Bad News For So-Called ‘Small Government Conservatives’: The People Overwhelmingly Want More

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Bradley Devlin General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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A new report released by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a right-leaning think tank, found an upward trend in Americans who believed the government should be doing more.

The report compared results from polls conducted by Gallup, Pew Research, and CBS and concluded that a growing number of Americans favored a “big government” that provided them with “more services.”

In a 2020 Gallup poll, 54% of Americans said, “The government should do more to solve our country’s problems.” The results recorded by Gallup marked the first time in 20 years where a majority of respondents believed the government has a larger role.

The AEI report cited Pew Research and CBS surveys of U.S. adults regarding the size of government and the services it provides. A majority, 52%, of respondents said they would rather have a larger government with more services than one that is smaller with fewer services (45%), the AEI report read.

Polls have also found Americans are dissatisfied with the status of the nation’s infrastructure.

A YouGov poll conducted on March 24 found that a majority of respondents, 61%, believed infrastructure in their community was “okay,” “bad” or “terrible.” When these respondents were asked what they believed the status of the country’s infrastructure was as a whole, two-thirds answered “okay” or worse. Just 10% of respondents believed infrastructure was “great” in their communities and across the country.

The disappointment in infrastructure notwithstanding, 44%, of respondents believed that “Democratic plans to spend over $4 trillion on what they are calling COVID-19 relief and infrastructure” was too much, according to Harvard Center for American Political Studies/Harris Poll conducted in March.

This helps partly explain why President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, even though it may have a lot more than just infrastructure, has a 57% approval rating, according to a Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted April 9–12, 2021. Of the respondents, 85% of Democrats, 47% of independents, and a quarter of Republicans approved of the president’s infrastructure plan. (RELATED: Biden’s $2 Trillion Infrastructure Plan Is Fueled By Rolling Back Trump’s Corporate Tax Cuts)

A March 26-29 Morning Consult/Politico poll found that voters would be more inclined to support Biden’s infrastructure bill if individuals above a certain tax bracket paid for it.

Of the respondents, 57% said they were more likely to support Biden’s infrastructure package if it was paid for by tax revenue from people making $400,000 per year. Nearly half responded the same way if a corporate tax rate would pay for the infrastructure program.