Nationwide Poll Finds That 78% of Voters Want Government Regulation to Be Less Intrusive in Their Daily Lives 73% Think Government Regulations Are Too Complicated; 71% Believe Government Bureaucrats Make Decisions Based On Rules, Not On Common Sense

NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A new nationwide poll reveals that voters want dramatic change in how government regulations affect their lives. A whopping 78% of voters want government regulation to be less intrusive in people's daily choices in their lives and jobs. The survey found this view is held by big majorities of Americans across the partisan spectrum, with 67% of Democrats, 90% of Republicans and 78% of independents in agreement.

In addition, 73% of voters believe laws and regulations are too complicated in America today, and 71% believe that, for the most part, government bureaucrats make decisions based on rules and not on common sense.

Common Good, a nonpartisan reform group, commissioned the survey, which looked at a range of issues related to government regulation.

"The clear message is that the public wants the government to stop micromanaging their lives," said Philip K. Howard, Chair of Common Good and bestselling author of The Death of Common Sense, among other books. "It's not a question of regulation vs. deregulation. It's a question of being too intrusive, and big majorities of voters in both parties agree on this point."

Clarus Research Group, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based survey firm, conducted the poll Oct. 19-20, 2011. It was based on a representative sample of 1,002 self-identified registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%. Live interviewing was conducted via landline and cell telephones.

The key findings of the poll are:

REGULATION: 78% of voters believe there should be less government regulation of how people make daily choices in their lives and jobs -- that includes 90% of Republicans, 78% of independents and 67% of Democrats.

Question asked and results: Do you agree or disagree with the following statements… "There should be less government regulation of how people make daily choices in their lives and jobs." Agree 78%, Disagree 18%, Don't know 4%.

SIMPLER, LESS COMPLICATED: 73% believe laws and regulations are too complicated in America today. On a party breakdown, 84% of Republicans, 63% of Democrats and 71% of independents agree. Also, 85% of all voters said laws would be more effective if they were simpler and less complicated.

Questions asked and results: Do you agree or disagree with the following statements… "Laws, rules and regulations are too complicated in America today." Agree 73%, Disagree 21%, Don't know 6%. "Laws would be more effective is they were simpler and less complicated." Agree 85%, Disagree 12%, Don't know 3%.

GOVERNMENT WASTE: 76% of voters polled think many laws, regulations, and government programs waste billions of dollars because they are obsolete and no longer needed.

Question asked and results: Do you believe the following statements are true or untrue…  "Many laws, regulations, and government programs waste billions of dollars because they are obsolete and no longer needed." True 76%, Not true 19%, Don't know 5%.

COMMON SENSE: 71% believe that, for the most part, government bureaucrats make decisions based on rules and not on common sense.

Question asked and results: Do you believe the following statements are true or untrue…  "For the most part, government bureaucrats make decisions based on rules and not on common sense." True 71%, Not true 23%, Don't know 6%.

LEGISLATION: 71% support the viewpoint that laws passed by Congress to protect public health and safety should only set goals about what should be done and then give individuals as much freedom as possible to use their own best judgment to implement the goals. Agreeing with this viewpoint is 62% of Democrats, 78% of Republicans and 75% of independents.

On the other side of the issue, 21% support the contrary viewpoint that laws should set goals about what should be done and regulate every possible situation in great detail.

Question asked and results: "There are two points of view that some people have expressed about laws Congress passes to protect public health or safety… The first viewpoint is that these laws should set goals about what should be done and regulate every possible situation in great detail. The second viewpoint is that these laws should only set goals about what should be done and then give individuals as much freedom as possible to use their own best judgment to implement the goals. Which point of view do you most agree with, the first or second one?" Second viewpoint 71%, First viewpoint 21%, Both 1%, Neither 2%, Don't know 5%.

BASIC OVERHAUL: 81% of voters believe government in Washington is broken and needs basic overhaul -- and 93% of Republicans, 78% of independents and 72% of Democrats all agree. This view is held across party lines: 93% of Republicans, 78% of independents and 72% of Democrats.

Question asked and results: Do you agree or disagree with the following statements… "The federal government in Washington is broken and needs a basic overhaul." Agree 81%, Disagree 14%, Don't know 5%.

For confirmation of these results, please contact Ron Faucheux, president of Clarus Research Group, at rfaucheux@ClarusRG.com. To speak with Philip Howard, please contact Emma Mittelstadt at emittelstadt@goodmanmedia.com.

Common Good (www.commongood.org) is a nonpartisan legal reform coalition dedicated to restoring common sense to America. The Chair of Common Good is Philip K. Howard, a lawyer and author of Life Without Lawyers and The Death of Common Sense.

SOURCE Common Good



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