Americans Still See Government As Their Biggest Problem

Tyler Durden's picture

While the "economy in general" and "jobs" remain a close second (with the latter rising rapidly despite a plunging - and entirely useless - unemployment rate), Americans polled by Gallup still see the number 1 problem facing the US is "dissatisfation with government; poor leadership and abuse of power." Compared with a year ago, mentions of government are up slightly; but mentions of healthcare, on the other hand, have quadrupled -- from 4% in January 2013 to 16% today!



As Gallup sums up:

The issues that concern Americans at the start of 2014, and as Obama prepares to deliver the second State of the Union address of his second term, are similar to those Gallup measured in December, and not wildly different from those last January. While the top five issues today also figured prominently in January 2013, their relative positioning has shifted in ways that could affect how Obama frames his message. Concern about unemployment, while up slightly from December, is the same as it was a year ago, and both the economy and problems with government remain top issues. At the same time, concern about healthcare is up, likely resulting from issues with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.


What issues were at the bottom of the list?  Welfare, Immigration and the Wealth Gap.

Ironically, while these issues all ranked so low that they barely made the list of concerns, there are the very issues that are the focus of the current Administration.  Unfortunately, these issues are not the ones currently impeding economic progress, but they are the issues that will garner "votes" come the mid-term elections.

Source: Gallup

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Pairadimes's picture

All five of the top issues are problems with government.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

When government is absence, maybe weather, bad crop, marauding bandit is number one problem, but when government is abundance, "weather", "bad crop", "marauding bandit" is not go away, is just become useful crisis for government rally cry for citizenry to surrender individual right. EVERY PROBLEM is arise from government and improper balance of group versus individual governing. Boris is give thumb up for US Constitution as rule of law to establish balance. Please to not stomp on Constitution!

Mercury's picture

Personally I'm more concerned with opportunity than inequality but the elephant in the room is that big government makes inequality worse, a lot worse.

Today's WSJ:

Of course, Obama's solution for his new pet-issue is....

even bigger government.

In the next few months Obama will almost certainly be offering new, shiny, government funded trinkets, goodies and "free" stuff for the serfs but behind the curtain he will make it even harder for them to start their own business, by property that has a chance of appriciating or otherwise build real wealth and not have to rely on the government for handouts.

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Replace "compassion" with "control", "wealth transfer" with "theft", "help" with "coercion" and socialism is expose nakedness.

Vashta Nerada's picture

I agree.  Income inequality   should be a prime motivator for individuals to better themselves, instead it is treated like a cancer.

Papasmurf's picture

I agree.  Income inequality   should be a prime motivator for individuals to better themselves, instead it is treated like a cancer.

When income inequity arrises from graft, fraud and corruption, it is a cancer.

willwork4food's picture

Which is why we call them parasites. Some of them would make an Ebola Virus blush.

Smegley Wanxalot's picture

How can anyone have a problem with a government that only has our best (dis)interest at heart?

A Nanny Moose's picture

After a period of normalization, Amerikanz will get over it.

stant's picture

dc days are numbered. they are destroying themselves. try to stay out of the way when it falls.

maskone909's picture

tha Gub'mint came and took Muh Baybay

family guy thursday humor

Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

"It doesn't take a majority to prevail,but rather an irate,tireless minority,keen on setting brush fires of freedom in the minds of men"


Samuel Adams

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is recommend high dosage caffeine, taurine, guanine for citizen masses. WAKE UP!

CheapBastard's picture
NBC News: Hackers: still riddled with potential security issues

SmallerGovNow2's picture

All of the issues on the graph stem from problems with the size and scope of our federal government...

Saratoga's picture

Government???? Proves the citizens don't understand the system of money.

praps's picture
“Americans Still See Government As Their Biggest Problem”.


That’s because they do not understand the real problem which is that a small minority own pretty much everything and are extracting as much rent as possible from them, forcing wages down to subsistence level and destroying the middle class.  

The government tries to compensate for this by borrowing money from the 1% and distributing as entitlements.  But it take a lot of government to do this redistribution.

bh2's picture

Government does not "compensate" for inequities.  It participates in them.  Taken as a class, federal workers are the best compensated employees in the US.  8 of the 10 wealthiest counties in the US are those situated around Washington, DC. More validation of Parkinson's Law. (Which might be better described as Parkinson's Disease.)

A Nanny Moose's picture

Government does not "compensate" for inequities.  It precipitates them.


FiFY. You are welcome.

JTinHB's picture

And Los Alomos, NM, thanks to the National Laboratory with a $2.2 billion budget.

El Vaquero's picture

That problem is currently being facilitated by big government.  Regulatory capture and the best congress that money can buy will do that.  That small minority would have a much harder time doing what it is doing if it wasn't able to make rules that stack the odds in its favor. 

F.A. Hayek's picture

The problem with government and 'governing' is that it is a self-actualizing activity.

Is there a perceived healthcare problem? Issue new policies, laws and regulations. When unintended consequences ensue, find a scapegoat, get up on the pulpit and start talking 'smart reforms' and implement them. Boom - rinse/repeat. You've just ensured that no matter what you do, you've justified your existence under the guise of 'listening to the people.'

At the end of the day, what has been accomplished? Nothing. Absolutely fucking nothing. And aside from the infringement of our liberties, the waste of our resources, the trampling of our constitution, the one thing that bothers me most about the government is that it is a gigantic waste of time and energy for everyone involved.


thefirstabomb's picture

it's also impossible to trust government when they are caught lying over and over and over again.  Just leave everyone alone.  Real defensive military, courts to protect property rights, and subsidize healthcare and education.

