Opinion researchers rarely see such a vast change in public attitude. When put in historical perspective, from the time of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal to the present, the fallen status of government as a protector and benefactor is extraordinary. We’ve returned to the instinctive American wariness of Washington so common before the Great Depression.
In our poll, taken before the November elections, the overwhelming majority of our respondents wanted to stop or roll back the impact of government. In answer to another question posed by The Digest, 79 percent said they wanted either no more than the current level of government services and taxes, or less government and lower taxes.
“It seems to me that we in the middle class bear most of the burden,” says Jone Nell Norman, 61, a nurse in Dyersburg, Tenn., who often wonders about the government’s judgement in spending her money.
Of Americans in our sample, 62 percent believe that politician’s ethics and honesty have fallen. And what about Congress? Is it doing a good job? Or do members “ spend more time thinking about their political futures than passing good legislation?” Across generations, a thumping 89 percent thought the latter. “Congress always seems to be screwing up,” says one young Xer.
However, Americans are satisfied with their own lives and jobs. Four of five respondents were “completely “ or “ somewhat “ satisfied. The figures held up across all ages – including Xer, whom many pundits have claimed are pessimistic about their future.
Looking deeper at jobs, we found 70 percent of Americans believe they are about where they should be, given their talents and effort. This is an issue where age always makes a difference, since older people, who are more established in their jobs tend to be more satisfied, while younger workers are still trying to find the right niche. Sure enough, Xers scored 65 percent, about five points below average.
1.The U.S. government status in the public mind before the Great Depression ____.
A.was regarded as quite normal
B.used to be very low
C.remained a difficult problem for the federal government
D.reminded people of the principles laid down by Washington
2.”Xers” is repeated several times to refer to
A.accusers B.younger respondents
C.college students D.blue-collar workers
3.The 61-years-old nurse Norman is mentioned in the article to show that ____.
A.the government has cheated her out of her money
B.it is hard for her to earn a living
C.even a retired nurse has lost faith in the government
D.the more the government does the greater stake tax – payers’ money will be put at
4.”Screwing up “ in paragraph 5 may be paraphrased as ____.
A.indecisive in making decisions B.benefiting the nation in earnest
C.making a mess of everything D.debating hotly
5.”Political future “ in paragraph 5 may be paraphrased as ____.
A.the future of the whole nation B.people’s well – being in the future
C.a position of higher rank D.awareness of consistency in policies