FedSmith.com Readers Strongly Disapprove of Current Government

What do readers think about the performance of Congress and the president so far? Perhaps, in part, reflecting concern about proposals to reduce federal employee benefits and a pay freeze, the ratings are very low.

What do federal employees think about the performance of Congress and the president?

Apparently, not very much. About 88% of the thousands of readers who responded to a poll last week do not approve of Congressional performance so far in 2011. About 7% approve. (The totals reflect those that “approve” and “strongly approve” as well as those that “disapprove” or “strongly disapprove.”)

President Obama did fare better although, admittedly, the bar to exceed the approval rate for Congress was quite low. He received a disapproval rating of about 67% and an approval of about 28%. Particularly with regard to readers’ opinions of the president, there is a strong disconnect between those who approve and those who disapprove. Comments ranged from “One of the best we have ever had” to “Worst president ever. Absolutely no leadership.”

For comparison purposes, a Rasmussen poll posted on April 24 showed that 23% strongly approve and thirty-nine percent (39%) strongly disapprove of his performance. Overall, 52% disapproved of the president’s performance and 48% at least somewhat approve of his performance so the rating from the federal workforce taking the FedSmith survey was more negative than the public at large.

As reflected in the statistics, most of the comments for both the president and Congress were negative rather than positive.

In effect, those that thought the election of President Obama would lead to a more unified nation will be disappointed as the approval rate in national polls as well as this one by FedSmith readers reflects a dramatic drop since his inauguration.

And, again, reflecting a similar trend in national polls, Donald Trump is the leading candidate for the Republican nomination for president (He is second behind “undecided” which had a rating of 27.3% compared to Trump’s rating of 13.6%.)  Most political pundits and analysts have concluded that his current rating is, in large part, due to name recognition more than anything else so we can anticipate significant changes in this list as we get closer to the election and debates are held between the candidates.

In a recent poll reported by USAToday, Donald Trump tied Mike Huckabee as the leader for the Republican nomination with both men receiving 16% of the preference from those who were polled.

So, reach your own conclusions. Here is how your colleagues in the federal community responded to our latest survey.

How do you rate President Obama’s job performance?

Approve 21.5%
Disapprove 17.2%
Strongly Approve 6.2%
Strongly Disapprove 49.7%
Undecided 5.4%

How do you rate the performance of Congress in 2011?

Approve 5.7%
Disapprove 27.8%
Strongly Approve 1.4%
Strongly Disapprove 60.2%
Undecided 4.9%

Who would you prefer to see run for president on the Republican ticket in 2012?

Michele Bachmann 3.0%
Haley Barbour 1.1%
Hermain Cain 1.4%
Chris Christie 5.3%
Mitch Daniels 1.5%
Newt Gingrich 3.7%
Mike Huckabee 8.4%
Sarah Palin 4.5%
Ron Paul 4.6%
Tim Pawlenty 2.1%
Mitt Romney 12.1%
Rick Santorum 1.1%
Donald Trump 13.6%
Other 10.3%
Undecided 27.3%

Which candidate received your vote in the last presidential election?

Barack Obama 38.7%
John McCain 52.5%
Other 7.5%
Not Sure 1.4%

Comments about the President’s performance:

  • Worst president ever. Absolutely no leadership.
  • The socialistic, wealth-redistribution policies (although guaranteeing
    that his wife and family may still jet set around the world) of this
    president are rapidly destroying the foundations that this country was
    created on. I hope this is the “change” that people were suckered in to
    vote for.
  • He was supposed to bring us together. He his just pushing his agenda
    which has increased the polarization of the country and it’s
  • Total disaster. The economic policies of this administration are
    destroying the small business sector and foreign policy is so convoluted
    that the nation’s allies and enemies alike can’t figure it out.
  • I wish he’d stand up more for liberal policies, but the Republicans are
    being so intransigent, that I understand the need to try and find some
  • I feel that he is not protecting federal workers who helped get him elected
  • We had 4 terms * yrs) of Republicans and it’s going to take more than 4 yrs to fix that mess.
  • The big government approach is not going to move this country to
    financial health, or serve it’s population. I do not agree that more
    government intervention is the key to resolving social and fiscal
  • I hate the idea of “shared scrifice” nobody shared my college expenses,
    no one is sharing my transportation or housing costs. I work hard: work
    extra hours went to school to better myself and my family
  • Excellent President and leader. One of the best we have ever had.
  • Slightly Approve. Although he is a little left of the middle, he is a
    moderate. I’m tired of the blame game; political nonsense; and bigotry
    (including sublime prejudice)!
  • He’s too busy campaigning and being a celebrity to focus on leading
    this country. I’m tired of hearing the same rhetoric with absolutely no
    results and unkept promises.
  • Disappointed that we are fighting wars all over the place to make the
    world safe for Big Oil. Glad Obama has tried to move us away from using
    fossil fuels.
  • He should be impeached until he proves he is a U.S. Citizen. He is destroying America from within.
  • He tried to change things too quickly and not fix the issues that were
    at hand. He should take care of reducing budget and balancing the
    budget instead of closing GITMO and the Health Care issues. He is not a
    strong Military leader and we can see that. It’s hard to back a
    military leader if they are against you to begin with…we aren’t
  • Attacking federal employees as a pre-emptive move against Republican attacks was naive, wrong-headed and just plain stupid.
  • Lacks leadership skills; out of touch with American people on important issues; fails to inspire; more interested in own agenda
  • Obama is leading, and he inherited a huge mess. I wish he would be more
    progressive on energy and the environment. The health care mess is
    really unsolved ; I am a single-payer system advocate.
  • The man does not have the best interest of the US and it’s citizens at heart.

