While much has been made over the past year that America has become a more liberal country, and that Americans are more prepared than they were in the past to accept government intervention where it had not been accepted before, the evidence keeps piling up to show that in fact, Americans still strongly believe in the virtues of small government:
Americans are more likely today than in the recent past to believe that government is taking on too much responsibility for solving the nation’s problems and is over-regulating business. New Gallup data show that 57% of Americans say the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to businesses and individuals, and 45% say there is too much government regulation of business. Both reflect the highest such readings in more than a decade.
These two measures are based on questions Gallup has asked each September since 2001, and intermittently before that. The 57% level of public concern about big government in this survey is, among other things, coincident with an extensively increased government involvement in the economy, and the extensive focus on a large-scale government effort to reform healthcare that was underway as this survey was being conducted.
Forty-five percent of Americans say there is too much regulation of business, while 27% say the amount of regulation is about right and 24% say there is too little regulation.
And people wonder why Republicans wish the 2010 midterm elections could be held today. So much for the “liberal moment” the country is supposedly experiencing.
I wonder if the White House will, at some point, take note of all of this. The Administration continues to think that the country will embrace Big Government. The numbers suggest otherwise.