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IRS Is The Least Respected Federal Agency

Posted on the 24 May 2013 by Jobsanger
IRS Is The Least Respected Federal Agency The folks over at the Gallup Poll just surveyed Americans on what they thought of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It will probably come as no surprise that it is not a popular agency, but then I doubt that any agency with the mission of making sure that citizens and organizations follow the tax laws of this nation (and pay the taxes they owe). Even though most of us recognize the importance of taxes in funding the important functions of government -- it can probably safely be said that no one actually enjoys pays taxes.
The poll (conducted on May 20th and 21st of a nationwide sample of 1,016 adults -- with a 4 point margin of error) shows that the popularity of the agency is very low right now. Only 27% of the public thinks the agency is doing an excellent/good job, while a whopping 71% think the IRS is doing only a fair/poor job (29% say only fair and 42% say poor). This is a significant drop from prior surveys. In 2003, 44% of the public thought the agency was doing an excellent/good job -- and in 2009, about 40% thought they were doing an excellent/good job. That's a drop of 13% since 2009.
But, as the chart above shows, this is not necessarily the result of the recent tea bagger "scandal". Note that the popularity of the agency began to drop sharply in 2009 -- and is much more likely the result of anti-IRS propaganda put out by the teabaggers and other right-wingers since the election of President Obama (many of whom had no problem with the agency as long as this country had a white Republican president). In fact, as the chart below shows, the IRS is actually gained a bit in respectability among Democrats and Independents from 1997 to 2013 -- it is only among Republicans that the belief the agency is doing right has dropped.
IRS Is The Least Respected Federal Agency
The survey also showed the IRS is the least popular of the big federal agencies. Here is what the public thinks about the nine large federal agencies that get a lot of news coverage. The first number is the percentage that thinks the agency does an excellent/good job, and the number in parentheses is the percentage that thinks the agency does only a fair/poor job:
Center for Disease Control (CDC)...............60% (35%)
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)...............55% (39%)
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)...............42% (42%)
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)...............40% (48%)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)...............45% (53%)
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)...............46% (51%)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)...............41% (54%)
Federal Reserve Board...............33% (55%)
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)...............27% (71%)

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