Trust in the Government Drops but Agency Reputations Improve

December 16, 2015

A recent article indicates that only a fifth of Americans currently trust the federal government or think it is well run, a new low, according to a major new poll released on November 23, 2015. As many as 55 percent said that “ordinary Americans” could do a better job than the government at solving national problems, the Pew Research Center found by interviewing 6,000 respondents from Aug. 27-Oct. 4.

“A year ahead of the presidential election, the American public is deeply cynical about government, politics and the nation’s elected leaders in a way that has become quite familiar,” the analysts wrote in the first such poll on government performance since 2010. The public is critical of how the government handles issues of immigration and poverty. But Americans also favor and approve of the government’s role in addressing issues ranging from terrorism and disaster response to education and the environment.

Asked whether they had a favorable view of individual federal agencies, respondents in the highest numbers approved, in rank order, of the Postal Service (84 percent), the National Park Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NASA and the FBI.

Least favored agencies, from the bottom up, were the Veterans Affairs Department (39 percent), the Internal Revenue Service, the Education Department, the Justice Department and the Food and Drug Administration.

The Social Security Administration is ninth place out of the seventeen agencies represented, with 55 percent of those polled having a favorable impression.  This is well-under the Postal Service’s 84 percent favorable rank, but significantly above the VA.

For the full article and a bar graph, go here:


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