You've got to hand it to conservative narrative-creator Frank Luntz and his Republicans. Hammer a theme long enough, and it sinks in. In this case, "job-killing" regulations, which a big chunk of Americans think is horrible. Check out the latest
Currently, 52% say government regulation of business usually does more harm than good while 40% think regulating business is necessary to protect the public interest. These views are similar to January 2008, before the financial crisis and onset of the economic recession.
Last March, opinion was more divided; 47% said regulating business is necessary to protect the public interest while 45% said government regulation does more harm than good.
Most of the difference between last year and now is among Republicans, spoon-fed by their elected representatives and becoming more and more entrenched in their fear and hatred of government. Three-quarters of them share the opinion that regulation does more harm than good, and 83 percent of self-identified conservative Republicans say regulation is harmful.
But the numbers really start to erode when the survey gets past the broad idea of regulation, and starts drilling down to what the term actually means.
Overall, the public overwhelmingly supports strengthening regulations or keeping them as they are in specific areas, such as food safety and environmental protection; very few want to reduce regulations in these areas. And these views of regulation have changed little from July 1995.
Respondents don't just want environmental and safety food regulations maintained, majorities want them strengthened. When the necessary functions of government are spelled out to people, the knee-jerk reaction is lessened. There's still a partisan divide there, because conservatives are immovable. But they are in the distinct minority. Unfortunately, it's a distinct minority that holds the House of Representatives and dominates the public debate.