By CASEY HARPER
THE CENTER SQUARE SENIOR REPORTER
(The Center Square) — Newly released polling data shows that a majority of Americans say the federal government has too much power.
Gallup released the poll Wednesday, which showed that 54% of Americans said the federal government is “too powerful.” The survey found 39% said the federal government has the right amount of power while only 6% said it has too little.
In 2005, the percentage of Americans who said the federal government had too much power crossed 50% and has not dipped back down. Sometimes that number has topped 60%.
“Currently, 74% of Republicans, 32% of Democrats and 54% of independents believe the federal government has too much power,” Gallup said.
The poll also found that 53% of those surveyed said the government is “doing too many things to solve the nation’s problems” while 43% said the government should be doing more.
Since Gallup began tracking the data, Americans have usually favored less government action, not more.
“There have been only three instances since 1992 in which more Americans have called for the government to do more than to do less,” Gallup said. “These were in early 1993, after Bill Clinton took office following his victory over the incumbent George H.W. Bush in an election focused on economic issues; in October 2001, weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks; and in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
When it comes to business regulation, Americans say the government is too involved.
“Twice as many Americans believe the government regulates business too much (46%) rather than too little (23%), and 29% say there is the right amount of regulation,” Gallup said. “For the past two years – the first two of Biden’s administration – the percentage of Americans saying there is too much regulation has exceeded the percentages measured in 2018-2020, the last three years of Trump’s administration. Similarly, more Americans thought there was too much business regulation under Barack Obama between 2009 and 2016 than under George W. Bush between 2001 and 2008.”
Casey Harper works at The Center Square’s Washington, D.C., bureau.