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FAITH IN BIG GOVERNMENT BENEVOLENCE IS SLIPPING … 

“They’re listening … and they’re getting the message.”

That was Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan’s assessment of a popular rebellion against the Chicago Sun-Times (over its coverage of the alternative music scene) back in the early 1990s.

How do we know that?  Scary, isn’t it …

Anyway, the same can be said of the broader American populace as it relates to their views on government … especially the millennials who are being asked to shoulder the growing taxpayer burden.

According to a new Reason-Rupe study, 66 percent of millennials believe government is “inefficient and wasteful” – up from 42 percent just five years ago.  Meanwhile 63 percent of millennials believe government is acting on behalf of special interests, as opposed to only 18 percent who believe it is acting in the public interest.

Want more?  A whopping 73 percent of millennials support private accounts for Social Security – including a majority (51 percent) who support such a plan even if it means cutting benefits for current and future retirees.

And for those of you establishment partisans people keeping score at home, 52 percent of millennials self-identify as independents compared to 16 percent who say they’re “Republican” and 32 percent who identify themselves as Democrats.

Ruh-roh, GOP …

Other findings from the survey?

  • 64 percent of millennials say cutting government spending by 5 percent would help the economy
  • 59 percent say cutting taxes would help the economy
  • 57 percent prefer a smaller government providing fewer services with low taxes, while 41 percent prefer a larger government providing more services with high taxes
  • 57 percent want a society where wealth is distributed according to achievement
  • 55 percent say reducing regulations would help the economy
  • 53 percent say reducing the size of government would help the economy

What makes these numbers even more impressive? The fact government has been spending billions of dollars over the last few decades on indoctrination efforts aimed at convincing young people that Uncle Sam is their friend and provider – as well as a friend and provider to those in need.

Millennials aren’t buying it …

The Reason-Rupe survey reinforces data from Gallup earlier this year showing similar undercurrents at work in the broader population.  In January, Gallup noted that 21 percent of Americans viewed corruption and other problems with the government as the most important issue facing the country – leading traditional top priority issues like the economy or health care.

Meanwhile in December 2013, Gallup’s pollsters found that a record 73 percent of Americans viewed “big government” as a greater threat to the country than “big business” (21 percent) or “big labor” (5 percent).  A decade ago only 47 percent believed “big government” was the greatest threat to the country.

As for the millennial survey, Reason-Rupe surveyed 2,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 earlier this spring.  The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percent.