Americans Fear Government, Poll Shows

By:  Raven Clabough
Americans Fear Government, Poll Shows

A recent Gallup poll reveals hat the American people have very little faith in their federal government.

The poll shows that 72 percent of the American people view the federal government as a bigger threat to the future of the country than big business or big labor, the highest percentage ever to respond in the affirmative in the 50-year history of the question.

The Gallup website reports, “Gallup has documented a steady increase in concern about big government since 2009, rising from 55 percent in March 2009 to 64 percent in November 2011 and 72 percent today. This suggests that government policies specific to the period, such as the Affordable Care Act — perhaps coupled with recent revelations of government spying tactics by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden — may be factors.”

Some Americans have always viewed big government as the greatest threat when that question was posed to them, but the degree to which they view government as a threat has fluctuated a lot during the last few decades.

In 2002, for example, Gallup notes that Americans were less likely to choose government as the biggest threat “given the rally in support for government institutions and officials after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.” 

Under Obama’s leadership, an average of 64 percent of Americans have viewed the government as the greatest threat, while 56 percent shared that sentiment under President George W. Bush’s administration. During President Clinton’s administration, 64 percent of Americans also declared big government to be the greatest threat.

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