Monday, May 11, 2009

The Biggest Threat?

Big government still viewed as a greater threat than big business:

It looks like Democrats fear government when Republicans are in control and business when Democrats are in control. Independents and Republicans consistently view government as the worst threat, regardless of who is in control.

Follow the link for more.

(HT Greg Mankiw)


thinking said...

The problem with these polls is that they are essentially meaningless because the question is so vague and broad in its scope.

Of course, in theory, many people fear "big government"...but the key is when you get down to specific programs and actions.

And of course, we've had both big govt and big business in this country for a very long time...there's really no going back whether we like it or not.

How many fans of "small govt" can actually define what "small govt" would look like in a country of over 300 million people...what agencies and programs would still be in place, and which ones eliminated. I have yet to hear one "small govt" fan articulate that with any specificity.

Then there's the fact that this question sets up a straw man type of choice, as if there's this one greatest threat and it must be one of these 3 choices.

But consider this: Republicans stated in 2006 that they feared big govt the most; yet the Republicans in the White House and Congress had relentlessly expanded govt for the last 5 years or so. So Republicans who stated they disliked big govt had voted for big govt and in many cases staunchly defended the very politicians and policies that brought that about.

As a side note, while Republicans in the poll do say they view govt as the worst threat regardless of who is in charge, they do moreso when the Democrats are in charge. Both Dems and Reps tend to fear govt more when the opposite party is in charge, which is kind of what one would expect.

thinking said...

The more I think about this poll, the more I chuckle at the responses of Republicans.

All I can say is that at least the Democrats are more honest, because Republicans may say they fear big govt but do not act or vote like it.

And why is is that some Republicans/conservatives only define big govt as big spending on domestic social programs?

There was a time when conservatives would define a govt that resorts to torture as "big govt to be feared." There was a time when conservatives would deem a govt that starts an elective war as "big govt to be feared."

There's far more threat from a govt usurping so much power as to start a war of choice and torturing prisoners, than in govt spending more money on children's health care.