Skip to comments.Gallup: Majority still says government does too much
Posted on 09/17/2012 8:36:48 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Gallup provides a good news/bad news scenario in its poll of the day. The good news is that a majority of Americans think government tries to do too much and that more should be left to the private sector. The bad news? The gap has sharply declined recently, and is now at roughly the same level as in the 2008 election:
A majority of Americans (54%) continue to believe the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses, although that is down from the record high of 61% earlier this summer. About four in 10 Americans (39%) say the government should do more to solve the nation’s problems.
Only a few times in Gallup’s 20-year history of asking this question has a higher percentage of Americans said the government should do more to solve the nation’s problems than said the government is doing too much. Two of these were in the fall of 1992 and again in early 1993, as Bill Clinton ran for and took office as president. Another was in October 2001, just after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a time when Americans were especially supportive of government and its efforts to help the nation recover from the attacks and retaliate against those who were responsible.
Americans have been most likely to say the government was attempting to do too much during the middle years of the Clinton administration, and in recent years during the Obama administration.
Here’s the graph, which shows the relative position of today’s result to the historical track:
Similarly, the poll shows a decline in the number of people who think the federal government has too much power. It’s still a majority and a solid 11-point gap at 51/40 — which is virtually identical to 2008′s 52/40. Even after the bailouts that took place after that poll result, that dropped to 50/42 in early 2009 before peaking at 59/33 for the 2010 midterms.
The partisan tracks are depressingly predictable — when one considers who was President, and when. From 2003-8, more Democrats thought the federal government had too much power, peaking at 57% in 2006-7. Republicans generally didn’t, only getting above 41% in late 2007 and into a majority in 2008. Ever since Obama’s election, the Republican response has been in the 70s, while the highest Democratic response has been 32% over the last four years.
Whither the independents, then? Gallup doesn’t provide any historical data on this demographic, but today’s result is at least somewhat salutary. Independents are far more likely to object to the amount of intervention conducted by the federal government, 62/29, far outstripping the electorate as a whole. Only 24% of Democrats now agree, while Republicans now hit 82%. The distrust of federal power still looks like a potent force in American politics, thankfully.
Pretty shocking the sharp uptick this year... likely explains a lot of the poll numbers we are seeing despite the wretched economic recovery.
So why is the Obamabastard running neck in neck with Romney?
By itself, this means nothing.
What is needed is a website that lists government agencies, organizations, and expenses, along with a description of what they do, says where cuts are advocated *just for each section*, and arguments for and against cuts in a particular section.
After a user to the website picks a particular section and reads about it possible cuts to that section, and reads the pros and cons of cutting it, then they can select by multiple choice what should be done to it.
1) Increase budget.
2) Budget remains the same.
3) Parts of its budget, and/or size and power reduced.
4) Mostly eliminated.
5) Completely eliminated as unconstitutional.
As they fill out the survey, they see a running tally on projected tax revenues, budget expenditures, and the shifting of power from the federal government to the state governments and the people.
Hopefully, someone could flesh out the entire survey in an hour. I imagine the results of the survey would be very interesting indeed.
“What is needed is a website that lists government agencies, organizations, and expenses, along with a description of what they do, says where cuts are advocated *just for each section*, and arguments for and against cuts in a particular section.”
Stellar idea, but isn’t this what we have the Congress for? Maybe this is the best way to fix out government. Fire the Congress, all of them, and have a National Pollster conduct periodic surveys and have the power to affect the changes that the people indicate are needed. No unions or businesses “buying access” to continue feeding at the public trough. But necessarily, our unemployment rate would rise dramatically. Oh, and do it for all the pension benefits too. No judges to intercede because it’s the will of the people.
Exactly, “government does too much for other people, but should do more for me.”
That just substitutes whimsical democracy for republicanism.
The big problem is that the government is so large that nobody really has a clue of what to do, other than “cut the size”, which lobbyists and bureaucrats count on, because they have all kinds of fudges to keep their little piece of the pie funded, or else “the world will come to an end!”
Even Reagan couldn’t beat that on his own, the best he could do was reduce the rate of growth.
And there actually *are* some congressmen and senators who are trying to cut back. So the way to approach things is the Tea Party way, with slowly and methodically replacing the Washington big spenders with candidates opposed to that.
Eventually a threshold is reached where they can force through cuts, *despite* the lobbyists and bureaucrats. And though, ironically, it won’t make the news, it will help a lot.
I hear what you say, but the Tea Party elected folks haven’t been able to muster up enough strength to do anything in the Boner-led House. And some of them appear to be part of the “go along to get along crowd” already, evidently because they are already enamored with the trappings of their new offices. I just don’t see any way that the Tea Party can replace enough of the entrenched RINOs to make a real difference in the time I believe we have left before America is gone!
I don’t mean to bust your bubble but that is what we have been trying to do for 30+ years. What happens is frankly a matter of selection. The politicians that get high reelection rates are the politicians who are willing to direct money(spending) to their supporters.
The politicians we want are by design men who refuses such spending, and as such stand reelection chances more comparable to the natural 50/50 rate.
The Democrats pay for their position with our money, and thus thus are far more likely to retain it. I guess you could say the underlining problem with our “democracy” as with any other is in fact the “public purse” itself.
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