December 11th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Ethically, Congress ranks lower than car salesmen

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to ethics - Congress scores lower than car salesmen.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/11/art.car.dealer.jpg caption=""]
For the first time in Gallup's annual poll, a majority of those surveyed - 55-percent - say the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress are "low" or "very low." That number has more than doubled since 2000.

The decline in Congress' ethics rating in the past year has occurred almost equally among Republicans, independents and Democrats.

The most-highly rated professions include nurses, pharmacists, doctors, police officers and engineers.

Scraping the bottom of the barrel along with members of Congress: Car and insurance salespeople, stockbrokers, HMO managers and lawyers.

Telemarketers and lobbyists weren't included in this poll - but have received even lower ratings than Congress in the past.

It's a sad reflection of how Americans view the people they send to Washington to represent them. But it should come as no surprise considering the shennanigans that go on in the Capitol:

  • Like former Cong. William Jefferson, recently sentenced to 13-years in prison... in a corruption case where he famously hid 90 grand in cash in his freezer...
  • Or Senator John Ensign - who admitted to an affair with the wife of a staffer, paid the family almost 100-thousand dollars, and then allegedly got the husband a lobbying job, where he lobbied Ensign
  • Or Congressman Charlie Rangel - still up to his ears in ethics investigations tied to his personal finances

And Senator Max Baucus of Montana - who faces accusations that he nominated his girlfriend for a U.S. attorney job.

And that's just skimming the surface… we didn't mention Larry Craig, Mark Foley, David Vitter… it's a very long list.

Here’s my question to you: Ethically speaking, what does it mean that members of Congress rank lower than car salesmen?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

James writes:
If doctors and nurses rank highest and members of Congress lowest, why is it that we trust Congress to remake health care instead of doctors?

Brian writes:
Our country elects fewer than 600 people on a national level to govern 300 million people. You think they can get it right? You think they represent the interests of 300 million people? What do 300 million people want anyway?

Car salesman writes:
Why does everyone always beat up on car salesmen? If people were not able to pay below the sale price, then we would not be viewed as we are. People pay the grocer his asking price. People pay the gas station their asking price. People pay the department store their asking price. Yet very few people pay the asking price on cars. Because of this, salesmen are forced to find ways get people to pay as close to the asking price as we can just to earn a living.

Bobby writes:
Politicians get paid ridiculously high salaries. Talk about Cash for Clunkers!

Chris writes:
This is a sad, yet predictable poll. What’s even worse is that we, as Americans, stand by and put up with it. This is our, the people's, fault.

A.J. from Potsdam, New York writes:
Between the staggering giveaways to their Wall Street and banking benefactors and health care "reform" that is little more than a profit protection plan for the health care cartel, our "public servants" make members of The Oldest Profession look like a church choir.

Jim from Bella Vista, Arkansas writes:
Jack, I was a car salesman years ago; please don't disparage car salesmen so. Car salesmen are paragons of virtue compared to these guys.

Greg writes:
Ethically speaking about a politician is like talking accuracy about Fox News… you can't be ethical and be a politician.

Filed under: Congress
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Joe CE

    The general public shows no great intrest is ethics. Politians refect their constituants.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  2. RichP the Pocono's

    Ethics tell you right from wrong so yes they are ethically bankrupt, morals are what stop you from doing right and wrong and in that department they are even worse off.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  3. David in San Diego

    Such "data" often reflect emotions of the moment (in this case, a multiyear "moment," but transitory nonetheless) and responses to poorly-worded questions. I would not think it means much–close to 95% of all members of the House and Senate who seek re-election win–except that the malcontents have seized control of public opinion. I am not defending members of Congress, just noting a discrepancy between opinion polls and the polls that matter, when people vote. We have a long tradition of "I love my Congressperson, but yours is terrible."

    December 11, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  4. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    Car salesmen are full of hot air and so are a lot of members of Congress. They both tell you what they think you want to hear and not the truth.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  5. Josiah D'Albini

    I believe it means that Congressmen and women will do anything they can to get a bill passed into a law much like a car salesmen will do anything to get that commission. Yet, Congress will also accept bribes and will not think for the better of everyone, but for themselves.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  6. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    It means that:

    1. The public is at best, a poor judge of character, in candidates.

    2. The power of office corrupts, rapidly.

    3. No one can get elected, without the "political machine", which means only corrupt candidates need apply.

    4. All of the above......which gets my personal vote.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  7. Gary NC

    Uh, Don't ever buy a car from a Congressman.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  8. Rick Medina,OH


    I have to take a bit of offense to this question. I've been in the auto retail business for over 32 years. Yes, I've seen a few rogues in my day, but most are hard-working family-oriented people. It is nearly impossible to get a job in the industry today without undergoing pre-employment drug and alcohol testing, and an extensive background check. More than one traffic violation in the past three years is probably a deal-breaker. How many members of Congress could pass a typical auto industry screening?

    A typical dealership today manages customer satisfaction with equal or greater rigor as its inventories, and invests heavily to ensure a great customer experience. There is still work to do, but we pull it off better and better each year.

    By the way, how did journalists do in the rankings?

    Rick, Medina, OH

    December 11, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  9. Jim


    The corrosive effects of power are on full display with the Congress (and, no doubt, with analogous organizations in other countries). Our free press has always been our best defense against unethical leaders. It worries me that that beacon of truth is being dimmed and colored with the creeping politicization of news outlets.

    Reno, Nevada

    December 11, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  10. Jane (Minnesota)

    If one tries to list all the accomplishments of Congress that actually have made the lives of the main street Americans who vote for them better – I don't think it would cover the bottom of a thimble. At least you do get a car when you deal with a car salesman!

    December 11, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  11. Marianne Wisconsin

    It means that their decisions are based on how they can benefit them and not what the people they represent want or what may be morally and ethically right.

    December 11, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  12. JENNA

    Ethically speaking, what does it mean that members of Congress rank lower than car salesmen?

    I thought they ranked lower than USED car salesmen..

    Americans tell Congress that they want something (Health Care Reform with a Strong Public Option) and they, obstructionist Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats, ignore it and listen only to those who fund their elections.

    What they fail to understand it that if they screw Americans out of Health Care Reform then no amount of money is going to get them re-elected.

    My Congressman is totally USELESS and refuses to listen to those in his district that WANT reform so he shouldn't get too comfortable in DC.. There are more of us than those who agree with him..

    Roseville CA

    December 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  13. marlene

    The poll results reflect the mood of the nation. When a person doesn't get "good value" for what they pay for, they are often unhappy with the result and angry. So, lots of Americans feel that Congress isn't delivering the result people are expecting when they have to support the product with taxes. Poor ethics are just the tip of the iceberg! Lobbyists, "pork legislation", and idealogical differences account for more feelings of disgust with Congress. Term limits are a logical fix. New comers couldn't do any worse! Marlene in Mich

    December 11, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  14. Joe M


    It means we don't trust polticians Jack. In fact, car salesmen have a lot more integrity than those on the hill and they work a hell of a lot harder. Also, most car salesmen are held accountable, which is more than I can say about our country's senators and congresspersons.
    What really stinks is that if we laid them off, they would not be qualified to do anything in the private sector. Imagine if Pelosi were to not get re-elected. What is she qualified to do? Think about Jack!

    Joe M (Mn)

    December 11, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  15. Eric Platt

    It means that there is no enforceable guideline for what a Congressman can accept while in office or as a result of being in office.

    How about this as a rule:If you can eat it or drink it in 24 hours it is not a bribe. Anything else is unacceptable and accepting it, is automatic expulsion for life from any public office.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  16. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    I simply means that you should be ashamed of yourself for insluting used car salesmen by compareing their ethics with those of members of congress. .....Shame Jack....Shame.....

    December 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  17. Jeremy in Albuquerque

    It means that most of us, out here struggling in a bad economy, have noticed that many of our representatives, all of them overpaid in my opinion, are squabbling like brats, protecting fat corporations, and giving themselves raises instead of representing our needs.

    I say we give all of congress, across the board, a pay cut so they are all making an average teacher's salary. Then, WE vote on whether they get raises from now on.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  18. Moe dallas tx

    Being a retired used car salesman after 40 years in the business, it means people me are owed an apology..The only people I ever lied to were either Politicians or Lawyers, that way I always slept like a baby..

    December 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  19. Darren

    The House is trying to improve their image and the Senate is trying to discredit this President any way possible to hopefully gain more power in 2010 and maybe even retake the White House in 2012.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  20. Jill

    That we need to institute term limits, take money out of politics, and vote most long-term incumbents out of office before the country is irreversibly and permanently damaged through government "by big business for big business". The founding fathers would be appalled.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  21. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    It means that we are electing the wrong people to Congress in many cases. There are those elected officials who commit criminal and unethical acts, and then their weak-spined peers who refuse to boot them out of Congress when they deserve it. In general, they're definitely a motley crew–and an embarrassment to their constituents.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  22. Cheryl Johns

    It means Americans need to get past the idea of electing people they want to have a beer with – we can no longer afford the hangovers. If we were to base selection on integrity and ability instead of gravitas – Dennis Kucinek would be President and we would be better off.
    Houston, TX

    December 11, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  23. Maria

    It means we can now acknowledge publicly that most carsalespeople are honest, hard-working people just trying to make a decent living so they can feed their families.

    It means we can now ackowledge what we all knew anyway, that our governmentis rotten to the core and acts in their own best interests, not in our own.

    Did you mention John Edwards...one of my faves?



    December 11, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  24. A. Smith, Oregon

    Jack, lawmakers sell their services to the highest bidder. And write and pass laws which directly benefit that person, company or corporation. And when that graft, perks, bribes and hard cash dries up, they stop benefiting that previous 'sponsor' and move to the next patron like a hungry person in a cafeteria line.

    Jack, the Republican lawmakers have done this far longer than it takes you to say, 'Ronald Reagan'.

    Here's a viewer point of fact Jack, when Anheuser Busch was bought out, the hundreds of millions of dollars they paid Republican lawmakers to enact anti-marijuana bills and laws DRIED UP. And suddenly the Federal Govt. stepped back on interfering with medical marijuana shops that sprouted up like mushrooms across the North West.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  25. Doug - Dallas, TX

    It reflects the lack of moral values in today's society, Jack. It seems like some of our members of Congress go above and beyond when it comes to corruption; they treat the office as their personal piggy bank. The other reason they rank so low is quite simple; they make promises they don't keep and then deny making them. Look at the last election, everyone had great hope in Obama and now that the reality of Washington has set in, his poll numbers have sunk. He hasn't done anything wrong other than lack of instant gratification which Americans crave.

    We don't like being lied to and feel that our elected officials should do their jobs. I'm sure that the Washington crowd thinks we are being unreasonable to expect those two things, silly us!

    December 11, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  26. Richard Green


    It means that used car salesman must REALLY be bad if they rank just above a Congressman. Get rid of the corporate influence ( through vote buying, gift giving, and campaign contributions) and I think we would see an improvement in ethical behavior. Unless that is done, nothing will ever change.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  27. steve in florida

    It means that this lemon of an American Dream that most of us are "driving" these days makes perfect metaphorical sense.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  28. Terence

    Jack, At least a car salesmen will take our money and give us a new car to drive. Congressmen will take our money and put it in their own pockets and the banks and we get nothing in return except pay more taxes.
    Terence, NJ

    December 11, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  29. Lou from North Carolina

    During my life, a car saleman had the worst reputaton. They will do anything to sell a car to include lying. Congress has surpassed them in spades. Don't know one male in the Senate or the House that I would trust with $100 and certainly not my daughter.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  30. Dennis in Grand Rapids, MI

    Today's Congress is about as corrupt as you can get. The only real way to clean up Congress/Washington is to replace everyone there with fresh faces, specifically people who's day jobs aren't politics.

