People still donít like big government
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:02 AMNina Easton uses her latest TIME commentary to puncture the myth that President Obamaís election victory signaled a renewed enthusiasm for government overreach:
When Obama took office, conventional wisdom held that the American people, jarred by a financial crisis they were routinely told was "the worst since the Great Depression," would race into the protective arms of Washington. After all, the Federal Government had given us the New Deal in the worst of times and a patchwork of economic safety nets since. The idea is that we instinctively turn to its beneficent hand to ease the pain of hurricanes, floods, tornadoes--and recessions.
Yet in today's hard economic times, something startling began showing up in public-opinion polls: fewer people than in the past wanted Washington to step in. In the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, only 23% of respondents said they trust the government "always or most of the time"--the smallest proportion in 12 years. The percentage of voters who think government should "do more to solve problems and meet the needs of people" has dropped 5 points since Obama's first weeks in office, while that of those who think government should leave more things "to businesses" rose 8 points. The shift is especially noticeable among independent voters, a small plurality of whom wanted government to "do more" after Obama took office; now--by a margin of 17--they think government does "too much."
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