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The Scope of Government$
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Ole Borre and Elinor Scarbrough

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198294740

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198294743.001.0001

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Taxing and Spending: Tax Revolt or Tax Protest?

Taxing and Spending: Tax Revolt or Tax Protest?

Chapter:
(p.121) 5 Taxing and Spending: Tax Revolt or Tax Protest?
Source:
The Scope of Government
Author(s):

Maria A. Confalonieri

Kenneth Newton (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198294743.003.0005

As the scale of government expenditures increased across post‐war Western Europe, so did levels of public disquiet at the increases in the rate of taxation required to pay for such expenditure. This chapter estimates the strength and nature of this ‘tax revolt’. Was it a reversion to usual grumbling about high taxes, or was it part of a more serious and fundamental re‐appraisal of the basic redistributive aims of the welfare state? Three basic issues are addressed here: first, the nature of the evidence provided by surveys of mass opinion regarding the tax revolt; second, whether evidence exists that the tax revolt is related to a more general backlash against the welfare state; third, whether the survey data support the view that the citizens of the modern state ‘want something for nothing’ out of the welfare and tax systems in their countries.

Keywords:   tax revolt, taxation policy, welfare state, Western Europe

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