Suzanne Mettler


Revealing the Submerged State

The hidden quality of social welfare benefits in the tax code means that many people are largely unaware of them, and have no idea of their overall impact. How could these policies of the submerged state be revealed, and what difference would it make? Matt Guardino and I created a web-based experiment to test the… Read more »

Redistributing Upwards

Most people think of social welfare policies as ones that aim to help people with low or moderate incomes, but the largest entitlements in what I call the Submerged State conglomeration of policies channeled through the tax code and subsidies to private organizations—benefit especially high income households. The three submerged policies that are most costly… Read more »

Invisible Policies

One of the themes of my new book, The Submerged State: How Invisible Government Policies Undermine American Democracy, is that Americans are largely unaware of many public policies, even if they benefit from them themselves.  This was indicated, for instance, by a table from my earlier work that was discussed on the Monkey Cage last… Read more »

20,000 Leagues Under the State

Beneath the surface of American government lurks a system of social programs for the wealthy that is consuming the federal budget. It’s time for progressives to do battle with tax expenditures.