Americans don’t paint a pretty picture of their public servants in the new national Reason-Rupe poll. Americans tell Reason-Rupe that 75 percent of all politicians are “corrupted” by campaign donations and lobbyists. And they say 70 percent of politicians use their political power to help their friends and hurt their enemies.
Asked, which is a “more serious” problem — “special interest groups spending private money on campaigns to elect the politicians they favor” or “elected officials enacting policies and spending taxpayer money that benefit the special interests they favor” — 63 percent of Americans said officials enacting policies and spending taxpayer money for special interests was a more serious problem.
Similarly, Americans say they are “more bothered” by politicians abusing political power than they are by some of the personal issues most often associated with political downfalls. Seventy percent of Americans say they would be “most bothered” by a politician who used his or her political power to bully someone, while 14 percent would be most bothered by a politician using drugs, and 11 percent would be most bothered by a politician who cheated on his/her spouse.
The Reason-Rupe national poll conducted live interviews with 1,003 Americans on mobile (503) and landline (500) phones from March 26-30, 2014. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.6 percent. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey.
Americans may trust the IRS more than Facebook, but with the April 15 deadline for filing federal income tax returns approaching, they’re reminded of how much money they send to the government. Asked open-ended how much of every tax dollar is wasted, the median answer was half, 50 cents.