Opinion
August 29, 2012

Mixed message on government services

Quote of the week

“Most Americans … believe the government should invest more in providing such services.”
 
    — Colleen Kelley

Editor’s Corner

The U.S. National Treasury Employees Union had Ipsos Public Affairs survey 1000 Americans about their views on government service delivery. The results tell a story. The timing isn’t surprising given this Presidential election year.

Union President Colleen Kelley noted that the results how that Americans do not have “an ‘austerity at any cost’ view of the federal budget.”  Headlines have suggested that the survey proves Americans want the government to save government services.

Maybe so, though the list of services they want speaks less to a commitment to government service delivery than a list of top-of-mind concerns.

For example, nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents believe the federal government should commit more resources and manpower to border security. Sixty-nine percent of respondents believe the federal government should commit more to food safety. And eighty-six percent believe the federal government should do more to help veterans.

There is no reporting on issues such as social assistance and Medicare.

The report notes that there is no significant difference between Republicans and Democrats on these issues.

The Union will not be happy with how public servants are perceived. Less that 50 percent knew that through a two-year pay freeze and increases in retirement contributions federal employees had contributed over $75 billion over 10 years toward deficit reduction and economic recovery.

Surveys like this have some good purpose, one supposes, although one wishes they could be more complete and therefore more meaningful.

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