    I agree with the Sprint commercials that feature a profession (lumberjacks, firemen, etc) doing political work, and then saying how easy it is.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  31. Al, Lawrence KS

    It is a very sad commentary on the American voter....because we keep electing the same people to congress every 2 years.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  32. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    I agree they are total scum bags that have as their objective to get all the money they can from lobbyist and to hell with the people that elected them to congress. Never in my sixty eight year has there been such a worthless bunch of thieves,liars, dirt bags as we have in congress now. How in the hell can these worthless bums hold their head up, I would rather shovel manure than be associated with this bunch. Where have the days gone when our congressmen were respected, not anymore, my old Indian grandfather always said that a man earned respect that is was not a given. He was right, no member of congress is respected by anyone, not even the hobo on the street.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  33. Fred R Deleon

    What it does mean, is that American voters are opening their eyes to REALITY. The Ethics Chair in Congress and Senate is or are the one or the ones in THE COVER UP. That's why is very important for the NewsMedia to be FOR the people. Yes, members of Congress are devious and not straightforward individuals. Their mischievous activities should not prevail. This kind of people give the word of politician a bad name. Whereas politician is a person with experience in the science of government.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  34. Alex in Seattle

    Ethically speaking, we have the best government money can buy. Everybody wants to throw all of the rascals out, except for our rascals who bring home the bacon, so it will never change. The system of legal bribery by lobbyists would make our forefathers cry. How can we reform health care, for example, when many lawmakers have taken millions from health insurance companies?

    December 11, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  35. Bizz, Quarryville Pennsylvania

    Jack it means you reap what you sow.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  36. Mr. D

    We usually only buy cars every few years. We have to deal with Congress all the time.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  37. LS in Rochelle,IL

    It means that the American voters are brain dead. They constantly re-elect the same bunch of scumbags and always fall for the same lies time and time again.
    We need representatives who are honest and possess character and integrity. Those traits don't exist in Congress today.
    I haven't voted for a Republican or Democrat for 25 years and see no reason to change my position.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  38. Randy from Salt Lake City

    How much lower than a car salesman? I mean if it's a good ways lower than a car salesman, well, that's about where it should be. Now if it's just slightly lower than a car salesman, then it's an insult to car salesman.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  39. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, it means that people can't see the people they, themselves send to Congress. The other part of this survey is that everyone blames someone else's Representatives/Senators and thinks their own is an angel in disguise. They blindly vote their homey's back into office, then cry and moan about how bad Congress is. It won't change either, people are too lazy to explore other options, so they will continue to send Rangel, Ensign, etc right back to D.C.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  40. chaney, La.

    It says that we the people dont trust them, they say one thing and do another, dont enter into any contract without checking the fine print.The President outlined a set of goals to be achieved by this Congress, they cant get it done, the Dems cant agree and the Repubs dont want to agree, and if I were in charge they would all be picking up aluminum cans along the highway....... then I would replace them with real people......

    December 11, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  41. Ryan, Galesburg IL

    I means that when politicians play lip-service to "hot button" issues such as abortion and fake conservatism, they get the votes and loot the country. Americans just don't pay attention to politics, and with every news show portraying the world as liberal and conservative instead of being made up of serious, nuanced topics, it makes many of us want to tune-out.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  42. Tina Tx

    Gee they got rated high didn't they? I rate them as low as horse traders. This is why we need term limits. They get up there and do good maybe the 1st year and after that we, the people start suffering. If everyone would vote them out we could all start with fresh thinking.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  43. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    We only have ourselves to blame Jack. We keep sending these forked tongued charletons back to DC.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  44. Laura

    It means Congress thinks it has the right to regulate everything but themselves. Power corrupts. What do these people go after? Power. What happens? They turn out corrupt. Nothing new here.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  45. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    Jack; The old saying is If you see a congressmans lips moving, HE'S LYING . I don't trust not one politicians

    December 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  46. GWTripp, Mch'sburg, PA

    I sold cars for two years until my manager realized that I was actually trying to sell cars the low pressure, upfront numbers, and true effort in finding the best financing available. At first I didn’t sell many cars, but then word of mouth and references from satisfied customers brought my numbers up so I was the Number 2 Salesperson on the lot in terms of total cars/trucks sold. Yes, I don’t trust other car salesmen either. But I trust politicians, lawyers, and lobbyists a whole lot less. There are a few you can trust, as long as you understand the fine print.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  47. MARK PRIBBLE Anna Illinois

    It means that i don't trust any of them. They represent what is wrong with America they are professional lairs and thieves. And most if not all should be put in prison.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  48. Debbie, IL

    It means we need to clean house and revamp our entire political system. Congress doesn't serve the people, as they like to say, they are only out for themselves, and at a very expensive price tag to the taxpayers. Our senators and representives are living like royalty, and many of us are the peasants. I'd like to wipe them all out, and start over with a Congress made up of the common man. I'm sick of them all!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  49. John Hovland, MN

    We know the reality however Congress is still dreaming. My vote for Congress is a one way ticket to Gitmo, minimum of 5 years in warm climate. How about that for respect!!!!!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  50. Denis Duffy

    Why don't they include felons in this survey? They would probably rate higher than congress.

    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  51. Lori - PA


    It means we really need a Constitutional ammendement that limits how many terms a person can serve in Congress. And Sentate. Once a person's term limit is up, they are done. If someone served in Congress, they can't turn around and run for Senate, and vise versa.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  52. Gigi Oregon

    It simple means they rank lower than a car salesman. But why should we insult a car salesman, they are rated far above a lawyer and a lot of Congress is in the law business..

    December 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  53. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Next time vote for a car salesmen! Just kidding!

    It means people need to keep pushing for accountability.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  54. BOB WHITE, Kansas

    It means that the public knows the real crooks, liars and thieves when they see them.

    Car salesperson says "I will sell you the car you chose and give you a limited warranty." Truth.

    Congressperson says, "I will represent your common and public interests." Lie

    Congresspersons represent only themselves and their big corporate contrubutors (which is the same [$$$] thing). They are more corrupt.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  55. MNResident

    America voted this Congress in to represent them, so it can mean only one thing-Americans, on the whole and in the privacy that is the voting booth, want unethical people to represent them. Example-Barbara Boxer was one of the people who wrote over 100 bad checks in the "House Bank Scandal of 1992", but the people of California rewarded this unethical behavior by PROMOTING her to the US Senate. And the list goes on....

    December 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  56. Greg - Minneapolis, MN

    Jack, why are you putting the words "ethics" and "Congress" in the same article? The two go together like "oil" and "water!"

    December 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  57. Paul, Austin, Texas

    No surprise with this one. They make the laws but do not follow them. They have a job for life in most cases once elected and forget why they even ran for the job. Most ran in favor of term limits but that has been long forgoten and if ever passed would only be grandfarthered in which also marks most of their ages.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  58. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Oh, please! Members of Congress, House and Senate, are just like any other collection of human beings. Some are bums; others are downright heroic. Some are mediocre; some are ordinary; some are exceptional. If you think your Repreesentative or Senators are lousy, and you want to blame somebody, then LOOK IN THE MIRROR! You elected them. Or maybe you didn't bother to vote. Gee, whose fault would that be...hmmmmm?

    Pablo in Arlington Texas

    December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  59. Thom Richer

    I would say it means it is extremely unfair to car salesmen. Congressional ethics are an entity unto itself. Because they believe they are above the law and that means justifies the ends, they can do no wrong. Thus no conscience or consequence for their actions. I think it is the other way around...car salesmen rank lower than members of (this) Congress. When illegal, immoral and unethical wars are declared and human lives are sacrificed for no valid reason, only to profit politically and monetarily for the the sake of a few, while contriving to convince its peoples and the world that it is a noble endeavor, knowing it is not, nothing or no one could rank any lower than this Congress. Car salesmen are angels compared to Congress.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    December 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  60. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Dear jack,

    Our car dealership is Rowe Auburn. The people working there are as fair, honest, and competent as anybody you'll find in any other business. How can you sleep at night perpetuating the comparison of used car salesmen to slime balls like Vitter, Ensign, and Mark Foley? Shame on you, Jack. For Pete's sake, this is Christmas.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  61. Irv Lilley Ephrata, Pa.

    Jaack , It means it is time to clean house.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  62. ben stockton, calif

    ethics in congress, are you kidding? congressmen and women are looking out for their own benefit.. wow, look at the perks and freebies they get. a least pro athletes can only play so long but some congressmen and women would cry foul if they introduced needed term limits. just like we need a third party to compete against the neocons and liberals.. wont happen in my lifetime.. i bet there are very old , almost senile in congress that dont have a clue .they just prostitute them selves for their constituents

    December 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  63. Wally Olson

    Jack, it just reflects the fact that we have some of the best politicians that money can buy.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  64. Larry Glenn

    Everyone hates congress, except for their own representatives who they keep sending back 95% of the time.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  65. Richard

    It means that they are slighly ahead of media talking heads (pundits) that don't have the intellect, or interest, in separating fact from fiction, but just carry on repeating everything that they pick-up from the bloggo sphere.

    Maple Valley, WA

    December 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  66. ruth

    they are the scum that forms on old ponds with no new life running into it....

    American people, don't be stupid in your upcoming elections.... vote out the old - good or bad, and lets keep changing till they get it right. They serve us... (or are suppose to)... DO THE RIGHT THING

    December 11, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  67. Simonsays/Orlando

    Not surprising when you consider that most congressmen are also attorneys.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  68. Jason Scott Phillips

    Congressmen now are greedy, self-centered politicians (which, by definition, means that they are looking for two things: money and reelection). They are not interested in the will of the people or the problems that millions of Americans are going through these days. They just want to give power to their political parties and play political games with each other.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  69. Adam A. from Bellevue, Nebraska

    Jack, it is truly sad. We need a complete reform of the legislative branch in this country. It is clear that the current system no longer works for the American people. A Parliamentary system similar to the UK and Canada would force Congress to be more responsible for their actions as they could be dissolved by the President if they became ineffective. Multiple parties forming coalitions wouldn't hurt, either. What do we have to do in this country to get the change we need?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  70. Kenneth in Pinon Hills California

    When they get out of congress, they will not be qualified to be a car salesperson.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  71. Steve Batts

    Congress ranking below used car salesmen means only one thing. We need to extend our Lemon Laws covering automobiles to cover Congress. At the present only congress disciplines it's members. Ethically speaking some of our worst car salesmen should run for congress.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  72. Will from San Jose, CA

    I think the real question is how do these people, who no one seems to trust, keep winning elections?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  73. ketan shah

    Ethically, morally and legally most of politicians are way below
    all worst criminals anywhere, anytime in human history.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  74. Ron Foyee

