The candidate, and party, that seizes on this in 2012 stands a good chance of winning. The current public animosity to federal spending is very much connected to the themes that Cowen and Winship identify: Washington has been spending unearned wealth like a spoiled billionaire’s heir for too long.
Americans, being egalitarian in sentiment (as Norton’s study shows) simply got fed up. Republicans responded to this sentiment in 2010. If they continue to do so by adding a complementary economic platform in 2012, they could steamroll to victory in more ways than one.
But they might blow it.