April 22nd, 2009
05:35 PM ET

Greater threat: big government or big business?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A majority of Americans see big government as a greater threat than big business... A new Gallup poll shows 55 percent of those surveyed are concerned about big government; but that number is down from 61 percent in 2006.

Meanwhile 32 percent of Americans say they're worried about big business; and that number is up from 25 percent three years ago. Only 10 percent view big labor as the greatest threat; that number hasn't changed much since 2006.

The poll also shows partisan differences. No big surprise here... More Republicans now view big government as the most significant threat to the country than did 3 years ago. And the same goes for Democrats who see big business as a bigger threat. Independents' views didn't change much over this time. More of them say they're concerned about big government.

Gallup suggests these numbers show that the change in administrations from Republican to Democrat - along with the government's actions to stabilize failing companies and try to right the economy - have not caused the fear of big government to grow beyond what it was last year.

Meanwhile failing banks, CEOs that jet around on corporate planes to beg Congress for handouts, and companies that blow taxpayer money on things like bonuses and lavish parties without a second thought... these have probably not helped the image of big business.

Here’s my question to you: Which is a greater threat: big government or big business?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Alex from Seattle writes:
Both, in cooperation, are the threat. Corporate money funds politicians who then vote to let the corporations regulate themselves. Lack of regulation allows the greedy to make huge profits without personal responsibility which strains the existing system and yields more money to buy more politicians. Meanwhile, the system collapses and people wonder why.

Jen writes:
The financial oligarchy is the greatest threat to our country. Big banks should be nationalized, broken up, cleaned up and resold.

Tim writes:
Big government is the greatest threat. I can do something about business practices that I disagree with, i.e. not buy their products. I can't not pay my taxes if I disagree with how the government is spending it.

Jesse writes:
Jack, It seems pretty clear cut to me. It was big business that got us into this mess by becoming "too big to fail." So now we need big government to get us out. We need to somehow find a happy medium to balance the two once this crisis of the millennium is over.

David from Maine writes:
Big business, without a doubt. Big government still has to answer to the people come election time and if we don't like what they are doing we can vote for someone we think will do better. Big business only answers to its board of directors, all of whom are only interested in what makes them richer in the end.

Jim from Chicago writes:
Definitely big business. We have now seen the economic devastation that results when corporate greed goes unchecked without adequate government regulation. The Wall Street foxes are sitting on the front steps of the empty hen house picking their teeth while we poor suckers are left to pay for their feast.

Mike from Denver writes:
Our government is the biggest business around, so what is the difference?

Filed under: Government
soundoff (255 Responses)
  1. Jordan (Cherry Hill, NJ)

    Both are equally great threats, just in different ways. Regardless, those on top need to think a bit more than usual about the little people.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  2. Jim,,,, Plattsburgh,NY

    Both Jack,,,, the more government has power, the more they want, same goes for business. Limits must be installed to keep the balance of power in check. We have all seen what happens when giant corporations get to big and greedy, hense the bail out. And guess who dictates most of the policy and laws being passed in this country the past 20 years? You guessed it Jack, big business. Too much is toooo dangerious.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  3. Ronald Holst

    Which is a greater threat: big government or big business?
    Jack What Can I say To much or to little of any thing can be bad for you even oxegen . It is finding the right balance that is the difficult
    Ron Holst
    8014 Viking Trail

    April 22, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  4. Bill, PA

    The danger is Big Business. More absolute power in far fewer hands.
    All of us are addicted to power and control. Business adds a layer of greed and amassing huge profits for the few. The stated goal is profit for the owners, managers and directors a very small number of us. At least our government has the stated goal of benefiting all the people.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  5. Greg Ontario

    In normal situations big government is but in a crisis as we are in now the effect of big business and the greed that seeps from it like infection oozing from an infected wound, big government is the only thing holding down the fort. A hands off government that would keep that cry baby Glen Beck quiet would have put the US in a depression that only a global war could pull it out of and I think we all know how the next world war is going to end.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  6. Colleen Brooks, Charlotte, NC

    Big Government.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  7. Colleen Brooks, Charlotte, NC

    Big Government is unAmerican

    April 22, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  8. john ..... marlton, nj

    Big government like Obama is building and the crew of idiots he has running it are a greater threat to America than Al Queda.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  9. C.L. In Missouri

    Big Government!

    April 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  10. Linda in Arizona

    Obviously, big business got us into the mess we're in now. Government under bush and cheney allowed them to destroy the economy. Big business is out only for the bottom line. Government, on occasion, and when not being run by pro-deregulation corporatists, actually works for the PEOPLE.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  11. Mark from SC

    Its a combination of both. . If government gets to big it weakens the private sector. . . But if business becomes to big, I'm talking about the "too big to fail" one, they risk bringing everything and everyone else down when they fall. .

    April 22, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  12. Richard Sternagel from Canfield,Ohio

    Without a doubt Big Business is the greater threat! They are responsible for this economic mess, home foreclosures, and high unemployment. To say otherwise one must not had lived in the USA and/or is Ignorant or Stupid.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  13. Keith Edwards, Alton IL

    The greatest threat is neither government nor business, but the American people. Our fear, apathy, and greed have caused us to turn away when leaders in business and government were undermining our working class and weakening our systems of checks and balances. Both systems–government and business– work best when they operate in the manner which they were designed–with the people in charge . The greatest threat is our own moral character.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  14. Marty Barbee

    Big business is where we are now. I dont think big government would bring us to the brink of falling off a cliff. Nor do I think big government would serve of a plate of forced attrition while raking us over the coals.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  15. Pugas-AZ

    It's a toss-up. Too much of anything is bad news. Government is needed to control dishonest and over heated business practices, but government can be guilty of the same thing. What a country.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  16. Sylvain from Saskatchewan, Canada

    I think they're about the same. One takes money out of your wallet, the other one takes money out of your paycheck!

    April 22, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  17. Amy

    Big government may be bloated and bureaucratic but at least they make the effort to appear to be "helping". I'll take that over the flagrant corruption of big business any day.

    Amy, Stevens Point, WI

    April 22, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  18. Susan Frost

    If a poor man steals your TV set he does time. If a CEO steals your pension he gets a bonus. At least we have the option of impeaching and/or voting out the crooks in government. Granted it's not much of a choice, but if I still had any money I'd have to put it on government.

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    April 22, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  19. Neatha from Kansas City

    I think they can both be a problem if not regulated. But currently, I think big business is our downfall not big government.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  20. Charles Illinois

    I think the BIGGEST threat is any remnant of the Bush Administration that perpetrated this economic meltdown because of his fiscal IRresponsibility AND kissing the butts of big business & their corporate lobbyists for 8yrs. Big Government during this recession is needed and that includes BIG SPENDING to get this great country back on her feet again, thats what President Obama is attempting to do with NO THANKS from the Republicans who are strictly BIG BUSINESS and want this President to fail.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  21. Adam Thousand Oaks, CA

    They go hand in hand. Either one that goes uncheck can wreak havoc. But the government is better at being a referee and should stay out of the game. Big business is far more efficient than government, as long as they have competant regulators keeping them honest with their oversight. Big labor should be illegal.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  22. Bonnie in Arkansas

    Those "tea party" people want the government to get its hands out of their pockets. What I would like is for the oil companies, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies to get their hands out of my pockets! Guess you can tell I'm a Democrat.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  23. Kim - Blair, NE

    Depends on who is at the helm of either one.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  24. Carl C. in Brick NJ

    Big business is the bigger threat. Perfect example of the day – banks lobbying to stop credit card reform. We need big government to keep big business in check. We also need to eliminate corporate lobbying and campaign contributions, otherwise big business will continue to run our government, regardless of how big or small it is.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  25. Ian

    Big Government for sure as it creates an America that has become dependent on the government to take care of them. We're moving more and more away from a Capitilist nation to a Socialist one and it scares me.

    Government is there to protect ciitizens from Big Business and regulate them NOT control them and not to use them to pass their redistribution of wealth schemes.

    Big Government is creating a lazy America. Big business creates Big jobs helping Americans help themselves.

    "The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money"

    April 22, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  26. Beverley, Fredericksburg Va

    Big Business :

    Exploits cheap labor (ie hiring Illegals, enormous HB1 visa request)

    Cut the safety social net by ending pensions and making employees contractual employees so they can't get benefits.

    Cooks books – ie Enron, Worldcom, Adelphia Cable etc

    Promotes Wage disparity – CEO vs Worker pay , white collar vs blue collar, Blue collar vs Pink collar

    Lobbies government officials at a level the voters could never match

    and my personally favorite – Continuing to call theirselves American Companies when most of their jobs and employees are overseas!

    April 22, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  27. KarenB, centralFlorida

    Both. They feed off each other.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  28. Ann

    Big Business. But since the Bush Administration, government & business are the same thing. It's called Fascisim.

