Poll: Government Itself is Top U.S. Problem

Capitol Hill
• January 15, 2014 11:57 am


A new Gallup poll released Wednesday shows that Americans think the most important problem facing the United States is its own government.

Twenty-one percent of those polled said "dissatisfaction with government/Congress/politicians; poor leadership/corruption/abuse of power" is the most important problem in the United States today.

"Economy in general" closely followed the majority with 18 percent. "Unemployment/jobs" and "poor healthcare/hospitals; high cost of healthcare" each received 16 percent.

Gallup reports:

Americans' current telling of the top problems facing the country comes from a Jan. 5-8 Gallup poll. The rank order is similar to what Gallup found in December, although the percentage mentioning unemployment has risen four percentage points to 16 percent.

Mentions of the government as the top problem remain higher than they were prior to the partial government shutdown in October. During the shutdown, the percentage naming the government as the top problem doubled to 33 percent from 16 percent in September.

Compared with a year ago, mentions of government are up slightly. Mentions of healthcare, on the other hand, have quadrupled — from 4 percent in January 2013 to 16 percent today, likely related to highly visible problems with the rollout of the 2010 healthcare law. At the same time, references to the federal deficit or debt have declined from 20 percent to 8 percent, while mentions of the economy in general have dipped from 21 percent to 18 percent, and mentions of unemployment/jobs are the same, at 16 percent.