Eye Opener: Poll: Smaller gov't still preferred
Happy Tuesday! Americans still favor less government in their everyday lives, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll released over the weekend.
Fifty eight percent of respondents favor smaller government while 38 percent prefer a larger government and more services, according to the poll. The small government preference has climbed 4 points since the last time our pollsters asked the question in June and 5 points from almost the same time a year ago.
A general preference for a small government dates back to 1992 -- as far back as Post polling goes on the question. In the first year of the Clinton administration, 55 percent of Americans wanted a smaller government, while 38 percent wanted a bigger one.
The appetite for smaller government clashes with reality however: The government hired hundreds of thousands of new employees last year, mostly at the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs. Agencies also plan to hire thousands more workers this year and the Obama administration's budget goals estimate the need for at least 100,000 more.
Track all Post-ABC polling at washingtonpost.com/polls.
Do we need a bigger or smaller or government? Where would you cut or expand? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below
• Cabinet and Staff News: White House Political Director Patrick Gaspard's head may be in the Massachusetts Senate election, but his heart is in Haiti. Several Cabinet secretaries participated in community service events on Monday to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton named Al Qaeda in Yemen a terror group a month ago. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates orders his top military aides to stop wearing fatigues at work. Office of the Director of National Intelligence Associate Director Ron Sanders leaves a proud legacy.
• Economy provides Census with cream of crop workers:
The bureau already has recruited engineers, former corporate vice presidents, college professors and radio disc jockeys to help manage the 2010 census,
• U.S. task force commander for Haitian relief says logistics remain stumbling block: So far, roughly U.S. 1,400 military troops are on the ground in Haiti, with another 5,000 personnel on ships working with helicopter crews to bring aid ashore.
• Ft. Hood inquiry urges new programs to identify violent behavior: The recommendations urge considering new clearance procedures and sensitive new policies to share medical information with commanders and supervisors so that "information regarding individuals who may commit violent acts" becomes "available to appropriate authorities."
• GAO urges changes in budgeting for national security: The proposal breaks with the current arrangement of letting departments and agencies decide how best to arrange their budgets.
• Obama to seek $1.35 billion more for Race to the Top program: The federal initiative uses the lure of grants to encourage school districts to raise standards, make better use of data to track student achievement, and take more forceful steps to intervene in failing schools.
• Education grant effort faces late opposition: Thousands of school districts in California, Ohio and other states have declined to participate, and teachers’ unions in Michigan, Minnesota and Florida have recommended that their local units not sign on to their states’ applications.
• FBI broke law for years in phone record searches: The agency illegally collected more than 2,000 U.S. telephone call records between 2002 and 2006 by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records.
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY:
• Guatemala protests arrest of 3 in Florida over passports: The three were arrested this month by immigration agents at a Federal Express office in Florida, when one of the immigrants went to pick up a package containing his newly issued Guatemalan passport.
FEDERAL HOUSING AUTHORITY:
• Souring mortgages, weak market force FHA to walk a tightrope: In many of the nation's hardest-hit housing markets, the agency backs around half of all new home loans. If it pulls back too quickly, the nascent housing recovery could fizzle, endangering the economy.
FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION:
• Warning on fake Alli: The agency on Monday warned consumers about a counterfeit version of GlaxoSmithKline's weight-loss drug.
• Crowdsourcing comes to telework: The Telework Talk blog has been set up at telework.gov for a crowdsourcing discussion about the challenges you face and the solutions you have in mind.
• Feds are left out of excise tax compromise: Federal employee groups fear that they are being left out of a health care reform compromise forged by unions and lawmakers to alleviate the effects of a proposed excise tax on insurance plans.
• NASA urged not to outsource: A key federal aerospace panel warned that the agency could run into serious safety challenges if it relies on private companies to ferry astronauts into space in the near future.
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