Despite Massive Assault by TV Pundits, Most Americans Like EPA, FDA, VA, Education Dept….and Federal Workers

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Centers for Disease Control gets high marks from Americans (photo: James Gathamy, CDC)

The government shutdown produced a tremendous amount of negativity towards Washington on the part of media pundits, and while Congress’ reputation suffered considerably from the attacks, other parts of the federal government came out unscathed.


In fact, many federal agencies and those working for them have positive or very positive ratings among Americans, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.


“Despite highly negative views of the federal government overall, the public has favorable views of many of its agencies and departments,” the Pew Research Center wrote. “Majorities have favorable opinions of 12 of 13 agencies tested – with the IRS the lone exception (44% favorable).”


The offices receiving the highest marks were the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (75% favorable), followed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (73%), the Department of Defense (72%), the Department of Veterans Affairs (68%), the Department of Homeland Security (66%), the Food and Drug Administration (65%) and the Environmental Protection Agency (62%).


Even the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for implementing the much maligned Affordable Care Act (pdf)—aka Obamacare—has a 61% favorability rating, and the thoroughly criticized National Security Agency has a 54% favorability rating.


The Department of Education, long a target of conservatives opposed to federal spending on schools, also came out okay, with a 53% favorable rating.


In addition, federal workers are viewed positively by Americans, 62% favorable v. 29% unfavorable.


Only members of Congress are looked down upon, according to the survey, which found 58% said “the political system can work fine, it’s the members of Congress that are the problem.”


The public’s overall opinion of the federal government remains low, with only 19% saying they trust it to do what is right and 12% expressing contentment with it, while 55% have frustration and 30% feel outright anger.


The survey, which polled more than 1,500 adults, was conducted right before the agreement to end the government shutdown.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Trust in Government Nears Record Low, But Most Federal Agencies Are Viewed Favorably (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press)

Only 28% of Americans Hold Favorable View of the Federal Government (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


diane 8 years ago

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