Re: Re: Makers and Takers

by Ramesh Ponnuru

David, that would be a perfectly fine criticism of my column if I had argued that no person votes for the Democratic party to maintain his benefits, or denied that people generally dislike cuts in the programs from which they get benefits. My actual point was to refute the theory that the increasing percentage of the population that receives government benefits explains why the Democratic base vote has grown. As I note and you repeat, low-income voters have long favored the Democrats in general. As I also note and you ignore, the trend over time tells against the theory that dependency on government is what’s driving election results.

Between 2004 and 2008, the Democratic share of the presidential vote grew faster among people making above $100,000 a year than among people making less. People making less than $50,000 moved toward the Democrats in those years too, but that movement was just in keeping with the general trend of voters. More recently, low-income voters have moved toward the Republicans even as the size of the welfare state has grown.

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