Congress' approval rating: How low can it go?

Congress' approval rating is at an all-time low.

To say that Congress is unpopular is about as surprising as saying the sun rises in the East.

But we tip our hat to Freshman Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado for doing the research that shows just how far Congress has fallen, and for pointing out that despite the excuse offered by some, this is not the way it has always been.

Ten years ago, as many as 65 percent of Americans actually liked their elected officials. But as Congress has gotten more and more dysfunctional, its popularity has fallen dramatically to today's all-time low - a nine-percent approval rating.

Even the hated IRS has an approval rating four times that!

At the height of the oil spill, the BP oil company - at 16 percent - had a higher approval rating than Congress.

So does Paris Hilton, who scores 15 percent.

Mind you, these findings came before "60 Minutes" aired the story a week ago revealing that Congress has given its members the right to use inside information not available to the public to buy and sell stocks and bonds.

Until now, Congress' response has been to ignore the criticism and concentrate on excuses, not to make the hard decisions on raising revenues and overhauling entitlement programs. But when I look at these numbers, I'm not sure how much longer that's going to work for them.

And you know what? I hope it doesn't!

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.