Does Government Have Too Much Power? It Depends On Whose Ox Is Being Gored.

Posted on September 26, 2013


Gallop has done an interesting poll recently on the question of whether the government has too much power. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by the results; yet I am disturbed by what the results tell us about the American electorate. (Hat Tip due Bruce McQuain at Questions and Observations.)

As you would expect, the number of Americans who believe the federal government has too much power is growing.

Trend: Americans' Perceptions of Governmental Power

I find it interesting that it has only been since 2005 that a majority of Americans showed concern for the power of the government and then only by a few percentage points until this latest poll when the number jumped to 60%. But, where it really gets interesting is when the results are shown by political viewpoint.

Do you think the federal government today -- [ROTATED: has too much power, has about the right amount of power, or has too little power]? Views by party

Looking at the left side of the above graph (Bush years), we see that more Democrats and Independents thought government had too much power than Republicans did. Thee gap is about 10 percentage points. But, when we get into the Obama years, it is the Republicans and the Independents that think government has too much power, while the Democrats are not so concerned. so, it does matter whose Ox is being gored. But, look at the gap. It’s over 40% between Republicans and Democrats and nearly 30 percentage points difference between Independents and Democrats. Yet, in spite of the huge gap, Obama was reelected in 2012. You will have to decide for yourself why that happened. My opinion is that many Republicans and Independents have such a low opinion of politicians that they just stayed home and didn’t vote. I blame the Good Old Pissants (GOP).

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

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