    Jack, u are barking up a losing tree! So goes the American way of life, hereso just as politics in Afghanistan...we do not need to be meddling in either. Both are not worth the effort!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  75. tess

    it means it's way past time for a 6 year term limit for both house and senate by constitutional amendment since the bums will never vote themselves out of their cushy jobs and self voted pay raises! let's throw them all out – dems and repub- and start over and only allow them 6 years to screw things up and go back home!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  76. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Can you imagine what Jefferson or Adams or Washington would think of to see what has happened to the institution that they built with so much inspired work and so much hope? Jack, these people have no ethics. People who function as do members of Congress would be fired in the real world.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  77. Karen Falk

    You don't even know what to believe when a candidate is even running for Congress not to mention what happens to them once they are elected. Not to mention all the different special interest groups that run their own ads to sway the vote. You can't believe anything anymore. It is absolutely pathetic. I personally have no faith. But the Presidency/Administration that got us into the mess we're currently in is the Bush Administrations and the Republicans. It's amazing how quickly people forget.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  78. william fitzwater

    This shows as far as Americans trust their elected representatives. Americans have good cause to be afraid. That is why Health care has stalled and is likely to be a spineless compromise that will effectively please no one and be of limited effect.
    As long as Americans are shorted sighted and only concerned for our own personal gratification and we don't have the slightest idea of what our elected leaders do . We have the problems that we have.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  79. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    Well, that's good news for the lowly car salesmen I guess. The ugly truth is that our elected officials think even less of us, than we do of them. And unlike Congressmen, most car salesman are trying to do their job. They might try to cheat you out of a few bucks on a car deal, while Congressmen cheat you out of your freedom, your rights, and your dignity.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  80. Doug - Albuquerque, NM

    Car salesmen lie;
    Congressmen lie;
    Car salesmen will screw a customer when making a deal;
    Congressmen screw their constituents once lobbyists start paying;
    Car salesmen forget customers after deal is closed;
    Congressmen forget their constituents after elected;
    Car salesmen know their reputation;
    Congressmen believe their reputation does not apply to them;
    Congressmen have the future of our country in their hands but will not do the right thing if it means bipartisanship; and
    I'll keep hoping that they realize what their jobs are and begin doing them.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  81. Roy Young--Massachusetts

    Lobbying should be banned for what it is bribery in action! Everyone has a lobbiest to work for them to get the congress to pass their pet projects and kill what they don't want like the insurance industry has been doing on health care for months now. Too bad the PEOPLE OF THE US don't have a lobbiest working for them! BUT WAIT! My gosh aren't the people we elected to congress suppose to be our lobbiesest?? Looks they have all forgotten who they are working for! Would love to see someone publish how much money each member of congress has taken from insurance companies to vote agaist health care!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  82. Ron Foyee

    The US Congress is about as relevant as the government of Afghanistan and converting those car salesmen to democracy...that is why we are sending troops to that region. We want to salvage a country whose politicians are on a par with those of the US Congress.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  83. Bill Hadley

    Its obvious that we can't trust the people we send to congress. They are only out for their own interests and those of the groups who send them to congress. Why should we trust them when they won't listen to the people who sent them there.

    They constantly vote against the way the majority of people vote, usually to progress their own agenda, they just don't care about us everyday folks.....

    December 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  84. Shannon

    It's simple Jack. The morals of our elected officials are a reflection of the morals of the population. There are thiefs, cheaters, and people of questionable character in all walks of life. Why should we expect our elected officials to be different. They are voted in by an equally flawed electorate.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  85. Loren, Chicago

    It means we do a poor job of selecting those who represent us in government. The likely reality is that when people are responding, they are pointing their fingers at the politicians in the next district, and not taking any responsibility for whom they've elected. What's probably closest to the truth is that we expect our elected officials to live to the ideals embodied in our Constitution. What is only natural is disappointment when they prove themselves to be as human as the rest of us.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  86. Gilbert West

    What does it mean that Congressmen are less scrupulous than used-car salesmen? Its worse than that. The politicians rank lower than street-corner drug dealers hawking bad drugs. These guys will adopt a position, not because it has merit or is good for the American citizens that voted for them, but because they want to oppose other politicians in what amounts to a childish sand-box feud. "If you don't do it my way, I'll take my ball and go home." Just look at the republicans who trashed our economy. When Bill Clinton left office we still had a middle class. Eight years later, the entire middle class became a relic of the past... and yet, they have the nerve to challenge and oppose every effort to clean-up the mess they created. Where is the Patriot Act? Shouldn't the patriot act be used against traitors?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  87. justin

    We have a skewed perception, there are crooks in all the areas that are not being spotlighted. The misdeeds that occur in many professions aren't covered in the media because usually they are discovered behind closed doors or the media and public do not care about them.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  88. sandee in Portland, Or

    Jack, it means that the majority of people voting are voting based on name recognition instead of researching each candidate that's running for office. It's far easier to vote for the incumbent (whose name is recognizable) than to actually take the time to research which candidate is best for the job. Sarah Palin is a good example of this. The press is constantly putting her in the public's eye when, in actuality there is nothing substantial for the press to report on regarding her. So, the people that go for the easiest way out regarding voting will vote for her because her name has been in front of them for months and months and they recognize her name but maybe not the other person running for the position.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  89. Winston Beech

    One can only hope that this time next year, all 435 incumbents will be joining thousands of car salesmen in the unemployment lines.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  90. EJ in Metro Houston

    there are good members in Congress both Democrat and Republican but as with most things the bad ones get all the press. I think many Americans feel that Congress is somewhat out of touch with the real world, I mean who else can vote to give themselves a raise and get the type of healthcare they do? It can be a noble job if they do what they were elected to do, work for the people and not get all the press for having affairs, taking bribes, hiding money in their freezers and getting caught in airport men's rooms.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  91. Anne

    Of course they're ranked lower than car salesmen – when a car salesman picks up another guy in a bathroom stall in MN or hides his money, it doesn't make national news. Most of them are full of crap, but we keep electing them. Doesn't that just make the rest of us look dumb?

    Laramie WY

    December 11, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  92. Raj, Springfield VA

    It means we have got used to live put up with this kind of criminals as our law makers.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  93. Albert Tucson

    Either crooks see how easy it is to score in politics, or power corrupts. It's that simple

    December 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  94. Bob Hayes

    55-percent – say the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress are "low" or "very low."

    I am surprised the percentage is only 55%, I would expect it to be higher. Back in the day, when I supported McCain, it was because he was going to fight the good fight for campaign reform, but of course that went no where. Our Country has systemic issues to resolve, but at the end of the day, playing partisan politics is easier, and the media plays a role in that as well.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  95. Greg

    Those in Congress are salesman. They lobby for – i.e., attempt to sell others on – the interests of their constituents. This is the way the system is designed. However, the system is predicated on the idea there would be such a diversity of interests competing amongst each other that each would serve as a check on the other thereby preventing abuse. That dynamic is absent. Given that our manufacturing base has disappeared and high wage jobs with it, the only influential interest group in Washington appears to be the bankers and gamblers on Wall Street. Student loan institutions, credit card lenders, mortgage brokers, and the rest now run our economy and Congress. Personally, I trust a car salesman far more than I would trust a Congressman. At least I get something for my money.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  96. ken

    It means they are worried only about themselves, cannot be trusted any farther than you can throw the Capitol, will sell their mother if it there is something in it for them, think the are above the American people and therefore think they deserve everything for free, are not happy with their riches and want more, and to top it all off, if we sell them, do we get cash for CLUNKERS???

    December 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  97. Vivek

    Jack, I think you are insulting car salesmen. I don't think anyone else causes nearly as much harm as these Senators and Congressman do. They are ready to spend other people's lives just to score a favor with a president. Spend trillions of dollars of public money, just so they can get a few hundred thousand dollars in campaign contributsion.. I don't think Car and insurance salespeople, stockbrokers, HMO managers come even close to them. Lawyers are different breed... but weren't most them were lawyers before they went down a level below.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  98. Tony

    Jack,....It says that the American are totally irresponsible when it comes to voting! They always seem to vote the SAME two parties in office, then gripe when things go bad, or corruption is found. How can we expect a different outcome when we vote the same parties in?
    Americans have no one to blame but themselves. They're getting exactly what they deserve in Washington.


    December 11, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  99. Mark D


    It means that they didn't include members of the media in the poll.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  100. Elliot, San Diego CA

    It means that people have little faith in the legislative branch to get anything done. Between partisan bickering and special interests, not constituents, having the most influence over votes people are fed up.

    These people get paid too much money, take too much money from lobbyists, and take golf trips to Hawaii for "fact finding missions". No system of governance is perfect, even democracy, but when we send people to Washington to represent us, they need to be held to a higher standard and made aware that they are there to serve the public, not to milk the system.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  101. drew

    i reall don't appreciate that comment becasue i used to be a car salesman. I think political analyst are right underneath Congressman because all they talk about is the Congressman and how if they(analyst) were in charge, things would totally change.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  102. Uncle Dave

    I think you did an injustice to car salesmen by lumping them with senators and representatives. The majority of elected congressional representatives are lawyers.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  103. Curtis

    We Americans have demanded common sense policies from our Representatives and in exchange have been betrayed. The arrogance emanating from Washington is an unbearable stench. They insult us, they call us "rabble" and "mob" and treat us as if we are ingorant buffoons. But our patience has an end. They had better get their act together soon, because if the economy collapses, if the country goes bankrupt, the angry mob that marches on Washington afterward will be armed with more than pitchforks.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  104. Laurel

    I am not surprised in the least, Jack. Congresspeople have become no better than con artists. What I would love to see is a 100% turnover in the 2010 elections whereby not a single incumbent up for re-election keeps his/her seat. That would mean a 100@ turnover in the House, and a 33% turnover in the Senate.

    Not that the replacements would necessarily be better, but they would certainly be more frightened by the power of their constituents, and thereby might behave better.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  105. Scott

    Ouch! That hurts to be ranked amongst congress regarding ethics...
    I am an ethical car salesman and have been supporting my family for almost ten years without cheating ANYONE. Most of the people I work with have at least a bachelor's degree and very honest people. Obviously, there are bad apples in any line of work, and I accepted the stereotype when I took the job. Just want you to know that there are still plenty of good, ethical car salesmen out there.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  106. Steve Laberge

    To me it's a clear sign of the times. I think back to congressmen like Charlie Wilson who despite his very public flaws still managed to accomplish a great deal. Today's congress is pretty much made up of the same ilk with one glaring difference, for the most part they accomplish nothing of consequence and spend the majority of their time in power serving their own interests. "Have I got a bridge to nowhere to sell you"

    December 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  107. carl

    Its funny to here you say the about car sales consultants. The best most ethical sales people are still taking care of thier customers and have a wonderful relationship with then . Im not doing a operation or representing them in a major legal issue. I think its the fear that most people bring to a dealership that gets in the way of a great experience,also the unfortunate practice of some dealers hiring the wrong people

    December 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  108. Kyle P. Silvers

    Wausau, Wisconsin, USA

    The apparent fact that Americans trust car salesman more than the elected officials of the United States of America is testament to the greed and 'self first' attitude that has infiltrated this culture. It will not go away unless our education system changes to not teach these values to our children (which they do). Change always must start from the bottom up. What we need now is a massive overhaul of the U.S. education system. Like that would ever happen though.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  109. Andy Pahwa

    These numbers come as no surprise.
    The auto industry tanked. So naturally the credibility of car salesmen ranks lower. And Congress Members rank even further below them in ethical standards.
    I wonder where these big bank-Bankers would fall?

    December 11, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  110. S.Miksa

    It means we haven't been doing our job in selecting and voting them into office. If corruption comes from power, then Congress needs to be reminded daily who they work for and why.

