Gallup Polls: Trust in Federal Government Hits All-Time Low

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(From the Intellectual Ammunition section in Volume 18, No. 19 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)

“Americans’ trust and confidence in the federal government’s ability to solve problems internationally as well as domestically has fallen to historic lows this year.”

So reports Gallup, summarizing the results of an early September poll. Gallup has been tracking this question since 1973.

Their latest poll finds that just 49 percent of Americans have a “great deal” or “fair” amount of confidence in the federal government to handle international problems. And only 42 percent of Americans have a “great deal” or “fair” amount of confidence in the federal  government to handle issues at home.

Similarly, another September Gallup poll finds a majority — and another record number — of Americans believe the government is too powerful.

Reports Gallup: “Six in 10 Americans (60%) believe the federal government has too much power, one percentage point above the previous high recorded in September 2010. At least half of Americans since 2005 have said the government has too much power.”

All this is very good news, argues Tad DeHaven of the libertarian Cato Institute:

“Skepticism of government is as American as apple pie. The experiment that is the United States was borne out of a colonial revolution against an overbearing master. As the decades have passed, however, the federal government has steadily acquired powers that are vastly beyond what was intended by our founding Constitution. And like a frog in a pot of water that is slowly brought a boil, Americans have become acclimated to a world in which the federal government intrudes into every nook and cranny of our lives. …

“Perhaps Americans are finally realizing that rather than making us safer, constant foreign interventionism has largely succeeded in turning the American people into targets.

“And perhaps there is growing recognition that politicians cannot simply ‘create jobs’ out of thin air — the tax revenue that the federal government showers on politically favored individuals and industries necessarily comes at the expense of other entrepreneurs and other ‘job creators.’ …

“Let’s hope the circus-like atmosphere in Washington over passing a budget, raising the debt ceiling and Syria will cause even more Americans to question why so much power and money has been placed in the hands of imperfect (to put it politely) men and women.”

in Liberator Online Archives by James Harris Comments are off
About the author: James Harris

James Harris is the editor of the Liberator Online, the leading email newsletter of the liberty movement. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, and he has been a Finalist for the Mencken Awards, given by the Free Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in Support of Liberty."