Over the past few years, numerous polls have asked Americans their opinions on socialism with several showing that hypothetically, young Americans increasingly prefer socialism over capitalism. However, rarely has there been a poll that has asked Americans the simple question: Is the United States actually becoming more socialist? This question is especially relevant after the pandemic, in which the U.S. government usurped vast new powers and spent trillions of dollars on wealth redistribution programs, such as three rounds of stimulus checks, exorbitant unemployment benefits, increased food stamp allotments, and Medicaid expansion.
Fortunately, we have new data on this very significant subject, which shows that a majority of Americans agree with the statement: “The U.S. is evolving into a big government socialist state.” In fact, 51 percent of Americans “agree” with the statement while only 31 percent “disagree” and 18 percent are “unsure.” Interestingly, even 42 percent of self-identified Democratic voters agree that the United States is on the road to socialism, as do 49 percent of Independents. As would be expected, a resounding 68 percent of Republican voters agree as well.
Then, voters were asked if they would be willing to pay higher taxes to support more government social welfare programs. Overall, 41 percent of Americans “somewhat disagree” or “strongly disagree.” On the other hand, only 31 percent “agree” or “strongly agree.” For whatever reason, nearly 25 percent are “not sure” if they would like to give more of their hard-earned income to Uncle Sam for more social programs. When broken down along ideological lines, we find 52 percent of Democrats claiming they are willing to fork over more in taxes for more government programs whereas only 16 percent of Republicans are willing to do the same and only 27 percent of Independents agreeing that they would willingly pay higher taxes for increased government social programs. Of course, it is easy to say to a pollster that you would agree to pay more taxes to support more government programs. However, no one is stopping these people from sending more of their money to the IRS as a donation. Perhaps these people should put their money where their mouth is.
Lastly, voters were asked if they think the federal “government should control or own key industries such as health care and energy.” Once again, party affiliation was a key determiner. Overall, 46 percent of respondents disagreed while 39 percent agreed. Among Democrats, a solid majority (55 percent) are on board with this while only 26 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Independents believe the federal government should take over the health care and energy sectors.
To me, the biggest takeaway from this poll is that a majority of all Americans believe we have already crossed the socialist Rubicon. Not that long ago, socialism was a dirty word on par with fascism. Yet, somehow, in what seems like the blink of an eye, socialism has infiltrated this nation and it seems like it isn’t going away anytime soon, at least not without a fight. In the years to come, I predict that Americans will face a foe unlike any we have dealt with heretofore: homegrown socialism that spreads like a virus and corrupts everyone and everything in its path.
PHOTO: Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Photo by Matt Johnson. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).
Chris Talgo ([email protected]) is an editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute and a researcher and editor at StoppingSocialism.com.