    Denton, TX

    December 11, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  111. gary morton

    Car salesman smile at you, Congressman look out of their ivory tower and laugh at you.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  112. joe m

    it means that americans finally get it. while one tries to scam (i'm keeping it PG b/c this is still a family audience) us because we were stupid enough to go to them, congress does it while we are actively trying to run away from them. americans are tired of these pompous, know-it-all, do-nothing, miscreants who promise us better things every year, but turn out to be only interested in their own enrichment.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  113. Dylan from Pennsylvania


    I think it means that we have to take a look at the organization promoting these individuals as representatives of where we live. The primary organizations being the RNC and DNC. Last I checked this country was supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people. Washington warned us of the dangers of political parties; a warning we continue to forget. Maybe it's time we take back our country, either through reshaping our political parties into entities that support hard working Americans, or we work to change the rules so new parties that represent the people of America can come into being.

    Or we could listen to washington, throw the bums out and find ourselves some real leaders.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  114. O.F.

    Ban the lobbyists from Washington. Then impose term limits. They're all in bed with each other.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  115. Dan

    What is so shocking about the result of this poll is what it says about the intellectual consistency of the American people: we completely distrust our politicians yet we willingly give them control over more and more aspects of our lives. Maybe "We The People" need to take a look in the mirror.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  116. R Austin McEntyre

    Ethicall speaking, it means that members of Congress have displayed, over many, many years - although not actually desirous of doing so - that they, collectively, have little or no regard for, or understanding of, the role of leadership, respondibility, accountability, and understanding that is placed upon them to serve in an honorable, thoughtful and forward-thinking manner so as to peform in their elected position to better serve both their specific constituents, and the nation as a whole, instead of almost immediately upon their being elected looking for "deals," opportunities, and the occasion to flagelate the opposing political party, when they should be thinking of, and suggesting, positive ways to enhance America as a whole, instead of focusing on their re-election and ripping the other party.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  117. Mike

    Gee Jack, I had u right there with a car salesmen...Hope the poll made ur day

    December 11, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  118. Ben Allen, Lee NH

    As a car salesman myself, I'm glad that statistics finally confirm what I've known for years.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  119. John Catlin

    We should have term limits in Congress to keep members from becoming so powerful that they can benefit their home district to such an extent that they become lifers. Also, it would lessen the time available to their quest for power and priviledge totaly out out sync with their real responsibility of representing the people of the country and being good stewards of the people's tax payments. Many of us struggle to support our families and pay our taxes only to see Congress spend without restraint on many frivolous things. Of course such individuals sit on both sides of the isle. Shorten their stay !

    December 11, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  120. Mark Blackford

    For once I agree with you. We have all the cases you cited above. We have a president who ran on transparency and ethics and we got closed door shennanigans daily and ethics waivers.

    The people have lost faith in government. Government has displayed a propensity to protect government and not the people it should be serving. Being a legislator has become a seat of privelage and not service. The people do not believe things are being done in the country's best interest.

    I do believe there are Palins and Bachmanns and other REAL
    patriots who value service and want their country to return to what once made us great and separated us from the milk-toast of Europe.

    I do not believe the present administration, judicial or legislative branches of government will EVER be able to regain the people's trust.

    We look forward to 2010 and 2012 when perhaps REAL change and not rhetoric and campaigning will start to take root in Washington. And the people of our great nation will be HEARD
    and respected once again.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  121. Craig

    I embarrassed for them (Congress), and I am embarrassed as an American. There was a time when we as a nation stood for freedom, independence, and what is right in the world. Foreign nations once envied the United States and its political system; now, we are the laughing stock of the world. When did an elected Congressional position representing the citizens of this country turn into a free ticket to become a multi-millionare who is above the law? We as American citizens have the power to vote these corrupt thieves and idiots out; we need more people to vote – period. Until we do that it will just be more of the same.

    Wichita Falls, Texas

    December 11, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  122. Brenton

    Cleveland, OH

    We all want to rid the scum from the cesspool that is the United States Congress, but we are our own roadblocks.
    I would love to get rid of my Congressman. He hasn't done anything that is ethically wrong, but he is ineffective and not helping our district.
    The only problem with removing him would be that I would have to vote for someone from the Republican Party.
    I would rather have an ineffective, corrupt, or unethical Congressperson of my own party than let the Republican Party take control of the House or Senate.
    Sad or not, we all make the same judgment on even numbered years.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  123. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Actually I think that congresspersons who accept bribes are lower than the lobbyists who offer the bribes. I like to think of most of our congresspersons as Asian honeybucket handlers.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  124. Kurt

    All it means is that Congress is a reflection of who we are as a people.. Everywhere you look, in every industry, you will find fraud and people without morals or ethics.

    We're a cheat to win society and we sensationalize it in the media.. Whatever it takes to get those ad dollars..

    December 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  125. John Duncan

    Why does this surprise anybody? Until there are term limits on the people we send to congress, we will have life long pliticians whose power grows as the years they serve and the more influential they become the more likely they peddle that power for financial gain. Give the Senators two terms and the House of Representatives 4 terms. This way we will be changing the people who lead and possible getting some people who can compromise, instead of it being my way or the highway.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  126. Larry Miller

    Jack, I fear this does not say as much about "them" as it does about "us" as we keep sending them back to Washington. If it didn't take so much money, unimagianable sums of it, to run for office maybe we could find a few honest men and women to go and do a decent job. But now we just can't seem to get the tide changed due to the high cost.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  127. Bill Boyer

    It means that the public, however distracted and otherwise engaged, is paying attention and has a pretty good bead on who is getting bailed out and who is getting stimulated with all these "bail outs" and "stimulus packages".

    Yet, why do we re-elect at a 94% rate the incumbents?

    Could it be we want to make sure our used car salesman is at least as experienced as the other districts liars so we get a fair share of the pork?

    Vicious circle, if we throw out our bum the other bum wins

    December 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  128. Brad Banks

    Cafferty, is this all you have? Tell me when was the last time
    that Congress was popular? Every poll states that people
    hate Congress, and every election people keep electing the same morons to go back. This is old news.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  129. Greg

    This whole survey has one problem! Their are bad apples in every batch. As a 20 year automobile sales professional, it really peaves me to be stereotyped like this. Their are upstanding automotive salespeople and I am sure their are upstanding politicians. In a nutshell, most automotive salespeople just try to make an honest living. Their are literally hundreds of thousands of automobile salespeople in the US. A few of them ruin it for the rest of us. On the other hand, their are 435 in US Congress and 100 Senators. I am quite sure on a percentage basis, their is a higher percentage of politicians with ethical issues than automotive salespeople. I have worked at the same dealership for 15 years, and you don't do that by cheating people, but in politics, cheating the people who elected you keeps you in office!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  130. Richard Olive

    As a car salesman in Langhorne PA, i am actually offended. I am proud to work at the dealership I do. I promised my wife that I would not end up on some tabloid TV show when I took this job. The people here are very ethical and many times have to overcome the shinanigans of other dealers when trying to things right. My other issue is that being lobbed into the same paragraph as members of Congress. Just bad. Personally, they should clear everyone out of Washington and start over.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  131. Scott..Oregon

    The corruption is so obvious, they dont even try to hide it anymore. I guess that's what happens when you get to investigate yourself. Let the FBI do all congressional "ethics" investigations

    December 11, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  132. moe, sunrise fl

    Jack, Us car salesmen might rob and cheat a bit but congress with all it's merry men and women have been stealing, cheating and lying to us American folks for decades.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  133. Dennis Dahlen

    Thanks Jack, were working on improving our image as car salesman and I see where Journalist's are right inbetween Physciatrists, & Bankers. Sometimes your better of on the bottom of the list.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  134. Tony, Ventura County Calif.

    It means that they are not fooling anyone. I consider both my senators to be dishonest and sneaky on many issues. I really think that the Constitution should be amended to put strict term limits on these clowns. There should be special laws that have more punishment for actual felonies commited while in office than would be the case with some banker. There should be some restriction or limit on what they do after they get out, like not becoming agents for a foreign nation. The news media should dog those who become lobbyists after their one term.

    December 11, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  135. john

    Cafferty needs to look at how much the car business contributes to the taxes and economy before he shoots his mouth off about a car salesman!!!!!!!!! Come on buddy!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 11, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  136. Mark Groenstein

    It means that a lot of these people can't handle the tempations of the job. Sex, monies, and especially power.

    I'm a strong proponent of term limits. If it's good for our President than it's good for Congress.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  137. Hank Tetley

    It's important to note that every 2 years the American people get to choose their representatives, but a lot of the rotten apples get sent back because seniority equals political power, which means that these representatives bring home the pork to their districts. Term limits would at least remove some bad apples!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  138. WWeeks NC

    Still waiting to see what the ethics committee will take Rangel to task, or will they?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  139. Pamela Peffer

    Quite honestly I am offended. I have been a professional Sales Consultant for a very reputable car company for many years. I take my job and my career very seriously and would never lie, cheat or steal from my clients. To have me grouped with the likes of some of our elected officials is offensive to me and others like myself.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  140. Brett

    The comparison of members of Congress to car salesmen actually demeans the car salesmen further than what was previously thought of them!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  141. Dan in Santa Barbara

    At least when you go to a Car Salesman you KNOW you're going to be sold a bill o' goods, and there is always that sympathy factor that even THEY don't have the same health care that Congress has (paid by the way with OUR money!) At least when you give a car salesman your money you get to drive off with something that is yours! When a politician takes your money, what you get in return is nothing that you want!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  142. tom sabow

    As a group, members of ea. house,Congress and Senate areabsolutely the most corrupt bunch to ever disgrace our Nation (with a few exceptions). In Nov. 2010, the entire House (435) and 1/3rd of the Senate (33) are up for re-election. VOTE EVERY INCUMBENT OUT, no matter their party affiliation.
    We the people have to take this country back.......do the same thing in 2012 and 2014 and by this time we will have an entire New Body with no political favors owed to anyone. Wake Up People.............THIS IS OUR COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  143. Peter


    What does it mean that members of Congress rank lower than car salesmen?

    Sorry Jack, I would tell you but this is prime time and you can't say those words on TV.

    But basically you can see the junk that the car salesman is selling before you get the bill. Congress passes the bill behind closed doors and then they stick it to us.

    King of Prussia, PA

    December 11, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  144. Shawn

    I think it shows what many people have thought this way for a long, and, now, many more have come to the same realization. Politics is by far the most sleazy profession anyone can enter into, which begs the question why do we have so many politicians??

    December 11, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  145. Dave Duncan

    For years I have always stated the two worst things in life was getting a root canal or buying a car. Now I have a third one, putting up with the crap that the allegedly upstanding citizens that are elected into office our doing.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  146. William Courtland

    When the mass public has no idea how government is meant to work: they will elected people who can sell themselves: but are born of the same stock of people who have no idea how government works.

    One federal government: not the factions of party nominated stooges who promote corruption and its cover-up via the party method and prevent the honest Joe with lobbiest gained finances which pays for the intent of corruption and assists to close out the regular public from honest competition via the inability to afford the requirements of media densification of the public intent.

    Oh of course because your think somehow your teachers in grade five are not included in the public truth of those ignorant of how government is meant to work via the instruction of the Constitution. Review then forget: (to make the government process easier please when you are olded vote without reason for blue or red: we have made it easier for you after all what else would you expect after recieving the blessings of our great educational system(this is the Constitution: please ignore it class and turn your attention to how the system works after it has been corrupted and vote please only to further that corruption...)

