Stop lying: Four libertarian things we tell pollsters that we don't really believe

‘Government is too big’

Supposedly, six in 10 Americans believe the federal government has too much power — one percentage point from the highest level in September 2010. According to Gallup, at least half of Americans since 2005 have said the government has too much power and 32 percent believe the government has an appropriate amount of power.

Where is the proof that a majority of Americans want less government? Americans have elected two presidents who have vastly expanded the scope of government and both of them won reelection rather comfortably. We’ve see major initiatives in expanding government into education, health care, markets, and surveillance – to name just a few. President Barack Obama won his office rather convincingly twice, and whatever you make of his policies, he’s consistently preached that about the moral imperative of expanding the reach of government’s hand. Left populism is more successful than ever. It’s wholly American so claim to believe that government is too big, but increasingly citizens have a stake in keeping it that way. So when you bore down into the numbers there are few places Americans are willing to cut back power. It’s more likely that voters view government as having to much power when government is being run by someone else.

Unless, of course, you think you’re a libertarian, which is something more and more of you claim to be, according to polls. According to election results, not so much. Who knows, one day a majority of voters may believe all the idealistic things they tell pollsters about the size, scope and ineptitude of government. But the evidence doesn’t suggest that we’re even close yet.