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Gallup: Majority says gov’t “trying to do too many things

Gallup: Majority says gov’t “trying to do too many things

35% support truly limited government, with almost as many wanting the most government they can get.

A recent Gallup poll shows that Americans are fairly evenly divided in their beliefs about the proper roll of government. When asked to rate their preference on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 meaning the respondent prefers limited government, and 5 meaning the respondent prefers a government that takes active steps to improve the lives of citizens) 35% of Americans said that they would prefer Washington take a more limited role in their daily lives.

32%, on the other hand, favor big government, and the remaining third of respondents fell somewhere in between.

Via Gallup:

Gallup has asked this question four times since 2010, and each time, Americans have divided themselves roughly into thirds favoring a more active government, a less active government, or something in between. This division is especially noteworthy because the government’s role in solving the nation’s problems has been arguably more salient in recent years during the housing crisis, financial crisis, economic recession, and passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Generally speaking, Republicans favor a smaller role for government, while Democrats are happy with expanding federal reach. One thing that Americans do seem to agree on, however, is the current level of influence policymakers in Washington have on our everyday lives:

When asked in a separate question about the government’s current activity level, 54% of Americans say the government is “trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses.” Meanwhile, 41% say the government should “do more to solve our country’s problems.”

Gallup has asked this question since 1992, including during four different presidential administrations — two Republican and two Democratic. Americans’ opinions appear to be influenced by which party is in the White House, and whether the president prefers a more active or a less active government. During the two Republican administrations, an average of 49% of Americans said the government was doing too much, compared with 55% during the two Democratic administrations.

Although these numbers haven’t seen much movement over the past four years, I still think that this poll shows that conservatives have an opportunity to move the needle with those who fall somewhere in the middle. Grabbing a few extra percentage points from people who are fed up with big government could translate into more votes for Republican candidates.

Even if Republicans do keep the House and take back the Senate in November, we will still need to build on that momentum in the build up to 2016. If we can convince voters of the destructive forces of big government by actually showing them the results of progressive policies, it will be easier for candidates and activists to make their message resonate on the national stage.


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TrooperJohnSmith | September 30, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Let’s make every member of Congress, the Executive and the Judiciary write the following, 100,000 times. By hand. On a blackboard.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Then, go do THAT.

Maybe…short of the disunion of the union…it’s time we have a “get what you want but pay for it” form of government.

Those of us who want a limited government can select that option. We will only be taxed accordingly.

Those who demand BIG GOVERNMENT can select it…for themselves only…and they can pay for it.

The less government, the better. The Founding Fathers got it right. Anything more than delineated by the Constitution is illegal since it goes against “the supreme law of the land.”

If they want more than the Constitution allows, let them change the Constitution – through amendments, as prescribed by the Constitution. No more subversion of the Constitution via regulations and czars and extraconstitutional departments and federal agencies ~

JimMtnViewCaUSA | September 30, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Living in CA, I see all the stuff about merchants forbidden to give a free bag to customers to hold their purchases. I see the rat-on-yr-neighbor laws when you overwater your lawn or wash your car.
But we still don’t have this (from the Tip Line, h/t 4fun)
Yes in Seattle they will inspect your garbage and fine you if you put too much compostable items in your landfill container.

Is gov’t too large?
Ya think?