Many people today (especially conservatives) think that our basic freedoms are threatened--that even apparently innocuous reforms are a step down the road to serfdom. But there have always been people like that--in 1961 Ronald Reagan warned about how Medicare was part of the process of "imposing statism or socialism" on the people--so the question is whether there are more than there used to be.
In the 1960s and 1970s, there were only a few questions on the general topic:
1964: "The federal government is gradually taking away our basic freedoms."
42% Agree; 51% Disagree; 7% Don't Know
1965: "Some people say that Americans have lost or are losing some of their constitutional freedoms. Just your own personal opinion, do you agree or disagree?"
46% agree; 44% disagree; 10% Don't Know
1976: "The Federal Government is gradually taking away our freedoms"
34% Fully agree; 36% Partially agree; 30% Disagree
1977: "The Federal Government is gradually taking away our freedoms"
37% Fully agree; 31% Partially agree; 31% Disagree
Since 1995, the following question has been asked pretty frequently "Do you think the federal government [has become so large and powerful that it] poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens, or not?" Sometimes the words in brackets were included. A graph of the percent agreeing:
The red line is questions including the "large and powerful" language. Agreement is consistently higher when those words are added, but either way there seems to have been a decline from the mid-1990s to about 2000, and then a rise. Unfortunately the few questions from the 1960s and 1970s are worded differently, so it's hard to come to any definite conclusions about long-term trends.
[Data from iPOLL, Roper Center for Public Opinion Research]