Most Americans believe that the federal government is now doing too much, a new poll shows.
More than 50% of respondents in the Gallup survey, released Thursday, said that the government was too involved in things that should be left to individuals or private businesses, while 43% said that the government should involve itself more in trying to fix the country’s problems.
The poll differs sharply from a similar survey released a year ago, wherein 54% of Americans said that the government was not doing enough and just 41% wanted it to be doing more. That poll, however, came before coronavirus vaccines were widely available, a time when millions of Americans faced unprecedented economic hardship and hundreds of protests over racial injustice, several of which turned violent.
The latest survey comes as Democrats in Congress try to pass a bipartisan infrastructure bill and their sweeping social spending package which would invest billions in child care, education, climate change and more by raising taxes on corporations and Americans earning over $400,000 a year.
The biggest swing in opinion came from Independents, 57% of whom said recently that the government is “trying to do too many things.” Last year, just 38% said the same, while 56% said that the government should be doing more.
There was also a large divide between Democrats and Republicans. While 18% of Democrats said this year that they thought the government was doing too much, 80% of Republicans said it was.
The poll also found that half of respondents preferred lower taxes even if that means fewer government services, while 19% said the opposite and 29% said they wanted to keep taxes and services where they are at now.
The survey was conducted from Sept. 1-17 among 1,005 American adults, and it has a margin of error of 4 points.
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