February 24th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Capitol Hill more trusted than Wall Street?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Here's a sign of just how bad things are: when it comes to the economy, more Americans trust our politicians than our business leaders.

Capitol Hill more trusted than Wall Street?

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. More Americans trust politicians than business leaders on economic matters.

A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll asks people how confident they are that the following institutions will make the right economic decisions.

30% say they're confident in Wall Street, 28% feel that way about bankers and financial executives, and 26% are confident in the auto executives.

Compare that to a whopping 75% who express confidence in President Obama on economic issues, 66% who back Democrats in Congress to make the right calls, and 53% who feel the same about Congressional Republicans.

In light of that, it's no surprise that most people surveyed are opposed to government bailouts for banks and auto companies, while more actually favor government assistance to homeowners who can't pay their mortgages and government influence to lower health care costs.

This is probably uncharted territory for many of those in Washington. The fact that more Americans have confidence in government to get us out of our collective financial nightmare frightens me.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when politicians are more trusted than business leaders on economic matters?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

David from Granville, Ohio writes:
Jack, Who would you rather see as CEO of Citibank? The moron who currently holds that position or Barack Obama? Duh! It is no wonder that we trust the Obama administration far more than the greedy, insensitive, out of touch idiots who currently run the show. Obama has three major qualities: extreme intelligence, an incredible confident calm in the face of a storm and huge quantities of luck. (Read "Audacity of Hope" to see how lucky he is.) Of these, the third one may turn out to be the most important.

Mari from Salt Lake City writes:
That is funny! However I am not surprised. It is plain to we the people that the banks and Wall Street can not be trusted, that they are crooks who get away with stealing! Look at Madoff sitting in his posh NY apartment! The man is a criminal and should be in a New York City jail! But no.... there are two systems of justice in our Nation, one for the regular people and one for the rich! WHY are we not out in the streets demanding that the crooks be jailed?

Davonne from Easton, Pennsylvania writes:
It's quite obvious. The big guys in Wall Street have stabbed us taxpayers in the back. We give them billions of dollars. They turn around and reward themselves with millions of what we just gave them. They spend millions to decorate their offices. They buy private jets, while demanding that they keep their bonuses for accomplishing… We look to Capitol Hill as they are the only ones who can help us, the little guys.

Chris from Buffalo, New York writes:
It means the powerful in Washington have us exactly where they want us.

Greg from Ontario writes:
Jack, The time to worry is when politicians are trusted more than the media.

Filed under: US Congress • US Economy
soundoff (143 Responses)
  1. Shanna, GA

    It means we're playing the fiddle on a sinking ship.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  2. David Gerstenfeld Las Vegas

    Look how long it took for us to realize that "greed is not good". It's to bad that we can't seize the assets of those greedy wall streeters & banks that let this happen.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  3. JD in NH

    Wow! You've got to be kidding! If this is a true statement, it means our standards have dropped through the floor, into the basement and are on their way to the depths of hell. If you're less trustworthy than a politician, you've got a r-e-a-l-l-y big character flaw.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  4. Markel

    Which do you trust more ...the fox or the wolf?

    February 24, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  5. Karen

    Hi Jack,

    I don't trust either one. I do trust the new White House Administration and hope that with smart advisors President Obama will be able to accomplish the goals on which he campaigned.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  6. Don P.

    where did you get this tid bit of information about the politicians; they deregulated wall street so it became a "bucket shop" google bucket shops!!

    February 24, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  7. Conor in Chicago

    It means that the majority of people don't understand the term "complicit". Who do you think let Wall Street go nuts? It wasn't us peasants out here in the real world that's for sure.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  8. John Gallagher

    I don't think it means much. The so-called business leaders got us into this mess and still kept their large salaries, bonuses, etc. while Uncle Sam propped up their companies. The politicians have given away money foolishly – not requiring the banks to use it to allow greater credit availability.

    I say a pox on both their houses – but more on the business leaders who started it all.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  9. Tom

    Is congress more trusted than wall street. OH DUH!! I'd trust both about as far as the Atlantic Ocean, where they both ought to be swimming.
    Las Vegas

    February 24, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  10. Jackie in Dallas

    It means that, as infrequent as it happens, our elected officials think of us once in a while, while Wall Street thinks only of their own bank statements and wallets.

    A good example is the bailout and the stimulus plan. The bailout, which was to help loosen credit and reduce the effect of the downturn, was used to fatten the bank accounts of CEOs and top executives, and furnish them with trips, bonuses and the money to buy out competitors. The stimulus plan, while flawed, still offers money for extended unemployment benefits for those laid off, projects that will furnish temporary jobs, and encouragement to business to produce new jobs.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  11. Ed Reed

    It means that people's trust is still being misplaced.

