Surprise! People still hate the government

If you are just back — whether from an exotic vacation or an economical stay at home — welcome. You haven’t missed much. It won’t take long to bring you up to speed. So here it goes:

  • Congress, which was gone when you left, is still away on one of its many extended 2016 breaks. Appropriations bills (again) have not been passed, so we will have the whole CR (continuing resolution) thing to deal with to avoid a government shutdown just before the election. Despite its dismal track record, experts predict that 90 percent of all incumbents — House, Senate, Democrats or Republicans — will be reelected, as per usual.
  • If you are a white collar fed, a 1.6 percent pay raise is still on track. Congress could raise or lower it, but they probably won’t.
  • With two months to go in the cost-of-living adjustment countdown, federal-military-Social Security retirees are looking at a very, very small COLA in January. The exact amount won’t be announced until mid-October. As of today, it stands at 0.23 percent.
  • No new word on buyouts or early retirement offers.
  • After four years in the works, the phased retirement program is up and running, in some places. So far, fewer than 100 feds have applied for the part-time mentoring program. Many workers say it’s not from lack of interest, but that their agencies aren’t offering it.
  • Something else, what was it? Oh yes, the American public still hates you. Or at least has the most negative feelings toward the government of any other organization or profession. You rank even lower than lawyers and the media.

On Friday, we asked feds why, year after year, they are ranked at the bottom of barrel. He’s what a couple of them had to say:

Dear Mike,
Most Americans say they hate the government, until they need their help. The Congress is probably the most unpopular institution in the country. I think people are really talking about the Congress when they talk about government. And, the Republican-led Congress has stonewalled and frustrated government action on a number of fronts.

Their inaction shows people that government doesn’t work. Ask the people about getting help in Louisiana and see if they have a negative view of the federal government.

As a federal retiree, I am proud of my service and the service of my colleagues to the American people.” — Len

I think the way the polls are taken probably make the government come out low no matter what. While they may be glad that there is security at air ports (for other people) the do not appreciate the inconvenience it causes themselves. Could security be better? Sure, are people willing to pay for it to be better? No — see the results of Pre-check. And this is just one of the many jobs of government. In just this one area, the government will never win. Security lines are too long, or it costs too much, or it’s too inconvenient having to take off your shoes, all that is MUCH more obvious than the fact that they kept our sky’s safe by doing all this. The government will never win because most people do not look at the big picture.

The government should be doing what NEEDS to be done, even when people do not like it. It’s like parents. A parent’s job is to do the right thing, not the popular thing. Do your chores, then you will get your allowance is the same as pay your taxes, then you have a road to drive to work on, as well as an ambulance to respond to you when you have an accident on that drive.

The pollsters should break every unique service the government does down and ask about that. Compare the USPS to UPS. (USPS is a pretty good deal). Compare providing free education K-12 to colleges. (13 years of FREE school is a damn good deal). Compare providing roads and bridges to …. oops, no one else provides a service like that! (Thank you government for providing the roads … but you really need to fix intersection X, and widen road Y, and why can’t you get those stop lights coordinated?) — Elody

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

The Japanese word for carrot is “ninjin”.

Source: The Carrot Museum