Photo by Gage Skidmore

By double-digit margins, Americans prefer a smaller, less involved government over a bigger government that tries to solve problems, a new Gallup poll finds.

That, just a year after support for a more active government hit record highs as Joe Biden was elected President.

“Currently, 52% say the government is doing too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses, while 43% want the government to do more to solve the country’s problems,” Gallup finds.

That figure is a virtual reversal of what Americans believed just a year ago, before Biden-fueled inflation and supply chain breakdowns revealed the true cost of bigger government.

“In contrast, a record-high 54% of U.S. adults last year said the government should do more to solve problems,” Gallup reports.  Their 2020 polling on the question, polled each year since 1992, found 54 percent wanted a bigger government while only 41 percent believed government should back off.

“Last year marked only the second time in Gallup’s 29-year trend that at least half of Americans endorsed an active role for the government on this item. The other pro-government response came in the weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks amid heightened concern about terrorism and a surge in trust in government,” Gallup reports.

“All party groups are less likely now than a year ago to favor a more active government role, but independents’ opinions have changed the most. In 2020, 56% of independents wanted the government to do more to solve problems, compared with 38% now,” Gallup reports.

“Independents are even less inclined to want a more active government role today than they were in 2019 before the pandemic began, when 45% held that view. The same is true of Republicans, whose opinions did not show meaningful change last year,” Gallup concludes.

Last year independents preferred a larger government over a smaller one by a 56 percent to 38 percent margin.  Under Biden that has flipped, with independents now preferring a smaller government by a 57 percent to 38 percent margin.

The poll finds Democrats have become increasingly radicalized and distant from the American mainstream.  While only 15 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of independents believe government should do more, a stunning 78 percent of Democrats hold that extreme belief.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Michael Brigham has written for American Action News since the summer of 2019. His areas of expertise include foreign affairs, government, and politics, but regardless of the subject matter, he has a nose and an insatiable appetite for news. In his free time, he enjoys reading nonfiction, watching a mix of comedies and true crime documentaries, and spending time away from the swamp hiking in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

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