Research Paper Help on Voter Preferences on State Government Spending

Voter Preferences on State Government Spending

The state and local budgets usually reflects the resident preferences, since the residents voted for the officials. For instance, the existing Medicaid, Medicare and social security programs are developed to fit the needs of the citizens. Officials elected by the citizens usually decide the question of cut spending on the various programs. Most of the Medicaid grants are provided to the state governments to plan for the welfare spending. Meanwhile, the state and federal budgets comprises of fair composition of the programs in the state. The taxpayers only receive indirect benefits through state and local development programs in the society. After the voters elect new officials, they have no control on the design of the state and local budgets. Thus, the citizens are required to be supportive in implementing the state and local allocation of funds. It is critical to understand the importance of the public in making the governments more accountable (Funk and Christina 301). The public should be more involved in various government survey, and focus groups. This would increase their opportunity of influencing the state and local budgets. Public participation initiatives are crucial in the design of improve public programs in the community. The state officials should seek for public opinion on the design of the budget. This enhances the corporation between the state governments and the public in the states.

It is clear that Texas voters have diverse political and economic views on government spending and taxes than the residents of Massachusetts. Massachusetts and Texas states have different nature of spending and revenues in relation to their economic growth.  Texas voters have become popular with the strong opinions on social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other tax expenditures such as tax subsidies. This differs from the Massachusetts who appears less concerned with the tax expenditures and state spending. However, there are mandatory spending and tax expenditures in both states that are invisible to citizens and the policy markets. This includes the recurrent expenditures programs in the state. Such expenditures hide from the access of the policy makers. In addition, the Texas voters understand the useful of proper allocation of funds and resources on the state development program. Thus, the voters usually push the state government towards increased funding of the development programs. Both Massachusetts and Texas voters favors the expenditures on more effective and reliable programs in the society leading to political benefits. 

  The state government of Massachusetts has made proper tax expenditure programs that promote efficient allocation of resources and spending.  Thus, the people of Massachusetts are usually satisfied with the government allocations unlike the inefficient allocation of resources in Texas. Texas voters are vocal to express their dissatisfaction with the state government allocation on inefficient programs and initiatives (Funk and Christina 312). Tax spending should be based on effective and efficient programs that promote the living standards of the people. The differences in the funding of development program in Massachusetts and Texas leads to the differences in the Massachusetts and Texas voters’ preferences in government spending.

The differences in the direct democracy concepts between the two states can also explain the preference differences. This includes the state reform programs such as budget changes. Massachusetts has made various reform programs to fulfill the demands of the citizens in terms of spending. Most importantly, the state government allows the citizens to take part in direct participations in institutional and framework reforms. In contrast, Texas state government lacks does not consists of appropriate initiatives of involving the public. Thus, the lack of public involvement in state government spending leads to voter’s chaos on the selected state government expenditure programs. In summary, the aspects of democracy and public involvement affect the voter’s preferences on the various government spending programs and units.

There are has been concern on the nature of campaign finance regulations and rules representing the interests of the citizens in the two states. There is great variation between the two states in terms of campaign regulations.  In Massachusetts, the campaign funds are limited to a certain level. In contrast, the state of Texas has not set up any strict regulations on the solicitation of campaigns. This allows the political leaders to manipulate the citizens on the various state spending programs. In Massachusetts, the citizens are more vigilant on the government spending programs. Another relevant regulation is the redistributive policy that controls the level of government spending. For instance, the liberals support the increase in the level of welfare spending, unlike the conservative Texas voters. The voters of Massachusetts are usually ready to adopt new programs that would lead to the development of the state economy. As a result, the nature of state regulations also limits the voter’s preferences in terms state government spending.

According to Tax Policy Center (2013), the total state expenditures per capita in Massachusetts is $8, 597 and $3,526 in Texas. The 2013 State Tax Revenue report indicates that the total tax revenue of Texas is higher than that of Massachusetts at $ 51, 714 million compared to Massachutts’$23, 901million. In terms of total revenue and per capita revenue in 2013, Texas has the total revenue of $90, 580. 423 million and per capita revenue of 4,030.37. On the other hand, Massachusetts has total revenue of $41,615. 765 million with per capita revenue of $6,495.36. This indicates that Massachusetts has a higher level of per capita tax revenue than the Texas’ per capita tax revenue.  The level of total expenditures reveals that Texas a higher total expenditure than Massachusetts with Texas with $77, 338.118 million and Massachusetts with $38, 405. 514. However, the per capita expenditure rate of Massachusetts is higher than Texas with Massachusetts at $5,994.31 and Texas at $ 3,441.53 on spending per capita on public assistance.

 In terms of the coverage of Medicare benefits in the two U.S states, Massachusetts has 17 per cent of its population covered by Medicaid benefits while Texas has only 12 per cent Medicare coverage. This implies Massachusetts has a slightly higher Medicaid coverage than Taxes. It is also important to compare the level of the per capita spending on public assistance. Massachusetts spends about 7 per cent of its total expenditures on public assistance. While Texas, only spends 10 per cent of its total expenditures. The current education spending per pupil reveals that Massachusetts spends $13, 941 per pupil While, the state of Texas spends $ 8,671 per pupil on education. In terms of protection spending by state police, Massachusetts spent 3.5 per cent of the total expenditures on state policing and 4.0 per cent on Texas. In 2014, the maximum unemployment benefits of Massachusetts were recorded at $ 674 and $454 at Texas.

Works Cited

Funk, Patricia, and Christina Gathmann. “Voter preferences, direct democracy and government spending.” European Journal of Political Economy 32 (2013): 300-319.

Tax Policy Center. Income Tax Expenditures. TPC. N.d Web. 2013.  18 February 2015. Accessed from <http://taxpolicycenter.org/numbers/index.cfm>.