Over at Division of Labour, Michael Munger offers a thoughtful answer to the question of why Americans do not trust their government. After citing authorities from Plato to Ludwig von Mises to Edmund Burke, he concludes:
One cannot blame the FORM of government for its failings. Simply the existence of a pervasive, intrusive nanny state, doing the only things it can do, explains why people dont trust government. You cant blame a dog for eating out of the garbage. But you can put a lid on the garbage can. In the U.S., people are worried that the lid is coming off.