Taxes Too High? Political Parties Too Divided?

Written by: Matt Grossmann

With Charles Ballard and Arnold Weinfeld 

Primary Source:  Michigan Policy Wonk Blog, May 3, 2018

Do we know what we really pay in taxes? Are our political parties united on the issues, the candidates, or the fundamental policies that have traditionally formed them? Listen in for a few answers and a few more questions from State of the State podcasters Matt Grossmann, IPPSR’s Director, Charles Ballard, director of IPPSR’s State of the State Survey and IPPSR Associate Director Arnold Weinfeld. They talk together and share the air with guests monthly.

Now an IPPSR staple feature, the production is featured on radio stations on the air and over the internet, on SoundCloud at, over ITunes, on Facebook, Twitter and on the IPPSR website at Hear IPPSR’s State of the State Podcast on MSU Today with Russ White via WKAR and as a member of the Spartan Podcast family at

On MSU’s campus, IPPSR specializes in policy education, leadership training and survey research in MSU’s College of Social Science. We are the home of the Michigan Political Leadership Program, the Office for Survey Research, State of the State Survey, Legislative Leadership ProgramRosenthal Legislative Internship Program, more than 60 affiliate faculty membersstudent policy fellows and major research databases on topics of interest to academic researchers, legislators, policy makers, elected leaders and journalists around the world.

IPPSR thanks MSU’s Communications and Brand Strategy office, MSU Director of Public Relations Jennifer Davis, Producer Russ White of MSU Advancement Marketing and Communications, IPPSR Policy Fellow Abbey Frazier and all those who support the efforts necessary to make this production possible.


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Matt Grossmann
Matt Grossmann serves as the Director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research and Associate Professor of Political Science at Michigan State University. His research spans national and state policymaking, election campaigns, interest groups, and political parties. His current work explores key differences between major political parties and economic inequality in policy influence. He is the author of Artists of the Possible: Governing Networks and American Policy Change Since 1945, published by Oxford University Press in 2014 and The Not-So-Special Interests: Interest Groups, Public Representation, and American Governance, published by Stanford University Press in 2012. He is author of numerous journal articles on such topics as policy change, political party networks, the legislative process and public opinion. His research appears in the Journal of Politics, Policy Studies Journal, Perspectives on Politics, American Politics Research and other publications. He also writes for blogs and popular media. His roots are also deep in practical politics, especially in candidate training, policy and survey research. His experience includes work at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government, the Institute of Governmental Studies, the Center for Voting and Democracy and the Center for Democracy and Technology. A member of MSU’s faculty since 2007, he is founder and director of the Michigan Policy Network and served as liaison to MSU’s Washington Semester Program. He received his bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College, his master’s in political science in 2002 and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2007. He became IPPSR director in January 2016.