Despite President Reagan's efforts to turn federal programs over to the states and cities, a majority of those surveyed in a government poll this year said they get more bang for their buck from the federal government than from their state and local governments.
When asked, "From which level of government do you feel you get the most for your money -- federal, state, or local?" the survey by the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations found that 35 percent picked the federal government, 28 percent local government and 20 percent state government. The survey had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
That is a "significant shift," from last year, according to the ACIR. In the 1981 survey, 33 percent said local government was the most effective, compared with 30 percent who chose the federal government and 25 percent, state government.
The ACIR noted that this year's results are more in line with past surveys. The federal government has received the top ranking in nine of the 11 years that ACIR has conducted its poll.
This year's survey, which was based on more than 1,000 interviews in May and June by a private research group, included a number of new questions about the Reagan administration's drive to shuffle many federal programs to the states, ACIR said. Those questions revealed "an increasing divergence in opinion between white and nonwhite respondents," ACIR said.
A higher percentage of minority group members (57 percent) than whites (32 percent) said they got the most for their money from the federal government. Forty-five percent of minorities said the federal government should exercise powers more vigorously, compared with 28 percent of the whites. Thirty-seven percent of whites felt cuts in government services were necessary, while only 28 percent of minorities supported such cuts.
As in previous ACIR polls, the federal income tax was said to be the most unfair tax. The ACIR said 36 percent of those surveyed picked it as "least fair." Property taxes were next on the list of unpopular taxes.