The study of citizens' trust in the national government has been primarily individual-level, cross-sectional analysis. In the current research, we develop a quarterly time series measure of trust in the U.S. national government from 1980 to 1997 and conduct the first multivariate time series examination of public trust in government. We find that negative perceptions of the economy, scandals associated with Congress, and increasing public concern about crime each lead to declining public trust in government. Declining trust in government in turn leads to less positive evaluations of Congress and reduced support for government action to address a range of domestic policy concerns. These results provide new evidence of the influence of public concern about crime and the centrality of Congress in understanding public evaluations of the national government and new evidence of how declining levels of trust in government may influence elections and domestic policy making.