“The US faces a wide range of domestic challenges related to the abuse of entrusted power for private gain, which is Transparency International’s definition of corruption. Key issues include the influence of wealthy individuals over government; “pay to play” politics and the revolving doors between elected government office, for-profit companies, and professional associations; and the abuse of the US financial system by corrupt foreign kleptocrats and local elites. The current US president was elected on a promise of cleaning up American politics and making government work better for those who feel their interests have been neglected by political elites. Yet, rather than feeling better about progress in the fight against corruption over the past year, a clear majority of people in America now say that things have become worse. Nearly six in ten people now say that the level of corruption has risen in the past twelve months, up from around a third who said the same in January 2016. A new survey by Transparency International, the US Corruption Barometer 2017, was carried out in October and November 2017. It shows that the US government and some key institutions of power still have a long way to go to win back citizens’ trust. The results show:
- 44 per cent of Americans believe that corruption is pervasive in the White House, up from 36 per cent in 2016.
- Almost 7 out of 10 people believe the government is failing to fight corruption, up from half in 2016.
- Close to a third of African-Americans surveyed see the police as highly corrupt, compared to a fifth across the survey overall.
- 55 per cent gave fear of retaliation as the main reason not to report corruption, up from 31 per cent in 2016.
- 74 per cent said ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption.
- Office of the President seen as most corrupt…”