New poll shows majority favor states being able to "opt out" of federal programs

Over the course of the past year as the Obama administration and Congress have been busy proposing and debating the creation of new, bigger government programs, the public resistance to bigger and more expensive government has increased, which also translated into more state legislators introducing legislation to have their states opt out of such programs (like ObamaCare).

A recent Rasmussen poll would seem to confirm the resurgence of public support for federalism.  The survey found that 59% of voters agree that states should be able to opt out of federal programs that they oppose.  (Only 25% disagreed, and 15% didn't know)

Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters also think
states should have the right to opt out of federally mandated programs
if the federal government doesn’t help pay for them. Seventeen percent
(17%) say states should not have the right to opt out of federally
mandated programs. ...

Seventy-six percent (76%) of Republicans and 67% of
voters not affiliated with either major party say states should have
the right to opt out of federal programs with which they don’t agree.
Just 37% of Democrats agree.

So what's driving it?  Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to be opposition to a specific program.  For example, only a plurality of 47% believed states should be able to opt-out of ObamaCare.  Rather it appears to be general anger at Washington, and perhaps the growing deficit/debt, (and the fact that many of these federal programs come with unfunded mandates that at put on state taxpayers).

Seventy-five percent (75%) of voters say they are at least somewhat angry at the government’s current policies, up four points from late November and up nine points since September.

That, taken with the fact that this is an election year, might have something to do with Obama's new attempt to be seen as focusing on fiscal austerity.

 

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