Americans Don’t Like the Federal Government…

…so why do we keep giving it more money and power? Scott Rasmussen asked 1,000 Americans a simple question, but one that I don’t recall seeing polled before: do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the federal government? (The question included “somewhat” and “very” options.) The result was 35% favorable, and 60% unfavorable.

Therein lies one of the perennial mysteries of American politics. Most of us don’t think much of the federal government, yet, inexorably, we pay more and more of our money to it, and cede to it ever greater control over our lives. Why?

Part of the answer is that the government has established itself as an interest group in its own right, by far the largest and most powerful in the United States. The Democratic Party has become, essentially, the party of the public sector. And, while the private sector is larger than the public sector–for the time being, anyway–the public sector is, for obvious reasons, more consistently focused on government. Also, the government’s ability to dispense taxpayer largesse creates endless opportunities for cronyism, so that substantial blocks of the private sector can be co-opted.

No doubt other factors are involved as well. Whatever the reasons, at the moment it seems clear that government is firmly in the saddle.


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