Americans' Confidence in Government Hits New Low Two-thirds think the Afghanistan war isn't worth fighting By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Mar 15, 2011 12:05 PM CDT 55 comments Comments A gas station in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) (Newser) – The economy, rising gas prices, and the Afghan war have Americans in a foul mood about their government, according to a new poll from ABC and the Washington Post. Some highlights: Only 26% are optimistic about "our system of government and how well it works," the lowest since the surveys began in 1974; about 23% are pessimistic, and a record high are "uncertain." Gas prices present a financial hardship for 71%, with 44% calling it a "serious" hardship. A record high 64% say the Afghan war isn't worth fighting, and 73% want a substantial reduction in troops over the summer. President Obama's job approval is at 51%, with 45% disapproving, figures that have been generally constant since late 2009. On the unrest in the Mideast and North Africa, 45% approve of the way Obama is handling it, and 44% disapprove. Congress' approval rating continues to be lousy: 27%.