Even Critics of Safety Net Increasingly Depend on It (The New York Times)


[[{“type”:“media”,“view_mode”:“media_large”,“fid”:null,“attributes”:{“class”:“media-image alignright size-full wp-image-1606”,“typeof”:“foaf:Image”,“style”:“”,“width”:“100”,“height”:“100”,“alt”:“New York Times”}}]]Writing about residents of a county near Minneapolis, Minn., the New York Times found that many “who describe themselves as self-sufficient members of the American middle class and as opponents of government largess are drawing more deeply on that government with each passing year.”

The article turns to Dartmouth’s Dean Lacy, professor of government, to question assumptions about voting patterns, taxes, and government spending. It’s often asserted, the Times writes, that voters “[demand] more spending than taxes. The theory is that citizens who get more than they pay for will vote for politicians who promise to increase spending.”

Lacy, the Times writes, “has identified a twist on that theme in American politics over the last generation. Support for Republican candidates, who generally promise to cut government spending, has increased since 1980 in states where the federal government spends more than it collects. The greater the dependence, the greater the support for Republican candidates. Conversely, states that pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits tend to support Democratic candidates. And Professor Lacy found that the pattern could not be explained by demographics or social issues.”

Read the full story, published 2/11/12 by the New York Times.

Office of Communications