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Earlier today I highlighted some interesting numbers from a Reason poll about the public's opinion that Washington spends too much money, but there is oh so much more to unwrap from this fascinating polling, that it's worth another look.
When President Obama and Democrats in Congress ran their 2008 campaigns, one of the promises they made, one of the needs for "change" in this country was the need for a more transparent government. We were told that Obama would insist that bills were posted for the public to read, that lobbyists wouldn't be involved in the administration, that he would have "the most transparent administration in history."
Americans don't buy it. In fact, Reason found that 63 percent of Americans disagree with Obama's transparency claim. With scandals from the IRS, EPA and NSA in this administration, who can blame them? More than one-third of the public say that the surveillance programs that began with information unveiled by Edward Snowden, has further eroded their trust in Washington, and 55 percent of Americans believe that the NSA data collection programs are a blatant violation of their privacy.
Obama's IRS has been at the center of a scandal involving the intrusive investigations and harassment of conservative and Tea Party related organizations, and nearly two-thirds of Americans say that any data collected by the NSA should be off limits to the IRS.
Washington isn't the only place distrusted by the American public. As part of the NSA data collection scandal we have learned that common tech companies like Google and Facebook have had involvement with the NSA spying efforts. That has led to a deep sense of distrust for those Silicon Valley tech firms.
Over six in 10 Americans, 61 percent, say they do not trust Facebook "at all" to protect their privacy and another 15 percent say they only trust Facebook "a little." Google has similar trust problems with 48 percent saying they do not trust the company to protect their privacy at all and 19 percent say they trust Google a little.
It's clear, both big government and their friends in big business are distrusted by a majority of the American public.