The United States has a divided social welfare state split between public programs and tax subsidies for private benefits. Moreover, this separation is mapped onto divisions of political party and socioeconomic class. Democratic elites prefer creating and expanding public programs that assist the working poor and Republicans prefer using tax subsidies to help wealthier citizens pay for social services and benefits. Are these relationships among partisanship, socioeconomic class, and patterns in social spending reflected in public opinion? Do Democratic voters and the working poor favor public social programs over private? Are Republican voters more likely to support tax subsidies for private welfare over public spending? My analysis shows that while both public spending and tax breaks enjoy similar levels of support in the aggregate, there are partisan and class differences in support for direct social spending versus tax subsidies for social welfare.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Social Sciences(all)