup survey this month. This makes four months in a row that the government tops the MIP list.

The second most frequently cited problem is the economy, according to the poll. During the recent recession, the economy often topped the list as the most important problem facing the nation. As the economy has improved, fewer Americans mention it as the MIP.

Other problems frequently mentioned include unemployment and jobs, immigration and illegal aliens, poor healthcare or the high cost of healthcare, terrorism, and education.

Is the government at the top of your list as the most important problem facing the country today?
If not, what tops your list—and why?

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  1. Todd says

    I’d agree with that statement. It’s become so big and intrusive, significantly overreaching it’s initial and reasonable mandate to secure and protect liberty and individual rights. Especially since government, particularly the federal government is not efficient, or sometimes even competent, in all it’s present function and it consumes resources (time, money, talent) that would be more efficient and effective in other pursuits. It doesn’t have the proper incentive structure or the information (though it foolishly thinks it does).