Content starts here

Don't Trust the Government? Join the Club

Public trust in the government is near an all-time low - not exactly a shock for a survey taken during a shutdown of the federal government.

Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter .


Only 19 percent of American adults trust the federal government to do what's right just about always or most of the time, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. More than four-fifths of respondents said they are either angry at the federal government (26 percent) or frustrated with the government (55 percent).

The poll was taken Oct. 9 to 13, during the political impasse that shut down much of the federal government.

Young people were much more positive in their views of government than older people were: 29 percent of the respondents under 30 said they trust the government always or most of the time, for example, compared with just 16 percent of those ages 50 to 64, and 15 percent of those 65 and older.

Some of the differences are driven by views about the federal budget deficit, according to political scientist Susan MacManus, Ph.D., of the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Get discounts on financial products and services with your AARP Member Advantages.

"Younger Americans are far less likely than their elders to see the national debt as a huge issue threatening the nation's economy," MacManus says. "After all, they are the 'borrowing' generation - college loans, delayed health care funding responsibilities, and credit cards. They've benefited tremendously from federally underwritten college loans and the ACA [Affordable Care Act] policy allowing them to stay on their parents' health care plans. And they're also more likely to approve of government policies permitting gay marriage and heavily regulating the environment."

Photo: Martin Jacobsen/Wikimedia

ACA = Affordable Care Act = Obamacare






Also of Interest


See the  AARP home page for deals, savings tips, trivia and more


Search AARP Blogs