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According to a new report from Gallup polling, 60 percent of Americans think the federal government has too much power. This is the highest number recorded since Gallup began asking the question in 2002, and is tied with only one other year, 2013.
This finding shouldn’t be surprising; the federal government fails at most things it attempts, and invariably makes situations worse rather than better. Examples are legion. Federal education spending has been on the rise for decades, with nothing but measurable failures to show for it. Even the apparently benign attempt to get schoolchildren to eat vegetables has backfired comically.
The area of health care is even worse. The Affordable Care Act that was supposed to improve health care while simultaneously making it cheaper has done the opposite, with premiums and deductibles both spiraling out of control. More doctors are retiring and medical students are loath to enter the profession, and the incentives to practice medicine have never been lower.
Despite the popularity of Bernie Sanders and his vision of a socialist utopia, government incompetence remains intuitive to Americans. Whenever a rhetorical symbol of frustrating ineptitude is called for, references to the DMV or the Post Office are rarely far behind.