    From Fairfax Virginia

    April 22, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  29. John in Seattle

    It isn't an either or proposition. BOTH big government AND big business are a threat to freedom. It isn't an either or proposition. Dishonest, greedy, power hungry humans are running both institutions.

    The free press is the only defense we have against these two monsters. As long as the press is going to obsess about racism and sexism that doesn't exist, instead of revealing the truth about what these predatory humans are doing; we are doomed. And yes, predatory humans do include women like Nancy Pelosi and Jane Harman. They use children to advance their pursuit of power, and do not really care about your little nose pickers.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  30. Doreen in Cornelia, GA

    If only we were dealing with the choice of big government versus big business. Unfortunately, we are dealing with a big govt that is feeding the big businesses while we – the small, hard working middle class -go hungry.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  31. Mark from Kansas City

    How about big nothing. Regulate business, contain government, and ensure that the highest goal is always the health of the country. Profit and power need to be contained.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  32. frankie

    We are living right in middle of the proof that giving all the rights and benefits to big business was a disaster.The government that did that was the big government, they sure thought they were too big to care about me.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  33. Justin Ekwall

    They are both a threat. The frightening thing is that, instead of breaking up oligopolies and trusts, the government has propped up big businesses at great expense, and there's no indication that anyone in Washington wants to stop doing so.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  34. Ralph Nelson

    Big Business is the greatest threat to business in this country. It reduces competition, avoids new ideas and products, causes greater unemployment by eliminating small business, leads to "administrative men" who are not creative and full of new ideas, it kills the economy and reduces growth. That's why Teddy Roosevelt broke them up, passed anti-monopoly and anti-trust laws. Big Business means Republicans and Republicans mean 19th century economics and more deregulation (leading to more Big Business). Look at what happened to Time-Warner. Without Ted Turner the genius is gone. Ralph, Yakima, Wa, MBA.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  35. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    Big Business is by far the greater threat. We need to remind ourselves that behind the corporate logo of Big Business there are people; people who live in a different world than you and me. These people live in a world where suits cost $50k and comodes cost $35k and an employment incentive (what we in our world call a bonus) of less than $1,000,000 is an insult. In their world, people like you and me are necesary, but they just don't think we are on the same level as them. Their kind go to Harvard or Yale and our kind go to Valencia Community College. Their kind are CEO quality and our kind are Joe the plumber quality. Get my drift? These guys aren't the same as you and me. And until we can get together on the same planet, this world is going to pot.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  36. Bill, Upper New York State

    As an Independent for the last 50 years, I've probably voted Republican as many times as Democratic. Government concerns me in that so much money is wasted. A 75 cent door hook had to go through France before getting to our base in Morocco, and we probably paid 50 times that. But international big business corporations scare the hell out of me because they have only one allegiance – to the biggest profit they can get. If the American citizens get screwed in the process, tough luck.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  37. James Lenon - Chuckey TN

    The current government wants to provide us with health care. Big business wants us to die quietly so that we don't disturb the executives' parties.

    The current government is trying to stabilize the economy. Big business is raking in every penny they can get as bailouts and squeezing the consumer for more.

    The current government wants tax cuts and jobs for the middle class and working poor. Big business wants more tax cuts for the ultra-rich and more jobs shipped overseas.

    I don't trust any government but I trust our current government more than I will ever trust big business to care for anything but the bottom line.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  38. John from Long Island

    Jack, Big Business is not interested in people, American or otherwise, only in profits. Big Government is supposed to act as a counter balance and protect and serve ALL American Citizens. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, "We draw the line againt misconduct, not against wealth". There is only one force able to draw that line since Business is unable or unwilling to do so itself: A large, well run Federal Government.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  39. Dave Smith, Oklahoma

    Big Business for sure.

    Our government is in place for two reasons.
    Protecting us from External threats and Internal threats.

    This country's founders knew the despotism within big business and the wealthy using their money and power to keep the lower incomes underfoot and under the thumbscrews.
    With a powerful military keeping attacking forces outside our nation, the biggest threat on a daily basis to Americans' Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness, is the StrongArm control business has over taking our money for everything on earth and setting the prices to maximize their profits at our expense.

    Without government oversight and intervention, the lower income classes have no power at all, and daily life for Americans for as long as can be tracked back in our country has shown that Big business and Small business cannot be trusted to maintain fair tactics and processes to do business with the general public or even other business.

    April 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  40. Aaron from Colorado

    "The enemy you know is better than the enemy you dont."
    The question is, which one do we know better?

    April 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  41. Chris

    The government works for the people, each citizen has the ability to hold it accountable from a local level to the top, and as such it shouldn't have any other interests but to serve them. Big business only cares about itself and has no obligation to the people.

    Schenectady, NY

    April 22, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  42. Abel P. Ochoa, McAllen, TX 78501

    I would like to remind everybody that we, the American people, are the government here. Those of us who are afraid of our government are really afraid of the American people. Let me also add that I am not talking about the American people acting as indviduals. We have to learn to actively work together. I will never forget and I still deeply resent that the US Supreme Court, unconstitutionally, took away our vote in November 2000. There were other clearly constitutional means that could have happened to keep that election in the hands of the American people who get together nationally but once every four years to elect our president. Unfortunately for all of us, 5 of the the 9 Justices made the decision to make George W. Bush our president in 2000 and the total number of votes were never considered or known.

    April 22, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  43. False

    Big Government of course... for MANY reasons, but most importantly, businesses and corporations cannot take away your freedoms.

    IN the history of all civilizations, big government always leads to tyranny.

    April 22, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  44. Matthew Schmitz Oxnard, CA

    It all depends whose president.....With Bush I fear big government with Obama I don't Its as simple as that

    April 22, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  45. Nancy, Tennessee

    When I look at what has happened to our economy the last eight months, I have to rate "big business" as the culprit. We have had to make government bigger in order to try and rein in and save big businesses that would have taken the whole country down. If government had not removed regulations from big business, we would not have all the bad debt that is now clogging up the banking system. There does need to be a good balance between government and free enterprise, but for now we will have to let government take the lead in the recovery process from this recession that is hurting us all.

    April 22, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  46. Matt Middleton

    Big government is obviously the bigger threat. In most cases, the government is at best incompetent and at worst it is malevolent. Furthermore, every single action the government takes is at the expense of some portion of the populace and the payment for that expense is ultimately demanded at the threat of imprisonment or violence towards the unwilling. Even the worst corporations don't hold a gun to my head demanding the fruits of my labor for substandard services they provide primarily to other people. When businesses fail, they die. When government fails, its gets bigger and more intrusive. Finally the government is hardly accountable to anyone these days. At one point we had constitutionally limited government and we decided what the government did. Now those inalienable rights and fundamental limitations enshrined in the constitution have become antiquated ideas that our leaders believe were only relevant to some simpler time. No longer are the people in charge of the government, but government is fully in charge of itself and the people.

    April 22, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  47. Kellen Maicher

    Big government or big business...is there a difference? The two spend so much time in bed with one another it's difficult to see where the lline in drawn. How many politicians are ex-board members? How many politicians are influenced by lobbyists? And I'm pretty sure it was both government and the high-rollers on Wall Street who looked the other way when the money was coming in from the housing/ credit bubble.The lines are so blurred here it's difficult to make a distinction.

    April 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  48. Gigi

    Nether one has given a second thought to anyone except themselves.
    Anyone who puts themselves first is doing nothing for our country. I believe neither one makes a move until the others says OK. Hand-in-hand they are ruining the country.


    April 22, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  49. Marietta

    Greater threat big busniess period- all "American" citizen took all their "American" Companies and gave our "American" jobs and gave them to China. Country first?

    April 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  50. Alan - Buxton, Maine

    Neither. The threat is and always has been dishonesty, greed and stupidity. It it is found in government then government is a threat, if it is found in business then business is the threat. Neither is inherently bad but can be if scoundrels and crooks take charge.

    April 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm |

    What ever makes the world go around at the present. Right now it is big government's turn to whip this economy back into shape. A few years from now we can then inject big business back in, after they have restructured themselves to what works best for them and we will be well on our way to a recovering economy.

    April 22, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  52. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Our government grew tremendously during the Bush/Cheney era. And I did not notice anyone on the far-right complaining!

    Big business is fine, as long as they pay their fair share of taxes and obey the rule of law.

    April 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  53. Sara in CA

    Big business is the big threat and has been for decades. It's the power of big businesses that have determined and created the direction of our government (whether you call it big government or not). The many levels of our environment, our economics, our education–all controlled by the influence of business. Money rules!

    April 22, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  54. David

    Many have said that government bureaucracy is what really took down the Soviet Union - grotesque inefficiency due and corruption. In our country, bureaucrats avoid making any decisions or using their brains by deriving power trip pleasure from complying with over and under considered regulations and accurately filling out forms - they love their power like Barney Fife when Andy gives him a bullet.

