A record high 72% of Americans think that big government is the greatest threat to the future of the United States. Only 21% name big business as the greatest threat, while 5% say big labor.
The disparate numbers, taken from a Dec. 5-8 Gallup poll, suggest that current government policies such as the Affordable Care Act and widespread computer-mining tactics by the National Security Agency are jading Americans’ attitudes toward government.
According to Gallup, Americans have always ranked big government as the leading threat to America’s future when viewed against big business and big labor. However, the degree to which Americans now consider big government a threat has grown significantly. When the poll was first taken in 1965, only 35% of Americans thought big government was the greatest threat, while big business and labor followed close behind at 29% and 17% respectively.
Since Barack Obama has been in office, an average of 64% of Americans have considered big government the greatest threat to America. Obama’s “big government index” is up substantially from George W. Bush’s administrations, which averaged with only 56% of Americans naming big government as the greatest threat.
Not surprisingly, the poll indicates that American perceptions vary relative to the political party with which they identify. 56% of Democrats, the party more readily promoting government as a solution to America’s problems, views big government as the greatest threat to America. Meanwhile 92% of Republicans, who advocate limited government, perceive big government as the greatest threat.
Americans’ diminishing worry that labor is the greatest threat to America, down from 29% in 1965 to the present 5%, demonstrates the decline of the labor movement over the last 50 years.