    December 11, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  147. Midwest Teacher

    I think congress needs term limits for its members. The longer they stay the more powerful they become and that's just too much for any one american. Despite the fact that they already seem untouchable.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  148. Gene

    It is very simple, the american people have lost faith in our governments ability to govern. Look at our presidents approal rating, the lowest in history for the first year of any presidency. I don't think the issue is exclusive to either party. Our government has lost touch with the governed.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  149. Ed Harrell

    Well Jack, you have pressed a button that is connected to a old time spark plug ignition coil. Car sales persons have been historically evasive. AND what they often say, claim or offer cannot be backed up by the company they work for AND the dealership they work for often are just as evasive and border on scam artists.

    With the economic environment we are in now those we elected to congress couldn't any more remember their platform they were elected on let alone who elected them. They simply rush to Washington to fill their pockets.

    Look at the finger pointing as an example. Not one single congress person regardless of what side of the isle they are on has stepped up and said, wow we really screwed up, screwed our people, now lets knuckle down and get out of this. AND they have done absolutely "zero" for those on mainstreet, those that are hurting the most,who elected them in the first place.

    That's why they have risen to be the scum they are and replaced the "car sales person".

    December 11, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  150. Lester from Brisbane CA


    Congressional ethics aren't any better or worse than they've ever been. What the poll shows is that when Congress doesn't do anything, like spending a year debating but not passing health care reform, people's attention will focus on scandal.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  151. Sue Callahan

    Jack got to give it to you....you put out the questions lingering on everyone's minds.

    For me, it means that I must learn all I can about whoever I vote into office....essentially I now view my vote as sacred and not to be violated.

    For the better good, it means we have to good stewards of government and not stand for the shinnigans any longer. even if it means kicking them out of office....they work for us, not the other way around.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  152. J K Brown

    Modern politicians have moved away from statesmanship, patriotism, and representing the majority views of their constituents as many of their predecessor's did. And instead hold special interests, personal gain, prestige of office, and power as their guidelines. It is no wonder that we have become unable to pass laws that are equitable for all Americans. This time of the career politician must end. I believe in term limits for all three branches of our government. Let Senators serve for a maximum of 8 years, representatives of Congress a maximum of 6 years, and the Supreme Court justices limit set at 20 years. We already have the two term limit for the Executive Branch, that is working, why not apply equally among all branches? Could it be any worse? Car salesman need not apply.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  153. Charles in Niceville, FL

    It means that when a member of Congress is booted out, he or she can improve their "rank" by selling cars.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  154. Marsha Modest

    Our elected officals, appear to believe that they are above the law and accountable to no one. They need to be held to the same if not higher standard then us. We would be in jail if we did half of what Charlie Rangel is accused. Charlie Rangel and others must be held accountable for their deeds.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  155. Dave Markham

    Power corrupts.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  156. gerard miller

    In the next election we should get rid of all incumbents aand send a message that if they don't follow the voice of the american citizens that we will throw them out. This should not be bipartisan. The new people will then understand we mean business and the ones ousted will understand that if they want to participate they will have to acknowledg the will of their constituency.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  157. Joseph

    I work in the financial industry, closely tied to real estate. The entire buisness community's ethics have slide since 2001 to the point of almost nonexistence. The politicians are simply following the lead of their largest constituents. The B.S. trickle down theory taken to its flower. Got news for you when things get really good for the rich they get really bad for the poor..always been that way always will.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  158. Jim

    Most of them started out pretty low to begin with since they were lawyers. Since we put lawyers in charge of making our laws, we got what we deserved!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  159. DM - San Diego

    It can only mean one thing. We, as Americans, have ended up with the kind of government we deserve.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  160. Lee

    There are some ethical congress persons (Senator Dick Lugar for instance). But the norm seems to be what can I do for the party, then what can I do for ME (or the other way round same/same) All parties are in this mode, and THEN, lets see, Oh, we represent the people (who elected us) Oh forget them "here's to the party and ME"

    Sad commentary

    Indianapolis In

    December 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  161. Rick in KS

    It means we need to ban lawyers, salesmen, and marketing people from political office and public service.

    Personally, I'd abolish and ban political parties and incarcerate existing members of political parties (only politicians) for collusion.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  162. Pat R

    They bought their way in and the lobbyists just keep filling up their pockets! What's respectable about that.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  163. Brian

    Our country elects fewer than 600 people on a national level to govern 300 million people. You think they can get it right? You think they represent the interests of 300 million people? What do 300 million people want anyway?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  164. Chris

    It means that the foundation of representative democracy is eroding away because like a car salesman, I don't trust them as far as I can throw them (and with my bad back, it ain't far). And when you can't trust Congress, then all faith in government is lost. Hence, I haven't voted for any incumbent, no matter which party they represent, EVER!

    Little Rock, AR

    December 11, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  165. Ray from NJ

    At least with a car salesman you can choose from a wide variety and end up with a car, with congressmen it's slim pickings and it seems we haven't really been able to get anything worthwhile these days between republicans and democrats alike. Maybe we should electing car salesmen?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  166. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Due to their true colors showing, even car salesmen have better common sense! On a serious note, congressmen and women need to show themselves properly and morally to us so we can be sure if they are trustworthy.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  167. Mary

    It means people are finally waking up to the fact that those in Congress, who WE THE PEOPLE have elected, don't give a hoot about we the people; ignore our wishes and continue on their merry ways cheating, lying, and generally putting themselves above the people they represent. People of ALL parties in this country are fed up and sick of it. Congress better start listening or they'll be listening somewhere else ... NOT in Congress after we vote them out.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  168. Kevin R. in Western Mass.

    It means "shame on us" for allowing it. We voters are just too apathetic, as a group, to do something about it; so we just accept it as the way it is. Accordingly, we deserve what we get for elected officials.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  169. Dr. James Long

    If doctors and nurses rank highest and members of Congress lowest, why is it that we trust Congress to remaking health care in steady of doctors?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  170. Jeremiah

    Washington tried to sell us TARP, featuring a prime-time address from Pres. Bush, and then assumed it was green to go despite the overwhelming response from their constituents opposing the legislation. They're worse than car salesmen because, in the end, they push the sale through despite our refusal to buy.

    Grand Island, NE

    December 11, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  171. Jeff

    Let's not limit it to just congress. Let's include all branches of Government........ We the people is long lost..........

    December 11, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  172. richard barkley

    It is a shame, and a disgrace, that the voters in this nation continue to send the lowest of the lowlifes to represent their interests to make up the government which is sending the U.S. to total distruction, economically and spiritually.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  173. L Kiddy Tulsa, OK

    As a participating voter and fellow American who is disgusted with our government – this article doesn't surprise me. Unlike most Americans, I research my candidate and vote based on who I think will do the least damage (not their party affiliates) and I have not had the good forturne to actually vote FOR someone. We no longer have a choice between the good and bad, it 's more like "Who should I vote for, Evil or Eviler?". That is why America is in the shape it is today.
    We tell people "If you don't vote, then you can't gripe" and turn around and say "Well, you voted for him/her!". I would like to add a box to the ballot that says "Neither". If Neither wins majority vote – then 2 new candidates would have to be selected. That way I can say "I voted today! I voted for Neither!". Maybe after a few victories by the "Neither" candidate – the parties would weed out the lowlifes and actually give us someone to vote FOR!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  174. Ricardo - Cypress, TX

    The real problem here Jack are the voters who – by being more interested in bringing a feel extra bucks to their own estates – keep re-electing this politicians who have proven year after year to be working only for the big lobbyists interests in congress, trying to get richer and richer and keep being re-elected the next election instead of taking care of the American people who have elected them at the beginning...
    The congress and house of representatives are a "picture" of our shameful own face.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  175. Jerrye in Sun Valley Idaho

    It means we need major campaign finance reform so that our elected officials might actually be more interested in the common good of the nation than their own selfish ends,for starters.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  176. Phil Burt

    Jack, As I grew up and also while in the US Navy I learned to respect the position first and then the person second. I am sorry to say any more I have a hard time respecting either one. I do believe the President Obama is trying and that he IS for the common person he is up against all of these people who have nothing but their own interests at heart. It will NOT change until we get the money out of politicians pockets. Special interests, lobbyists, have totally ruined our country.
    I would rank them lower than car salesmen, and insurance pushers. The only ones I can rank lower are the greedy CEO's in our country. I'm glad that I am 65 and will not have to be part of this too long in the future.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  177. Deb Stirrup

    Hmmmm....what does it mean that members of Congress rank lower than car salesmen.......best answered by this.....
    What do diapers and politicians have in common?

    They both need to be changed often and for the same reason......

    December 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  178. Pete

    It probably means very little. We have complained about our elected representatives for years but we continue to reelect the ones that represent us, our district or state, and complain about the ones who don't . We are in deep "dodo" and if we don't wake up our children and grandchildren are going to always wonder why grandpa and grandma didn't do something when they had the opportunity. Wake up America..time is running out on what our forefathers fought for. What are you leaving behind.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  179. Bob Hobbs

    Our democracy has survived over 200 years. I hope it gets better in the future.
    But I am dismayed with Congress' performance in the past 10 years:
    1.Repealing the Glass-Steagal Act in 1999, which kept Investment Banking separate from Commercial Banking since the 1929 Depression.
    2. The Bailout measures passed, which have added to our Debt, with little job creation.
    3. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have created more anti-American feelings than positive results.
    4. The increase in National Debt (irresponsibitily to our descendants). Now the Debt is close to half of GDP.
    Congress must regain the people's trust.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  180. Patrick

    Crooked doesn't even begin to describe these buffoons. They couldn't draw a straight line with a ruler. The only thing more surprising is how the general pubic expectsa canidate to be different when he or she echos "change" and "transparency".

    December 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  181. Rob

    A vast majority of the individuals in our government already are rich and while their desire to serve the public comes is what gets them the nomination the drive for success and desire for power (i.e. greed) is what kicks in when they enter office. Why would anyone think that individuals who looked out for their own best interests to get them to where they are in their personal life would be the same (or in many cases worse) when they are given even more power and influence in a official government capacity?
    Valencia, CA

    December 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  182. Larry Buffington

    This confirms what I have been thinking for many years. After 60 years of watching politics in my country, I believe that we are at a very weak point in our history. It has happened before but this time more is at stake. When a people lose respect for their government they also stop supporting it.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  183. Chris Baker

    How sad for the poor car salesmen to be mentioned in the same sentence with Congress. But the real shame is in the voting public, who have the power to, but never "fire" bad members of Congress.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:13 pm |

    It means they are all born and bread thieves. But we all know that Jack.

    Ralph from AR

    December 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  185. Brad Engstrand

    What's the commission percentage on our Constitution? About 5 Lobbyists?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  186. Patrick

    I think it means nothing Cafferty; with all due respect, it's easy to point out just a few in congress and in the senate and go on a media roar over their actions and follow up with the statement of "Congress ranks lower than car salesmen"

    There are plenty of good represenatives out there, both republican and democrat, and there are some out there that aren't so good, on both sides And no a third party wouldn't solve this either -they would simply be the same, some good, some bad .... just the bad getting all the attention.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  187. John - San Diego, CA

    At last, someone who agrees with me! I have said for years and years, that our politicians are actually one rung BELOW used car salesmen. Nice to see this concept in print. Too bad we can't just get rid of all of them. We have the best representation that money (from special interests) can buy. Thanks Jack.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  188. Susan Meyers

    You forgot Tom delay and that republican congressman from California – forgot his name.

