Congress Members Given Poor Marks for Honesty

11:03 AM, Dec 3, 2012   |    comments
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Members of the House of Representatives can at least say they're perceived as more honest and ethical than car salesmen. 

As lawmakers and President Obama continue sparring over the "fiscal cliff", according to a new Gallup Poll only 10 percent of Americans rate the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress as high or very high, while more than half thought those standards were low. Car salespeople, in comparison, are in the cellar at 8 percent. 

The findings for members of Congress are near historic lows, but the lawmakers' honesty standards have never been perceived to be very high. Since the poll began in 1976, they reached a peak in 2001 after the September 11 attacks, when 25 percent of Americans rated their honesty and ethical standards as high or very high, but their ratings went into a freefall until their ratings hit an all-time low of 7 percent last year. 

Senators, meanwhile, received a slightly higher rating, but not by much. Fourteen percent of respondents say their honesty and ethical standards are high or very high while 45 percent rate them "very low." 

The Gallup polled is based on 22 professions. Nurses, pharmacists and medical doctors topped the list of most honest and ethical professions; lawyers and state governors were below average as around one in five Americans thought their honesty and ethical standards were very high or high.

© 2012 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.



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