Donald Lambro
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Nearly two years into Barack Obama's failed presidency, more than 7 in 10 Americans have a negative view of the government he promised to change for the better.

When the USA Today/Gallup poll asked Americans last month to describe the federal government in one word or phrase, the most frequent responses were "too big," "confused," "incompetent," "wasteful," "out of control," "a mess," "bloated," "dysfunctional," "poor," "disappointing," "pathetic," "broken" and "corrupt."

The Gallup survey found that 72 percent of the responses were negative, with only 10 percent expressing positive views. (18 percent voiced neutral or mixed views.)

This is in line with other polls showing similarly negative views that have risen sharply under Obama's dramatic expansion of federal programs for government health care, the failed $1 trillion economic stimulus plan, assorted bailouts and a wave of other big spending initiatives.

A Washington Post poll, published Sunday in conjunction with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University, yielded many of the same negative words about the government. Indeed, of 43 most frequently heard words, three-fourths of them were severely critical, i.e., "lousy," "chaos," "dishonest," "untrustworthy," "stinks," "ineffective" and "too big."

"Americans have a more negative view of government today than they did a decade ago, or even a few years ago," the Post reported. "This general anti-Washington sentiment is helping to fuel a potential Republican takeover of Congress next month."

Obama was elected on soaring promises that bigger government was the answer to all our problems, and a majority of voters bought into his vision. But within two years, the overreaching promises and the mounting excuses and blame gave way to a $1 trillion-plus deficit, higher taxes, eroding liberties and a country most Americans say is moving in the wrong direction.

A decade ago, the government received a passing grade of C, but today, nearly half of the poll respondents give the government under Obama and the Democrats a grade of D or F.

Fifty five percent think the government is ignoring the big issues that concern them the most, with justification.

Economic growth has slowed to a crawl, real unemployment is at 17 percent when you include people forced to accept part-time work, applications for food stamps is soaring, and poverty has risen to a record high. And Obama is going around the country attacking the Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest business association, accusing it of mingling foreign funding in its campaign donations without a scintilla of proof to back up the charge (which came from an obscure liberal Democrat website).

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Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.