    Ed Reed
    Hooverville, TX

    February 24, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  12. DeniseP of SD

    It means that we are up the proverbial creek.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  13. Jordan (Cherry Hill, NJ)

    If I were a religious person, I'd take it as one of the signs of the End of the World

    February 24, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  14. Chris

    It's bad. Business leaders have done such a good job mismanaging their companies that the government now has to try to put back the pieces. When the savior of every business is the dysfunctional and inefficient federal government, which can't balance a budget to save their lives, you have a very serious problem.

    February 24, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  15. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Jack it means we should take all the politicians and make them car salesmen. They'll con more people into buying cars and the economy will recover.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  16. Rose in Az

    It means that Wall Street is lower than a snakes belly but as far as I am concerned, politicians are not far behind. Politicians and Wall Street thrive on spending the taxpayers money.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  17. tom, madison, wi

    So, starting from the bottom it is:
    Business leaders

    February 24, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  18. Joan B

    90% of both Wall Street and Congress are crooks !
    Joan B

    February 24, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  19. Rudolph Marchand

    Congress critters are bottom feeders just like used car salesman and certain attorneys. They don't pay for health care and get a nice pension when we throw the bums out! I have stressed to my children that politicians have only two things to do: get elected, and stay in office for as long as possible. Most are unscrupulous and many are just plain corrupt to the core.Term limits on Congress may be the only way to fix the mess on the hill!

    February 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  20. Jackie in Dallas

    It means that, as infrequent as it happens, our elected officials think of us once in a while, while Wall Street thinks only of their own bank statements and wallets.

    A good example is the bailout and the stimulus plan. The bailout, which was to help loosen credit and reduce the effect of the downturn, was used to fatten the bank accounts of CEOs and top executives, and furnish them with trips, bonuses and the money to buy out competitors. The stimulus plan, while flawed, still offers money for extended unemployment benefits for those laid off, projects that will furnish temporary jobs, and encouragement to business to produce new jobs.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  21. Ben from Gaithersburg, MD

    I guess that the Wall Street crooks have been exposed. Congress is yet to be found out.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  22. Terry- Greensburg, IN

    Jack – This is going to be hard to believe, but government is less greedy than finanical establishments and car manufacturers. The vote is in.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  23. Michael, Liverpool, NY

    It means that when we look at what business leaders have done and are doing, with many of them wrecking their businesses, destroying our economy and our lives, and expecting us to bail them out, and we see,at least, our politicians appear to be trying to do something to help we beleive in our officials more even though some of us are skeptical about hwo successful they will be; we also blame the failures on business not working with government to help us.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  24. Joe in DE

    Deffinitely. Ratings for Congress are low; ratings for wall street negative.

    February 24, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  25. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    Because business leaders are in a position to steal all of the money, and politicians can only regulate the stealing.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  26. Al, Lawence KS

    It means that we trust one set of crooks, more than the other set of crooks. And that is scary.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  27. Kendall Pittsburgh

    At this point, Idon't even trust my damn husband!!!

    February 24, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  28. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: It means Americans trust the Democrats more than Wall Street pigs!

    February 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  29. Rick Medina,OH

    When you are drowning, you grab the first hand within your reach.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  30. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    We trust the politicians more because the business leaders are in a position to steal all of the money and the politicians are only in a position to regulate the stealing.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  31. Mike

    Guess after being bitten in the behind so many times by the leaders and brians of the financial world, I wonder why I would be so shy to trust them again. This may frighten you Jack, to now trust politicians, but I have had enough of some telling me that all is well and that the fundamentals of our economy are strong. Enough with their lies, let's give Obama a chance to make things better.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  32. Dan from Alliance, OH

    It means out morals have gone to hell in a hand basket.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  33. Eileen Peabody MA


    When we trust politicians over those given the task of overseeing our banking industry.....IT IS FRIGHTENING and we are a desperate nation of citizens.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  34. Portia, Los Angeles CA

    It means that Americans are forgetting that the current economic crisis was a collaborative effort between the government and the financial sector. We should be deathly afraid and untrusting of both.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  35. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    It means that Reaganomics was a compleat and total disaster. We do have some friends in washington be it few, but Wall Street is our enemy. If we declare war on Wall Street, it will be a war worth investing in.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  36. Jeff Crocket

    New Presidents always have high poll numbers. As far as Congress goes up against Wall Street and polling, how were the questions worded? A poll is not just a poll!!

    Jeff Crocket
    New Britain, CT

    February 24, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  37. Larry -- Belton TX

    Americans have soft shoulders and short memories. When we trust politicians, it means the total collapse of our society is not far away. And I bet you that preachers and priests rank down there in the 20%s, along with with car dealers and money pimps.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  38. John A. Maloney Jr.

