A Gallup survey finds 72% of Americans give the US Post Office “good” or “excellent” marks for its service. By a wide margin, the Post Office is viewed more favorably than any other federal agency surveyed by Gallup.
The poll finding probably says more about other federal agencies than it does about the nation’s mail delivery. Fortunately for the Post Office, it is mostly immune from the machinations of the Obama administration.
In fairness to the Post Office, it does provide a pretty amazing service. For less than the cost of a candy bar, it will deliver a letter from me to just about anyone in the country within a couple days. Even in a time of emails, instant messages, and chat, that’s an impressive logistical feat. Yes, there are legacy labor costs and the service ought to be privatized. On a seismic reading of the nation’s challenges, though, postal reform would barely register.
More interesting are the low marks earned by other federal agencies, especially those in close proximity to the White House or the Obama administration. The Centers for Disease Control rate “good” or “excellent” marks from just 50% of Americans. That’s down 11 points since Obama took office. Just over a decade ago, almost 70% of Americans rated CDC as “good or excellent.”
The Veterans Administration is dead last among federal agencies, with just 29% of Americans rating it “good or excellent.” The Federal Reserve, IRS, and Secret Service are also viewed very unfavorably, with no more than 43% of Americans giving good marks to these.
NASA and the FBI are the only two other agencies to earn positive reviews from a majority of Americans. These two, no doubt, benefit from their relative independence from the administration.
As Americans, we seem to have a lot of complain about with respect to the federal government. At least we are confident our complaint letters will arrive.