Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Americans overwhelmingly believe that government regulators should be banned from working for companies they regulate for at least five years. A sizable number also think companies that offer jobs to regulators should be banned from doing business with the government altogether.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 32% of American Adults feel that regulators should be forbidden entirely from working with companies they regulate, while another 42% think that ban should extend for five years. Only 10% believe there should be no ban whatsoever. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Nearly one-out-of-two adults (48%) say companies that offer jobs to regulators should be banned from doing business with the government. Just 21% disagree and oppose any such ban, while 30% are not sure.
These views are perhaps no surprise given that 51% of Americans think that when a company offers a government regulator a job, it’s a form of a bribe. Fifty-nine percent (59%) believe some companies routinely hire regulators to get favorable treatment from the government, and nearly as many (53%) think companies that regularly hire former regulators get that special treatment.
The so-called “revolving door” with people going back and forth between government and private industry jobs is common in Washington, D.C. The practice raises conflict-of-interest questions but is generally legal. The most recent high-profile case involves a Federal Communications Commission member who in January voted in favor of the merger of Comcast and NBCUniversal. Now that same commissioner has announced she is leaving the FCC to go to work for Comcast.
The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on May 20-21, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.Rasmussen subscribers can log in to read the rest of this article.
ORLimited Time Discount Offer: $12.00/6 months
Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.
We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.
Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.