    It means that the majority of the people have finaliy realized who owns the politicions and now know who is the least trustworthy. I don't find to much comfort in that but at least it is a step in the right direction.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  39. Joe, Clinton Ma.

    It means that the American Public has had it with Wall Street calling the shots. If the Financial Part of this great Country has lost all integrity
    with the American People, they have no where to go but up. And hopefully they will use this new found critizism to make them friendier to each depositor and investor. And then start paying them better interest rates on their deposits. They all seem to forget that they use the John Q. Publics money to expand their own fortunes and still pay miserable interest rates with that money while charging outlandish rates for borrowers. Well that how has to stop if they now want to suceed.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  40. me46

    The tea party is over and we're chasing the white rabbit.
    – Tom

    February 24, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  41. Roland (St George, UT)

    It means...just as you said..."this isn't our fathers' USA anymore". People are sick of the corporate greed and irresponsibility. Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, et al are still fresh in peoples' minds, couple that with the previous administration's in-bed affair with Halliburton a la Dick Cheney, and now all the mess on Wall Street that we've just bailed out for over 700B, which we were told was supposed to jump start the economy back in November, still not a cent has trickled down into our daily lives, and we continue to founder. Is it any wonder we don't trust the financial wizards, golden boys, and billionaire boys club to lead us out of this mess? They are the ones who got us into it.

    February 24, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  42. matthew san berdo,ca

    they both go hand and hand but wallst has its hand out more

    February 24, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  43. Patty.D. Bristol, Pa.

    Dear Jack, I don't trust either. It's like my father says, "Respect is earned." The last thirty years, politicians and big business have done nothing to earn respect. In fact, they deserve our scorn.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  44. Doug - Dallas, TX

    It means they live in another country!!

    February 24, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  45. Jim from Chicago

    Jack, quite simply, it means that bar we talk about as a measure of performance excellence must be virtually lying on the ground.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  46. V.K. Raman, Sparks

    The investors and the powers be in Stock Market are dastards in our war against economic downturn.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  47. A Grumpy Old Man

    It means that people are desperate for leadership. The working class has finally "got it" ....the business leaders don't care a whit about their employees, the products they make or the future of America. They only work for themselves and grab as much as they can for themselves. Unfortunately the Politicians are going to let them down too, unless we bring on the burning torches and pitchforks.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  48. KarenB, centralFlorida

    Is this a trick question? Like who is buried in Grant's tomb, or in honor of which President was the Washington Monument built?
    Trusted to do what? Take the money and run? Kiss you while stabbing in the back? Tell you what they think you want to hear and do the opposite? Neither one can be trusted.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  49. Don Bundock

    Politicians being more trusted, what's next? Lawyers.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  50. Lynne from NJ

    It means somebody has their head up their butt !! Anyone who trusts a diehard poltician, especially any member of congress, needs to have their head examined !

    February 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  51. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    it means they have lost their morality and will have to make some deep soul searching!

    February 24, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  52. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    This is probably uncharted territory for many of those in Washington. The fact that more Americans have confidence in government to get us out of our collective financial nightmare frightens me.


    I understand this sentence...but out of crisis comes opportunity and this is where we can change politics once and for all and add a new era of morality where public funds are concerned but also on how do we look at each other (citizens, government, corporations) in society has being equal partners in creating what we call a more perfect union!

    February 24, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  53. Gerry in Toronto

    What American's are saying Jack is they trust President Obama which isn't a surprise since he tells it as it is.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  54. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    I think it means that politicians are voted in and business leaders are not. Maybe they should have term limits for all CEOs of giant corporations. No, I still wouldn't trust them.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  55. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    It means that snowballs have started surviving in you know where because we all know that many of the Congress and Wall Street people are interchangeable, not to mention constantly scratching each other's back.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  56. Lynn, San Diego

    I think it means that Congress is benefiting from the trust people have in President Obama to lead us out of this rabbit hole. It wasn't so long ago Congress sold out to the Corporations, now they are having the good sense to stand behind someone who at least has a plan that doesn't include throwing money at the Robber Barons – .

    February 24, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  57. Gus

    Everyone likes to blame Wall Street. However, Greenspan's cheap money policy and congressional interference in the markets (Chris Dodd and Barney Frank come to mind) were the fuel to Wall Streets fire.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  58. Susan from Twn Falls Idaho

    The business leaders have really stubbed their toes? We needed Lee Iacoccas not Ken Lays.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  59. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    Wall street is a money maker, They don't care about AMERICA all they want is american money. They are greedy,selfish,arrogant. heck I can't think of one good thing to say about WALL-STREET

    February 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  60. Jay in Texas

    It means that most of the American people don't have a clue as to who is really running our government. The corporate elite are the ones who buy the politicians who, in turn, do their work for them once they are elected.
    Brownwood, Texas

    February 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  61. David in Natchez,MS

    It means that if nothing else, houseing, markets, curency etc. haven't found a bottom trust certainly has.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  62. Tim in Texas

    It means that the basic tenets of free market capitalism are flawed. Free market capitalism depends on the notion that people will operate in a self-motivated way and that is good for the market: a company makes money and its CEO will put most of the money back into the company so the company will make more money. Problem is, investors and CEOs and shareholders aren't always interested in the long-term. Add to that the fact that we have given them huge tax breaks, and that they get millions of dollars in severence packages and undeserved bonuses, and the whole system now just works to make the rich richer and the middle class poorer. That is it worked until they didn't have any more money to bleed out of us.

