Bachner and Ginsberg polled staffers from the White House and Capitol Hill, career civil servants, and private lobbyists and others who work closely with government. We learn from their work and from Kyle Smith’s accompanying New York Post article that:
- The insiders failed simple multiple-choice quizzes: 65% guessing median household income is lower than $52,000 a year, four out of five underestimating the white share of the population (78%), 64% underestimating the cohort aged 25 and up with a high school diploma (85%), and 80% guessing the homeownership rate is 62% or lower (poll says 67%, but home ownership is now down to 64%).
- Like President Obama, who tells us terrorists are no more likely to kill you than your bathtub, the Washington elite thinks Islamic extremism is under control. Yet 71% of the public calls terrorism either a huge problem or a moderately big one.
- When a congressman asked, on behalf of the taxpayers, the chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to talk about how much the agency’s new headquarters would cost (an estimated $125 million), director Richard Cordray replied, “Why does that matter to you?”
- Franklin Township, NJ residents discovered in 2011 that they couldn’t send a tractor over to remove a tree that fell into a creek and caused flooding. They needed federal permission first, because the feds classified the stream as a “Class C-1 creek.” Thus flooding continued for 12 days, damaging many homes before the federal permit finally arrived.