    What does it mean? It means that becoming a congressperson is no longer a career in "public service" but a career in private service to oneself and their career. It means no campaign promises are ever kept and politicians do whatever it takes to get re-elected.

    It means that more than ever we need term limits and an outside oversight committee that is not congress policing itself because we all know that doesn't happen.

    And we need to keep track of how our representatives vote and how many times they break their campaign promises. They need to be held publicly accountable for their actions or they get impeached!

    I don't care what they do in their private lives. That's between them and their families. What I do care about is the public trust – of which there is NONE! The cynicism on Capital Hill makes me nauseous!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  189. Joe


    This a problem for Congress, regardless of party affiliation. Voting them out, as some suggest, wouldn't do a dent. The candidates in any race are already nursed by lobbying groups, mostly corporations.

    To me, only getting the money out of the Washington would help. But that would require to undo several decades of bad habits and legislation!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  190. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    I don't think even car salesmen rate that low.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:16 pm |

    tampa, fl that their salaries need adjusting.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  192. Mark from Kansas City

    Congress has gotten so ethically challenged that they are pointless. This is not a problems of Democrats, Republicans or any other party. It's a problem of all of them. They all work for the rich and make it a crime to be poor. Common good is out the window.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  193. Gregory

    It is quite sad ... what can we expect of our societies if the people making the rules are at such lawless level. It is sad beyond measure. It is time for morality and respect to be back on the agenda.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  194. tony

    Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. been that way since man learned how to make a buck.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  195. Rick in Atlanta

    What we have now is a "Dollarocracy." A class of professional politicians who sell their souls to get the money for TV ads to get reelected. And with the current process, there's no hope in sight. They can't stop the spending as long as they think it gets them reelected.

    And I'll bet Will Rogers never met these people. Don't reelect anybody!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  196. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    That may be true but sharks don"t eat lawyers because of professional compassion

    December 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  197. Kirsten Riley Stafford VA

    It's nothing new. Until there are term limits, there's no reason for Congressmen to be truthful.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  198. James Keen

    Let's hope the american people see that it is time to clean house in both parties. We need to have people representing the majority of americans not the rich and powerful. They do not even live like the rest of us so our problems are not even understood by them i.e. health care, social security, and soon to be medicare. They have the best of everything when it comes to retirement and health care. Let them have to use the same system they vote in for us NORMAL people. The honest hard working ones. Let them try to live on a thousand dollars a month and decide if it food or medicine we can buy this week.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  199. PJ in IL

    It means there is finally a poll that is accurate.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  200. Scott

    That's right where the inept puppets of the lobbyists belong! They haven't an ounce of integrity. Until there is meaningful campaign finance reform, term limits, and an end to their automatic pay raises, we the people haven't a chance.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  201. Chris Walker

    It means that car salesment have made a lot of progress over the years..oh, wait.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  202. Brian Wickremasinghe - Woodland Hills, CA.

    It's unfortunate, but "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Most people afflicted with questionable breeding manage to curtail temptation because of the fear of legal ramifications. On assuming power, they think that the law of the land is for the "others" and succumb to their inborn dishonest upbringing. It’s amazing that there are poor honorable people and rich dishonorable people.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  203. Tim Duba

    Having served in the military and feeling the pride I felt as a public servant, it is sad that our congressmen and women, who make more than enough money, cannot ethically perform their duties. They are supposed to represent the people who elected them, yet many act as if they are a celebrity. Get over yourselves and do your jobs. Have the backbone to make a decision based not on your party affiliation, but on how it will affect those you claim to represent. And the next time you feel sorry for yourself, or think you are overwhelmed with tough decisions, or are tempted to take a shortcut, take a ride over to Bethesda or Walter Reed and remind yourself what sacrifice really is.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  204. Mark

    Ethically speaking, it means nothing to members of Congress! They don't care what the people think. They are in the same pot as Wall Street Bankers. They're garbage.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  205. Jeff B

    And car salesmen rank just slightly above drug addicts. Politicians are liars, plain and simple. They say what they need to say depending on their audience and what is in it for them. Is there really an American that believes a politician? Here is the way I see it. Lawyers are the scum of the earth. What are most politicians? Lawyers. Theres the problem right there. Wouldn't it be a breath of fresh air in this country if our political base were made up solely of hard-working americans that actually had a clue about life as an average person? Man that would be sweet.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  206. James A. Melching

    Its been too long coming,but time in drawing nigh to Crusade for all Congressmen incumbents to be unseated,and allow for a new Batch of Hypocrites to share the Perks and backdoor gratituties enjoyed via Lobbyist and endless donors. The Senate would be next in line as their Elections come due within the ensueing two elections,noting, that Power corrupts in direct proportion to Longevity. No other successful business would long endure or allow the obvious skulldugery, as recorded in the Congresional incriminations files. To permit this continuing saga of graft,thiefry, borders insanity and calls for action to not re-elect any incmubents who choose to run in the next two eledtions,
    James A. Melching Springville, Calif,

    December 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  207. Ricky B

    Regarding ethics – where do journalists rank ? In my book, they're beneath used car salesmen and Congress !

    Somehow, you failed to mention your own ranking. An oversight, I'm sure.

    Journalists are quick to analyze the faults others, a bit slower to own up to their own shennanigans. Dan Rather and 60MinutesGate, anyone ?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  208. Charlie

    It means several things. 1. Anyone who would be good at the job probably would not run, as they don't want to get mixed up in all of the garbage you have to put up with. 2. The process is so spoiled by money from the top down, cleaning it out is almost impossible. 3. At least congressmen and senators have the used car sales people to look up to.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  209. Aaron

    We are democracy, and what you vote for is what you get. If our politicians (for lack of a better word) "suck," then really it's the people who suck at making rational and informed decisions on who represents them. Too many vote based on ideology and demagoguery than on the issues which affect them. I.e. I don't care if my gay neighbor wants to marry his partner, it's really none of my business but SOME people seem to think it's theirs and so based on their own personal beliefs and ideologies rather than on rationally looking at all points of view will vote for the next crook who emulates those values. Ideologues and demagogues are big on talking but small on ideas and actions. It's pathetic really.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  210. Jerry Melton

    It doesn't suprise me, what does suprise me is how does Congress keep geeting re -elected, what the American people need to do is vote all the politicians out of office,and vote in honest, common sense people who knows nothing about running the goverment. What do we have to lose–it could not get any worse. I would support any one running against these jerks we got in Congress now. What a mess we have now–God help us.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  211. Carl D.


    This does not surprise me at all. I feel that most of our Congress earned that reputation. The people in Congress diddn't get that job to represent the people, they got the job so they could lie, cheat and steal from the American people, most of our Congress people are totally worthless.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  212. Michael

    We the people vote for them, so it really reflects poorly on the whole society. Look at it this way everyone complains about congress but the majority of voters almost always support the Rep/Sen from their district/state. So while a fair amount of politicains lack accountability and ethics, the voters often enable them and are ultimately the ones to blame.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  213. Jon F

    We have "professional politicians" that must work to keep their jobs. Of course they are corrupt. They are also forced to sell to the public – an awful position for both parties involved.

    For example, President Obama has changed his position on detainees and their treatment as it now better suits him politically, not ideologically. He needs to have political backing now and get reelected in the future.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  214. Jack

    It means we're in a sad state of affairs.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  215. Sheila Johnson

    "Here’s my question to you: Ethically speaking, what does it mean that members of Congress rank lower than car salesmen?"\

    Ethically speaking, it means Congress is untrustworthy, deceptive and amoral, but is that news? Is it a revelation? No, but I am sure the car salespeople appreciate the public acknowledgement that Congress men and women are truly understood to be lying lyers that lie.

    I believe Congress doesn't even care what we think about their lies and lack of morals. They are going to do whatever they want, and the rest of us are just SOL if we don't like it.

    Greer, SC

    December 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  216. Jim Hosea

    Jack Our political system from congress right on down through state county & city government is so corupt I fear for our country that we fought so hard for all these years.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  217. Alice,AR

    Why is there such an attack on OUR government. This has been the greatest country in the world, and WE have helped create this great country with our hard work and our votes. This is OUR government!!! If you don't like what they are doing, you have the right to vote them out. This great country did not get here by itself. It took great people and great leadership. We act like a bunch of spoiled, bratty children who have been given everything and still complain. If you don't like this country and OUR government, go live somewhere else.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  218. Kevin Nye

    It means to me that when I vote for a particular candidate for Congress, I am voting for the Values and Principles that the candidate of my choice SAYS that he/she stands for. With the dishonesty found in politicians in both parties, who mainly seem to do what they do to keep their cushy jobs, I realize that I am only voting for my BELIEFS which they say that they actually stand for, and not voting for what they say they will actually DO.

    Kevin C. Nye-Juneau, Alaska

    December 11, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  219. dan

    Jack, you are being too nice saying they are below car salesmen. How about equal to prostitution in terms of not only soliciting sex, but selling themselves to the highest corporate bidder?

    Spokane, WA

    December 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  220. David Welles

    Jack, I think term limits would be a good place to start, and retroactive at that. Aside from that the people of this country need to wake up and realize that it's not just the other guys Rep, or Sen. who is bad but their own as well. WE need to make a definitive statement in the next election that the people of America have had enough of this CRAP.
    Dave from Connecticut

    December 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  221. Tony from Boston, MA

    Engineers have a phrase to explain this: garbage in, garbage out. These Congressmen aren't coming from Mars. They're coming from America and Americans are voting them into office. We the people are the problem, and we have to look inward to fix this.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  222. dennis kirby

    you can always fix your car but you have to wait a long time to throw the bums out

    December 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  223. John Dietz

    I suspect that many people rate the ethics and morals of Congress as a group, at a low number, but not their particular representative.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  224. Don

    It means that they're nothing but crooks and belong in a jail cell.

    Members of Congress take an oath to uphold the US Constitution. Ask yours when the last time he/she read it was? They lie when they take their oath and it only gets worse from there.

    They are nothing but corporate representatives. Absolutely worthless.

    End the FED!

    Queensbury, NY

    December 11, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  225. Brian Daniel

    I hate to answer your question with a question but my response is "What does it take?". What does it take to restore our faith in lawmakers? Is the entire machine corrupt beyond repair? In these relatively difficult times when we find ourselves overhauling an entire healthcare system because its costs have gotten out of control, its is taking an act of Congress to fix things. Our banking systems almost melted down the entire global economy becuase it was left unchecked. Now, Congress has supposedly fixed this so that it will not and cannot happen again.
    Not to be TOO Orwellian about it, but who fixes the "fixers"? Who checks the "checkers"? The sad part is, if you asked them all what is wrong with Congress I bet 90% of them would say the system is working just fine.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  226. john pharr

    It means the concept of public service is a joke. It is all about private gain.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  227. Mark Borchers

    Hi Jack, I'm writing from the Woodlands, TX.
    This either means that we've managed to drive good, honest people away from careers in public office, or else they were good when they entered Congress but managed to become corrupt via on-the-job-training.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  228. Chris Shook

    What does it mean?
    It means that these people will say anything that makes them a buck, closes a deal, or keeps them in "power".

