If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What America Thinks: Back Off, Feds!

“Let the government handle it” is a common sentiment, but how do American really feel about the federal government these days? We decided to find out what America thinks.

For starters, most Americans feel the federal government plays too big a role in their lives and think, generally speaking, that there is too much government power and too little individual freedom. The freedoms granted in the Bill of Rights, such as the freedom of religion, free speech, the press and the right to bear arms are supremely important to voters, but the majority believes the federal government is a threat to those rights rather than the protector it should be. A plurality of 46%, for example, feels the government discriminates against people of religious faith.

Just 19% of voters trust the government to do the right thing all or most of the time. They don’t believe the feds will enforce new gun laws fairly and already think the IRS plays favorites when it comes to tax laws. Perhaps worst of all, 36% of voters say they actually fear the federal government.

Americans don’t believe the federal government of today is at all what the Founding Fathers had in mind. One of the key concepts in the Declaration of Independence is that “governments derive their only just powers from the consent of the governed.” Few Americans believe the U.S. government today has that consent.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.