As businessman Donald Trump prepares to become the nation’s 45thpresident, Americans continue to express more concern about the threat big government poses to the U.S. than big business or big labor. Two in three Americans (67%) identify big government as the country’s biggest threat. That is below the record high of 72% in 2013 but still on the higher end of the range since the mid-1960s.
Americans have consistently been more concerned about big government than big business and big labor since Gallup first asked this question in 1965. This concern peaked in 2013, the year healthcare exchanges opened under the Affordable Care Act and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed information about government spying tactics. However, concern about big government has declined slightly since.
Worry about big business spiked to a record high of 38% in 2002 after corporate scandals at Enron, WorldCom and Tyco made headlines. It rose again to 31% in 2008 and 32% in 2009 after government bailouts of banks and automotive companies during the financial crisis, as well as the revelation of Bernie Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme.
Public concern about big labor has lagged far behind big business and big government since the mid-1990s, reflecting the weakening role of labor unions in U.S. society. By contrast, in the 1960s and 1970s, Americans typically were more concerned about big labor than big business. Concern about big labor was highest in 1965, at 29%.
Even Democrats Worry About Big Government
Republicans’ choice of big government averaged 85% under Obama and 77% under Clinton, compared with 62% under Bush.
Democrats’ choice of big government averaged 48% under Obama, 51% under Bush and 52% under Clinton.
Add “fear of big government” and rightly so, to the list of reasons people voted for Trump.
Hillary’s “big government”, “big labor”, and “big war” policies would have been a guaranteed disaster for the US.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock