For the first time in 17 years, the federal government is shutting down. It’s ironic that it began on the 123rd anniversary of Yosemite National Park. This national park and all others are now closed. All non-essential federal employees are furloughed. The Army-Navy game may be postponed or cancelled. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives just couldn’t come to an agreement that would have averted a shutdown.
As of today, no one knows how long this may last. Among the shutdowns since 1976, the shortest were 1 day. The longest was the 21-day shutdown in a dispute between President Clinton and a Republican Congress.
If this shutdown lasts 17 days, federal officials are telling us, the nation will run out of cash and may risk an even more disastrous hit to the nation’s credit rating.
How much trust and confidence do you have in Congress now?
Last month, only 34% of Americans reported that they had a great deal or a fair amount of trust and confidence in Congress, according to a new Gallup poll. This low level of trust and confidence in the legislative branch of government has been about the same since 2011. The high water mark, in contrast, was May 1972 when Nixon was president. Then, 71% had a great deal or a fair amount of trust and confidence in Congress.
In the same poll last month, a slight majority of Americans (51%) said that had trust and confidence in the executive branch of government headed by the president. This was neither the highest nor the lowest level of trust. The highest rating was garnered by Nixon in 1972 (73% had a great deal or a fair amount of trust in him). The low water mark was earned by George W. Bush, 42% in 2008.
Pundits and prognosticators are trying to predict who is going to take the hit in the opinion polls: Congress as a whole, the Senate versus the House, the president, Republicans versus Democrats.
How much trust and confidence do you have in Congress today?
Who do you blame for the shutdown?
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