Does Political Trust Erase Ideological Differences over Spending Cuts and Revenue Increases?
19 Pages Posted: 7 May 2018 Last revised: 12 May 2018
Date Written: May 4, 2018
Does political trust erase ideological differences over spending cuts and revenue increases? Prior research has shown that the ideological gap over spending increases and tax cuts narrows at high levels of political trust. We extend this literature by examining whether the dampening effect of trust operates in the inverse, with attitudes toward spending cuts and revenue increases. We suggest that support for spending increases/tax cuts and support for spending cuts/tax increases, although closely related, are fundamentally different. A tax increase may demand greater material and ideological sacrifice from individuals than tax cuts. The same logic can be applied to support for spending cuts. We test the trust-as-heuristic hypothesis using measures of revealed budgetary preferences from a population-based survey containing an embedded budget simulation. Our results accord with the general expectation that trust eliminates the ideological gap between liberals and conservatives, adding a new empirical addendum to the theory.
Keywords: Budgets; Simulation; Taxes; Public Spending; American Politics
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation