Why did people support Bush's tax cut even though it would result in very little benefit to them as individuals, a larger rich-poor gap, and budget deficits?
In the most extensive analysis yet available, Larry Bartels, a political scientist at Princeton University, gives a simple but persuasive explanation: "unenlightened self-interest." Middle- and lower-income Americans supported tax cuts they suspected went largely to the rich because they thought they, too, would benefit, if only by a small amount, and because they failed to connect the tax cuts to rising inequality, their future tax burden, or the availability of government services
Larry Bartels concludes that "most Americans support tax cuts not because they are indifferent to economic inequality, but because they largely fail to connect inequality and public policy." In this sense, Homer Simpson had it backward when he said, "Just because I don't care doesn't mean that I don't understand."