Tourists peer into the closed Smithsonian Air and Space Museum October 5, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

Americans say ‘dysfunctional government’ is No. 1 problem, not deficit


According to a new Gallup poll, Americans now name the dysfunctional U.S. government as the most important problem facing our country, the highest rate in 74 years.

Thirty-three percent chose disapproval of the government as the top issue–over the economy–doubling from last month when it was at 16%. The disappointment with government tops the 19% who say the economy and 12% who say the deficit are the biggest problems..

This poll is the latest showing Americans overwhelming lack of faith in the government. From Congress’ approval rating dropping to 11%, one percentage point from being the lowest in history (5% in another poll), to blaming the Republicans for the shutdown, Americans are paying close attention to the events in Washington.  “Washington leaders’ continuing focus on posturing and sticking rigidly to principle while waiting for the other side to ‘give in’ is obviously wearing thin with the American public, particularly given that a partial shutdown of the government has ensued,” Gallup polling data cites.

Since 1939 polling, Washington has never been more concerning to Americans. Even during the last government shutdown in January 1996, the percentage only rose to 17% as during that time Americans were more focused on the budget and deficit than the dysfunctional government.

Government Shutdowns

Americans say 'dysfunctional government' is No. 1 problem, not deficit