Deal or No Deal
Deal or No Deal
Taxes, Government Spending, and Alabamians Having Their Cake and Eating It Too
Political scientist and public opinion expert Natalie Motise Davis uses Alabama as a laboratory to study the paradox of a consistently churlish attitude toward the federal government on the part of so many white southerners and the region's equally consistent disproportionate benefitting from federal funding. Southern states benefit the most from federal programs and tax expenditures, Davis tells us, yet southerners have significantly more negative opinions about the role and performance of Washington than others around the country. Not only is the degree of southern reliance on the federal government not common knowledge in Dixie, it actually has little bearing on southern white opinions of the central government. Davis explores why is there is such a disconnect between the fact that Alabamians benefit disproportionally from public spending and tax policies and the belief by 40 percent, for example, that they pay “more than their fair share” in federal taxes. The chapter employs both aggregate and survey data in an accessible way to shed light on this apparent and important contradiction.
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