Does Political Trust Erase Ideological Differences over Spending Cuts and Revenue Increases?

19 Pages Posted: 7 May 2018 Last revised: 12 May 2018

See all articles by John D'Attoma

John D'Attoma

University of Exeter

Kim-Lee Tuxhorn

University of Calgary - Department of Political Science

Sven H. Steinmo

University of Colorado at Boulder

Date Written: May 4, 2018

Abstract

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

D'Attoma, John and Tuxhorn, Kim-Lee and Steinmo, Sven H., Does Political Trust Erase Ideological Differences over Spending Cuts and Revenue Increases? (May 4, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3173654 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3173654

John D'Attoma (Contact Author)

University of Exeter ( email )

University of Exeter Business School
Streatham Court, Rennes Dr., Rm. 1.19
Exeter, Devon EX4 4PU
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.johnwdattoma.com

Kim-Lee Tuxhorn

University of Calgary - Department of Political Science ( email )

2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N1N4
Canada

Sven H. Steinmo

University of Colorado at Boulder ( email )

1070 Edinboro Drive
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

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