    The bigger the government gets the closer we are to the wheels of everything coming to a grinding halt.

    April 22, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  55. Jesse J

    Hi Jack,

    I think it is very clear to see that big business is a far greater threat to the good of the people.

    One only has to look at big businesses like GM, Chrysler, AIG, Fannie, Freddie, etc who have now devastated this country and the world economies not to mention left millions homeless, broke, sick, and without anything to look forward to in retirement and old age except working till they die.

    No Jack I think this answer is very clear... big business with all its lobbyist and political puppets have been and continue to be a far greater threat to everyone!

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely!

    Vancouver Canada

    April 22, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  56. Al from SoCal

    Big government is a greater threat. Big business depends on a continuation and acceptance that the products goods and services they are providing are worth it or even needed. If the business has a product or service that consumers don't feel they need or don't want to pay the price they're paying, the demand for thoes goods or services will diminish and/or someone else will provide a replacement or more competitive version of of those goods or services. Big business only perpetuates out of demand. On the other hand big government imposes policy beyond just business that the majority of people may or may not agree with or need. And big government always seems to be self-perpetuating. Furthermore big government can perpetuate big business that is obsolete, inefficient or unnecessary.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  57. Rufus in Twentynine Palms, CA

    Is this a trick question or what? Let's see, I work for a large corporation which pays me handsomely every week for my labor. On the other hand, the big government robs me blind every week, I receive nothing in return, and then at the end of the year, to add insult to injury, it makes me file a ton of paperwork explaining how much it robbed me. Help me out here Jack, I'm having a hard time deciding which is the bigger threat. You decide.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  58. EugeneWiese Midlothian,Va.

    Today,big business is the greatest threat. We need our federal govt. as it is,and it is not too big. I believe we have a real leader in the truest sense of the word. I trust Obama to do the right thing and he is dealing with big business and they have been a threat for a long time. If Reagan(the gipper) had done the right thing :we would not be divided and as partisan as we have been and are with Bush's help; special interests(big business) have thrived without government controls/oversight.Greed abounds and you can get it now without an education,healthcare,and low pay. Gene

    April 22, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  59. emily,boston,ma

    I tend to automatically grumble and groan when I hear about the bailouts and such, but then I think about it and I can understand why collective(i.e. government) programs are needed if we want to keep the complexity of our current society.
    Jack, can we ask this when we are using all our resources in Iraq or in military and not here at home or on American people.....

    April 22, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  60. Sylvia

    Jack – Without a doubt big business is the greatest threat – as you say – lavish parties and bonuses as well as fraud, greed, lack of regulation, ego trips, lack of conscious and the total exploitation of the whole system. I have lost so much money in the stock market over and over again during the last twenty years and I don't doubt that some CEO was able to buy his third home with the amount I lost. I ask all those who believe that government is the problem – Who in the business community gives a d- – – about your well-being? At this moment in time thank goodness we have Obama at the helm – I shudder at the thought of Bush and his cronies who certainly didn't hesitate in growing the government. It is sickening to hear their silly complaints but take heed Republicans – this man is SMART, honest, authentic, articulate, (what a change) and so darn charismatic and handsome.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  61. Linda

    Big government is big business. In the past with all the lobbyists it seems that big business has tried to run the government maybe they should have tended there own business. It is not the size of the business it is the efficiency and effectiveness of that business.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  62. Laura Nason

    Before Republicans set out in the Reagan years to destroy government from within, how many times did we hear about food recalls? How many times did we hear about lead painted toys, extremely flammable children's clothes, stuffed toys stuffed with nails, tacks and worse? How many pets were killed by poisoned pet food? I could go on and on. But when our "vaulted leaders" began to undermine government AND send our jobs over seas for larger "bottom lines" for their biggest contributors, we began to learn very well which was worst.
    Unregulated big business is worst, after underfunded, privatized, government services OR lack of services at all.
    Those who WORK in government JOBS, who HATE government JOBS need to give up THEIR government JOBS and give them to people who want to make the government BETTER for the people instead of destroy the government so they can later say "SEE! I told you government doesn't WORK."
    Republicans would have the COUNTRY run like Wall Street with OUR MONEY.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  63. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida


    There's no diffrence between government and business. Soon you can go to the Post office buy a car and get the financing under one roof. Banking is the fourth branch of government...

    April 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  64. Casey Howell, New Jersey

    It's a no brainer. A hands off government and big business have put us in the economic quagmire we are in now.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  65. Gayle, Amherst NY

    I don't think the term "big" government is accurate, as this only addresses the federal government. The problem we have as a country is too many layers of government. The states and municipalities are the real problem as far as government is concerned.

    Big Business IS a huge problem, as they have little oversight and do effect the everyday person, without any democratic ideals to keep them in check.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  66. Nuwan

    It is not the size that matters. What really matter is what really work for the benifit of this nation. Both can get big and do a good job as long as those who run those institutions works with honesty, integrety and transparancy.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    April 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  67. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I was a Republican at a time when big business still had their act together. Back then, big government drafted and taxed, but added relatively little value. Now I'm a Democrat tired of watching big business starring in the horror movie "Scumbag Billionaire", leaving the taxpayers, voters, and politicians to clean up the mess. My vote is "big business" as the greater threat.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  68. Jesse

    Jack, it seems pretty clear cut to me. It was big business that got us into this mess by becoming "to big to fail". So now we need big government to get us out. We need to somehow find a happy medium to balance to two once this crisis of the millenia is over.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  69. Don

    They're the same thing Jack. Government control of corporations like we have now is defined in some circles as facism. Trying to seperate the two is impossible. There does not exist one single market in this country that is not regulated in some way by a government agency.
    From the food we eat, to the water we drink, to education, housing, cars, entertainment. You name it.

    The biggest threat is this integration of the government and the private business.


    April 22, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  70. Amber

    Big government. The constitution provides delegation of many powers to the jurisdiction to the states for a reason.
    Big business does not necessarily mean a monopoly. As long as businesses are not monopolizing the market, it is fair trade and provides employment to many.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  71. James

    Big business depends on a continuation and acceptance that the products goods and services they are providing are worth it or even needed. And We need our federal govt. as it is,and it is not too big. I believe we have a real leader in the truest sense of the word.


    April 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  72. Rich

    What's the difference?

    April 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  73. Evan Schullery

    The greatest threat is not being able to tell the difference.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  74. sally

    Just by the nature of the word BIG, neither is desireable. But Big Business is definitely costing this country in bailout dollars, in job losses by sending jobs overseas, and in its influence in our government – so I would have to say this is the evil twin!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  75. Bill

    The lier and schemers of big business who prey on the poor are by far the greatest threat to this country.


    April 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  76. robert

    Jack, the bigger the headache the bigger the pill!!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  77. Zack

    Big Government. Period. The way the Obama administration has taken over the business world is uncalled for and unconstitutional. Waterloo, Iowa

    April 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  78. Michael

    There has never been a separation of the two. The "Federal" Reserve is as big as big business gets. Until the American people wake up to the fact that their entire government is being ruled by a private bank none of us stand a chance. The petty fighting between democrats and republicans must stop and our eyes must look up to the truth of the past century. The federal reserve and the international banking community have swindled us all and now control the fate of the entire world. You know the truth Cafferty.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  79. Tina DiMeo

    Big business. Period.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  80. joel

    when has big government ever been shown a level of efficiency
    i don't trust them to scrub a toilet in a timely and efficient manner

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  81. Eric, MI

    If big business is Republicans, and big government is Democrats, I'll take the 'bigger' American people who are becoming more of an Independent majority every day!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  82. E.J. Collins

    The correct answer Jack is, BOTH!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  83. Elmer Birney, Bradenton FL

    Big government is the far greater threat because they have coercive power and are moved by political concerns. Big business has to convince us to buy their products.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  84. Sheila

    Most definitely, Big business... Enron? The Banking mess? ...Guess we unfortunately learned why our grandparent's had more stringent controls in place and need to be re-enacted.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  85. Seth, Ft.Drum NY

    I just don’t believe this issue is that cut and dry. Both are imperative to the American way of life and of equal importance. The proper amount of checks and balances has to be maintained on both fronts.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  86. Dan

    Big government enables big business!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  87. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Hi Jack,

    I assume you got my earlier comment. Better government and better business!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  88. larry

    big business is going to look out for itself.....big government is going to look out for itswlf...... ill take my chances with gov

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  89. Benjamin Solotaire

    Big business is the biggest threat. While often protected by big government they operate in more secrecy with much less interest in the public good. At least if government acts against the public wishes they can be voted out of office. Big business cares only about profit and corporate boards don't vote themselves out of office.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  90. Casey, TN

    When the term "too big to fail" is being used daily, it's obvious that big business is going way too far.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  91. Patrick, Austin, TX

    Both! Anything done in excess is harmful. It does not just apply to food, alcohol, or drugs. Moderation creates balance. It takes mature people to do things in moderation. We do not have any of those in Washington or in the corporate world. What we have is a bunch of egotistical power hungry people. We are screwed!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  92. Patrick

    Both. They are all in bed together. Nothing has changed and probably never will.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  93. Lydia

    Definitely BIG businesses, because our government tried to stop the BIG businesses from making BIG dumb decisions, but our BIG businesses made BIG cars that use loads of fuel. And now the BIG businesses are having BIG problems that call for BIG layoffs.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  94. Emeka

    if not for businesses like AIG which were considered too big to fail, we would not be in this mess. We need as big a government as possible to heal our ailing big banks.

