As Congress remains involved in protracted negotiations over the pending "fiscal cliff" that could disrupt the nation's economy if not addressed by Jan. 1, one in 10 Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of its members as very high or high. This puts the lawmaking body second lowest on a list of 22 professions measured -- higher only than car salespeople.
These results are from Gallup's Nov. 26-29 update of the perceived honesty and ethical standards of professions. Survey respondents rated each profession on a five-point honesty and ethical scale ranging from "very high" to "very low."
Americans' views of the 22 professions tested vary widely -- extending from the 85% who rate nurses' ethics and honesty as very high or high to a low of 8% rating car salespeople the same.
These ratings technically measure Americans' perceptions of the honesty and ethical standards of various professions, but most likely stand for an overall, broad assessment of the image of each profession tested. As such, the results continue to be bad news for politicians, who remain in the bottom half of the list, particularly including members of Congress -- who this year are better than only car salespeople.
These ratings are in line with other indications showing the low esteem in which politicians are held, including a generally negative image of the "federal government," and continuing low congressional job approval ratings.