Congress declines to worst ever rating by American public

“Suppose you were an idiot.
And suppose you were a member of Congress.
But I repeat myself.”

Americans’ evaluation of the job Congress is doing is the worst Gallup has ever measured, with 13% approving, tying the all-time low measured in December 2010. Disapproval of Congress is at 84%, a percentage point higher than last December’s previous high rating.

These results are based on an Aug. 11-14 Gallup poll, which includes the first update on Congress’ job approval rating since the government reached agreement on a deal to raise the debt ceiling after contentious and protracted negotiations between President Obama and congressional leaders. Standard & Poor’s subsequently downgraded the United States’ credit rating, in part citing the current political environment in Washington. That sparked a week of intense volatility in the stock market, with days of sharp losses and large gains.

Frustration with Congress was evident immediately after the debt ceiling agreement, with a record-low 21% of registered voters in an Aug. 4-7 USA Today/Gallup poll saying most members of Congress deserve re-election.

President Obama’s job approval rating has also declined in recent days, reaching a low of 39% in Aug. 11-13 Gallup Daily tracking…

Gallup has measured Americans’ approval rating of Congress since 1974…

Independents are currently the most critical of Congress, with 9% approving and 86% disapproving. Republicans and Democrats give Congress slightly higher, but still overwhelmingly negative, marks.

Frankly, I think we’re too kind at evaluating this lot. Sam Clemens got it right when he said there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress. Corruption, payoffs, credits and favors via all the methods made especially popular since the days of Newt Gingrich’s contract on America characterize the day-to-day operations of one of the least functional legislatures in the history of democracy.

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