    Emeka, Dearborn Michigan

    April 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  95. Gary ----Michigan

    Did Big Business get us into this mess?There is the answer.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  96. Tod Billings

    Since big business manipulates and pays off the government, and since such corporations don't have the checks and balances of government (nevermind having no real obligation to voters), and since the driving force behind big business is pure greed and power, clearly corporate America is a greater threat than the American government (at least for now!).

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  97. Patrick

    Honestly Jack, it depends on who's behind the wheel of the big government.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |

    The financial oligarchy is the greatest threat to our country. Big banks should be Nationalized, broken up, cleaned up and resold.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  99. Ed from Naperville


    Big business has always been the bigger threat. Business puts profits before people while big government does not.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  100. Larry Thacker

    Jack, big government and big business are one and the same in a corpocracy. The corporate, Wall Street and International Bankers have control of government through the lobbyist back door ownership. Representative style government, a joke, one man one vote, a joke. Lobby control of government makes the government just a branch of big business.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  101. Bob


    The right answer is both. We live in a time when both big business and big government (especially Congress) have grown deeply corrupt.


    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  102. Frank Darbe

    Big government and big business are both threats to individuals. But they are manageable threats as long as those two forces do not become too closely allied. When Big government allies with big business money is all that matters, the individual is forgotten, and fascism follows close behind.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  103. Neel

    Big government is the larger threat. Soon the size will get out of control then the "American Empire" will fall, the same way the Great European empires did.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  104. mike

    Big government by a very long shot!! The government does not produce anything all it does is tax and spend. Government does not add value to the GDP.
    Domestic products are produced by businesses not by governments. What a silly question to ask anyone that believes in the pursuit of happiness.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  105. dabuchanan

    Jack, I believe that the two are related. Big businesses lobby our government officials, and give them generous campaign contributions to get what they want. With the slant that both the left and the right put on every issue, its hard to see through the bull and see what is really going on.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  106. john christopher - saskatchewan

    If you had to choose. Which would you choose?

    Banks and Oil Companies running government (which we have had for sometime) or Government controlling banks and oil companies?

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  107. Henry

    Big business as usual is the big worry. Unregulated Capitalism will be the end of the USA as I know it.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  108. Michael Sullivan from Lafayette, California

    Jack - Big government and Big business are two sides of the same coin
    - meaning they pose the same level of threat - for a prime example, all we need to do is take a look at how much it costs a candidate to run for political office in this country and who finances the candidate.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  109. djsmith ukiah ca

    Hands down, big business is a bigger threat to the human presence. No one obstructs and harms human beings more than big business with its single minded bottom line.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  110. Jay

    It's easy Jack. It's the Military-Industrial-Complex that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell address on the last night of his presidency. I recommend everyone either or read watch the farewell address, which is easily found all over on the Internet.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  111. Anna

    Big Bbiz is the lesser of the two evils, Jack...partisanship aside. Do we really want bean counters putting prices on our heads and those of our loved ones? When it isn't "cost effective" to recall or re-make products, we will suffer. At least the big gov is pandering to our votes and sees the people as a force to be reckonded with...they are more accountable than big biz!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  112. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    I think the last 8 years proves what is worse!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  113. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Jack, If big govenment means what Pres. Obama and his administration are giving us then BRING IT ON! As far as big business, to put it simply; they couldn't give a rat's ass about the middle class except to use them for their own advancement and to bleed us dry. With big business we pay and pay and pay while they take golden parachutes, build lavish homes, buy mega yachts, and on and on and on.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  114. Russell Johnson

    Big Government or Big Businss mmmmmmmmmmmmmm hell the're the same people. there is onlly big business, the Republian Party and the Democratic wing of the Republian Party. NO ONE Represents the intrest of the working Americians

    April 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  115. Ralph

    A Big powerful government is far more dangerous. If a government has the power to control all aspects of life to provide "security," it also has the power to destroy. See Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and any other nation where Government has had universal power. When in history has a big business been as dangerous as the above examples.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  116. Kevin L. / Omaha, NE

    Jack, either one being big is a threat. Big gov. does look out for the people while big business looks out for big business. Business does provide jobs but controls the upward mobility of the mid class workers. Big gov controls how big a certain class gets. 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  117. Brian Smith PhD

    Big government or big business? The answer is simple. Remember the golden rule in Washington DC: "Those who have the gold, make the rules." Therefore, since big business money (i.e. gold) to play big government like a puppet, then the real threat is big business.

    Put another way... Big business OWNS the government. Big business can buy and sell the House and Senate for a dime. Again... big business is the problem.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  118. BOB

    Big government has more power to interfere with our everyday life with restrictive legislation. With big business you do not have to patronize them or their products.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  119. Dave R

    Big business is the biggest threat, not only our nation, but the world. The accumulation of wealth and power by multinational corporations will be our undoing. Remember the movie "Rollerball"? How far are we from that world right now?

    April 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  120. John

    Big Government is a greater threat. At least with big business we have the hope that government can be on our side, but who is going to be on our side when we are controlled by big government who manages big business. Power and money will always corrupt.

    Think about this Ceasar was loved by the people, as was Augustas, but the problems of Rome were not from these men, but rather the rulers who ruled after them. The people should not give government a free pass over our lives, because times are tough. We must work within our laws and find our rolls to make ourselves successful again.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  121. Keith

    The government, no matter the size can and will always have a say and regulatory presence over business, after all the government rules the land. In short business will always find itself under the governments power. When it comes to government- where, rather who, is the greater court of appeal? Remeber the geneal fear people had when Bush was trying to take away our rights?

    Irvine, CA

    April 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  122. gatzzz

    Neither big govt nor big business is a threat. The question should have been "Which one is dangerous? Big greed or Lack of oversight?" Big business is needed for our country to flourish but big greed is bad. Same way big govt is good to have the necessary oversight over everything and work efficiently for the people. Govt. is simply by and for the people.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  123. Matt A

    Let's see... Business grows economy/gives jobs/gives people checks. Government takes this money and does what they think, without listening to what the taxpayers request. Our current government does not deserve to spend our hard earned money. BIG GOVERNMENT WILL DESTROY THE U.S.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  124. Diirt Burns

    Big Government is by far the greater threat to the American people–they can impose any hairbrain policy by force, if necessary...

    April 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  125. Steve

    You ask hard questions Jack. Truth is ,these days,Big Business owns Big Government. Need to cut both their heads off to kill that...like a two-headed dragon. For that matter,Big Business owns the media. The CNN Financial News Ladies are terriified to utter anything negative about Wallstreet,Credit Card Companies,and Banks. Ever notice who is buying the commercials when Gerri is on? It's like one of those scary,future movies where the masses are helpless against Big Brother. Only it's real.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  126. Matthew DeFalco

    Jack, the consequences of big governement will solve this economic mess created by the consequences of big business. With nearly 50 million without healthcare, and over eight percent unemployed big governement is exactly what we need to get our country back on track.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  127. Daniel

    I think that a government that undermines the peoples trust is the biggest threat. A government that feels that they have had to hide things from the public causes a bigger problem.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  128. Femi from New London, CT

    Big govt is fiscal policy approach to help stimulate economy with an intent of the multiplier effect on the people but big biz create(s) employment and can also create monopoly as we have seem in the case of Madoff. Jack, which do you support? Give us your opinion.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  129. Rick Fisher

    Your question is too black and white regarding big government versus big business. Obviously, your question invites all Republicans to blast the Obama Administration, and does not allow for more subtle and mixed commentary. So-called big government has been forced to repair big business, to include financial institutions that have fallen apart as well as the auto industry. This should not be an adversarial situation. Both government and business need to cooperate without partisan sniping. That has been the essence of Obama's attempt, after less than 100 days in office, to bring the country together in recognition of the mess that we all TOGETHER got ourselves into...pardon my fractured last sentence.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  130. Therese

    Why choose just one-big government or big business? I am most afraid of inappropriate relationships between big government and big business for example the Obama administration and General Electric, who owns MSNBC. There's a nightmare for you.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  131. Richard

    At their greatest levels, big government will always be more dangerous than big business, but the size of American government has not begun to approach the truly disturbing levels seen in countries like China. Big business, however, has grown large enough to threaten our country's foundations. We can't let an objective truth blind us to a subjective reality.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  132. Mark, Centerport, L.I., NY


    Big Business and Big Government are adjoining rooms connected by a revolving door.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  133. Bill Edwards

    Big Government/ Big Brother is the greatest threat to America

    April 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  134. James

    Big business depends on a continuation and acceptance that the products goods and services they are providing are worth it or even needed.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  135. Edward C. Martin

    Big Business is the problem now, as indicated by failure of the auto companies, the banks, and many others, too many to list.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  136. dick

    Big business...you can vote big government out but big business can hurt you before you ever find out about it...current history proves this!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  137. Emily-worcester ma

    Tax Cuts = Lack of ability of government to serve the people/common good.
    Their are only two kinds of people who really believe in small government: Rich people and fools. Sounds familiar? That is what republicans have been lying to Americans and they were caught in their game since today many Americans are more educated that when republicans came up with these tricks....

