Americans believe Europeans live in a lush welfare state that they actually can’t afford, hence the Euro Crises, looming state bankruptcies in places like Greece, Portugal and Ireland, and a tendency to hang around in their social hammocks instead of rolling up their sleeves and getting on with the job like a Yank. American, they think, like “small government” (and the Republicans would like it even smaller) versus Europeans who like the governments big and proliferate.
In fact, as David Brooks helpfully points out in his column in the New York Times, it ain’t necessarily so.
According to data compiled by tax experts Donald Marron and Eric Toder of the Urban Institute, the U.S. spends significantly more on welfare for its citizens than Europe. Only it doesn’t actually spend – it gives tax breaks. Different system, same result. (weiterlesen …)