Americans say government wastes 51 percent of tax dollars

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How efficiently does the federal government spend your tax dollars? It’s really more a question of inefficiency, Americans say in a new Gallup poll.

Of those surveyed, they estimate the feds waste 51 cents of every tax dollar it brings in, which ties the all-time high in 2011.

Here’s a closer look at the historical trend:

There is some good news on the local level, where people believe their money is being spent in a much more financially responsible manner.

Those surveyed said they believe state governments waste 42 cents of every dollar, while local governments waste 37 cents.

From Gallup:

Americans historically have always seen local governments as wasting the lowest proportion of each dollar, while seeing the federal government as wasting the most. This is consistent with Gallup research showing that Americans’ trust in state and local governments is significantly higher than their trust in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.

None of this should really be surprising, especially considering past examples of how taxpayer money has been spent.

For example, the Pentagon once paid $14.4 million for parts that only were worth $4.4 million. And by its own estimate, the government made about $100 billion in payments last year to people who may not have been entitled to receive them

The Gallup poll shows Republicans are more likely to take a critical view of federal government spending. The GOP is still more critical at the state and local level, but by a much smaller margin.

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