December 14, 2010

The Political Advantage of Restraining Spending

  • Stephen Slivinski

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When lawmakers cut spending, conventional wisdom seems to indicate that voters will oust those politicians come the next election cycle. Yet such a claim has little support empirically. A number of studies over the past 20 years seem to suggest that, all things being equal, there is no systematic relationship between spending cuts and adverse political outcomes. In fact, the opposite may be true: there may instead be a political advantage to restraining spending.