On December 18, Gallup released its latest results from a poll conducted December 5-8. “Seventy-two percent of Americans say big government is a greater threat to the U.S. in the future than is big business or big labor, a record high in the nearly 50-year history of this question.”
I am sure it is tempting to attribute this to the government shutdown and the drama surrounding the roll out of the Affordable Care Act website. But the slope change came in 2009 (see the graph). I would have expected the concerns over big business to remain steady or increase since the financial collapse, given the sluggish recovery and the bad press that business has received (remember the Occupy movement, the debates over corporate tax avoidance and the Buffett rule, the attack on all things Bain in 2008). But the fear of big business has fallen steadily (organized labor has remained inconsequential).
Bottom line: a record percentage of Americans appear to agree with Ronald Reagan, who remarked that the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”