Americans have scaled-down expectations for their lives, and most believe the federal government hinders rather than helps them attain the “American dream,” a new national poll found Tuesday.
Still, few Americans think that cutting federal programs will improve government performance, the poll said; instead, nearly three out of four Americans believe that government “could be effective” if it had a better work force. The bureaucracy, not federal programs, was seen as government’s greatest impediment.
And while nearly two-thirds of Americans said they favor giving more responsibilities to states, more than half also said that state government, like federal authority, “impedes more than it assists,” the poll said.
“The public has not really given up on government,” pollster Peter Hart said. “When you give them a choice, they will tell you that we need better management, not necessarily smaller government or giving all the responsibility to the states.”
Hart, a Democrat, and Republican colleague Robert Teeter conducted the survey of 1,003 Americans.