Robin Smith, former Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and congressional candidate.File Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press
An April 15 Associated Press/Roper Public Affairs poll records what we all sense: The average citizen is fed up with our federal government.
Of 1,004 adults questioned, 56 percent responded that "America is heading in the wrong direction." Only 7 percent trust "the government in Washington to do what is right just about always" and 11 percent claimed "the government never does what's right."
So, is this distrust justified? Let's stroll through a few events:
The U.S. government operated with no budget for four years while spending without restraint. According to an April 15 Washington Post article, President Barack Obama's own budget projects $5.3 trillion in deficits -- spending more than revenue available -- while racking up more than $8 trillion in new debt during the next 10 years.
Please recall the Congress and the president abdicating their constitutional roles and deferring to a "super-committee" in 2011 to deal with the debt ceiling on spending. After meetings and more meetings, the idiocy of the sequester was triggered. The president owns the idea of the sequester but the Congress embraced the proverbial muddy pig, too.
Then, the "we-have-to-pass-the-bill-to-know-what's-in-the-bill" Affordable Care Act is now law. Even its sponsors have called it a "train wreck" appearing to derail itself off the tracks of reality when the policies on paper were so perfectly planned.
The Wall Street Journal featured a March assessment of Obamacare's impact on health care costs with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius acknowledging "some higher costs." In reality, a nonpartisan professional organization, the Society of Actuaries, says insurance companies will pay 32 percent more for claims on individual policies by 2017.
On Sept. 11, 2012, the terror attack on the American Embassy in Libya, killing our ambassador and three others, was redefined and redirected toward a YouTube video causing Islamic protests to erupt throughout the Middle East as President Obama trumpeted "al-Qaeda is on the run."
Reports last week have shown that the State Department issued an "Ops Alert" at 6:08 p.m. on the evening of the attack announcing that al-Qaeda claimed credit as the terror continued unanswered.
The same report notes that the White House purged the summary to be used to address this act of terror of any references to al-Qaeda and continued the narrative through U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's talking points of the offensive video.
Translation: The State Department, the White House, and others lied in concealing the terrorism that killed Americans and denying support to those under attack.
And then, America met the Tsanaev family living in Boston. They were legally in America where they enjoyed taxpayer-funded welfare benefits, access to some of the finest schools, and were registered to vote.
Yet, our federal government failed its only mandatory constitutional function of providing national defense. The sequence of events shows three different intelligence and law enforcement agencies were warned of the older brother's "radical" Islamic leanings.
Russian intelligence alerted the FBI in 2011; the CIA was subsequently warned by Russian officials; and the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged the Tamerlan Tsarnaev's name on a confidential watch list.
So, as I engage folks who want more power given to the federal government through spending and regulation and who prioritize the social security of our nation while destroying our national security, I cringe knowing the very foundation of this constitutional republic is being destroyed.
There's disgust because of the monumental distrust.
Robin Smith served as chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party from 2007 to 2009. She is a partner in the Smith, Waterhouse Strategies business development and strategic planning firm.