    For big business, remember too big to fail? Now that scares the hell out of me....

    April 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  138. dennis gronim

    both jack, both. The Government too often acts as a customer service bureau for Big Business facilitated by lobbyists and an alienated populace.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  139. ChrisHerndon

    Oh come on. We're scared of big government and big bussiness and both just get bigger before our eyes. The republican and democrat puppet show that plays out is just a rationale for the growth of both. Were turning into a communist country headed by corporations and we're all being fooled into choosing one side or the other, when either side just adds to the growth of this economy/government that has been created.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  140. Jim/NC

    By far...big government. Big business, at the very least, create jobs for our country. What does big government produce?...contstant bickering and divisiness. They spend money like drunk sailors whether it be democrat or republican. Our country is in a very bad place in our history.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  141. Tim

    Big Gov't is the greatest threat. I can do something about business practices that I disagree with, i.e. not buy their products etc. I can't not pay my taxes if a disagree with what gov't is doing with it.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  142. chad

    I thought big government and big business were on the same team. Big business writes the proposed bill at great lengths and government is allowed only a couple hours to review it and vote on it, like the bailout bill with its hidden bonuses. I think the line between them is getting more and more transparent each day.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  143. Carolyn Ring

    Big governement is "for the people." Big business is "for the profit and for the greedy few." Both could improve efficiency. By the way, gov't grew exponentially under Bush – didn't hear complaints then. Those who support Bush-like ideals just seem hypocritical on so many levels. Taxes are just one – how about right to life for a few cells in a petre dish but total disregard for the lives of Iraqi citizens and our own soldiers being sent to unnecessary war. About war, isn't it big government that supports big military – yet another example of hypocracy.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  144. torn

    I've always been against big govt, because I don't trust the govt to use my money wisely. However, I certainly don't trust big business. They're only in it for the money, and it doesn't matter how they get it. That's been an historical truth for a very long time. We clearly haven't had enough govt in the past 8 years, but we've also had a lying govt. There hasn't been enough regulation and not putting war expenditures in the budget is one HUGE lie, no matter what the reason. There has to be a middle ground. I like they way Obama talks; we haven't heard principles like this in a long time – service, fairness, inclusion (the other side has to want to be included for that to work)... I tend to believe him, certainly more than our past regime, and have decided to put my trust in him. But even if he gets reelected, what happens after that? As is so often true these days, I think we're asking the wrong question (and we're surely asking it too soon). However, I'm not sure I know what the question is.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  145. Blake R.

    Big business is obviously a bigger threat to America. If businesses get too big, they'll become impervious to the outside world and forget about caring about customers and their own employees. The low-ranking people will get paid too little, while the higher-ranked ones will get paid too much. If the big businesses go bankrupt, thousands of people will be laid-off and we'll be in a worse economic situation then we are in now. The consumers would be hurt too, since the company supplying the goodsor services could not provide them anymore. It would just be a big mess. At least big government could fix the big businesses...

    I'm from Greensboro, NC.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  146. Lee Schneider

    Jack....For at least the last 100 years we have had big business and big government. What we need now is not to have a "Big Media" that's influencing the peoples thinking without showing both sides. Lets give the people all the information and let them decide how to influence government and what to buy from business.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  147. Sharon

    It's a matter of scale. For example, a large business like AIG with business segments unregulated, is a greater threat due to the fact that they have had a functional monopoly. Companies which are large enough to threaten or control our entire economy and the well-being of the US and global markets are a greater threat. The threat is magnified exponentially by lobbying and the capability to buy decisions and write legislation.

    We can vote our representative out of office.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  148. steve

    With what has happened to the economy in the last few months I think it's obvious. Big Business is brought the economy to it's knees. As we've seen the lavish salaries, huge bonuses (despite failure) etc.. Big business CEO's are completely out of control. As you may have noticed, government did little to prevent any of it as it was unfolding before thier eyes.

    I don't think government needs to be any larger. Just make people accountable. Seems like the biggest group of high paid freeloaders are sitting right in the house and senate.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  149. Chris

    With the way Big Business and Big Government fund and protect each other? Aren't they the samething?

    April 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  150. Mike

    It's not a question of the size of government of business, and it is not a choice between government and business. The question is whether or not they are competent. Despite what Republicans say, they don't really care about big or small government, but whether it's a Republican (party) government.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  151. Sandra

    Big businesses are the greater threat. They need a government big enough to clean up their mess.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  152. BeJa Thomas

    Big business is by far a greater problem/danger than big government. How do I know you ask? Been there, done that. Worked for a large law firm in Washington and Tennessee representing large businesses and saw first hand how government was not just influenced by the businesses but they darn near controlled congress. Congress was controlled by money, contracts, and sex instigated by big business. If the general public knew just how controlled government is, they would quake in their boots.

    Springville, AL

    April 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  153. Brad

    We can change the government every election, we have no chance of changing business management. Even after their actions, greed and lust for bigger profits at all costs caused the economic collapse they contine to grant themselves jumbo profits at our expense.
    Free market economics frees the market to be ruled by Greed.
    Greed got my 401K

    April 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  154. Emily Carasco

    Big business is not accountable to the public; government always is accountable in a democracy. Big business is first and foremost about profit – that is why it exists. Good government is about respresenting the people – that is why democratic governments exist. Can there be any doubt about which poses the greater threat?

    April 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  155. Jim Irwin

    Jack, I believe that BIG government is a greater threat.
    Think about what we just saw the past eight years with Bush and Cheney. It kind of reminded me of "big brother" with all the baloney that was taking place. And Cheney still won't shut up. What's he afraid of? Yes Jack, big government is definitely a bigger threat.
    Jim, Crest Hill, Illinois.
    P.S. Keep up the great work you do. I enjoyed your book "It's Getting Ugly Out There".

    April 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  156. John from Tillamook, OR

    Big business is by far the greater threat. As citizens of a democracy, we at least have some control over our government, but we have virtually none over these mega-corporations. There is no longer any real competition between these behemoths to help control them-we simply have to accept what bones they offer us, while their corporate heads rake in millions every year at our expense.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  157. bennett weiss

    Big biz is the far greater threat.
    Our elected officials , by law, must work to uphold the constitutiion and protect American citizens.
    Corporate boards, by law, are required to maximize profits and are responsibgle only to company shareholders.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  158. Ed Nieter

    Why are you suggesting a difference between big government and big business? They are one and the same now and have been for the last 40 years. Who do you think "globalization" benefits? And who enabled it more than our US Congress?

    April 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  159. James

    A USA Today/Gallup poll found that 55 percent of Americans say that 'big government' will be the biggest threat to the country in the future. Next on the list is big business (32 percent) and big labor (10 percent).

    The survey of 1,007 adults was taken March 27-29 and has a margin of error of 3 percent.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  160. Brian Smith PhD

    (sorry .... typo correciton)) Big government or big business? The answer is simple. Remember the golden rule in Washington DC: “Those who have the gold, make the rules.” Therefore, since big business has the money (i.e. gold) to play big government like a puppet, then the real threat is big business.

    Put another way… Big business OWNS the government. Big business can buy and sell the House and Senate for a dime. Again… big business is the problem.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  161. clarity007

    Big government since they have more fire power. Governments will and have used their military to supress freedoms thought to be inalienable.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  162. HZ

    The answer is neither!!
    It’s scary when big businesses control or influence the government. The government in return would make policies in favor of big businesses and not its people.
    The opposite is true as well. When big government favor people over big businesses, then the economy suffers.
    It’s the right balance of both that make the system works for everyone.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  163. Jim H

    First, Jack, you need to define the difference between "Big Government" and "Big Business". After all, isn't Big Government big business and Big Business big government?