Comments on the performance of Congress:

  • Too focused on partisan politics, their own self-interests, and failing
    to address the REALLY BIG issues – jobs, defense spending, 2 1/2 wars,
  • They want to tear up the pay structure of federal employees when there
    is a perfectly functional system in place. Just because it isn’t used
    properly isn’t a reason to change it. All the talk of a new system
    isn’t any different the NSPS they just got rid of.
  • Congress had a chance to make real change and address the past fiscal
    responsibility but to date has dropped the ball. As such, the Democrats
    continue to hold our country hostage to their spend and spend ways.
  • We need term limits. Most are power and money hungry and will do
    anything to further their own interests. They need to be subject to the
    same laws as the rest of the citizens. Also, they need to do their
    job. If I neglected my job responsibilities and did not manage my
    financial affairs I would be fired and bankrupt.
  • I support the Tea Party’s philosophy. Appose the Democratic
    Party/Liberal philosophy, and I think the establishment republicans are
    the worst.
  • If you don’t do your job, then you shouldn’t get paid irregardless if you’re congress or not!
  • Not approving a budget for 2011 and coming close to a Federal shut down
    is crazy. Why are you esential if you cant get a budget approved. Why
    are you picking on the Federal Worker-Bee, they did not cause the
  • Verdict is still out. I think the Tea Partier’s are going in the right direction, I just hope it’s not too little too late.
  • Congress has not acted expediently especially in matters of the budget and Obamacare repeal.
  • They need to get over themselves and start listening to their constituents.
  • They need to get past the “R” and “D” issue and do what is right for this country.
  • The economy is in terrioble shape and our government is wasting time on
    Barry Bonds. What a joke. Also we can bail out large corporations but
    freeze the salaries of government workers and set employment standards.
    Such as, credit requirements in order to stay employed but Federal
    employees are not getting any more income and living expenses are going
    up. The concept is totally insane.
  • I understand the need to reduce the deficit. However, it’s like going
    on a diet, most people when they do a crash diet end up gaining all of
    their weight back and more. The way this Congress is slashing and
    burning everything will only cause voids that the next Congress will
    want to fill.
  • Absolutely dysfunctional. The Senate in particular has the interest of
    the party in mind and seem to forget that they should have the interest
    of the entire country in mind.
  • Strongly disapprove of House, but Senate is at least undecided and maybe Approve.

Comments on Republican candidate:

  • Too early to decide.
  • I’ve seen no one out there with any promise that fulfills my needs.
  • I think they are all terrible.
  • Get rid of Newt Gingrich, he is another John McCain but worse.
  • Too many options, too early, but Trump is a joke, and should step out NOW.
  • Would hate to see a republican president nominated in the next election.
    Republicans would reap the benefits of the actions the democratic
    administration took to get the US out of a hole caused by the previous
    republican admin. You can see this pattern throughout our history.
  • None of the above. I believe “All Republicans” are nothing but selfish
    greedy little thieves but most of all WAR Mongers! And Donald trump
    need to stick with what he know and that is acting on the Apprentice and
    continue operating the “Casino’s he own. We the Americans do not need
    another actor running the country. i.e: Ronal Reagan and George W. Bush
    and the JR.
  • My actual choice is Sarah Palin, but I’m afraid the pundits have
    convinced me that she could not win. I’d like to seem Michele Bachmann
    as Christie’s running mate (VP).
  • We need someone with economic experience and success.
  • Someone conservative. It seems like the Republican party left some of us behind as they have moved to the liberal middle.
  • It doesn’t matter really, who ever is elected will not take care of the
    american public they only take care of the rich, because they provide
    the funding and get all the favors in return
  • I’ve NEVER voted for a republican, but out of this group, Mr. Paul is the only sane candidate.
  • Why would a federal employee vote republican???
  • I don’t care which Republican runs against the president. None of them cares about me, Mrs. Middle Class.
  • No one on the ticket is formiable to take on the sitting president at this time.
  • The Republican Party does not have a credible candidate.
  • Mitch Daniels is the most logical, common sense politician out there and
    could beat Obama in a debate with sheer facts and truths.
  • I do not know who some of these people are.
  • I will vote for Obama in the next election. I never thought I would vote for a Democrat!
  • In the current atmosphere I would never vote for a Republican. If a few
    (especially Bachmann, Palin, Trump) of the above were elected we would
    become the laughing stock of the world. That they are even on the list
    stuns me. If the republicans take over, this country will undergo a
    radical makeover and what we are and have been will cease to exist.
  • Anyone with Net Worth of less than $500,000.
  • Since Obama won’t be serious about debt reduction, I’ll have to be for whoever runs who will deal with it.
  • I will say that it seems to be a millionaire or better that becomes
    President. I believe THAT is a problem. They are not in touch with the
    common middle class working family, not to mention much else in the area
    of the simple American hardworking $30-$90,000 per year income.
  • I don’t want an Elite, nor a non-Christian. Needs to see that they are
    already doing what they say they are going to do as I am tired of being
    lied to. Want no flip flops–not even one.
  • None of these are good for the country
  • Who cares? Obama will be re-elected

Our thanks to all readers who took the time to participate in our latest survey and a special thanks to the thousands of readers who took the time to send in their written views as well as voting in this survey.