Poll: 47 percent of Americans say too much government regulation

Michael Bastasch | Contributor

After a busy year for regulators, adding more than 58,000 of regulations so far this year alone, 47 percent of Americans say the government regulates too much, according to a new Gallup poll.

In contrast, only 26 percent of Americans say there’s not enough regulation of business, and 24 percent say there’s just the right amount of regulation.

Gallup noted that the economic and financial crises of 2008 and 2009 might have been expected to increase Americans’ appetite for government intervention, but that didn’t happen.

“Americans’ views that there is too much government regulation in fact began to rise in 2009, perhaps in response to the new Obama administration and new business regulation policies such as Dodd-Frank, reaching an all-time high of 50% in 2011 before settling down slightly this year to 47%,” according to Gallup.

“In fact, over the 15 times since 1993 that Gallup has asked this question, never have more than a third of Americans said there is too little regulation of business and industry.”

Among Republicans, 77 percent say there is too much regulation and only 9 percent say there aren’t enough regulations. Twelve percent of Republicans say there’s the right amount of regulation.

“Republicans’ views that there is too much regulation began to rise in 2007, and jumped significantly in 2009 after Barack Obama took office,” according to Gallup.

The increase in the “too much” viewpoint since 2008 comes largely from Republicans — most likely in response to a Democratic president and Congress.

Many independents — 46 percent — also say that the government regulates business too much, with 24 percent saying it doesn’t regulate enough and 26 percent saying it regulates at the right amount.

However, Democrats are more divided over the issue, with 25 percent of Democrats saying there’s too much regulation, 42 percent of Democrats say there is too little, and 32 percent say there’s just the right amount of government regulations of business.

“All in all, the results suggest that a call from Mitt Romney for a reduction in government regulations and red tape may strike a more responsive chord from the average American, particularly independent Americans, than a call from Obama for more regulation,” according to Gallup.

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