The root cause is very simple. Democrats haven't done squat for the white working class since the early 1960s, when they passed Medicare. Since then, all they've gotten from the Democrats is condescension, accusations of racism, nativism, sexism, etc. - and the Dems joining with Pukes to raise their payroll taxes. This makes them vulnerable to the Repuke line that Dems are taking their earnings and give them to the "wrong" people, ie minorities, who "refuse to work" and earn their way in life. They'll tell you they know this, but can't prove it with numbers. They're half right: Democrats and Republicans have indeed been taking their money and giving it to the wrong people: it's been funding the gap left in the federal budget by tax cuts for the wealthier classes for 30 years! The net result is that working poor are now confirmed fatalists about taxes. In fact they are Second Generation fatalists, since Reagan and Tip O'Neill and Bob Dole worked that first "Grand Bargain" To Screw The Working Class back in the early 1980s when the current working class were kids watching their parents struggling and collapsing under the simultaneous burden of deliberate deindustrialization, union busting and rising payroll taxes. The working class have therefore an unshakeable sense born of their harsh experience that whatever their diminishing income is being taken for, it will mostly not be used to benefit people like themselves. If there's some "program" out there, they generally won't qualify for it because they actually have a job or several jobs. (Most of them would prefer to have a job or two and not be able to make ends meet than to accept government assistance sufficient or insufficient to their needs.) Since the axiom all my tax money goes to benefit others is the one thing they think they can rely on from the government now and in the future, they would rather join with rich Republicans and push the overall level of taxation down. Of course Republicans are happy to merely shift the tax burden onto working poor folks, and Democrats as the other party of the rich are often happy to join them too, but that's never an overt plank of the Republican anti-tax rhetoric. They just talk about reducing taxes, "fair" taxes, "flat" taxes and so on. How much less they will be allowed to keep if Republicans have their way on income taxes, than the rich will be allowed to keep, and how the inevitable budgetary shortfall will be made up in higher CONSUMPTION taxes imposed by their state, is always left as a surprise for the working class to discover, each on their own as the march of political events and their native intelligence shall permit. They're on their own like this because the Democratic Party, with the exception of a few marginalized figures like Howard Dean, DOES NOT CARE TO REPRESENT THESE PEOPLE NOR TO APPEAL TO THESE PEOPLE ANYMORE. The Democrats don't make their case to these people and frankly they DON'T HAVE ONE TO MAKE.