One wonders if the president would have delivered his paean to “progressive” (i.e., big) government last week in Osawatomie had he seen these numbers from Gallup:
Americans’ concerns about the threat of big government continue to dwarf those about big business and big labor, and by an even larger margin now than in March 2009. The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high, while the 26% who say big business is down from the 32% recorded during the recession. Relatively few name big labor as the greatest threat.
Interesting how the first poll to ask this question after the Occupy rallies gained media attention shows a tapering off in distrust of big business. “In fact,” writes Elizabeth Mendes on Gallup’s web-site, “Americans’ concerns about big business have declined significantly since 2009.”
What’s also notable is the spike in those concerned about the threat of big government since Obama took office in 2009. He doesn’t seem to have rallied the American people to his vision of large and more active federal government.
Over at Hot Air, Tina Korbe finds it “notable” that “the recent rise in distrust of big government . . . has been driven by Democrats“. Sounds like a Republican candidate with the right kind of appeal, emphasizing his commitment to reducing the size of the federal government could not only rally the Republican pass and reach out to independents (64% of whom “view big government as the biggest threat”), but also pull some Democrats into his camp.
The numbers simply don’t support the kind of rhetoric the president has offered.
FROM THE COMMENTS: Zendo Deb puts the fear of big government in a larger context:
Actually it looks like fear of big government has increased since George W Bush was in office. Not surprising given the Patriot Act – which the Dems hated and complained about then reauthorized as almost the first thing Obama did.
And to be a bit more to the point, that fear of government has increased since Nixon was in office. With a downward blip after 911 because the government was going to “save us” from the evil terrorists.
That fear has increased in both good time and bad, and under both Democrats and Republicans. Maybe there is some hope for the US population.
The bigger the government gets, the more Americans fear it.