Republicans, Democrats and the Impact of Government Social Spending

Christopher Faricy, Syracuse University

Rhetoric aside, Republicans as well as Democrats have increased social spending through the federal government. But as Christopher Faricy spells out in his book, Republicans have favored tax credits and subsidies that boost the fortunes of the privileged and increase income gaps overall.

Faricy’s new SSN Key Findings brief summarizes the major findings of his recently published first book, Welfare for the Wealthy: Parties, Social Spending, and Inequality in the United States (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Many pundits presume that the United States imposes higher tax rates on the rich to pay for public spending on programs for the poor. But in recent decades, as Faricy shows, Republicans have taken the lead in riddling the U.S. tax code with hidden breaks and subsidies that mostly benefit private groups and high-income workers. Government loses resources needed for broad-based social programs to reduce income inequality. His findings have been featured in Vox and Salon.

Christopher Faricy is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. His research focuses on the politics of income inequality, specifically examining how the major parties use tax policy to distribute federal money.

November 2015