    February 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  63. matt new york

    Not to impressive if people trust someone less than politicians. It,s got to be a first for politicians though.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  64. Amy

    That we're effectively screwed. Both are greedy but politicians have the added defect of horrendous red tape.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  65. Jim

    It means that finally politicians are less greedy than businessmen.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  66. jacob

    As someone who is a part of the financial industry, I can say that I am 100% confident that we cannot really trust either the banks or the government. Our lives our dictated by the greed and policy pushing of a few, at this rate there will be very little of "America" that we will recognize!

    February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  67. Francisco Jimenez

    Jack, I am sorry but I do not believe it, a used car salesperson has more trust than a politician.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  68. Steven

    It means that more people are fearful of the greedy than they are of the incompetent. Business people have nothing but their own self interests, and can never be trusted to do the right thing. Take that, you trickle down theorists. Yet, Congress does the people's work. They may not do it as well as we like, but at least they're thinking of us.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  69. Toni

    Jack, it means people have finally gotten smater. If regulated properly government is suppose to protect it's people (us the Federal Government). CEO's have gotten greedy.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  70. Joe Hofmann from Washington, NC

    Gosh, Jack, all we have to do is remember that Paulson was a Wall Street guy, and Cheney was a business CEO. After those two, who would trust Wall Street or business leaders?

    Joe from NC

    February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  71. Peter-NJ

    It means that there is a distorted view of the top weighted ineptitude in big business America today. Just like the middle class of our population, the real work and grwoth is being executed by the middle managers. Clear the top deck and we'll be on the road to recovery.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  72. Anya

    Jack– I think it is simple. People trust politicians more then busssinessmen because it is the bussinessmen that got us into the mess– so they definetly won't be the ones to get us out. Who does that leave for us to look to for help then?... Capitol Hill.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  73. Linda Jean Williams

    Hello Jack: If Americans trust Republicans to get us out of this financial nightmare, more so than Wall Street, I would say perhaps it is because they would rather trust a "polecat," instead of a fatcat.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  74. leon zelby

    It simply supports the truism that the difference between wisdom and stupidity is that stupidity has no limits.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  75. Tony

    It means that hope is at a premium and desperation is being missplaced.
    North Carolina

    February 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  76. Sherri Illinois

    I have more trust in the Democrats and thats because of the disaster this country is in after 8 years of the Bush Administration that fell asleep at the wheel while this economic snowball was growing & growing!. President Obama is doing in his 1 month in office what President Bush never did, and thats trying to help main street Americans who were forgotten because of Wall Street connection to the GOP and the perks that got while Bush was President. The Democrats fought for the extension of unemployment benefits last April, the Republicans were against it. I will take the Democrats over the Republicans ANY day of the week!.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  77. Jolene

    Mr. Cafferty, I think people's general lack of confidence in business execs makes perfect sense right now. Think about it. If these guys had actually been making the right decisions all along, we wouldn't be in this mess.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  78. Bernadette Loesch

    simple, the tide of opinion has changed because people will no longer tolerate what businesses have been doing to the United States. Big business executives have lead us into a big black hole, started the collapse of our monetary funds and taken huge chunks of money for themselves. We have finally awoken and want to make it right before it's too late for everyone. The rich will have to share their wealth whether they like it or not!

    February 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  79. Tom Feagin

    It means that people like Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe look more trustworthy than the idiots who destroyed our economy. I have been researching health economics lately, and found in a major text, the idea, expressed in a footnote, that some people will both buy insurance and also gamble. The author, an economics professor decides that he will simply ignore this "paradox." It looks like economists know nothing about people.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  80. John Juskey

    It's simple. When people who are as bright and intelligent as the president is people listen. He doesn't need a scripted speech and how often do you see him stutter looking for an answer. When he talks you can't help but listen. He is a leader unlike our CEO's and Chaimen in business.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  81. Mike out West

    That is like asking a death row inmate to pick between lethal injection or electrocution.

