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Government employees feel the danger of anti-government anger

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“Weapons violations on federal properties increased by 10 percent over the last year; threats against IRS facilities are up by 11 percent,” reports Gregg Carlstrom in the Federal Times. “And while threats are up, the level of protection at federal buildings is down. The Federal Protective Service has shrunk by 15 percent over the last seven years; hundreds of IRS buildings have no security at all.”

As it is with members of Congress, the individual tends to be viewed more favorably than the institution. A Gallup Poll last year showed that while only 20 percent of those polled had a positive impression of the federal government, 60 percent said their personal contact with a federal employee had been positive.

But at a time when bipartisanship seems to have died in Washington (along with much of the cordiality that once marked legislative debate), that is small comfort for many federal employees.

"The public sees ‘government' as Capitol Hill, the presidency and elected officials," Hannah Bowers, an analyst at the Veterans Affairs Department, told the Federal Times. "[And] the only time government workers are mentioned in the media is when one of us is caught for some sort of unethical behavior."

The recent attacks on federal offices and employees have gotten the attention of Congress.

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