    It means they will lie, straight faced, to person desperately seeking an important survival tool, with no regard or intention of insuring that the person is properly cared for.

    It's not about the country, the Americans that they represent, or upholding the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
    It's all about ME. What and how much is in it for ME?

    It means that, as a nation, we're screwed.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  229. Fred

    What do they care how they rate? They keep getting elected, and getting all their perks, and grafts.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  230. John

    Jack, it means that SOME of them will stoop at anything to engage in self-promotion. They're not alone. I wonder where mortgage brokers would rank if they had been included in the poll? Apparently Wall Street bankers weren't one of the options either. How can that be? Perhaps both of those fall under the broad category of business executives. Unethical behavior knows no boundaries, it's just a bit more visible when public servants step over the line.
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin

    December 11, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  231. Terry - Brownsburg, Indiana

    I believe that each new member of the House or Senate, arrives in Washington with plans to change the world. Then the Beltway Bandits, or Lobbyists, load them up with money, and the rest is history. How could Senator Dodd not remember getting a check for over $80,000 when his home was refinanced through Countrywide? The answer is very simple. Advise all lobbyists that they will no longer provide donations, trips, gifts, etc, to members of the House and Senate. If they are caught breaking this rule, they will be given one-day in jail, for every dollar donated or given away. It will only take one example. Remove lobbyists from the equation, and correct all evils with the next election.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  232. Publius

    It means nothing Jack... Why because the American people keep voting them in. Our public is so caught up in the paradigm of only voting democrat and republican they are getting what they deserve. That is a country without jobs, money, homes, and liberty. Our society is nothing more than a baby state that needs it mommy (the government) to wipe is proverbial back side, no wonder they are corrupt. They need the government to tell them how to think, how to feel, and how to live. This is why politicians think they can get away with any amount of corruption and make bold face lies to the public. I say its time for a real revolution, the one with patriots and guns not cry baby protesters.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  233. Paul In Dallas, TX

    It means that they aren't doing their job properly and what's expected of them by the American people. Get rid of them all!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  234. Gail, Plano,Texas

    Members of Congress are the scum at the bottom of the ocean. There is little or no hope for our nation while we have public servants on the dole. Perhaps, term limits would help. I don't know any more. And Jack, u forgot Inhoffe and Grassley who are members of the Family in D.C. A radical religious cult writing our laws!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  235. David, Tampa, Fl

    It means that far too many of these people are, for want of a better term, dirt-bags. For far too long our elected officials have gotten into governance not to work for the betterment of we the people but to feather their own nests and rule not govern. While not all are evil or corrupt enough are to cast the shadow of suspecion onto everyone. I told my Repersentative many years ago we need to do something to divorce the electorial process from the absolutely corrupting need for and influence of large amounts of money. Do something right? Not these bought and paid for morons!!! I may still vote but I do so grudgingly and with the understanding nothing will change in business as usual at the local, state and national levels of government.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  236. Steve

    To me this means voters need to give a more thorough examination to the candidates in their district/state before they send them to Congress. Do your homework, but remember that one bad apple spoils the pie. This poll asked a general question, that is to rate Congress as a whole. I've found car salespeople at time to be dishonest. They pay "lip service" and essentially tell you what you want to hear. Congress in a sense does the same thing. Doesn't mean I haven't come across an honest car salesperson before (I have) and it doesn't mean there aren't honest members of Congress (there are). Much like weeding out the bad salesperson, one must be prepared to ask the right questions. To ask the right questions one needs to have the facts. If I may theoroize, I would wager that those voters who have been represented by the likes of these dishonest Congressmen are more likely to be driving a lemon than the rest of the voting public.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  237. Just saying

    Ethics???? Since when did Congress even have ethics?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  238. Jake from Minnesota

    It means that, in spite of their elevated position in society, they are human. I think this is a rather cynical view attributable to (I hope) only a small minority of congressional representatives and perpetuated by the media machine, which repots almost exclusively only on the failures of representatives while ignoring the successes. Yes, some of these people have exhibited egregious lapses in judgment (affairs, corruption, etc), but these also occur in private life, too (do you really know if your neighbors are faithful to their spouses?). They just aren't reported nationally.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  239. Elise from VA

    I thinkj it means several things. It means that our country is in trouble. It means that power can indeed corrupt.
    I believe that many of our congress men and women arrive in Washington with good intentions. It think that after a time, they are exposed to a system which rewards certain behaviors, often lavishly, and that greed and a desire for continuing increases in power and money sets in. I think at that point, their constituents become secondary to those more personal desires. How then, can we trust them?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  240. David

    From Kent, Ohio.

    As far as I'm concerned, It's time to clean house. The pockets of the politicians have been filled with "donations" from special interest groups for too long now. The influence of money has corrupted our government's ability to make rational decisions. Most of which are made in the best interest of profit, over the general well-being of America. Follow the money trail, and it will lead you to the thieves that stole our government from the people.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  241. Bill

    Jack, the idea that congress is below car salesman seems about right. I wonder what most congress persons would say about the poll? Whe was the last time your congress person made a home visit or did a town hall meeting to just talk about what "we" the people want to see them do? I find the current status of congress to be so bad that its' no wonder when my representative sends me things I just laugh and wonder if he/she could hold a meaningful conversation about anything...

    December 11, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  242. Aaron Peavler From Bliss Idaho

    It means that they have a bad habit to get in trouble. Congress is at the bottom because they get in political scandals. Kennedy is not there to keep them in line. They need to shape up or we will ship them out by voting them out of office.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  243. AKricket

    Funny and sadly pathetic.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  244. Ryan

    What does it mean that members of Congress rank lower than car salesmen?

    It means that our government is going down the tube and it is dragging the people that it supposedly represents down with it.

    The first word that comes to my mind when I hear the word politician is "LIAR".

    December 11, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  245. Vernis Robertson

    We can't complain , american people vote these clowns in officer , democrates and Republicans

    December 11, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  246. Keith

    Ethically speaking–with so many people unemployed, Wall Street playing stock games, the mortgage companies turned investment guru failures, and congress stealing money left-and-right–well Jack, I guess we'll all find out pretty soon what that means. There's a whole in the boat, and when we start sinking, the ship goes down, crew and all.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  247. Jim

    I think the majority of people already feel this way, regardless of what Gallup says. I know one car salesman personally and his ethics ARE better than anyone in Congress – but not by much.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  248. Catty

    Maybe the US is up for sale and we didn't even know it?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  249. Margaret Howard

    It means that 55% of us know – not guess, but KNOW – that members of Congress sell out the American people for their next election without missing a beat and without missing a minute's – let alone a night's – sleep.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  250. David

    What has happened to Patriotism? Loyalty? The American Spirit?
    Hail to the american still out there struggling to be independent and make ends meet. Shame on those who try to bait and switch him.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  251. Clay Young

    Since when has anyone in America cared about ethics?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  252. HarryinLA

    And this is surprising to who? Congress is made up of nothing more than prima donnas that think of themselves before their Constituents.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  253. Jim

    Nice attack on car salespeople. The only thing lower than us is a writer for a communist web.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  254. Alice,AR

    It means that the people in this country act like a bunch of spoiled brats. We have been given everything and don't know how to appreciate our freedom or anything else. This country was built with the hard work of its people and great leadership (our government). You have the FREEDOM to vote your representatives in and out if you don't like what they are doing. If you don't like OUR Government, go somewhere else to live, like Afghanistan. Maybe you would enjoy walking miles in the sand to school or no school at all.


    December 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  255. Matt Deaton

    Your just figuring that out!!!! That is the problem in this country everybody trusted these crooks for so long and allowed them to make decesions that impact our country at all hours of the night!!!! The politicans have figure all of us out....they tell us what we want to hear and then do what they want to do at 3am or 4am in the morning. I hope someday that this will change in my life time and I'm 25.....and I have no faith that it will change. The rich rule the world!!!!!!

    Matt Deaton

    December 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  256. John

    Far too often these days you hear sections of society lamenting about how people have no respect for authority figures anymore. That is true but only because access to so much more media than in the past has highlighted their flaws and hypocrisy for all to see. The crimes and misdemeanors of authority figures, like congress, have always taken place, it is just easier now to catch them at it.
    I think the ratings of low to very low would have been a common answer throughout history if we had the in depth access to congresses past as we do now.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  257. adam

    I am surprised to see that police officers are ranked highly on the list b/c in my experiences, they're the biggest crooks out there, always abusing their powers. Also, how can doctor's be so highly rated, but at the same HMO managers so lowly rated? They're on the same team. Heck the last time I saw a doctor I was billed $200 for the visit and never actually saw the doctor. Doctors don't treat diseases, they treat symptoms, they're salespeople for the drug industry. Finally, they should put irresponsible and/or dumb consumers somewhere on the list.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  258. William - Denver

    You know what I think it means Jack?? I think it means that people are sick and tired of a Congress that doesn't listen to it's constituents, thinks it knows more than it's constituents, and also thinks that it is above the very laws they write and expect the rest of us to live by.

    The only thing that congress is proving to be good for is to be a major pain in the rear end for Presidents and for the rest of the people throughout the country.

    For EIGHT long years, the Democrats obstructed the Bush administration at every turn. The Republicans are now returning the favor and nothing is getting done. What makes it worse Jack is that the Democrats – who last I checked – hold a super majority – have decided that only THE DEMOCRATS know what's right for America and only the DEMOCRATS have any good ideas.

    We are sick of it Jack – absolutely sick of it! Nancy Pelois and Harry Reid can ram their bills through the House and the Senate. They can try to get us to believe that the Republicans are playing the "obstructor role" but it won't work this time. It's simply smoke and mirrors. Everybody knows the Republicans can't do squat until 2010!!! The fact is Jack – Congress actually rank lower then the belly of a blow snake! No offense to the blow snake!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  259. Scott O'Canada

    I think it comes down to expectations, but as a percentage there are just as many corrupt police officers, doctors, judges, professional athletes,etc., as there are corrupt politicians. Why our expectation are higher for some and not others is the question we should be asking ourselves.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  260. Mike in Quebec

    I wouldn't even listen never mind the per month payments from someone in US Congress. Unless of course there was a lobbyist working on my behalf! The US has been taken over by business and YES it's tragic!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  261. Mike (San Pedro, CA)

    Congress hoards as many perks and benefits as they can, yet they are going to make themselves exempt from this wonderful health care plan that they're trying to force down our throats. What does that tell you? By the way, why hasn't anyone else mentioned that this plan won't go into effect until the next presidential election (when it can't hurt a re-election bid)?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  262. Josh, in WA (the state)

    Well, it obvously means that We the People don't trust the people that We the People send to represent us, the People. That and the fact that a lot of congressmen get away with things that land the common man hefty fines or jail time (i.e. DUIs, reckless driving, etc.)

