New poll: Majority believe government is doing too much

A new Gallup poll shows that the number of people who believe government has its hand in too many areas of American life has reached its highest point in more than a decade.

The question asked by Gallup was, “Some people think the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Others think that government should do more to solve our country's problems. Which comes closer to your own view?” Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed say government is doing too much, while 38 percent say it should do more. Five percent are undecided.

The number of people who believe government is doing too much is up sharply from early March, when 47 percent said government was doing too much and 42 percent said it should do more.

The last time the number of people who believe government is doing too much hit 57 percent was in October 1994, shortly before voters threw Democrats out of power in both the House and Senate. It continued to rise after that, hitting 60 percent in December 1995, before settling down in the later Clinton and Bush years.

Also, the number of people who say there is too much government regulation of business and industry has reached its highest point since Gallup began asking the question in 1993. In the new survey 45 percent say there's too much regulation, versus 24 percent who say there's too little and 27 percent who say there's the right amount. In a September 2008 Gallup survey, 38 percent said there was too much regulation, versus 27 percent who said there was too little and 31 percent who said there was the right amount.
 

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