    – from Port Royal, Pennsylvania

    April 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  164. Diego

    When government is in the pockets of big business and vice versa they are equally dangerous. Yes big businesses has many questionable practices in the past and present but lets look at the facts. Big government just PAID them out of taxpayer money. Who contributed to the house, and senate, and presidential campaigns? Many big businesses, BANKS for example. Look at the top contributers to these campaigns and you will find a list riddled with businesses receiving bailout money. Its an investment these days. Give the Obama campaign half a million in cash and you get 20 billion + of taxpayer money 2 years later. What a deal!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  165. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Ever since the Supereme Court rule that Companies and Corporations could buy an sell just like people they have done nothing to help the countries that they exist in. They pollute openly and never clean up thier messes, deny even the basic needs of thier employees, and refuse to pay a living wage, while the CEO's and upper level managament rake in millions in pay and bounuses as thier companies lose billions every year!

    Big business is destroying our country, and selling the very people that they need to even operate down the drain, for more profit and dividends for greedy stockholders!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  166. george

    if the last sixth monthes activitys out of washington are any indicator for the future i would have to say big buisnes.
    weather the gov. is large or small..............when big buisne's fail we the taxpayer have to appereantly pick up the tab and bail them out.
    we give enough money away between oil..... food for the world... and not to mention the cost of policing it.
    i dont see exon,ge or gm paying for any of this all i see is them just taking and taking.
    for what it's worth......big gov. and big buisnes are one in the same

    April 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  167. Johnathan Barksdale

    Big business is a greater threat as they threaten the existence of small businesses. When the economy turns downward, big businesses flood the marketplace with huge layoffs. Big business also stifles competition of small business. Small business is the backbone of the country.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  168. Carbon

    It seems to me that big business is more dangerous because their actions and policies are responsible to a board of directors whose only concern is for the bottom line. Government on the other hand is responsible to everyone. Those politicians who whine loudest about big government represent money interests while those who tout big government are looking after the interests of the majority of the American people. Such issues as civil rights have been addressed more effectively by big government.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  169. Bob (Charlotte)

    The correct answer is both. Big business and big government (especially Congress) have become deeply corrupt and the losers in all of this are the future generations will be saddled with massive debt and high unemployment.

    Charlotte NC

    April 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  170. Gene and Rosemary Dincher

    We fear big government as we watch the Obama administration reaching in to fire a CEO of GM, opening up secret file to the media, diminishing the effectiveness of the CIA, turning our country into a socialist state.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  171. Tom Champaign, IL

    Big business. It was the unregulated banks of the private sector that got us into this mess in the first place. If we can't trust the government to help us out of this, I'm not sure who we can – certainly not anyone who owns a private jet.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  172. David

    Unfortunately, it is an irrelevant question- there is no difference. Government is supported and controllled by big business and is repaid in kind. If the media would encourage real debate on what democracy is, it would better answer the question but for that we would need a free press.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  173. Wayne Muehlenbein

    I'm a lifelong moderate and have been around long enough to see this issue swing both ways. In the early 70's, I would definitely have answered that big government was the bigger threat to the country. However, recent events have shown that we live in a time when big business has run amoke and now poses the bigger threat. In fact, I don't expect to live long enough to see that notion swing back the other way.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  174. Eileen

    Until we institute proper reforms and regulations, Big Business is more dangerous – isn't the greed of unregulated Big Business how we got into this mess in the first place? The Bush administration showed how dangerous government can be in the wrong hands, but right now it looks like we are to some extent, righting the wrongs of the previous administration. Eileen, Hudson, FL

    April 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  175. Patrick

    Big business has proven itself to be the greater problem. With corporations growing to the size in monetary power of small governments, they have gotten too big to fail. The mergers and takeovers have eliminated competition and stifled innovation. Our government is "we the people". If we do our jobs as citizens, we will have good government. Thank goodness our government is hopefully big enough to sustain the collapse of "gotten way to big corporations".

    April 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  176. Karl from SF, CA

    It varies from time to time but currently its big business because big business has been running and ruining our country and economy and until the government is big enough to control the situation, like get rid of excessive lobbyist’s influence and regulate banking and other thieves, we can’t be a nation of the people, by the people and for the people. For now just replace “big business” with “the people” in that last sentence.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  177. Lumis

    I didn't know there was a difference.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  178. Timothy

    What's more threatening? Let's see...big business? You mean like GE, or Walmart? OK, then..big government? Like the Soviet Union, or Nazi Germany? Wow! The 24 hour news business sure comes up with thought-provoking questions! You ARE kidding, right?

    April 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  179. Annie, Atlanta

    Businesses that are too big to fail, and too greedy to do the right thing, suck the life right out of us. Big government can't hold a candle to that.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  180. Tim, Arkansas

    Dear Jack,
    We could compare Big Government to Big Buissness as a Boat floating in the ocean. If Big Government and Big Buissness was in the same Boat no matter which one gets bigger at some point the Boat will sink. Cafferty, I think its time we should throw some of both overboard to save the Coutry from Sinking. Thanks

    April 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  181. Doug Kelley, Ann Arbor, MI

    With its legions of highly paid lobbyists, big business is the greater threat
    to democracy in America.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  182. George

    Big government=totalitarism that set.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  183. John Silvis

    Which is a greater threat Gov't or Big Business? Now listen up this is very important and irrefutabley logical. This not
    a rational question. The fact is that Big Business owns the
    government thru the unlimited power of "K" street. Money in politics and the influence of legions of lobbists who exert power over Washington make that question nonsense. Since Big Money, that is to say Big Business, owns our government then these puppet masters are the only threat that exits. To say we have the best government that money can buy is not just a joke, it is a fact.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  184. Matthew DeFalco

    Jack, the consequences of big government will solve this economic mess created by the consequences of big business. With nearly 50 million without healthcare, and over eight percent unemployed big government is exactly what we need to get our country back on track.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  185. BevAnn

    If our Government cannot protect us from the abuses of corporations
    run amok in greed, then who can? As regulations have become
    relaxed, predatory practices by financial institutions have become increasingly ruthless. I miss the days when I felt protected by a
    check on the big guys. I disagree with those who think the highest
    purpose of our government is warmongering.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  186. Dorian Summerlin

    Big business is a threat to this country and is creating monopolies that put small businesses under every day. Their treasonous policies go so far as to employ and exploit impoverished nations denying the very consumers they wish to attract from getting secure jobs. Maybe it is time to rework the role of government enlarging services and eliminating the politically connected dead weight. Want to start with the CIA being eliminated and downsizing the Pentagon and rerouting military dollars back to the bases. A win win for mom and pop!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  187. Kate

    Big Business is a much bigger threat because as we've seen unregulated greed corrupts absolutely and we all pay the price. Big government is at its worst inefficient and bloated. The difference is we can vote the decision makers out holding them accountable unlike big business where there is little recourse.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  188. Dave

    Neither are good, But BIG business is much worse for the average person. Large companies are only concerned with benefiting the select few. What became of medium size of anything?

    April 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  189. Lars T

    Big government; Does the government not represent us – the people? Who does big business represent? Unfortunately it appears that big business is above our government. They externalize every responsibility and move to the place with the cheapest labor. The big threat is big business.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  190. Brad N

    Jack, Jack, Jack – questions that beg black and white answers are never helpful!

    Sometimes, as exemplified by the first and second New Deals in the Great Depression, government needs to step in and provide massive stimulus to get the economy back on track – especially when companies, which are beholden not to society but to its shareholders, are going to act in their own best interests (such as, in the case of banks, by hoarding cash despite record low interest rates). Government, owing a duty to its citizens and thus society as a whole, need not permanently swell as a result, but due to this difference between who the Government and "Business", Government is required to ensure that money goes to the right projects – and doesn't simply sit in corporate coffers. Conversely, Big Business is required to ensure that Government expenditures are being made as efficiently as possible (hence the growing popularity of Public-Private Partnerships).

    So, to answer your question, big business and big government are not mutually exclusive. To ask which is worse than the other is like asking which is more helpful, the sun or the rain?

    April 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  191. Paul Nagy

    Big business is clearly the bigger threat. Those in charge of big business have no consciences. Their only concern is greed and profit. Someone has to keep them in check to ensure a fair playing field, and only government has that kind of power.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  192. Charlie C.

    I think in the current greatest threat is big business because it was their greed and corruption that have put the country in this economic mess in the first place. It also doesn't help matters that when they whine for help and the gov tryies to bail them out, some turn around and do exactly what got us in this mess in the first place all over again. Free market is great but it's not good when their bad decisions drag down the rest of the country. Obviously, big business needs to be regulated more and the regulations need to be enforced.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  193. Elaine F. Navarro

    Big government money comes from we the people.
    Big business money provides jobs for we the people.

