When the government tells most of us to jump, our immediate response is "how high - and how soon?" Dragging one's feet in dealing with Uncle Sam is not advisable.
But the bureaucracy itself has become so insulated from accountability that it need not worry about timeliness.
Take drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, for example. After the massive oil spill from an offshore drilling rig in April 2010, President Barack Obama declared a moratorium on some petroleum production in the Gulf. He said he wanted to be certain offshore drilling was safe.
Finally, last May - more than a year after the spill began - Obama announced steps to increase offshore oil production. That came only after criticism he was doing little about high gasoline prices.
That was in May. It took the Interior Department until last week to announce a new auction of Gulf of Mexico leases for oil and gas production - the first such action since April 2010.
But the auction won't be held until Dec. 14. And, of course, the government is nearly tripling minimum bids from those interested in leases.
Again, Obama issued his order in May - but it will take the Interior Department more than six months to implement, in effect.
And those in government wonder why the public has lost all faith in them.