Big government is the biggest threat to the United States. That’s what the majority of Americans, 69%, declared in a Gallup Poll taken in December of last year.
When given the choices of big government, big labor, and big business, the government was seen as the biggest threat to our country in the future. 88% of Republicans, 67% of Independents, and 53% of Democrats hold this view. It’s interesting to see that over half of each of these demographics agree on this point. Since 1985, Republicans have been more likely than Democrats or Independents to respond this way.
Quoting directly from the poll itself, “Results are based on telephone interviews conducted December 2-6, 2015 with a random sample of 824 adults, aged 18+, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on this sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.”
69% is down just slightly from the 2013 high of 72%, the last time Gallup polled on this issue. It’s still the second highest percentage for this answer in the 50-year span of this poll, though. Back in 1985, only 50% of those polled thought big government was the greatest threat of the three options. Back then, many more people saw labor as the big problem than see it as such currently.
That spike to 72% in 2013 may have resulted from a combination of the (disastrous) introduction of the Affordable Care Act and Edward Snowden’s release of information regarding massive government surveillance of communications.
Since Obama took office in 2009, an average of 64% of Americans see big government as the greatest threat. That’s up from 56% during George W. Bush’s time in office, but very close to the 65% average from when Bill Clinton was in office. Looking at these three presidencies, it seems fairly obvious that when Democrats are in office, people distrust government even more than when a Republican is president. I wholeheartedly agree with that.
Looking at some related polls, when asked, “Is corruption widespread throughout the government in this country, or not?”, 75% of respondents believe it is. That number has taken a staggered path up from 67% in 2007. Confidence in Congress is at a dismal 8%. 49% say the government poses an immediate threat to rights and freedoms, which is up from just 30% in 2003.
The numbers make it clear, the people neither trust nor like what the government is doing. Each election cycle I hope some good citizens will step up and try to set things right. Good luck, America.
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