A big shocker, they lied about Benghazi (like no one already knew that) we finally get the proof now that it is declassified

rosiescenario's picture

Putting it in simple terms, half of my work time is devoted to paying for government in one form or another.


This is really a good deal since what they return to me is worth so much more than the few hours devoted to pay their bill each day.





papaswamp's picture

Maybe its because 42% are worse off than a year ago?


Though down from mid-2013, the percentage of Americans saying they are financially better off than a year ago is nearly in line with the historical average (38%), spanning 1976-2014. On the other hand, the share of Americans saying they are financially worse off compared with a year ago is, by historical standards, high -- eight percentage points above the average.

Big Johnson's picture

BS ... If they were really committed, the revolution would have already taken place.

LetsGetPhysical's picture

The only people who DON'T think government are the problem, are the ones collecting a check from said government. 

Motorhead's picture

Just like the weather...everybody complains about it but does nothing about it.

kevinearick's picture

Jobs, Money & Property…4 Trained Monkeys

As you have learned from the Internet discussions, empire jobs, money and property have nothing to do with skill and everything to do with compliance, getting in line to join a group to jump through hoops to get a prize. And, depending upon how well your predecessors complied, and you may be expected to comply, you get to cut in line. The system is always bankrupt, and in search of economic slaves to subsidize it. It’s a prison, regulated by the inmates themselves, with prizes and punishments to confirm behavior replication.

If you follow three basic rules, you will always be successful:

Always save something, every week, even if it’s only a dollar. You want between $2-5K in your pocket at all times.

Always be on the lookout for opportunities to acquire at a deep discount relative to fiscal and monetary policy. The empire morons have all imprisoned each other, with a peer pressure, get-them-before-they-get-you mentality, operating under all kinds of false assumptions, depending upon the social event horizon. Acquiring skills is the most effective path because the herd can’t see them and most property “owners” don’t have any. Eliminate the middleman, to discount out the empire.

Don’t allow anyone or anything stop you from completing the feedback loop in steps 1 and 2. As you grow more successful, the herd in opposition will grow accordingly. That’s the point of Family Law, to recycle the prizes and the participants, to minimize the cost of operating the ponzi. Regardless of the ism, it’s a rigged political lottery. In 5000 years, most of the cultures on this planet have learned…bupkis.

Do your research before you enter a town, to learn the wage/rent distribution. As you walk through, look for the prison walls built with false assumptions, and you will be offered property at a deep discount before you get to the other side, because every economy requires circulation and the monkeys are afraid to leave their cells. If you want a rough gauge of local anxiety, visit the grocery store between 4 and 6pm. Watch how the critters react to each other and to you, and you will see the terror behind their eyes.

The easiest time to have children is during a demographic collapse, because all the inmates are desperately avoiding the noose, each other, and are locked into economic collapse. The system is quantumly self-adjusting. All you have to do is set your distance accordingly. Only your own can throw you under the bus, so employ recursive leaseholds.

In my experience, it’s just easier for everyone if you let the monkeys think that they have destroyed you upon exit. Don’t bother taking any monkeys with you. Stop when you reach a community that serves your interests. If you look, you will always find an old-timer there, waiting for you.

Don’t touch a piece of property unless you are going to increase its productivity, the ability to pay for itself, and never fail to do so. It’s not rocket science; the monkeys eliminate each other, trying to get rich quick, exploiting the property, ultimately to feed their government. It’s a whole lot easier to develop good habits slowly over time than to get rid of a bad habit hastily acquired. Life is who you hang out with; careful, the company you keep.

There is always a job, there is always money, and there is always property. Talent is that which is always in high demand and low supply, because peer pressure to exploit it grows the empire scale, until it crashes, of its own dead weight. This planet is not quite as stupid as the empire would have you believe. There are lots of critters that have watched others come and go with a bang and a bust. Learn something from them.

The dc computer control racket, built by the middle class at the behest of capital to replace labor, is replacing the middle class and capital, basic physics, but you look at it any way you want. Labor has no interest in commiserating with others, in a prison built for the purpose. Let others spy on themselves all they want. They can’t begin to know what is in your heart unless you tell them. Keep your own counsel, and move forward. Gravity will take care of the rest.

Don’t waste your time arguing with a machine.

tvdog's picture

They can’t begin to know what is in your heart unless you tell them.

Works for you.

RKDS's picture

And they're fools.  Moneyed interests control the government.  It does their bidding while paying lip service to the Peoples' interests.  Remove the facade of government and moneyed interests will rule us directly.

Dr. Engali's picture

I see the fact that most people don't know who the government is as the real problem. And I'm not talking about those ugly empty suits we get to 'vote' on every couple years.

LMAOLORI's picture




Things cannot be dumbed down any further, warn experts


I think these experts might be mistaken oh YES THEY CAN

teolawki's picture

Concerns about healthcare (i.e. Obamacare) have increased from 4% to 16%. This proves we are a nation of geniuses!

Hayabusa's picture

Look... the monkies follow rules... rules made by others who benefit most from them.  one day the stupid apes will get smarter and realize NO ONE ELSE CAN RULE THEM BY MAKING RULES.  why people follow rules made by others is a mystery to me... except for a little thing called fear.  Even ceasar in planet of the apes figured it out!  Its those who allow corrupt others to lead that are the problem... not leaders who are just in it for themselves.  Wake up... quit following... adhering to THEIR RULES THEY EXEMPT THEMSELVES FROM and kick sum asses.

squexx's picture

It's not big government so much as a certain Satanically evil, beanie wearing tribe that is behind most of the things going wrong. Their initials are A.I.P.A.C.

chinoslims's picture

good job gallup in making a line chart with all the lines different shades of greeb