    Seriously, one side paved the road to ruin, the other drove us there. They are both guilty.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  82. Michelle Thompson

    No mistery here Jack. G.W. touted himself as a businessman when he entered his tenure as president of this country. Once burnt, twice shy. Give us an old fashioned log rolling politician over a businessman any day of the week.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  83. Martin

    The financial markets and corporations have run amuck due to the lack of proper regulation and oversight. While this may have been assisted by the work of the politicians previously in power, we have a leadership in place now with President Obama, that we can finally move away from corporate greed. Unprecedented times calls for unprecedented measures and as our way of capitalism takes a new form, I could not be more pleased to have a man of incredible integrity and leadership in place. We have the confidence in government now because of our leader.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  84. Marjorie Lominy

    Jack is either we don't know what the hell we are talking about or the world is upside down...

    February 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  85. Hen

    It's easy to " LEAD " something you've started!

    February 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  86. Katie of Davis, CA

    Probably because our Congress and our President is elected, and if we get fed up with them we can throw them all out. So far, business leaders are not elected by the general public.

    That, and business leaders are only looking out for themselves. They only have to listen to share holders and their own pocket book – not their employees or general citizens.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  87. Diego Mazuera

    What it means!... our financial system is far more corrupt than our elected politicians.
    It shows how desperate our situation really is.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  88. Paddy

    Well, I guess it means that finally someone with brains is running the country. One that, as a Canadian, I'm very closely watching... with fascination. AT LAST!

    February 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  89. DB

    Hi Jack,

    All it really shows is that you're better off mastering the business of politics than the politics of business. Just because the politicians were savvy enough to score points with the public by yelling and screaming about private jets, junkets, and bonuses doesn't mean they know what they're doing, it just makes them appear more trustworthy than the other guys. History tells us that's just an illusion.

    DB, New York, NY

    February 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  90. dpcatt

    It really is quite depressing once you realize that this is all one big cycle... The businesses are so corrupted by politics and funding PACs that the most corrupt of all (the politicians) are now attempting to prevent these companies from cleaning up their own messes.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  91. Andrea from Short Hills

    it means we understand the ways we got here and we know President Obama and his advisors get it and will help get us out, eventually!

    February 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  92. Marie-Therese Zenner

    Well, Jack, the US has finally hit the omnipresent level of corruption found in France. When Chirac ran for re-election he campaigned using the slogan: "Vote for the liar, not the thief." Similarly, US politicians may lie but have not been known for stealing as much as the financial sector.

    Haverford, PA

    February 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  93. Joe in Tennessee

    Jack, it means that Americans have finally come out in the light. They have seen that Republican mantra ' Big Business and Big Money should have total control' was the demise of our economy under the biggest boob to ever infiltrate the White House. They are now saying that they want Bush and his Republican Party to just 'Go Away'. It is just another chorus of 'trickle down screwed us so step aside'.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  94. Seth

    It means life is getting better. It is tending towards the way it ought to be. Politicians are supposed to be our representatives...they represent us and they should be the best minds in promoting our best ideas. Wall Street and bankers...in reality...are our competition by nature. We might have been fooled into thinking that they were on our side, but we are talking about capitalists. Within our financial system the lucky and the ruthless prosper. For far too long politicians have been representing these ruthless lucky bastards, and now...finally...they are beginning to represent us.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  95. Keith TX

    Thats what happens when you put wealth and power before your country and it's people. Business leaders have adopted a global perspective that doesn't differentiate between our country and others as long as it generates the greatest wealth for them. At least our government is supposed to be focused on us hear in the USA..

    February 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  96. Steve - Mich

    I think its because of all the rampant corruption, financial mismanagment, greed and perversion experienced over the past 10 yrs with republicans in office, and the public has finally put a majority democrats in office, as well as a great Man in as president, while the typical wall street and corporate activities take place –
    Overspending, self gratification, use of company plastic for prostitution, personal payoffs, poor performance, poor decision making and planning, unwarrented bonuses and perks etc.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  97. Jim

    What a B.S. question. Didn't they offer "Do You Trust or Distrust both WallStreet and Congress?"

    By the way: It was the political parties and minority advocate groups that pressured lenders to be more liberal with lending.

    There's your answer.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  98. Wanda Robinson

    You think the business leaders have a clue when they are asking for bailouts.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  99. Jean Desselle

    Put them both in the lotto basket, toss them around, and see for yourself.

    Jean in Louisiana

    February 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  100. Liz in Los Angeles, CA

    WHAT "business leaders"?

    February 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  101. tim, Oakland,CA

    It means that the GW era is finally, mercifully, officially over. It means
    that 8 years of anything you want, big business has left the Govt. as the only game in town. It means Exxon has made its $10 Billion in
    quarterly profits at the expense of the nation and the economy. Oh,
    and the global environment, as well, Jack. Other than that, no big deal
    other than wiping out the Treasury for the wealthy tax cuts, and unneccesaary wars, leaving the nation as finacially bankrupt as the morally bankrupt Bush Admin.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  102. john .... marlton nj

    Come on Jack, what planet did the repsondents live on ? Planet "Hope" or Planet "Entitlement". The poll is BS and propaganda...

