The Gallup's 2010 Confidence in Institutions poll was released today and there seems to be a severe crisis in confidence in nearly all major institutions. Congress came in dead last of the 16 institutions studied with a pitiful 11% approval rating. Gallup reported, "Eleven percent of Americans say they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress, down from 17% in 2009 and a percentage point lower than the previous low for Congress, recorded in 2008."
On the 37-year chart, Congress' approval never exceeded 46%, which occurred on the first year of the chart 1973. Since then, there has been a steady decline of confidence for Congress to new depths flirting with single digits.
The poll also showed a new record high 50% of Americans have "little/no" confidence in Congress. This may be the scariest number facing incumbents, as low polling may result in low turnouts at the polls. But, if half the electorate is angry at Congress we may see a revolution in Washington.
Of course, the same could be said for the last 5 years where Congress only averaged 13% approval during that span. Sure, there was a changing of the guard with the Democrats taking control in dramatic fashion in 2006 -- running against the wars, warrantless wiretapping, and torture. Now it's been four years and 18 months, with a new democratic president, and nothing has changed. The wars have been expanded; Gitmo still suspends Habeas Corpus; and the surveillance of the American people has gone far beyond wiretapping.
Despite the best efforts by the media and the two political parties to sell the public that they have been busy at work for the people, it is clear to all observers who they have been working for. The banks, insurance companies, big pharma, and car companies all got their bailouts -- while the military-industrial complex and surveillance-industrial complex continues to milk the public Treasury. Additionally, big oil and big food continue to be greatly subsidized. All the while, Congress bickers over extending jobless benefits to the record number of unemployed and under-employed Americans.
Perhaps the bitter public is finally realizing that both parties work for the same entity . . . and it isn't them. These poll numbers may indicate a tidal wave of non-establishment candidates flooding the halls of Congress this fall. The question then becomes, who will they actually represent?
See full Gallop results below: