Only 19 percent of Americans — about 1 in 5 — say they trust the government "always or most of the time," according to a study released by the Pew Research Center on Monday. Yet clear majorities also favor the government taking "a major role" in fighting terrorism, responding to natural disasters, keeping food and drugs safe, protecting the environment, strengthening the economy and improving education.
Despite this desire for government services, Americans are clearly dissatisfied with the level of service they feel they receive. Three out of four, 74 percent, say public officials put their own interests ahead of the nation's. And a majority, 55 percent, say ordinary Americans would "do a better job of solving problems" than the people whose job it is to do so.