    February 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  103. Jamie Campbell

    Just how far behind the times are you? Self-serving ambition and blind greed are not the only basis on which to construct an economy. The economy is a construct and we can build one that works for more than the status quo. And with 7 billion + people in the world, the economy is going to have to meet the needs of just a few. Look around!

    February 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  104. Rashid


    Neither. I trust the bond market – that's made up of people whose lives depend on being right.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  105. Popsx2 from Las Vegas, Nevada

    Jack, These results tell me that the American people aren't so stupid after all. Yes, politicians will do and say whatever it takes to get re-elected. Even doing soming good once-in-awhile. BUT today's leaders of industry are just plain incompetent and will do whatever it takes to continue taking home those fat pay checks and undeserved bonus. Unfortunately, they are neither leaders, nor inovators, just totally wothless billionaires who aren't deserving of being allowed to walk the streets as free people. If only we could get those politicans to take some aciton against the frauds running their companies and the country into the ground.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  106. jim R

    Its a sad commentary as to where as country is headed.How can the american peope want people like barney frank & chris Dodd to lead us out of this mess that they got us into.What these to did is criminal & they both wont take any blame.The whole system is corrupt-ge theses people out of there.They have no clue as to what is going on

    February 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  107. Paul Churchill

    While the great majority of business leaders see their businesses as part of the greater American cultural fabric and operate with personal integrity, our society and government can no longer trust business leaders to do so. Too many individuals have learned to separate themselves from the rest of us in the pursuit of power, influence and money. It sad, but the government must now invade our liberties to an even greater degree, in order to protect the general public and our tax paying revenues from the greed and avarice of the few who would spoil the freedoms of the many.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  108. Scott

    If these CEOs put half of their bonuses, severance packages, or salaries back into their businesses, and focused on their job rather than their own selfish desires, then we might all have a chance. The fact that they have taken such gross advantage of their situations, even after they went to Congress hat in hand, I am surprised that anyone has any faith in them at all.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  109. Chuck

    How scary is this; unfortunately our business leaders have earned our distrust in view of one scandel and economic disaster after another. Partisan politics have played thier hand in this mess as well. Advantage, Capitol Hill.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  110. Karl from SF, CA

    After seeing what banks and business have done to us, what do you expect? Since businesses are the problem and apparently not trying to become the solution, like bonus’ for loser CEOs, it’s the government by default. Sad, but true.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  111. Bob Desselle

    It's a sad day when greed and mistrust has caused the state we are in right now in this country. People need to put themselves second right now and think of others first. It is amazing what a little self sacrifice can accomplish. We need to clean house of the greed for example, the credit card companies charging 25-30% interest yet they are in financial trouble what are they doing with all the profits, the same can be said for so many aspects of our society. We have made our on bed now we are lying in it and wonder what is up. We need to go back to the morals, values and hard work that this country was founded upon and grew and prospered with, failure to do so will be at our demise.



    February 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  112. Percy

    It means those people are inadequately sane.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  113. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    Except for the Obama team, I don't trust politicians or the CEO's. The basic economic theory of "greedy self interest" runs rampant in both. The CEO's are busy trying to protect their millions and the politicians are more concerned about getting re-elected then helping the country. I can't believe republicans are already talking about 2012. I'm starting to think that all politicians should only have one term (longer than the current terms). Maybe then we would move forward because they would be doing things to help the country instead of their next election campaign. I'm so tired of politicians!!!

    February 24, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  114. Chuck ElPaso, Texas

    How scary is this; unfortunately our business leaders have earned our distrust in view of one scandal and economic disaster after another. Partisan politics has played it's hand in this mess as well. Advantage, Capitol hill.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  115. Davonne in Easton PA

    It's quite obvious. The big guys in wall street have stabbed us tax payers in the back. We give them billions of dollars, they turn around and reward themselves with millions of what we just gave them. They spend millions to decorate their offices. They buy private jets, while demanding that they keep their bonuses for accomplishing nothing with their businesses. And They propose a toast to how blind and naive the tax payers are for trusting them. We look to Capitol Hill as they are the only ones who can help us.... The little guys.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  116. James in TN

    Wall Street is out to make money, they could careless if anybody else made money. I'm making it easy for people in Washington, I'm not asking for a bailout. I need a job, give me a job I'll create my own bailout.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  117. Carol in AZ

    The reason is "greed" some of the new folks in Washington DC haven't become as greedy as the American run Business that now have their hands out. Their greed got them where they are...in fact greed has almost brought down this whole country. While most of us are bearly hanging on or sinking further....the fingers keep pointing and the greed keeps happening. Until we have an adjustment at the top of corporate America as we are having with homes and the market....nothing will change. Corporate America neds it more than anywhere else.
    I am so sick of the greed and lack of responsibility on the part of everyone that I could just scream.....but I don't want to waste my energy....as I may need it before this mess is over!

