Thomas D. Segel
"Trust Me!”...The Most Abused Phrase in Washington
March 4, 2009
Without a doubt, when it comes to their own governance, Americans are
the most gullible people on the globe. Without exception the majority of
the population rates Congress and the Washington establishment slightly
lower than whale waste on the ocean’s bottom. Yet, at election time
these same citizens manage to vote for...and return to office those same
individuals who have managed to make the words trust and honesty sound
as if they were titles to X rated movies.
The Obama Administration and Congress have looked the American public in
the eye and said, "Trust Me” about one time too many. Today it is not
only our economy that is on life support, it is trust in our national
Just about everyone but hard-core economists have lost track of the
billions – no that is trillions of dollars we have dumped into failed
business and government boondoggles during the past five weeks. The only
thing we know for sure is our children, our children’s children and our
great grandchildren will spend their lives trying to work off the debt
we have managed to pile upon their shoulders during less than two months
But, why we allow such wasteful and hazardous practices to continue is
impossible to comprehend. With the amount of distrust in everything
about Washington, it is amazing there hasn’t been a mass protest filling
every street in the nation’s capitol, headlining every news publication
and screamed from every radio and television set in the country.
In a large Rasmussen survey conducted last week, 73% of all adults said
they trust the judgment of the American people more than they trust our
political leaders. The reverse opinion in that same survey said only 13%
of the population trust politicians more than they trust the public.
One interesting result of that poll reveals 20% of Democrats trust our
political elite more than their fellow citizens. But, even in this very
left-leaning party, 63% of Democrats trust the public more than their
Eighty-three percent of those who wear the Republican brand trust the
people of America over the Washington in-crowd and 76% on independents
trust the public over either political party.
Those operating their own businesses report that 81% of their peers have
no trust in Washington. That figure is slightly less among private
sector employees, with 75% showing distrust in the political
establishment. Even government employees have no faith in the politicos.
Sixty one percent of those who work for national and state governments
trust the public more than they trust their own employers.
How does this huge percentage of the population show its lack of trust
and confidence in everything being originated in the Administration and
Congress? For one thing the public has quit buying and keeps pulling its
money out of the market. There has been more than a 7,000 point drop in
stocks since the start of government bail outs, stimulus packages and
budget requests, and with each new bail out or stimulus announcement,
the market plunges even lower.
Americans believe so strongly that our economy is in a serious long-term
decline that across the United States spending has been cut back more
than one third.
Even with the massive amounts of funding support inserted into the auto
industry, financial markets, banks and AIG, everything remains in a
The President asked the American public to trust him to slow down the
economic slide, but...if anything it has started to slide even faster.
We have a Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, who instead of
displaying confidence in his own actions, is starting to look like an
addict in the middle of withdrawal. Congress is at its most ill-tempered
of all time...knowing constituents are breathing down their necks to get
things right. The tag-team duo of Pelosi and Reid cannot or will not
keep pork out of the money pie, even though they know this is one of the
most hated things on the public’s list of wrongful government actions.
The public also knows that pork has been divided up 60% to the Democrats
and 40% to The Republicans and their anger is being spread
What the outcome of all this public rage and loss of faith in government
will produce is anyone’s guess. The late conservative columnist William
F. Buckley once wrote, "Liberals, it has been said, are generous with
other people’s money, except when it comes to questions of national
survival, when they prefer to be generous with other people’s freedom
He also said, "The best defense against usurpatory government is an
question is...Are Americans ready to assert themselves and when
Washington once again says, "Trust Me”, answer...”Hell No!”