Americans Believe the U.S. Is Heading Toward Socialism

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

I’m old enough to remember when Bill Clinton declared that “the era of big government is over.” Many people would argue that the opposite has happened, and a new poll shows that Americans across the political divide believe that the U.S. is heading toward big-government socialism.


Tippsinsights conducted a poll in association with Issues & Insights (I&I) at the beginning of January.

“In it, we asked respondents whether they agreed or disagreed with the following simple statement: ‘The U.S. is evolving into a big government socialist state,'” writes Terry Jones at Tippinsights. “The shocking answer: By 51% to 31%, Americans agreed the U.S. is moving toward socialism.”

One-fifth of those surveyed answered that they “agree strongly” with the statement. Naturally, the most marked agreement with that statement comes from Republicans, with 68% agreeing and 18% disagreeing. But a plurality of both Democrats (42%) and independents (48%) agree with the notion that this country is sliding in a socialist direction.


The pollsters asked if those surveyed would be willing to pay more in taxes to fund social programs.

“Again, the gap was large,” Jones points out. “Among those answering, 57% said they weren’t willing to pay higher taxes for more social programs, while just 34% said they were.”

The political divide was more noticeable here, with 52% of Democrats agreeing that they would pay more in taxes to pay for social spending and 39% saying no. A whopping 78% of Republicans disagreed with the statement, compared with only 16% agreeing. Among independents, 26% admitted they were willing to pay more in taxes, while 62% said they weren’t willing.


Related: Democrats Need an ‘Era of Big Government Is Over’ Moment, but They Won’t Have One

The final question in the poll asked those surveyed to agree or disagree with the statement that “the government should control or own key industries such as health care and energy.”

Once again, a plurality overall disagreed with that statement, to the tune of 47% disagreeing and 39% agreeing. But the political divide shows up with this question, too. An overwhelming 64% of Republicans disagree with government taking over industries, compared to 26% who agree with the sentiment. Fifty-five percent of independents disagree while a third agree.

The idea that anybody supports the notion of the government taking care of any American industry is alarming. The two examples alone that Tippinsights gives represent a massive chunk of our economy.

“Consider just the two industries mentioned in the I&I/TIPP poll: health care and energy,” Jones writes. “Together, they account for roughly 25% of all U.S. GDP.”

Even if the federal government never took over the energy or healthcare sectors, we live in an age of ever-increasingly intrusive government in our lives. Witness the recent flap over the Consumer Product Safety Commission considering a ban on gas stoves. Consider how the dawn of the new year brought hundreds of billions of dollars in new tax increases. This doesn’t even take into account state and local government burdens on some Americans, often in the name of combatting “climate change.”


Bill Clinton promised us an end to big government. Unfortunately, that end is nowhere in sight.


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