Social Policy & Politics Program | Report

Change You Can Believe In Needs a Government You Can Trust

by William Galston and Dr. Elaine C. Kamarck

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An analysis of the public’s trust in government over time and what current low levels of trust mean for the new president and Congress.

Is this 1932 or 1992? Will the Obama era signal the beginning of a new progressive golden age or will it be a fleeting moment of what might have been? In a paper written for Third Way, Bill Galston and Elaine Kamarck write that the public has lost faith in the federal government after 8 years of Republican rule and that an aggressive strategy to regain the public trust will be necessary if progressives want to accomplish big things in the coming years.

The paper dissects this longstanding decline in public trust, relives the early years of the Clinton Administration, and offers a trust strategy for moving forward.In 2009, the battle will be between hope and skepticism. This paper contributes ammunition to the side of hope.