    December 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  263. hooverguide

    I believe our representative form of government was conceived in all good faith by our founding fathers. They had no way of knowing how big business and lobbyists would turn these august bodies into pay for vote insititutions. I am not advocating the demise of government, but I should would like to meet that one honest to goodness person who is running for office to vote for the good of we, the people. That one rare person who will not sell their soul and their eithics to be called Senator. That one person who runs for office even though they know they will be a one-term johnnie because their vote cannot be bought. Wouldn't you just love to spend one hour behind closed doors with the power brokers who create the annointing list of those who would be king – oops, Representatives and Senators. Yes, we, the people are jaded and cynical. We have a right to be.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  264. Michael H. in Albuquerque, NM

    It means we may have seriously undervalued used car salesmen. Becuase the politicians representing my sate are all fine people. This includes Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Sen. Tom Udall and Rep. Martin Heinrich. Add to them our governor Bill Richardson. These are a high quality group of gentlemen. If used car salesmen rank above them, then I will feel safe and confident the next time I buy a car.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  265. Brian

    It means we as the voting public are to blame. We routinely vote for the same people to stay in office. Most people don't look at voting records of the person they vote for, or other problem indicators, they instead, blindly identify themselves with a political party vote with that party out of shear laziness. Here is for term limits on all congress members and the inability to vote themselves a pay raise without going to the public for a vote during election years.

    Rapid City, SD

    December 11, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  266. Kate Redford

    The lack of ethics in the members of this Congress reveals itself in the lack of trust, honor, commitment, their availability to the general public who elected them, non productivity, and most of all the lack of leadership.

    I not sure of a workable solution but I surely would like to dump everyone of them and completely start over. I have been voting since 1950 and I regret what we the voters have sent to Congress.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  267. Dennis

    It means the old adage that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Term limits, with no limits on jail terms, will serve to limit the power of legislators gained over time.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  268. Charles Masson

    Our government is for sale. We need only look at the behavior of our legislators, lobbyists, and the people and companies who fund them both to see this. If a company or lobbyist contributes to a legislator's campaign or otherwise enriches him, then the legislator turns around and does his or her best with legislation that enriches the company or lobbyist. "If you pay me, then I will pay you" is how Washington works.

    The real question isn't whether not this goes on; rather, it's what are we going to do about it - and can we. Look at health care reform. It is clearly in the best interests of every voter in America. Yet it is effectively being blocked by monied interests who are buying the needed votes to stop it. So, if we attempt to strike at the very heart of the system that allows this buying and selling, imagine how hard that will be.

    It is discouraging that integrity and selflessness are in such short supply.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  269. Susan North Dakota

    Please Jack, the car salespeople sure don't deserve to be ranked anywhere near Congress. Congressional members should be compared to slimy, sleazy snakes in the grass to be fair.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  270. Dave Hollis

    The United States Congress has been involved in the same ethical shenanigans since its inception. The major change that has taken place since the first Congress has been the explosion in media coverage and political awareness. The American people are now informed of any wrongdoing (real or imagined) almost instantly. This can be good or bad, depending on the facts of a specific controversy and the source of said facts. With the almost weekly reports of Congressional wrongdoing in the news, it is no wonder that a majority of Americans trust car salesmen more that politicians. It is about time, if you ask me.

    Dave Hollis
    Fireball Motors, used cars.
    Warren, Ohio

    December 11, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  271. Dave Osterberg

    Maybe it means that we stop re-electing incumbents.

    Dave, San Diego County

    December 11, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  272. Bloomington Bruce

    What it meeans, Jack, is that Americans have no faith in the people that are elected to speak for and represent us. There is a growing realization that too many members of both political parties are more concerned with personal enrichment and staying in their cushy offices then they are in doing what is in the nation's best interests.

    Years ago a friend of mine once suggested that we would be better off selecting members of Congress in the same way as we select people for jury duty. I think he was on to something.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  273. Bill from Atlanta

    At least I can run a Carfax to see if a car salesman is lying to me.The rating goes hand-in-hand with the economy. People will (sadly) forget once the economy improves.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  274. Dave

    Hey, Hey!! Go easy on we car salesman who have tried over the years to make up for what people remember from the 60s and 70s. Congress, on the other hand, just keeps going backward. I can remember when I thought our legislators were doing it for "we the people". Now we know they do it for themselves and no one else.
    Of course, it's our fault. We put them there and then wonder how that happened. Including our "hope and change President (unfortunately)

    December 11, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  275. William

    Americans are sick of Congress just doing whatever they want. Congress is SUPPOSED to be FOR the people, whatever happened to THAT? Now, they just kind of do whatever THEY feel like, regardless of what the citizens or taxpayers want. Instead of paying down debt–in EITHER good times or bad–they just added to it. They had a chance and they blew it. What's worse, is they actually LOWERED taxes when people could most afford them! Now, it's lucky if people even have jobs at all to pay the taxes. So, the fewer working few will begin to have to pay more and more of the increasing tax burden. And...Congress is still spending like there's no tomorrow. Like they almost altogether expect that the country is going to default on all of its debt. Is it?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  276. Veronica McNamara

    .....and they have the nerve to refer to them as Representatives.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  277. Joseph Settle

    It's sickening to see the vote trading in Congress on the Health Bill: $300 million to Louisiana for Sen. Landrieu's vote; votes paid for in untold millions to Nevada and several other , but not all, states for Medicaid......a Sweetheart deal for the selected few states We, the taxpayers, pick that up and are supposed to think it's quite all right.

    If any individual in the private sector, or any corporate manager did such a thing, it would be deemed a felony, the outcry would be immense, TV talking heads would rail for weeks, and to prison they would go. Look at Bill Jefferson going to prison for a paltry $90,000 in his freezer. Is his crime greater than the Senators selling their votes? No. He just failed to grasp the real graft opportunities available and thought too small.

    The only logical reason a Senator would trade votes for special treatment and funds for their state or district seems to be to gain votes from their electorate. After all, they are really "bringing home the bacon' at the expense of taxpayers in other states. What's not to like?

    What does it take to stop all of this? If every American in the next election voted against the incumbent, a third of the Senate would be new legislators......and all of the House. Does anyone rationally think all those new legislators would do a WORSE job than the crowd that is there now, even though they are new and inexperienced in the US Congress? I think not!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  278. Jeff Joliet, IL

    It means that we as Americans are incapable of making change. We "let" our elected officails walk all over us and use us to fatten their wallets. We don't demand accountability from the ones we elect. We never vote them out of office. We let them vote against our interests because they vote and apparently thats good enough. We did this. and until we realize that they aren't helping us and vote them out. this is the best we can expect.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  279. steve in virginia

    It seems to indicate that we prefer an unethical government since we keep electing and re-electing them. It also means that those who promised to clean up Washington can't be trusted at their word.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  280. Cheryl

    How dare you insult car salemen!
    Houston, TX

    December 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  281. Jay G

    Only the corrupt can be elected these days. It's no surprise that we end up with these unethical and morally bankrupt congress people. You need the money of powerful lobbying or business groups, and to get those, you need to cater to a minority position at the expense of the majority. It's all about special interests these days and no longer about doing what's best for the people of America. And that's because the people who care about doing what's best for the people of America are unelectable because they get no $$. The average person isn't going to donate the kind of $$ to a campaign that the Teamsters will, for instance.

    We, the people, don't like it. But we, the people, don't seem to have the power to alter the monstrosity that public office has become.

    Jay, Seattle WA.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  282. Mark

    We could do without Congress, I'm not sure we could do without car salesmen. If both were gone who would take advantage of us?

    December 11, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  283. Pat Murphy Hamden, Ohio

    It means they are going to have trouble selling any Bill, Troop increase, and getting re-elected.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  284. erry myrick

    I am a car salesman and have been for 8 years. there is always why people have perceptions that are not what they seem to be. Before, I sold cars I spent 39 years in the finance bussiness where I saw many , many situations at large dealerships as well as small ones that salesmen are mistreated, verbaly, threatened and run off for no reason. Dime a dozen is a common phrase in the auto sales for salesman. Look at any newspaper, anywhere in the want adds and you will always ,see add for salesman. Why? Number one they dont get paid much, and the F@I mangers, or sales mangers constantly play mind games and pitt one salesman against the other. There is always another side to be seen and understood. Be careful in talk.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  285. Ruth in Ohio

    I think every member of Congress should be fired...they ARE lower than a car salesman ,heck they are lower than a USED car salesman .,and by being influenced by lobbyists, they are no better than Bernie Madoff...what they do is called legal,as far as I am concerned that is like being on the take!...that is like taking a bribe....and I thought that was illegal!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  286. JJ (Ocala, Fl)

    They are only interested is what goes into their back pockets and out of ours. They are there in the first place because they are not qualified to do anything else but lie. How many have law degrees but have never passed the bar? Health care should have been easy, all they had to do was to copy theirs. A dictionary should come with the swearing-in so that they could look up the word "ethical"

    December 11, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  287. Sachi

    Members of Congress work in a system that often encourages and seldom punishes ethically-questionable behavior. Until both Congress and the voters are willing to actually hold their representatives accountable for their actions, this trend will continue.

    December 11, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  288. Chris in Philadelphia

    It means we need term limits and a broom to sweep out everyone and start over again....

    December 11, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  289. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    The Republicans are the worst, because they have done nothing but say no all year long, The Democrats Health-Care Bill, will make us all slaves to the Federal Government, by forcing us to buy insurance because we are alive! They say it is similar to auto insurance but it is not, if I do not buy a car and drive you do not have to buy auto insurance! When did Congress get the power to make us do an activity that we have not chosen to do ourselves! They do not have the power to force us to get insurance because we were born into this world! This is why I can not stand either of those sad parties!

    December 11, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  290. Connie

    Actually car salesmen rank higher on my personal list than do our Congress. At least with car salesmen you can walk away from the deal. Not so with our elite, out of touch politicians that don't listen to thier constituents and want only to push there own idealogic agenda. Using tactics and payoffs that in the real world would be seen as unethical and possibly illegal. Seriously, we need term limits on both houses, that would be a good start.

    December 11, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  291. Mike from Denver

    And we wonder why we are facing our current national problems? If we elect the bottom of the barrel, we deserve what we get.

    December 11, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  292. Mark, Bradenton,FL

    Members of congress are the filth of our nation. They do not represent the best interest of the American people and should be all arrested for treason locked up or executed.

    December 11, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  293. Richard Frigault Beresford, N.B. Canada

    Jack, ask yourself this question: Who voted for these congressmen, senators, governors and so on. Doesn't say much for the American voter now, does it?

    December 11, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  294. Roy from LBC

    It means, finally, that the American public is finally coming around to what I have been saying for years: Democrats nor Republicans, at no time, no place, no when, no how, have anything good to offer hard working American citizens. Nothing. And they never will.

    December 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  295. Julio Rengel

    Jack, congress should have some type of Code of Conduct.
    If they break any code they should removed..

    December 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm |
  296. Haythem from DC

    I take major offense to this poll. Coming from a family that has over 30 years experience as car salesman and owners of a dealership, I can tell you we are way more honest then Congress!!! Why do car salesman have such a bad rap? I can tell you exactly how many jobs we created last month, how about you Obama and Pelosi?

    December 11, 2009 at 7:24 pm |
  297. Susan - Corona, CA


    It means lying and cheating are to be expected. Nothing more and nothing less.

    Corona, CA

    December 11, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  298. Robert from Woodstock

    Nothing that anyone does in todays world can be considered ethical anymore. Salesmen do however rank higher on my families personal list than our Congress. But at least we still have a voice with cars. I'm still a ninth grader but I know that my congress can't always be trusted.

    December 11, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  299. ej

    Congress & Senators are just that, used car sales. They get told what to say on their little blackberries & iphones and then sell that agenda. It's votes for sales. U.S. Politics is corrupt so badly, that America may never recover. All corrupt politicians should go to jail and PAC funding has to stop. 'Jail, Baby! Jail!'

    December 11, 2009 at 7:59 pm |