Americans Say Government is Our Greatest Problem
Religion & Liberty Online

Americans Say Government is Our Greatest Problem

government_is_the_problem_poster-r60410fd507e74984b86adfb78cccb9fd_a3l0_8byvr_324What is the worst problem facing America? According to a recent Gallup poll, most Americans agree with former President Reagan, who said government is not a the solution, government is the problem.

An average of 16 percent of Americans in 2015 mentioned some aspect of government—including President Obama, Congress, or political conflict—as the country’s chief problem. The economy came in second with 13 percent mentioning it, while unemployment and immigration tied for third at 8 percent.

While government takes the top slot, that’s still an answer given by fewer than one in five citizens. We can’t even seem to come to a consensus about our biggest problems. Indeed, 2015 is only the second time since 2001 (2014 was the other year) that no single issue averaged 20 percent or more for the year. Rather than being focused on a single issue, there is a broad range of concerns troubling us; more than a dozen issues received 2-6 percent of the vote for worst problem.

Perhaps not surprising since this is an election year, this was the first year since 2007 in which immigration was one of the top four most frequently cited problems. Gallup notes that this is likely because mentions of healthcare dropped from 10 percent in 2014 (when Obamacare was frequently in the news) to 6 percent in 2015.

Rounding out the top 10 were five problems, each averaging 5 percent: ethical/moral decline, race relations/racism, terrorism, the federal budget deficit or debt, and education.

Six other issues received 3 percent each: poverty/hunger/homelessness, national security, gap between rich and poor, crime/violence, foreign aid, and ISIS/situation in Iraq.

What would make the top three issue in you list of America’s greatest problems.

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).