The polling data I shared last month about confused young people was a bit of a downer, so let’s look at three different polls that are a bit more encouraging.
First, I’m glad to see that many Americans feel that government and politicians are their leading cause of daily stress.
Here’s some of what the Washington Post reported on this poll.
…much of that emotional response is completely justified. As if it weren’t enough that our politicians are actively working to harm the global economy and otherwise failing to do their jobs or even show up for work in general, they’re also stressing everyone out with the astonishing breadth and depth of their incompetence. And since high stress is linked to shorter life expectancy, they are also literally killing us with their incompetence. In other words, thanks, Obama (and everyone in Congress too).
My job is to connect the dots so that people understand that the only way to reduce stress is to make government smaller.
Our second batch of polling numbers come from Rasmussen. I’ve shared research and data on the negative impact of redistribution spending (as illustrated by this powerful chart), but I figured most Americans didn’t understand that such programs trap people in dependency.
I’m glad to read that I’m wrong. In an article entitled, “49% Believe Government Programs Increase Poverty in America,” Rasmussen reports the following.
Most Americans still believe current government anti-poverty programs have no impact on poverty in this country or actually increase it. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that a plurality (44%) of American Adults still think the government spends too much on poverty programs.
The Rasmussen folks also have this encouraging bit of public opinion research.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 67% of American Adults think there are too many in this country who are dependent on the government for financial aid, up slightly from 64% in September of last year.
Our third set of polling numbers come from the periodic Reason-Rupe poll.
I’ll share several pieces of data, but here are the numbers I find most encouraging. Apparently most people realize that pro-growth policy is the right approach, not class warfare and redistribution.
In terms of economic policies, 74 percent of Americans would like Congress to focus on policies to promote economic growth, while 20 percent favor policies to reduce income inequality.
I guess I’m also happy about these results, though I can’t help but think that there are some very confused folks in the Tea Party.
Fifty-five percent of Americans tell Reason-Rupe they have a favorable opinion of capitalism. Meanwhile, 36 percent of those surveyed, including 33 percent of independents and 26 percent of self-described Tea Party supporters, have a favorable opinion of socialism.
I don’t even think Obama’s a socialist, so these ostensibly anti-Obama folks apparently favor even more government than our statist President. Go figure.
Last but not least, I should like this result, but I’m actually disturbed since the margin is much smaller than it should be.
When asked about the size of government, 54 percent of Americans favor a smaller government providing fewer services. Forty-two percent favor a larger government providing more services.
P.S. Remember when I warned that the one downside to personal retirement accounts is that future politicians might steal the money?
Well, it’s happened again according to Reuters, this time in Russia.
Russia’s government has approved a plan to use contributions to employees’ privately-managed pension funds to plug budget holes for a second year running. The move was confirmed by Labour Minister Maxim Topilin on Tuesday in comments published on the ministry’s website. It has been heavily criticised by some officials and analysts, who say it will hurt the pensions industry and financial markets.
P.P.S. I was beginning to feel a bit more positive about the Tory-led government in the United Kingdom, particularly after reading about some well-designed welfare reform, significant corporate tax cuts, and postal service privatization.
Then I read something awful. And what could be worse than imposing a death tax on people who are still alive.
Savers could be forced to pay inheritance tax while they are still alive, under a new drive against tax avoidance planned by the Government. …Under plans put out for consultation, HM Revenue & Customs would have powers to subject people minimising inheritance tax to “accelerated payment” laws, meaning they would be forced to pay up front if officials suspect them of using new schemes to avoid tax. Experts have warned that under the rules, taxpayers will be treated as “guilty until proven innocent”. …there will be concerns that innocent people could be investigated and made to pay large sums before they are able to defend themselves. …Economists, tax experts and Tory MPs have called for reform of the tax, warning that it predominantly hits middle-class families.
Shame on David Cameron for allowing this to happen. But I’m not surprised given the government’s track record.