Tea Party critics might find this interesting: A slim majority of Americans approve of the expanding of the federal government to deal with the economic recession in a poll out Wednesday.

The Gallup Poll found that 53 percent approve of the larger government role in the economy while 44 percent disapprove.

The poll comes as Tea Parties have cropped up across the country on Wednesday to protest, among other things, expanded government and increased spending.

Notably, the number that approved of the expanded role were divided into two camps. Thirty-nine percent said they like the expanded role but want it reduced when its over and only 13 percent said they would like it to be permanent.

Interestingly, there also appears to be a difference in how the words "spending" and "expansion of government" are perceived. A plurality - 46 percent - say President Obama has expanded the government the "right amount" to deal with the economic crisis. However, a majority -55 percent - say Obama's economic proposals call for too much government spending.

In any event, it appears that the country is nearly equally divided on the issue.

There was a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points in the poll.