Now is not a good time to be a member of Congress, particularly for people who want to inspire "a great deal" of confidence in their fellow Americans. The latest Gallup poll found that only 7 percent of those polled have "a great deal" or "quite a bit" of confidence in Congress. Another 7 percent said they have no confidence in Congress whatsoever, even though that wasn't really one of the options on the survey.
Currently, 4 percent of Americans have a great deal of confidence in Congress, 3 percent have quite a bit, a third have "some," and half have very little. As Gallup explained, the current ranking "is not only the lowest on record, but also the lowest Gallup has recorded for any institution in the 41-year trend."
To offer some perspective: On Wednesday an NBC/WSJ poll found that only half of Americans think President Obama is a competent leader. NBC News's Chuck Todd went so far as to say the poll meant Obama's presidency is "over." But according to Gallup, 29 percent of Americans still have confidence in the president.
Congress ranks lower than public schools (26 percent), the criminal justice system (23 percent), and television news (18 percent). Meanwhile, 74 percent of Americans have a great deal or quite a bit of confidence in the military. In fact, the military has always enjoyed high confidence levels, with the exception of 1981, when its confidence level dropped to 50 percent. Then again, Congress can only dream of inspiring so little confidence.