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Americans Distrust CEOs, Polls Find

Two national polls found Americans distrust corporate executives.

A CBS News poll asked, “Are most corporate executives honest?” Over two-thirds of Americans responded negatively. Sixty-seven percent said most CEOs were dishonest, compared to 55 percent in 1985. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
 
Only 27 percent said most CEOs were honest, down from 32 percent in 1985.
 
“Overall assessment of the honesty of corporate executives is even worse now than it was in the midst of the Savings and Loans scandals of the 1980s,” CBSNews.com said.

A CNN/USAToday/Gallup poll found that CEOs of larger corporations ranked at the bottom of a list of people Americans trust, ahead of only HMO managers (trusted by 20 percent) and car dealers (15 percent).
 
Almost three in four Americans said CEOs could not be trusted. Seventy-three percent said, “You cannot be too careful in dealing with them,” while 23 percent said most CEOs could be trusted.
 
The CNN/USAToday/Gallup poll found that teachers were the most trusted group, with 84 percent of Americans saying they trusted educators. Teachers were followed by middle-class people (75 percent), small-business owners (75 percent) and military officers (73 percent).
 
The CBS News poll found that 71 percent said “the federal government should be doing more when it comes to regulating accounting practices.” Only 17 percent said the government was doing enough.
 
Most Americans (58 percent) think big business has too much influence on the Bush administration. “Only 39 percent of Republicans say big business has too much influence on the Bush Administration—while 74 percent of Democrats do,” CBSNews.com said.