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Rasmussen poll: Just 7% think government employees work hardest

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The polling firm Rasmussen’s latest survey results are certain to give federal employees heartburn. Only 7 percent of the 1,000 adults surveyed by phone last week said they think government employees work harder than private sector workers. A whopping 70 percent felt private sector employees worked harder.

The numbers don’t improve a great deal even when government workers’ responses are isolated. About 17 percent of government employees felt they worked hardest, and 44 percent thought private sector workers were more diligent.

The survey questions just asked about generic government workers, not specifying federal, state or local employees.

Rasmussen found that 56 percent of respondents felt the average government workers earned more than private sector employees, though that’s down slightly from the 61 percent who felt that way a year ago. And there’s a sizeable difference of opinion on that question: two-thirds of private sector workers felt government employees earned more. But only one-third of government employees thought they got the better end of the deal.

Rasmussen also released a survey March 15 that found 26 percent of adults felt that laying off 100,000 federal employees would help the economy, and 49 percent thought it would hurt matters. 66 percent of likely voters favored a plan to cut the federal payroll by 10 percent over the next decade.

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  1. James Pygid Says:
    April 1st, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    The Senate sub-committee on travel of Federal employees is recommending a draft bill containing several innovations sure to alarm Federal employees and unions. Noting that total expenses for TDY, per diem, and other travel costs exceeded $1 billion in 2010 – for the first time – the new bill is intended to discourage travel as much as possible.

    Per diem. Because Feds need to eat, no matter where they are, the bill proposes to pay for marginal expenses in this area. That is, the full per diem rate will, in all cases, be offset by $30 per day. This change alone is expected to reduce expenditures by approximately $75 million annually.

    Lodging. Whenever possible, employees will be required to share rooms. To have a single room approved, the employee and his supervisor will be required to sign a form, certifying non-availability of other Federal employees.

    In what will certainly be one of the most controversial moves, for any TDY where the trip is known at least 10 days in advance, and the trip is to an urban area of at least 100,000 population, the local travel office will be required to make arrangements for the employee to stay at available beds in hospitals, homeless shelters, or local jails (not prisons). As with the single-room waiver, a certification as to non-availability will be possible in justifiable circumstances.

    Use of taxis and rental cars will still be possible, but only in extraordinary, limited situations, such as in remote areas or after darkness. The details of this provision have yet to be worked out.

    Readers not pleased with the above are encouraged to note today’s date (April 1).

  2. Susan See Says:
    April 1st, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Is this a joke?

  3. Mike Says:
    April 1st, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    James, now that was FUNNY!!

    In regards to the survey, I believe it is without merit. How many of the people surveyed have sufficeint knowledge to logically answer the question?

    The question about laying off Federal Employees and the impact to the economy is plain stupid. Let’s see, unemployment is already high, congress passes the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (furthering the defecit) to boost employment and improve the economy, will adding 100,000 more people to unemployment be smart? DUH, NO!

    To really improve efficiency and reduce costs of the Government Politicians need to keep their fingers out of theintricities of how things get done and concentrate on the big picture like they should be. They keep passing these laws that add these level of red tape and difficulty that really takes more employees to properly manage then scream fould when agencies budgets increase.

    Example – Small Business requirements in Federal Procurement. We have Service Disabled Veteran Owened, Veteran Owned, Womand Owned, Small Disadvantaged Business, Historically Underutilized Small Business (HUBZone), and a few others. EACH of them come with their own detailed standards and requirements to be qualified and their use. Now significantly cut the staff at the Small Business Administration so effective oversight can not be attained and then publicly slam the SBA and other agencies because companies are successfully manipulating their qualifications and beating the system.

    Want to cut costs congress, pass the appropriations bills BEFORE the fiscal year starts and outlaw these Continuing Resolutions. Private companies would go out of business if they tried to operate in this manner.

    Unfortunately for me as a federal employee, the general public is rating our performance based on the lack of effective leadership and poor performance by our political leaders.

  4. James Pygid Says:
    April 2nd, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Seriously, you have one group of about 3 million employees (feds) dong all sorts of jobs in many different places, and you’ve got another group (non-feds) of many millions who are also doing all sorts of jobs in many different places.

    Now, given the above, you ask a person which group works harder! The stupidity of such a question raises the level of all-time stupidity to a new high. It’s like asking whether people living west of the Mississippi are taller than people living east of the Mississippi.

  5. readme Says:
    April 2nd, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    I retired because for over 30 years I was working hard (efficient, effective and cost conscious)but had no effect on peers, supervisors, managers, area directors and up. It was disgusting people promoted who know nothing, lazy and indifferent, but good suck ups to management or they belong to the same skin color or bilingual. I was very frank to say what it is, was my only sin. My only sadness when I retired was that the public are subtly shortchanged, processes were done multiple times because they were not done or not done right, costly mistakes were made to the extent of a suspicious fraud, software are so bad (limited capability and no built in to alert for overpayments), and if you are a good knowledgeable worker, you do all the clean up. That is why the taxpayers who shoulder our salaries hate federal workers. Remove 30% of federal workers (base on performance and production statistics) and the government would still function and achieve its goals.

  6. Carlos Says:
    April 3rd, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Well I will gladly trade a day work with one of these pollsters. Besides they have same opportunities for federal employment. So come on down!

    The pay is better in fed civilian vs the private sector? Seriously…

  7. Tom Says:
    April 4th, 2011 at 12:36 pm


    Over the months reading the WSJ, Wahington Post, and US Today, I have yet to see a single statement in any article that addresses the “center-of-gravity” that impacts public vs. private sector employment; i.e., if you are a public employee, and as many private sector colleagues has thrown in my face, “you will never make the big money!” In my 32 year career, I could not hope to remember the number of times that statement was thrown in my face, even by family members! The opportunity “to make the big money” is a benefit worthy of being considered as part, or not part, of every employee’s career in this great country. When I eletcted to start my public service career after graduating from engineering school, at my own volition, I gave up that opportunity to make the big money with the understanding and trade-off of a guaranteed retirement. Now the hue and cry is that public sector benefits are inappropriate. To those people who feel that public sector beneifts are too high, do not ever, ever “be out of integrity” and throw it into my face, “that I will never make the big money!!”

    An embittered public service employee!

  8. SFOR Survivor Says:
    April 4th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    These polls are absurd. Obviously, the public has no clue as to what Feds really do, so I propose a Fed Reality Show! Our career is military intelligence, so we’ll be joining our troops in scenic Afghanistan. We’ll dodge camel do-do and small arms fire on our way to our windowless workplace. Our day begins at 0500, where we’ll indulge in a yummy, all-you-can-eat MRE buffet. Then it’s on to the cheery workplace, chock full of military who hate civilians. After enduring a morning of scorn and disrespect it’s time for lunch. Again, fresh food is optional. More toiling away ’till 6 pm, quittin’ time. Oh sorry, I forgot to mention it’s a 12-hour, 6 days a week job. On your one day off you can catch up on your laundry! If this sounds like a job you would like to experience, please hook up with OPM Jobs, and good luck!

  9. Unc G Says:
    April 9th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    People can be very petty and easily manipulated by fear, jealousy, rumors, anecdotal stories, propaganda, and pseudo-free market rhetoric. The best thing you can do as a public employee is rise above and provide the best service you can. Ask not what a public opinion poll can do for public employees, ask what you can do in your daily job to raise public opinion.