Hey Arne: Which Federal government agency is rated lowest?

Last week, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was racking up Pinocchios, trying to whip up some Sequester hysteria.

He said that the world will end if the Fed’s Ed budget is cut by 2% … 40,000 will lose their jobs.


His analysis was quickly debunked but, for me,  it prompted a fundamental question: how is the Dept. of Education doing?

Today, let’s look at perceptions.

Bottom line:  folks – you know, taxpayers – the Ed Dept’s  “customers” —  rate the Dept. of Education the lowest among Federal Agencies … and the agency with the sharpest decline.

A Pew Research poll reports that …

Despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars over the past couple of decades, the Department of Education gets the fewest favorability nods for Americans … only 40% give it a favorable rating … and its favorability rating is falling faster than any other agency.


The Education Dept’s low ratings aren’t that surprising since the U.S. is constantly reported to be trailing other developed nations in math, science and other basic skills … and since every politician lasers in on our need to fix public education (while protecting the sanctity of the teachers’ unions).

Want more analysis?

Second lowest rated agency is the IRS … also not surprising given its adversarial role versus citizens … imagine the IRS rating once the 16,000 new agents start enforcing the ObamaCare mandates on companies and individuals.

I was surprised to see the low rating for the Social Security Administration … especially since its primary mission is handing out money. Best hypothesis I can conjure is that the SSA is generally regarded as a hassle to deal with, and probably gets the brunt of ill-feelings when folks can’t make ends meet when on Social Security.

Initially, I was most surprised to see the comparatively high score for the oft-maligned Post Office … with an 89% favorability score, it’s 10 points higher than #3 – the Center for Disease Control.

Come to think of it, the Post Office hasn’t disappointed me often – especially given the number of transactions it handles. In fact, our local Post Office and our neighborhood mail carrier provide really good service. I guess that happens when people are customers not captives, and when there is some private enterprise competitors keeping the system somewhat on its toes.

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