    Elaine F. Navarro

    April 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  194. Brett, Scranton, PA

    Is it fair to say both? While it is easy to blame government growth which has grown through both the last democratic and republican administrations, you can also blame big business which has seen an exponential increase in executive pay, giving those executives extra incentive to cook books and ensure they acquire their executive bonuses. Taxpayers have poured tons into the government for much more of the same. In the same token, the increasing gap between the executives in this country and the blue collars which support their business are harder and harder to ignore. There is a delicate balance in our government system which we seem to have to maintain each election, because we can't get a small government that knows how to regulate when necessary, nor can we get a big government that knows how to allow the free market to work for everyones benefit.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  195. Jennifer - Raleigh, NC

    One might argue that, when in the hands of the Republicans, government and big business were one and the same. The voice of the almighty dollar has crippled the voices of the American people to the tune of a broken economy, a diluted constitution, a deteriorating planet, and a justice system that rewards those who can cause the most damage. It isn't big government that's the problem, it's the big egos that sat in the White House with their hands out to the oil companies and special interest groups.

    Money talks, morality walks.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  196. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    Definitely BIG BIZ!!!! After all, it was their greed for profits that got our country into this mess that BIG GOV is now trying to fix. With more and more de-regulation, these companies were supposed to be regulating themselves. Instead, they only looked out for themselves and cared not for all the workers of this country. BIG BIZ have shown themeselves, not only to be greedy, but immoral and unethical, as well. I trust the government more, because BIG GOV will have to answer to all Americans in the upcoming elections in 2010 and 2012!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  197. Steve, Clifton,VA

    Big Government has never brought the U.S economy to it's knees and contributed to the crippling of the global economy to boot as Big Business has recently done. Big Business with little or anemic regulatory oversight has proven to us more than once that it is a much greater threat ,bar none, when we fail to monitor, measure, and generally oversee how it is impacting the citizens of this country!!!

    Clifton, VA

    April 22, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  198. Rosa

    Big bussiness and big government both post consequences and returns... the bigger it gets the more risk and more returns.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  199. JohnWinNC, Raleigh, NC

    It is neither "Big Business" nor "Big Government" that is the greater threat. The greatest danger to the American way of life is "GOPs from HELL," CEOs and Bush officials that thrive on derision, deception, division, defamation, deregulation and other devious means of achieving their unscrupulous ends.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  200. Dominik

    Big Government without a doubt is the bigger threat to the country. It is our government, and it can make a negative or positive impact. We rely on the government to make things right, not 1 business out of a million others.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  201. Marjorie Haines

    My husband and I believe that Big Business is a far greater threat than Big Business. Over the past 8 years or more, banks and other businesses have been mainly unregulated, until they have become "too big to fail." On the other hand, government, which has the ability to handle big projects that individual states can't handle, has been "out of business." I am not interested in having government control every aspect of our lives, but it's ironic that during the past 8 years, government has been more and more invasive as far as individual rights, while at the same time doing less and less for the majoritiy of our country. We need to see more programs that benefit the middle class and that strive to move the "working poor" into the middle class. We have too many multibillionaires, and not enough "ordinary people" who make up the backbone of our country.
    Marjorie, Gouldsboro, PA

    April 22, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  202. Christopher Krieg

    Depending on your political poiint of view, it could be big government that you view as a threat or big business. Since this country depends on capitalism to provide the means to live and not social welfare from the efforts of others like some people seem to think, I view big intrusive government as more of a threat to our way of life and big business as the way to thrive.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  203. Christian

    Big government is far more dangerous than big business. The market can make or break big business, and logic and principles – at least the ones that the country was founded upon – dictate that big business is only as big as the people's demand for their products/services. The government on the other hand, has the power to impose itself on the people whether they like it or not.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  204. HS

    A big government is elected by the people through an equal voting right mechanism where as a big business, such as a corporation, is run with limited voting rights.Businesses thrive for decades but governments rise and fall. Business is often a mechanism through which a government can come into power.

    Some governments run like some corporations do – they do not get regulated !!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  205. Felix Preston, South Bend, IN

    •Wall Street Banks implode sending our mortgages, jobs, and 401ks down the drain,
    •Detroit's incompetence send thousand to the unemployment line,
    •Health Care and Drug Industries send prices through the roof leaving millions of people uninsured without medical treatment...

    Hmmm, I'd say that Big Business poses a far greater threat than the Federal Government.

    Felix Preston

    April 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  206. Rosemary

    The people who talk about big Govt. are the same people who want to deregulate and keep the working class down and controlled. There needs to be a balance. I would prefer to err on the side of Government. You can vote people out of office and demand. Who can demand of a Corporation if they control everything. Look how they have shipped all of our jobs overseas in the name of profits and the working class here in the US. be damed all because of Greed and loopholes in our Govt not watching.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  207. MARK F.

    Doesn't anyone get it? They are one in the same. No difference. It's a game they play. Gov't pretends to monitor the interests of the public while taking huge "Campaign Contributions" behind closed doors so they can get re-elected and help their corporate buddies rake in huge profits and multi-million dollar bonuses and if the company gets caught dirty the gov't publically slaps their hand, they pay a fine well below the amount of profits made. the am.erican people feel vindicated and it starts all over again. SAD

    April 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  208. Bill Mccarthy

    Big Business is being run by greedy executives for their benefit. They transfer jobs to countries with lax environmental regulations and low wages. they cut medical plans, pension plans, and lay off the higher paid workers. All the while stuffing their pockets with more money than they can spend in a lifetime. As long as they can keep getting rich by hurting the American worker who they blame for all the problems we are going to be in trouble.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  209. j/NJ

    Which is a greater threat: big government or big business?

    Both are significat threats but there are distinctions...republicans lament the intrusiveness of big govt usually in fiscal matters but seem not to care an iota about the intrusiveness of authoritarian govt...on the other hand big business yields considerable control over the individual in consumer policies, goods and services...in either case as govt and big business continue to expand, individual choices continue to narrow exponentially...in other words welcome to the 21st century of global totalitarianism...

    April 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  210. Alison Lake

    As long as our government and President do not elect men with strong connections to big business (where have I heard that before), I have faith in our government to act in a manner respectful to those who elected them.

    Big business, however, must look out for their stock holder's, board of directors, or whoever is loaning them money.

    Call it the rich looking out for the rich. Call it how corrupt governments operate.

    Bottom line: I will always continue to believe in the Democratic process. Big business does not follow a Democratic process.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  211. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    when big business buy big government, when big business makes our national laws, when big government takes our liberty, when big business bid set the prices

    April 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  212. Fran

    The size of most huge business is the result of big government subsidies/bailouts both directly and indirectly. Of course no one in the two parties will say this and every time a business makes record profits (like big oil last year) they will say “its time to make the government bigger to combat big business and ‘protect’ the American people.” If Americans want protection from big government and big business, there needs to be a legitimate third-party movement.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  213. K

    considering the fact that neither big business or governemnt has shown any competance this is a toss-up

    April 22, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  214. Dennis/Missouri

    Big Government because the crooks (senators & representatives) in government always have their hands in big business getting their cut.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  215. Tom from NC

    Unregulated big business run amok has *proven* to be a bigger threat. Remember Enron? Remember the S&L scandal? Do you see what is going on now?

    I am no fan of big government. But let's be truthful. Republicans are not against big government or big spending. They have proven that over the last eight years. They are against big Democratic government while being in support of huge, big business-friendly, wealthy-owned, corruption-ridden Republican government.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  216. Rick Kane Phoneix, AZ

    BIg government. George Orwell didn't write about big business taking control and repressing its people- it was government. Also, Nazi Germany was government taking over NOT business. And Hamas is a multi-national, congolmerate business too......right?

