Opinions

Big Government Isn't Popular Again


The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.



Photo:

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg News

If President Biden wants to understand why his $3.5 trillion entitlement spending plan is stalled in Congress, he might look at the new poll from Gallup. Asked whether government should do more or less to solve the country’s problems, 52% of Americans said government is doing too much.

This is a reversal from last year when the Gallup headline was: “New High 54% Want Government to Solve More Problems in U.S.” That was a blip. The only other time over Gallup’s 29 years of asking this question that at least half of Americans wanted more active government was after the 9/11 terror attacks.

In any case, voters got what they said they wanted in Mr. Biden in November. In his few months in office, the President has made clear the era of Big Government is back. But now that Americans are getting a better look at what this entails—higher taxes, more regulation, more spending and inflation—they are having second thoughts. How many Americans really think that the answer to beating Covid-19 is to sic the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on American employers?

Though Gallup shows a large majority of Democrats still believe the government should do more (78%), the broader results should give the White House pause. Independents account for the greatest shift, from last year’s 56% support for a government that does more to 38% today. Senators

Joe Manchin

and

Kyrsten Sinema

speak for many in their party in their doubt about the vast expansion of government. While 37% of Democrats favor more taxes and services, 40% want to keep them where they are and 19% want lower taxes and fewer services.

If

Joe Biden’s

agenda is really as popular as the White House claims, shouldn’t these numbers be moving in the other direction?

A Biden plan to monitor cash in and out of bank accounts. Photo: EPA/Shutterstock

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