How happy are US taxpayers with these 11 federal agencies?


Whether you’ve had mail gone missing or you’ve been trying to avoid financial stress with the IRS, most people interact with US federal agencies from time to time. However, their experiences are not always excellent.

A Gallup poll released in October 2022 sheds light on what consumers think of these organizations. Here are the results.

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1. FBI – 50% positive review

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is doing an excellent or good job, according to 50% of respondents. That’s an improvement from 2019 and 2021, where the agency’s approval rating fell to 44%.

According to the poll, the FBI’s approval rating is significantly different between Democrats, who offered a 79% positive rating, and Republicans, who only offered a 29% rating. The poll was conducted shortly after former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property was raided.

Other factors that may have played a role in Republican opinion include the Capitol riots that led to the arrests of hundreds of people.

2. CIA – 52% positive ratings

Investigators gave the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) an excellent or good rating of 52%. Like the FBI, the CIA saw a significant improvement from 2021, when its good or excellent rating was only 41%.

The war in Ukraine may impact some CIA opinions, but it’s certainly not as impactful as information leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden in 2013, which causes the agency’s reputation to fall to its lowest level.

3. USPS – 60% positive ratings

It’s certainly frustrating when mail is late (or packages don’t arrive at the door), but the United States Postal Service (USPS) has an overall positive rating from the average American consumer.

The Gallup poll found that 60% of people rate it as excellent or good. Since it delivers around 425.3 million pieces of mail each day, that’s quite a significant number.

In 2021, 4.5 billion people used the USPS website, or about 12 million per day, and it is one of the most visited government sites.

4. NASA – 56% positive ratings

The US space agency has a good overall rating of 56%, and that’s not a significant change from the previous year. There isn’t much information from the poll about why Americans favor the agency, but other studies do provide some insight.

For example, a YouGov/The Economist study in 2021 found that most Americans want to see the United States return to the Moon. Most people also agree with funding space exploration through the federal government.

The impressive images from the recently revealed Webb Telescope are also a solid positive, helping to get people talking and excited about space again.

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5. Department of Homeland Security – 42% positive rating

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is one that many people don’t think much of today, unlike in the years following 9/11. Yet it is essential to protect the United States. .

A key potentially impacting factor is migration to the United States at borders as well as cybersecurity issues. DHS is also responsible for port and maritime security, aviation security, and critical infrastructure protection.

Those affected in any of these areas may have a unique perception of agency.

6. CDC – 41% positive rating

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an essential agency to help keep people healthy. There’s no doubt that Americans have strong opinions about COVID-19, but when it comes to determining how well the CDC is doing, that’s only a matter of concern.

Surveys in recent years show that only half of Americans trust the CDC. Of particular concern is the way the government agency communicates information.

A Gallup poll in 2021 found that only 23% of respondents thought the CDC had a clear plan to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

7. Federal Reserve – 37% positive rating

Only 37% of people thought the Federal Reserve Board was doing a good or excellent job. This agency is tied to things like trust, spending, and consumer expectations.

Inflation is another central part of how people perceive the agency, as are fluctuations in stock markets and interest rates. US consumer confidence fell in October 2022, with many expressing concerns about the possibility of a coming recession.

8. EPA – 36% positive ratings

About 36% of respondents responded favorably to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This federal agency is responsible for protecting people and the environment from health risks and for enforcing environmental regulations.

While the poll doesn’t indicate why people have such a low approval rating for the agency, some recent concerns may have an impact on it. In some areas, such as Michigan and Mississippi, safe drinking water is a concern.

Other concerns relate to the deployment of electric vehicles, exposure to toxic chemicals and lead, and concerns related to mining and oil production in the United States.

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9. FDA – 36% positive ratings

The Gallup poll shows that only 36% of people have a positive opinion of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s one of several federal agencies tasked with helping to protect Americans, this time from food and drug issues.

Part of that worry could stem from the release of drugs related to the COVID-19 disease, often criticized for taking too long to approve innovative drugs and treatments.

Earlier this year, the FDA recalled infant formula, plunging the country into a series of shortages that affected millions of children across the country, even though few risks were discovered.

10. Ministry of Justice – 35% positive ratings

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is responsible for enforcing the law of the land, ensuring the security of the country, and taking action to protect civil rights. According to the survey, only 35% of people have a positive opinion of the Department of Justice.

The DOJ is known for prosecuting companies and people who put others at risk, such as making false statements or attempts by foreign agencies to interfere with US security.

11. IRS – 34% positive ratings

Let’s be clear – the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is easily one of the most hated organizations in the United States.

It’s not just because they’re taking money from US paychecks, but also because of seemingly confusing communications, delays, and frustratingly complex methods of filing income.

It is not surprising that only 34% of people have a positive rating for this federal agency. This is notably thanks to events such as delays in mailing refunds.

At the end of the line

The Gallup poll found that the declines seen by many of these federal agencies in 2019 and 2021 have yet to improve significantly from three years ago.

With the threats of a looming recession and high gas prices, many people are looking for ways to fight inflation instead of waiting for the government to bail them out.

Although party lines play a role in opinions, each of these agencies has a lot of work to do to get back into the public’s good graces.

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