Sorry, teabaggers. A Gallup pollreleased on Wednesday has a majority of Americans saying that they approve of the expansion of the government as a means to address the economic crisis. The poll does show, however, that the ideas motivating the tea party protests have deep support within the Republican Party base.
Fifty-three percent of Americans -- roughly the same percentage that elected Obama president -- told pollsters they approve of the recent government expansion, while 44 percent said they disapprove.
Of those who approved of the expansion, most wanted to see the government's role reduced once the crisis has passed. Obama has pledged to roll back government spending once the crisis has been contained and the economy is on solid footing.
The Gallup poll revealed that Americans -- despite their don't-tread-on-me sensibilities -- find government "power" more acceptable than government "spending." Only 40 percent of respondents said that the Obama response was "too big an expansion of government power," while 46 percent said it was the "right amount."
But when "spending" was substituted for "power," 55 percent said it was "too much," while 42 percent said it was the "right amount" or "not enough."
While Fox News has gone to great lengths to celebrate the supposed bipartisan nature of today's tea parties, the poll reveals a decidedly partisan edge to the debate. Two-thirds of Democrats find Obama's spending proposals to be the right amount or too small, whereas 86 percent of Republicans think the plans spend too much.