The federal government ranks lower than state and local governments in public esteem, according to a poll released by a bipartisan federal advisory commission.
The survey by the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations also found that two-thirds of the 1,044 Americans polled believe the federal government wastes the most tax money, although the percentage of Americans choosing the federal income tax as the worst tax declined to the lowest level in nine years.
The poll conducted June 6-14 by the Gallup Organization of Princeton, N.J., is based on personal interviews with men and women 18 years and older. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.
Asked which people running government they have the most trust and confidence in, 37 percent of those responding chose local government officials, 22 percent chose state and only 19 percent chose federal. The rest said they did not know or did not answer the question.
On the issue of governmental waste, 8 percent said local government wastes the most tax money, 14 percent named the state government and 66 percent the federal government.
Forty-six percent also said the federal government has too much power over the activities of state and local governments, while 37 percent think it has the right amount of power and 7 percent said it has too little power.
Asked whether the federal income tax, the state income tax, the state sales tax or local property tax was the least fair, more of those responding chose the federal income tax. However, the percentage choosing the federal tax declined by 7 percent to 30 percent since last year. The last time the figure was as low was in 1978.
In comparison, those citing the state income tax as the worst tax rose to 12 percent from 8 percent since last year. Those choosing the state sales tax increased to 21 percent from 17 percent, while the percentage citing the local property tax declined from 28 percent to 24 percent.