    February 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  118. George Speciale

    The American public has seen the results of at least a decade of laissez faire free market capitalism with minimal and reluctant government regulation. Most of that public earns what they did in 1972, and have lost a significant part of their invested retirement savings. In contrast, they have seen business leaders plunder the corporations and shareholders to whom they should be beholden, and the country and its taxpayers, to whom they should be loyal. In short, the thieves have held the keys to the treasure.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  119. Steve in Michigan

    This one is easy. Politicians have lied, mislead, engaged in double talk and never answered a question with a yes or a no in their carreers, but they have rarely out and out stolen from us.
    They "Leaders of Industry" have taken our trust and our money and left us with almost nothing but contempt for them and their greed.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  120. Ben

    Hey Jack;

    There is no surprise people are more trusting of government than the bussiness leader. It's obvious the bussiness leaders are more intereted in their own pockets,bring in cheap labourers,take good paying jobs offshore.
    It's a shame the bussiness community is all about huge profit.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  121. John

    Jack.... You and I both know that high level bankers only leave there jobs to become high level poloticians. And when that job runs out they go right back to the banks. To me they are one and the same.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  122. mary

    I think its a sad day in this country when we trust our politicians more but I knew our economy was collapsing for the past 8 years and the stock market no longer reflects anything honest in my opinion, so I have come to rely on these leaders who dont even follow the laws of the land by paying their taxes like the rest of us. wow.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  123. Sallie

    Unless and until there is on-going regulation in all aspects of financial dealings across the board, with stern penalties attached for misuse of funds, I, for one will not trust the financial system. For too long greed and secrecy have been the engines of Finance. It's time the institutions that turn out MBA's and the like started teaching some values, ethics and sound judgement in their courses. People in general have to stop admiring people with a lot of money without looking into how that money was made. Did this person step all over people and regulation to get it?

    February 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  124. Joyce Calvert Gadsden, Al

    Because the busness community is the cause of all this mess
    Gadsden ,Al

    February 24, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  125. Pugas-AZ

    It means that we are in deep trouble. It's like: "Mom and Dad will get us out of this one." It's funny, when things are good we don't need government, but when things go sour all eyes and hands turn to Washington. I guess that's human nature.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  126. j/NJ

    What does it mean when politicians are more trusted than business leaders on economic matters?

    Not sure if politicians are genuinely trusted...in any event the consensus seems to be that many Americans think politicians have damaged the economy to such an extent that only "they" can figure out a way to turn things around...after all their jobs depend on it and the American people are watching...

    February 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  127. James, Sun City CA

    That's easy, Jack! We've changed politicians . . . for the better.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  128. Donnie

    From A Canadian perspective, greedy wall street and banks got us here, and now you expect greedy politicians who are more trusted to fix this way too funny. Wake up call needed. The worst thing that happened to this economy was so called economic forecasters saying we have a bad economy and tossing fear into people.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  129. doIdare2hope

    Hmmm...why do you spoze there's he old saying "buyer beware"?? It's because you can't trust business!!

    When you buy a house for example, there's a four inch pile of paper you have to sign, very little if anything you understand and you know full well, little if anything is to benefit you. Thus, unless you have an attorney present, you have to match wits with a corporate attorney who is all out to protect the bank/mortgage company.

    And don't even get me started on the flim flam shenanigans that go on at car dealerships. Young, inexperieced people, and those who just aren't saavy to the ways of the car salesperson have no clue that the deal they cut on the car, the trade in and the amount and length of time on a car loan is all to soak the buyer as much as possible. I feel like I have been in battle after "negotiating" for a car.

    What about Mr Peanut man from VA, who sold the tainted peanuts that killed people? What about all of the toxic crap dumped in our water, soil and belched into the air poisoning our environment.

    So yeah, those are just a few examples of why people don't (or shouldn't) trust business as they prove over and over, it's too often about greed and the buyer/consumer be damned.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  130. Darin

    Jack, nothin is more dangerous than power in the hands of someone who suffers from a sense of mental inferiority. The formula for oppression is power without mental soundness. It's clear that the FINANCIAL leaders of the land are suffering from a lil mental disorder. On the other hand, we look at President Obama, I believe he's doing a great job. Let me share with you, when you want to judge a leader and his/her leadership, do not study their physical appearance and demeanor. Look at their hearts That's where you find out where they get their thoughts and ideas from. I can feel that Obama's heart is with the people.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  131. Allen Bentley

