CarriageTowneNews.com, Kingston, NH

Community News Network

June 17, 2013

When trust in Uncle Sam takes a beating, workers are bruised

WASHINGTON — Uncle Sam's reputation has taken a beating lately, and it's his staff that will feel the pain.

The recent spate of controversies - revelations about the massive collection of electronic data by the National Security Agency, the Internal Revenue Service's political targeting and conference scandals, and the seizure of Associated Press telephone records - undermines confidence in government.

That can't be good for those who make the government work.

The sad thing is these scandals represent only a small part of what government does. But they are high-profile items that can adversely shape public opinion. With budget cuts and furloughs, the job of federal employees is tough enough without the added burden these issues bring.

A Pew Research poll found trust in government near historic lows in January, well before these scandals broke. Almost three-fourths of those surveyed said that they can "trust the government only some of the time or never. Majorities across all partisan and demographic groups express little or no trust in government."

Gallup released a poll in late May, before the NSA revelations, indicating 54 percent of those surveyed said the federal government has too much power.

Meanwhile, confidence in the IRS has taken a big hit.

There's no way the view of government is going to improve with these developments getting all the ink and airtime.

Here's one bit of cold comfort: In a poll released Thursday, only 10 percent of those surveyed told Gallup they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in Congress. The federal workforce can't rate much lower than that.

We asked a variety of federal employees and others how these controversies affect the public's perception of the workforce and the workers' morale. Here is some of what they said:

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Obituaries
  • Elwood (Al) Shaw, 93

    Meredith, NH — Elwood (Al) Shaw, 93, of Center Harbor, passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 30, 2014, at Forestview Manor in Meredith. He was the beloved husband of the late Greta L. (Sykes) Shaw, to whom he was married for 62 years.

    Continued ...
    The Carriage Towne News Thu, April 17
    4 days 1 Photo
  • Jo Ann Hughes, 79

    Sandown, NH — Jo Ann (Phelps) Hughes of Sandown, New Hampshire passed away on Thursday, March 27, 2014, surrounded by all of her children at home. She was born in Little Bend Kentucky, to Beatrice (Shepherd) Phelps and John (Cat) Phelps in 1934. Jo Ann was predeceased by brothers, Marcus Phelps, Johnny Phelps, Forrest Phelps and sisters, Juanita Phelps, and Jeanette (Phelps) Vincent. She is survived by brother, Donald Quiggins of Georgia; sisters, Geneva (Phelps) Stanley of Kentucky, and Frances (Phelps) Bratcher of Tennessee who had just visited Jo Ann in September of 2013.

    Continued ...
    The Carriage Towne News Thu, April 17
    4 days 1 Photo
  • Sherry Lynn (Cookson) Scanzilo

    Raymond, NH — Sherry Lynn (Cookson) Scanzillo, 58, of Raymond, N.H., passed away Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the Elliot Hospital surrounded by her loving family after a sudden illness.

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    The Carriage Towne News Thu, April 17
    4 days 1 Photo
  • Thomas Hugh Clinton, 73

    Atkinson, NH — Tom passed away on Sunday, March 30, 2014, at Elliot Hospital in Manchester. Tom was born on October, 30, 1940, at Clover Hill Hospital in Lawrence, Mass., as the only child to Hugh Clinton and Evelyn (Forcier) Clinton. Tom graduated from Methuen High School in 195

    Continued ...
    The Carriage Towne News Thu, April 17
    4 days 1 Photo
  • Jo Ann Hughes, 79

    Sandown, NH — Jo Ann (Phelps) Hughes of Sandown, New Hampshire passed away on Thursday, March 27, 2014, surrounded by all of her children at home. She was born in Little Bend Kentucky, to Beatrice (Shepherd) Phelps and John (Cat) Phelps in 1934. Jo Ann was predeceased by brothers, Marcus Phelps, Johnny Phelps, Forrest Phelps and sisters, Juanita Phelps, and Jeanette (Phelps) Vincent. She is survived by brother, Donald Quiggins of Georgia; sisters, Geneva (Phelps) Stanley of Kentucky, and Frances (Phelps) Bratcher of Tennessee who had just visited Jo Ann in September of 2013.

    Continued ...
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    11 days

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