    April 22, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  217. Bryan

    Big business is the biggest threat. Government doesn't charge outrageous insurance premiums then look for ways to leave you with the bill. The government doesn't give out credit cards to working people and then jack up interest rates to 30%. Government can be run well or run poorly, but corporations are always run by the greediest people in our society who have no regard for the welfare of other people.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  218. glenn , southeast-texas

    not a good question-both government and business have destroyed this country , as older guy's like me have witnessed . the last eight years has certainly made it impossible to distinguish between government and business and i'm not convinced this will change much . history of all country's dictates we'll raise cane for a while , then we'll shut up and make the adjustment--business as usual . Glenn– Southeast , Texas

    April 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  219. Fran, Brimley, MI

    I think they go hand in hand. During the Regan Era there was trickle down economics which benefited Big Business. They had the tools to turn off the spigot before it ever trickled down to the Middle and Lower Class. With deregulation on Wall Street the Greed grew and the Bush Administration, who hailed Regan as a hero, enjoyed the mountains of money they reaped. So Big Business together with Big Government, they caused a near fatal Recession/Depression!!!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  220. Dave

    Jack, I have to go with Big Buisness as the greatest threat since President Obama and the Dem Congres have taken charge of our economy..
    I dont know of a single civil service job that pays over six figures. If they dont perform I can fire them next term. Like we did with the Republicans like Newt and Dick who ran us into a ditch for the last decade.
    I dont know of a single C.E.O. who makes less than ten or eleven figures, or a single C.E.O. Of any of the companies I own stock in who
    I can fire. I cant even vote on their pay.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  221. Robert Luchowski

    That question is an oxymoron, like "the Honorable Congressman". Bib government and big business are either one and the same or siamese twins. Big business lobbyists control the govt., not us, and big govt. caters to them. Ergo, the real people get to do and pay for whatever they both want. Maybe it would be different without people like Frank, Pelosi, Murtha and Dodd weren't involved, but I doubt it. Everbody has everybody in each other's pockets. By the way, do you want to solve the economic problems? Get ALL govt. officials to pay their taxes! Bob

    April 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  222. Benny in Waukesha WI

    If a company like AIG or GE is too big to fail, control or go chapter 11, having to be rescued by tax money that is a problem. Normally bit government is however the bigger threat, but not the federal/Washington government. What's too big is local government. The money/resources used in states, counties, cities and school districts is sub-optimized and not effective. The question aught to be "how can service xyz be addressed most effectively?" Thinks like speed limits, snow plowing, etc are clearly local issues whereas services like healthcare and pension would be much more effectively administrated federally.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  223. George

    Just by looking at the top 1000 fortune companies and the revenue they generate, you can tell that they are still making tons of money. All these extra profits mean that new opportunities for new businesses are gone. The government should tax more the biggest players under each segment of the different industries. When you are a small business and are competing against a company 50 or 100 times bigger than yours, it is easy to see that your company can go out of business. By taxing the biggest companies on each industry, you will create opportunities for smaller companies to open up.

    Big business is a threat.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  224. toni weinberg

    sir big government is like nazi state and stalins state,i know i grew up in it and survived we are heading for it under this administratin.toni,bakersfield,california.think about past history.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  225. cathy in california

    Who do I fear most? Big Busines!!!. In the modern world, corporate CEO’s often wield more power than democratically elected officials. With this power they have bankrupted the middle class while living like kings, and as you know, kings are not elected by the people. When they behave badly, as they have been for decades, “the people” have no authority to dethrone them. Let democracy reign!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  226. ed schleker

    big co. thru lobbyiest are a threat to all consumers- look at the
    enviroment losses we have had under bush!!–
    It is a huge step back for health standards-
    the epa should have more power to move us to a cleaner
    home and country.....

    April 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  227. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    Big business is a much greater threat than big government – but the Republicans will say the opposite, because they don't deal in reality.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  228. Christian

    Worst case scenario here – would you rather have a job and keep as well as spend your payheck, no matter how large or small, on whatever you want, however you want, or a welfare check – i.e. a goverment leash.
    I'll work and take the paycheck all day long – 'the man' isn't all that bad. Come on now. The greatest part is someday, you too can become him/her.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  229. Tim R.

    There is no difference between Big Government and Big Business. They are the same thing and subject to the same set of problems (absolute power and absolutely corrupt, remember). And you should include institutional Religion in the conversation. They are all the same.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  230. lynnej

    Both are a big threat. The government in the way it is ran and with big business with it's greed and ability to buy off public officials for their own means It all comes down to whether those in charge have everyday common sense or are just plain nuts like past administrations and some of the current business leaders.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  231. Louise in Alabama

    Threats? What a word to use about our system of infrastructures within our country. We are already waring with the greedy . I just like the way we control it after the fact.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  232. Barry

    Bigger threat? Big government or big business? The flaw is in the "either/or" proposition. Government allows big business to become even bigger by allowing it more power, more complexity, and more protection. Business inturn allows big government to become bigger by lobbying with astronomical campaign contributions and getting deregulation requests. Business and government work hand-in-hand to ensure mutual survival.

    Lewisburg, West Virginia

    April 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  233. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    when big business buy big government, when big business makes our national laws, when big government takes our liberty, when big business set the prices

    April 22, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  234. ben from newburgh, new york

    Big biz is the greater threat by far.

    All elected officials, by law, must pledge to uphold the constitution and protect the American people.
    All corporate board members must, by law, protect profits for the company's shareholders.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  235. lilacs

    Big Business! they steal from the america worker, the amreican consumer.If anyone else steal the would be put in jail. The Oil companies, the credit card companies, the energy companies and etc. have robbed america blind.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  236. Justin Smardz Chattanooga TN

    I look at the actions of the US car industry from the end of World War II to the present. If it were up to the car manufactures thinks like seat belts, airbags and fuel economy probably would have never been implemented into vehicles. The idea that a corporation is going to take a moral position against more profitable avenues is rare. I feel more regulation and government oversight out weighs the idea that a corporation will morally self govern it’s status without compromising human or environmental values.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  237. Matt

    A lack of big government appeared to give big business a free hand. Enron, Tyco, AIG, and a multitude of other businesses routinely engaged in illegal or disreputable dealings that harmed investors and pillages employees accounts. "Big government" hasn't regulated or been able to hold most of these parties responsible. Aside from the personal affront of inefficiency and bureaucracy, I'm not sure I see big government in action, and certainly not in a threat.

    Santa Barbara

    April 22, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  238. Richard Green

    We are where we are because, although our gov't is big, it has been [under Bush] less than ineffective. In the meantime, big business had a pretty much free hand to hide money offshore, put jobs offshore, gamble without restraint. Big business is the greater danger under the current administration. Gov't is the only thing that can protect us from their damnable greed.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Ca.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  239. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    All big bussiness has to do is to stop running at all and the country falls apart!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  240. Chris - Seattle

    Obvious answer would be: Big Government run and influenced by Big Business! Interestingly which is what we're attempting to steer away from now...USS Haliburton ring a bell!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  241. Lee In Minnesota

    Big Business
    They helped to create this mess. Also no factor increased the problem more than the unlimited expansion of large monopolistic companies, banks, insurance companies etc etc etc.

    Corporate America and K Street are controlling and destroying our country with greed and buying politicians.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  242. Van Ontario, Canada

    Big business of course. Just ask all the people who left the previous administration where they are going to work next.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  243. John

    Big business are the greater threat. The government is elected by the people for the people. Big business are run on profit and geed. Big business are vital to society, but they shouldn't be trusted without regulations. They need to be kept on a tight leash.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  244. Cassandra

    Big business got us in to the Great Depression; big government got us out. Seems simple enough to me.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  245. tommy

    jack i fdor one am tired of these bleeding hearts crying foul
    about abugrave interrigation tactics.
    we are free and if any one of these detannies was loosed they would try to kill americans.
    give me a break which is worse interrigation or out right murder?
    some of our americans arn't living in the real world they are
    aparently living in obama's fantacy world.
    god help us

    April 22, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  246. charles applewhite

    big business-as proven by the last 8 years

    April 22, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  247. Sylvain Paquette

    Small people, that's who. There's no question about it, we're all buying and being taxed for.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  248. Steve in Florida

    Big business is definitely a bigger threat. When it comes to big government, we can always vote corrupt officials out of office to get rid of them. When it comes to big business we can't do much, and if we try they just go to a different country and keep doing whatever they want.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  249. jared

    It seems like choosing the lesser of two evils, but my government answers to me. Big business has loyalty only to shareholders and employees. If I had to choose I'd go with Democracy over laissez faire Capitalism.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  250. Covertkev

    Big Government!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  251. Edward Burton

    Big business is the greater threat. Consider derivatives and credit default swaps. At least with government, we an throw the bums out. When an investment arm of a private bank seduces hundreds of fat cats into ruining an economy, they can take their golden parachute home and laugh while the rest of the place tanks. And we can do nothing about it, nor can we stop the next gang that wants to rip off the whole economy. Thank God for government, the citizens' mutual way to reign in the not quite crooks.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  252. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    There are no countries big business owns everything!

    April 22, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  253. Lois

    This seems to me to be a no brainer. Business buys our government, large or small. If we can't find a way to curb the power of business lobbyists our democracy is doomed.

    I can't afford a lobbyist. How many does Dow Chemical or Archer Daniels Midland Have? How about Exxon and Big Pharma?

    It is to their benefit that we have no borders , no job security, no voice.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  254. Jim

    Which is a bigger threat? I didnt know there was a difference between the two. Since virtually all politicians are on the payroll of big business, I think of them as members of the executive team.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  255. Lisa

    According toour founding fathers, Senator Taft , To preserve liberty here at home, we need a weak federal government, because a strong federal government is the greatest potential threat to our liberties.

    April 22, 2009 at 6:48 pm |