Entering 2016, Americans Say Big Government Is Greatest Threat
As 2015 draws to a close and the presidential election year of 2016 arrives, a new Gallup survey offers an overarching theme and context for the campaign. Namely, after seven years of Barack Obama, who made it his goal to reverse Ronald Reagan’s legacy and rehabilitate Americans’ faith in big government, the public continues to identify it as the nation’s greatest threat:
Americans overwhelmingly name big government as the biggest threat to the country in the future. The 69% choosing big government is down slightly from a high of 72% in 2013, the last time Gallup asked the question, but it is still one of the highest percentages choosing big government in Gallup’s 50-year trend.”
Notably, the percentage of Americans identifying big government as the nation’s biggest threat was just 35% in 1965, when the “Great Society” onslaught of spending and regulation and administrative state growth commenced. Just as conspicuously, that percentage stood at 53% when Obama assumed office in 2009, but quickly shot upward to a record high of 72% as his own big-government agenda kicked into gear.
In addition to once again confirming Obama’s reverse-Midas touch, it demonstrates that the more that Americans get to know big government, the less we like it. That provides an important lesson to frame the upcoming 2016 race.