Americans’ fear of big government grows


The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) crowd claims to represent 99 percent of Americans in “fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations.” It turns out that Americans are far less concerned about big business than OWS is; instead, they are fearful of big government.

A new Gallup poll shows that “Americans’ concerns about the threat of big government are near record-high levels.” The poll found that 64 percent of Americans consider “big government” to be the greatest future threat to the country, whereas only 26 percent fear “big business” and 8 percent “big labor” as the greatest threat.

Interestingly, even Democrats are becoming more concerned about big government. Today, 48 percent of Democrats polled view big government as the greatest threat, which is up from 32 percent in 2009.

While the poll didn’t address why Americans are more concerned about big government, I presume it’s related to the health care initiatives, business regulations and massive spending that continue to flow from the Obama administration and Congress.

This poll is just one snapshot of public opinion and, therefore, has limitations, but Americans are right to fear big government. While there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about big business and big labor, big government can lead to severe negative consequences for the economy and society.

For this reason, Sutherland supports the principle of limited government, and we hope you do, too.

This entry was posted in Limited Government and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • JBT

    This poll is meaningless without a clear definition of “big government”.

    If “smaller government” meant the gutting of the protections currently afforded to US citizens by the FDA, TSA, FAA, CDC, etc. how many would vote for smaller government?

    If “smaller government” meant the end of Pell Grants, student loans, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, School Lunch Programs, Food Stamps, etc. how many would vote for smaller government?

    If smaller government meant drastic cuts to the Defense Department and the nation’s self defense, how many would vote for smaller government?

  • Matthew Piccolo

    What it shows, I think, is that people fear “big government,” however they define it. Obviously we all have different ideas on what government should and should not do, but most people agree that there are a lot of things government should not do, whatever those things are for them, and they don’t want it to get too big in those ways.

    I agree, though, that the poll could be more meaningful by specifying what “big government” means.

  • JBT

    The use of vague comments and unsupported vague suppositions to defend a vague poll question seems to fit Matthew. At least you are consistent. You folks at Sutherland seem to troll the media to find articles which support your preconceived biases, and then present those articles as fact.

    What qualifies you to speak for “most people”? That sounds a bit arrogant to me.

  • Jesse Harris

    Things like SOPA/Protect IP and the NDAA are reasons why a lot of Democrats are starting to consider big government a threat. Indefinite detention of American citizens and forfeiture of online accounts and domains with no due process rankle more than just civil libertarians.

  • Pingback: Cutting through the red tape | Sutherland Daily()