In this Gallup poll, 72% of Americans say “Big Government” is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future—a 50-year high—than big business or big labor. The breakdown by political party identification looks like this: 92% of Republicans, 71% of Independents, and 56% of Democrats agree that Big Government is the greatest threat. What is clear is that Republicans and Independents want a “smaller government.” But when Republicans continue to support legislation that expands government, such as the Ryan-Murray budget, there is no clear distinction between any party. It’s time for Republicans to get a backbone and stand-up for the smaller government voters demand. Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones writes:
Americans have consistently viewed big government as a greater threat to the United States than either big business or big labor, but never more than they do now. That may be partly a reaction to an administration that favors the use of government to solve problems. Also, the revelation of widespread government monitoring of U.S. Internet activity may be a factor in raising Americans’ concern about the government. The threat of big business may seem diminished now, during a relatively calm period for big business, with rising stock values and relatively few major corporate scandals such as occurred in the early 2000s. Also, the labor movement is far less influential in U.S. policy today than in the past, including in 1965, when Gallup first asked the question.
In the future, Americans likely will continue to view big government as the greatest threat of the three, partly because of Republicans’ reluctance to rely on government to solve problems, and because Democrats and independents are also inclined to view big government as a greater threat than big business or big labor. But the percentage of Americans viewing big government as the greatest threat will also likely to continue to vary, in response to current conditions in the political and business environments.