    It means there are a lot of people standing around with their hand out, wanting something for nothing. A business leader, (or boss) may actually want you to work for what you get from them.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  132. tom from Boston, MA

    Jack, to me it sounds like my fellow americans must be waking up and listening to one politician who speaks the truth. That person being Ron Paul of course.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  133. Ian from Michigan

    The only person I think who is sincere is Obama when it comes to the economy and fixing our nation in general. Even thou I'm a Democrat, I don't trust the democratic Congress to do anything unless Obama tells them what to do. Republicans? think about it. Bill Clinton spent the second half of his presidency with budget surpluses and Bush gave Obama the largest budget deficit in our nation's history. Now all of a suddon, now that Bush is gon, Republicans care about the deficits and the national debt. Who big of a hypocrite can one get? Why didn't they care when bush was president? The banks, after what they done to the public, I could care less if they get nationalized. They did it to themselves. I trust Obama. I'm 17 so I couldn't vote. But, I'm so happy he's president.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  134. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, I think itt means that "we the people" are aware of how the upper echelons of the business world have been screwing us; that we are tired of it; and now that we have a Democrat in the White House and Democrats in control of Congress we believe that someone will look out for us.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  135. Scott

    One thing to think about is that if you look at our history, our founding fathers wanted a nationalized bank. No one realizes that the FED is a private institution. The greenbacks (nationalized bank) were Thomas Jefferson's idea. He didn't want the greed of banks to control the monetary systems of the US. Amsel Rothschild himself said, "Let me issue and control a Nations money, and I care not who writes its laws." Who do you think controls the FED?

    February 24, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  136. Billie Dimick

    Well after loosing my job, trying to keep my house, keeping the light and heater running keeps me busy most of the day, but that's of course after I look for work in a very depressed job market. Maybe it will get better next month but then I may have to plan where I will be moving too. Thanks Washington.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  137. Claire, Melbourne FL

    Hi Jack,

    Maybe the new crew of politicians are trusted more. The old ones who retired rather than be voted out are the ones that abused the trust of all Americans. There's a few more I'd like to see replaced with someone with an independent brain! I have had enough of these follow the leader Republicans who all spout the same talking points every day.....they do not have our best interests at heart, they are wimps who are afraid of their Republican leaders!

    February 24, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  138. Jeff


    Riddle me this, if someone under the influence were to ram their car into your fence, would you trust them to lecture you on car safety the next day?

    Government under Obama is a recovering drunk, Business is still in denial and just knocked down our fence. If these two were your only choices, who would you choose to trust?

    Jeff in Minnesota

    February 24, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  139. Michele

    I would like to hear the President get past the rhetoric and the marketing of the stimulus plan and get to the specifics of how he thinks he can improve our economy. I want to hear a diagnosis, a treatment for what ails us and a prognosis. So far, I have only heard about expensive bandages and painkillers.
    Michele in Chicago

    February 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  140. KC

    Maybe it's because most people see there is a thin safety net and a lot more families are ending up in the streets. They don't want hand outs. They want the tools to help themselves. Jobs. Obama is sincere in his efforts to create jobs and upgrade our infra structure at the same time.

    You know what happens when you focus on giving tax cuts to businesses? The owners find ways to keep the money for themselves. Rich people don't share well with others.

    And Republicans just say no.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  141. Jane - WI

    Of course, there are some in business who shouldn't be trusted, but to trust the politicians more is a bit goofy. We are now seeing a Democrat culture of corruption emerging, and Democrats driving up our deficit to record levels. All those who want to bash business should also not be willing to take a job from business. It seems many in this country have bought into this class envy, populist message that left wingers are selling. Lots of envy by people who seem to want someone to take care of them rather than pull themselves up by their bootstraps and people who want to blame someone other than themselves for the financial mess many got themselves into. How many people had to build brand new 3500 square foot homes rather than use common sense and buy older, 1800 square foot homes? Lots of greedy people who got themselves into the mortgage mess, but want to blame it on those "evil" bankers.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  142. Michele

    Politicians are telling people what they want to hear! That is why politicians are the most trusted right now, just like those on Wall Street were the most trusted when they espoused what people wanted to hear. People look for the most optimistic outlook and the easy road, which is what caused the economic problem that we are in right now. We are in the midst of creating bigger problems because we are listening to the wrong advice. Until we change the fundamentals of our economy and let actions have consequences, we will continue to have problems that need mending, only the mending requirements will get greater and greater.
    Michele in Chicago

    February 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  143. Phil from Virginia


    It means the prevailing American leadership climate is at least 435 degrees below absolute ZERO. We are experiencing an American leadership ice age. Our Ivy league "leaders", both public and private, have failed miserably in stewarding our republic. Plato and Socrates need to be reread by these academically incestuous, self-righteous, amoral yahoos.

    February 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm |