Congress slightly more trusted than car salespeople

Why does Congress rank so high?

In the Navy, this falls into the category of being “lower than whale sh*t.” While Congress is one point higher than last year, they still rank below insurance salespeople and HMO managers, and even below lawyers, bankers and stockbrokers.

From President Obama’s perspective, it certainly does give him a reasonably good position of strength for negotiations with the GOP. Obama’s approval rating is considerably higher than Congress’. This should give him the power to win the day, but will it, and will he take full advantage of it?

sleazy

Have I got a fiscal cliff deal for you!
(Con man via Shutterstock.)

On the other hand, if Congress decides to keep playing the losing hand that they have, maybe they will drop below car salespeople in the next poll. With Gallup’s poll record being what it is, Congress may actually already be in last place and we just need Nate Silver to generate the real numbers.

A new Gallup poll finds that only 10 percent of Americans rank the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress as high or very high, while 54 percent give Congress low or very low marks for honesty and ethics.

That puts those elected officials right down there with car dealers: Only 8 percent of those polled gave car salespeople high marks for honest and ethical standards in the poll released Monday.

There’s a lot at stake for the American middle class and relying on the supposed wisdom of one of the least like

d groups in the country sounds risky and it is risky. Congress is so obviously in the pocket of one of the other groups that’s low on the list, business CEOs. Whether CEOs should be ranked above Congress is a debate better left for another day.

Whether or not Obama will hold firm in the negotiations is another issue and from four years of history – including positive movement in the last year or so – I remain cautious with believing in his ability to negotiate. Until I see him negotiate and close the deal, I’m not buying into this popular new theory of Obama as a good negotiator. It’s a nice thought and would like to hope it’s real, but seeing is believing.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • htfd

    The Congress wouldn’t be considered so poorly if they did their job which is to write bills to be signed into law and act as a check against a dictatorial president. When Congress stopped listening to the voice to their electorate, ALEC, with full knowledge of both Democrats and Republicans, started writing the ‘for corporate interest only bills’ and letting what ever President was in office dictate to them , that’s when Congress members, for the most part, became the bottom feeders.

  • Naja pallida

    *checks the ‘all of the above’ box*

  • Sweetie

    A few possibilities:

    1. The American people want people like this, since they keep electing them. And, since the approval rating has likely fallen over time, the idea is that Americans increasingly want people like this. This point was part of George Carlin’s act. He also said that the American people are no better, that this is the best we can do.

    2. The American public is willingly or unwillingly propagandized into not understanding what’s in their interest and to what degree the people they elect intend to focus on that. The elite overwhelmingly make the choice for the masses, with elections being mainly theatrical productions.

    3. No one by the corrupt are willing to take the job. We know this isn’t true. However, we also know that party dominance can be so strong that some districts have many positions where candidates run unopposed.

    4. Good people inevitably become corrupted when they take office, because of the way Congress works (bribery and holding onto one’s job).

    5. The only way a politician can be elected is if the person is a skilled liar, that the public won’t elect someone who is honest. So the politician has to pretend to represents the competing/conflicting interests the public (in its various subgroups) desires.

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