30 March 2010

STUDY: Congress Sucks

A new study by the fine people at PEW finds that a whopping 86% of people have a negative view of congress.

The Pew Research Center does a pretty good job on their surveys and I think they are credible and reliable and for the most part, fair. However I take issue with the title of the article which reads, "Gloomy Americans Bash Congress, Are Divided on Obama." Gloomy Americans? Yeah I guess we pretty much are these days. If 86% have a negative view of Congress, why pin the result on us pissed off citizens? Why not say, "Americans Prepare to Hold Dismal Congress Accountable."

As the day of reckoning for health care reform approaches, Americans have
little to cheer about. Nearly everyone (92%) gives the national economy a
negative rating. Closer to home, 85% say that jobs are hard to find in their
community. A majority (54%) now says that someone in their household has been
without a job or looking for work in the past year, compared with 39% in
February 2009. And the proportion saying they got a pay raise or a better job in
the past year fell from 41% in January 2008 to 24% currently.

Public gloom about the economy and personal finances extends to opinions about the future of health care costs. Regardless of what happens with the health care bills this
week, Americans expect their own health care costs to rise in the coming years.
While 51% say their health care costs would increase if the proposed legislation
becomes law, even more (63%) believe their health care costs will increase if no
changes are made to the health care system.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted March 10-14 among 1,500 adults, finds that public views of the health care bills before Congress remain more negative than positive – 48% generally oppose the bills before Congress while 38% favor them. But just 18% of Americans would prefer Congress pass nothing and leave the current system as it is. It is in this
context that attitudes toward Washington are best understood. When asked for a
single word that best describes their impression of Congress, “dysfunctional,”
“corrupt,” “self-serving” and “inept” are volunteered most frequently. Of people
offering a one-word description, 86% have something negative to say, while only
4% say something positive.

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