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Nobody is likely to be surprised by at the latest Pew Research Center survey that shows only 19 percent of Americans trust the federal government to do the right thing just about always or most of the time.

On the other hand, 62 percent of those polled said they had a favorable point of view of federal workers. And only one of 13 federal agencies—the Internal Revenue Service—was viewed unfavorably by the majority (51 percent) of respondents.

There was, however, a big difference between how tea party Republicans responded to the survey on one side and how non-tea party Republicans and Democrats responded on the other hand. All told, 55 percent of tea partiers are angry at the government, according to Pew. That's about double the percentage both for Republicans who aren't associated with the tea party and for Democrats.

The survey asked respondents whether they had a favorable view of 13 federal departments and other operations. For four of them—the Department of Defense, Centers for Disease Control, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Veterans Administration—tea party Republicans, other Republicans and Democrats all came within a few percentage points of each other in their perceptions, with two-thirds or more of respondents in each group saying they view these favorably.

Democrats and non-tea party Republicans were also close in their views on the Food & Drug Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Security Administration, and relatively close regarding the Justice Department and the Federal Reserve. Where they split company was in their view of the Department of Education, the Internal Revenue Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health & Human Services. In the latter case, that no doubt is at least partly because HHS is responsible for the Affordable Care Act.

However, the majority of Democrats and non-tea party Republicans view all 13 operations favorably, though that majority is a slight one among non-tea party Republicans when it comes to the Department of Education.

The majority of tea-party Republicans, on the other hand, have a negative view of six of those operations: HHS: 26 percent favorable; Justice: 28 percent; Education: 29 percent; Federal Reserve: 34 percent; Homeland Security: 39 percent; NSA: 42 percent.

[L]arge majorities of both Tea Party Republicans (82%) and non-Tea Party Republicans (65%) have unfavorable opinions of the IRS. About four-in-ten Tea Party Republicans (42%) have a very unfavorable view of the tax agency, compared with 23% of Republicans and leaners who do not agree with the Tea Party. [...]

For Democrats, there was only a 20-point gap between the top rated agency (CDC at 79%) and the lowest rated agency (NSA at 59%). For Tea Party Republicans, the gap between highest (Defense Department at 75%) and lowest (IRS at 15%) was 60 points.

In addition, since 2010, Americans have placed more blame on members of Congress than on the political system itself. In the most recent survey majorities of Democrats (64 percent), Republicans (57 percent) and independents (55 percent) say it is members of Congress, rather than the political system, that are more to blame. At the same time, 23 percent of all respondents in the current survey said they have a favorable view of Congress versus 67 percent who had a favorable view in a Pew survey in 1985.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 02:58 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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