"Many people worry that a majority of the voting-age population will soon pay no federal income tax and will, therefore, be motivated to vote themselves even more federal transfers. Undoubtedly, most of those paying little in taxes want more government transfers, and a large percentage of them vote for such subsidies. But the desire for transfers does not explain why recipients go to the polls, or vote for them. The fact that an increasing number of Americans pay no federal income tax does raise serious concerns. But the best hope for dealing with these concerns comes from recognizing that the desire for transfers that others will pay for has almost no effect on people's voting behavior. This conclusion, which may surprise many people, follows directly from thinking about incentives and about opportunity costs."