The American public's sour mood is in interesting contrast with many of the public's views during the Great Depression of the 1930s, not only on economic, political and social issues, but also on the role of government in addressing them.
In the depths of the 1981-1982 recession, Americans were far more displeased with their president and his policies than were their predecessors during the Great Depression, more so even than in today's high-unemployment economy.
Despite all the animosity aimed at Washington, one usual political punching bag is actually not seen as villainous as it once was: taxes. More say they pay about the right amount in taxes than say they pay more than their fair share.
Nearly all Americans consider themselves patriotic and voice pride in being American. But many of those who voice strong patriotism and pride in the country also are highly critical of the federal government and its political leaders.
Fully 82% of internet users (61% of all Americans) looked for information or completed a transaction on a government website in the past year. Most government website visitors were happy with their experience, accomplishing everything or much of what they wanted to do.
By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days.
Data from Pew Research Center, National Election Studies, Gallup, ABC/Washington Post, CBS/New York Times, and CNN Polls.
Foreign-born Latinos are more likely to say the census is good for the Hispanic community and are more knowledgeable about the process than native-born Latinos. But large majorities of both groups plan to participate.
Dysfunctional. Corrupt. Selfish. It's not hard to guess what these words are describing. Examine a word cloud to see what the public thinks of Congress.