Public ranks pubcasting high in value per dollar

In a Roper Poll taken March 18-25, Americans ranked public TV and public radio among the services that provide the best value for the tax dollar. Only military defense of the country and the police had higher percentages of the sample calling them an “excellent value” or a “good value.” Highways, public schools, environmental protection and the court system ranked lower. The pollsters asked: “Here is a list of some different services that the government provides using tax dollars it collects from the public. Thinking of what you get for what you pay in taxes, would you read down that list and for each one tell me whether you feel you get excellent value for the dollar, or good value, or only fair value for the dollar, or poor value for the dollar?” These were the results:

Rank
Services provided with tax dollars
Percent excellent or good value

1
Military defense of the country
60

2
Police and law enforcement agencies
59

3
Public TV broadcasting
57

4
Public radio broadcasting
53

5
Medical, technological,d other research
52

6
Overseeing the safety of food products
50

7
The space program
49

8
Overseeing safety of prescription drugs
49

9
Highways, roads and bridges
45

10
Public schools
41

11
Environmental protection
41

12
Public transportation
40

13
Sponsorship of the arts
39

14
Overseeing soundness of financial institutions
35

15
The courts
33

16
International intelligence gathering
31

17
Contributions to the United Nations
30

18
Social welfare programs
28

 

“Quite frankly, I was really surprised,” said CPB researcher Janice Jones.