A majority of Americans say the government is doing too much as it tries to fix the nation’s problems and they support a more passive approach, according to a new national poll.
Fifty-two percent of those polled in a Gallup poll released Thursday said the government was doing too many things that should be addressed by businesses and individuals, with 43% saying the government needs to do more to fix the country’s problems. This is a change from a year ago, when 54% said the government should do more and 41% disagreed.
The answers came as part of Gallup’s annual governance survey, which was conducted this year from September 1–17.
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“The shift towards a more active government role in 2020 has been seen among Democrats and Independents but not among Republicans – likely a response to the coronavirus pandemic and in particular President Donald Trump’s approach to the manage, “the Gallup statement said. . “Trump has generally opposed government efforts to slow the spread of the virus, such as face mask requirements and business and school closures.”
The big change between 2020 and 2021 has been independent voters. The percentage of independents who said the government was doing too much has dropped from 38% in 2020 to 57% this year. Republicans fell from 74% to 80% and Democrats from 13% to 18%.
Gallup noted that last year marked only the second time in 29 years that the polling body asked the question that at least half of Americans supported an active role for government. The other time came in 2001, in the weeks following the September 11 attacks, which briefly united the politically divided country as Americans rallied to the government.
The poll also shows that half of all Americans prefer fewer government services and lower taxes, while 19% said they supported higher taxes and more government services. Almost three in ten said they wanted the current balance between services and taxes to be maintained.
“In the five times Gallup has asked this question since 1993, the preference for lower taxes and fewer services has always prevailed, held either by pluralities or by majorities of Americans, peaking at 56% in 2011. “, noted Gallup. “Only 25%, in 2019, said they wanted higher taxes and more services.”
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Gallup also pointed out that 54% said the federal government had too much power, essentially unchanged from 56% who said the same thing the last time the question was asked in 2019.
Gallup surveyed 1,005 adults nationwide for the poll. The overall survey sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.