Poll: Big Government, Not Big Business, Biggest Threat to Country

| by Reason Foundation

By Lucy Steigerwald

A popular libertarian critique of Occupy Wall Street, and of the left-leaning in general, is that such people often blame corporate or financial recipients of government handouts more than government its self. But according to a new poll, a majority of people see government as more of a threat to the country than business or labor. (Though the "in the future" seems interestingly and unhelpfully open-ended for the wording of the question, doesn't it?)

What is perhaps even weirder/more heartening for libertarians is that Democrats' guy is power and they're still losing faith in government as a whole, at least since a misty-eyed high in 2009.


Almost half of Democrats now say big government is the biggest threat to the nation, more than say so about big business, and far more than were concerned about big government in March 2009. The 32% of Democrats concerned about big government at that time -- shortly after President Obama took office -- was down significantly from a reading in 2006, when George W. Bush was president.

By contrast, 82% of Republicans and 64% of independents today view big government as the biggest threat, slightly higher percentages than Gallup found in 2009.

Lower percentages of Democrats, Republicans, and independents are now concerned about big business than was the case in 2009.

Reason/Rupe has noted that this lack of faith is less prominent in young people aged 18-29 (Gallup's poll was of a wide sampling of adults.) They're the only ones who are sticking by Obama in a majority. Read the rest of that poll here, and check out how libertarian is the youth of today.