When asked to choose among big government, big labor and big business, Americans overwhelmingly name big government as the biggest threat to the country in the future. The 69% choosing big government is down slightly from a high of 72% in 2013, the last time Gallup asked the question, but is still one of the highest percentages choosing big government in Gallup's 50-year trend.
While Americans have always seen big government as a bigger threat than big business or big labor, the percentage naming it was significantly lower prior to 1990, when a much larger segment of Americans saw big labor as the greatest threat. By 2000, the percentage naming big government rose to 65%, as mentions of big labor fell into the single digits. A brief uptick in concerns about big business in 2002, probably prompted by several high-profile business scandals such as Enron, offset some concerns about big government. More recently, concerns about business and labor have drifted down while concerns about big government have climbed back up to nearly 70%.
The large increase in the percentage naming big government as the biggest threat in 2013 may have resulted from the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and Edward Snowden's revelations about government monitoring of communications.