Counterintuitively, the relatively strong Canadian trust in government may have paved the way for government spending cuts, a pattern that also appears in Scandinavia. Citizens were told by their government leadership that such cuts were necessary and, to some extent, they trusted the messenger.
It’s less obvious that the United States can head down the same path, partly because many Americans are so cynical about policy makers.
Perhaps this helps explain the tea-partiers' indifference to actual spending cuts, while wailing that we have become a communist country. I mean, check out this Palin quote:
President Obama has ended production of the F-22, the most advanced fighter jet this country has ever built. He’s gutted our missile defense program by eliminating shield resources in strategic places including Alaska. And he’s ended the program to build a new generation of nuclear weapons that would have ensured the reliability of our nuclear deterrent well into the future. All this is in the context of the country’s unsustainable debt that could further limit defense spending.
I know she's nuts, but do you see the total insanity here? We are in a debt crisis so it's important to keep spending as much as possible on defense! And save social security! And do nothing to Medicare! Palin, of course, is also grotesquely distorting what the president actually said, as Greg Sargent explains here.