Voters Want Aggressive Government Reform, Not Tinkering Around the Edges
By Charles S. Clark
April 24, 2015
Eroding confidence in government has shrunk the ranks of reinventing government “tinkerers,” providing an opening for a more-aggressive reform platform for the 2016 election, says a new polling analysis released Friday in a Brookings Institution paper.
Government reform themes likely to emerge during the election boil down to whether the next president should “cut federal programs to reduce the power of government, or maintain existing programs to deal with important problems,” wrote Paul C. Light, professor of public service at New York University. A second key question is whether to “winnow the federal agenda to a smaller set of priorities, or accept the current priorities and focus on reducing federal inefficiency.”
In a new analysis of demographic and ideological groupings, Light observed that “Americans are saying there is something wrong with how government works, though they may not know why, and the drivers are largely negative.” The current political campaigns against government now focus on incompetence, not sloth or the size of government as in the past.