So it turns out that Barack Obama is succeeding in his effort to become a transformative president in the manner of Ronald Reagan after all. Unfortunately for him, that’s because his presidency has reinforced rather than reversed Reagan’s axiom that “government isn’t the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” Think of him as a Midas in reverse.
This morning, Gallup released a new survey on the question that it has asked Americans every year since 2002: ”Do you think the federal government has too much power, has about the right amount of power or has too little power?” Hardened by almost seven years under Obama, the number who say that it has too much power maintains its record high:
The 60% recorded in this survey ties the previous high from 2013 for the question, which Gallup has asked annually since 2002. The solid majorities in 2013, 2014 and this year saying the federal government is too powerful differ significantly from the 51% Gallup measured in 2012. That poll was conducted in the days after the Democratic National Convention that helped propel Barack Obama to a re-election win that year. During President Obama’s first year in office in 2009, the percentage of Americans concerned with the power of the federal government was 51%. By his second year in office, 2010, that percentage climbed to 59%, after the federal government passed the Affordable Care Act.”
Perhaps the worst news of all for Obama, his apologists and dead-end leftists is that the groups accounting for the record high are Democrats, moderates and liberals. Conservatives, libertarians and Republicans have regularly responded that the federal government possesses too much power. ”But now,” Gallup reports, “a majority of moderates (57%), as well as independents (64%), share that view.”
To the extent that Bill Clinton’s presidency was successful, it was because of his famous admission after electoral defeats that “The era of big government is over.” Obama attempted a more hardened course, but that has only made his own presidency less successful and proved the wisdom of Clinton’s reluctant observation.