According to a December 5-8 Gallup poll, a full 72 percent of Americans say big government poses a greater threat to the United States than big business or big labor. That strong majority of Americans has good reason for concern.
Government holds a monopoly on police power. It was the federal government of the United States that put Americans of Japanese heritage into what were essentially concentration camps. Neither Warner Brothers nor U.S. Steel did that. It was the federal government of the United States that conscripted young men into the army and sent them to fight in Vietnam. Conscription was not the action of Kresge’s, Burger King, or Mattel. The draft is long gone but today it is still government, not Starbucks or Microsoft, that sends enlistees to fight in places such as Afghanistan.
As the saying goes, a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take everything you have. True to form, if one fails to pay income or property tax, the government will send men with guns to the house, garnish wages, and in some cases confiscate property. The Gap, Costco, and Walmart cannot do that, and neither can the Teamsters union or the United Auto workers.
The bigger government gets, the more incompetent it becomes. According to Gallup, concern over big government rose from 55 percent in March of 2009 to 64 percent in November 2011. Doubtless the catastrophic rollout of Obamacare, the prodigious waste of the stimulus package, and NSA spying on Americans, played a role in raising the level to the current 72 percent.
In 1965, when Gallup began posing the question, 35 percent of Americans pegged big government as the greatest threat. That rose to 65 percent in 1999-2000, and has now soared to 72 percent, the vast majority of Americans. Despite fathomless debt, stunning incompetence and waste, and blatant abuse, the federal government continues to get bigger, adding more federal agencies and mammoth entitlements such as Obamacare. As another saying has it, that can’t be good.