"Once tax expenditures for social welfare programs are included in social spending figures, the U.S. welfare state is a similar size to those in Europe."
You don't hear about that every day! Here are some details:
"Based on direct spending on social welfare programs as a proportion of the total economy, the U.S. (at 16.2 percent) lags behind every country in Europe except Slovakia, according to data analyzed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. By contrast, when it comes to tax breaks with a social purpose, the U.S. -- at 2 percent of gross domestic product -- leads the pack."
You also don't hear that those tax expenditures go to the middle class and especially to the rich.
By Dan Froomkin
January 13, 2012 | Huffington Post