Political spats and elections come and go, but one thing most voters still agree on is that government is not the solution to their problems. Not surprisingly, the Political Class disagrees.
Ronald Reagan said it in his first inaugural address in January 1981: “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,” and a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 60% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with the iconic president. Only 29% disagree with Reagan’s assessment, while 11% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
These sentiments are essentially unchanged since October 2008 when the federal government struggled to find ways to respond to the growing meltdown on Wall Street.
Since then, voters have made it clear that they don’t like the massive taxpayer-funded bailouts of the financial and auto industries, the $787 billion economic stimulus plan or the new national health care law. A growing number of voters want the government to do more in response to the ailing economy, but what they want is for government to shrink itself rather than expand its presence.
Yet while 69% of Mainstream voters agree that government is the problem, not the solution, 78% of the Political Class rejects that point of view.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on December 22, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
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