The U.S. Spends Far Too Little On Social Welfare

The US government has a spending problem. Given the country’s level of wealth, the government spends far too little — at least $1.6 trillion a year too little — on social welfare. This exacerbates problems like poverty and inequality, and makes life a lot harder for a lot of people — from families with young children, to would-be college graduates, to the sick and elderly — than it should be. By leaving a large proportion of healthcare spending to the private sector, the United States has ended up with a healthcare system which does not even pass the basic test of universal coverage but is far more expensive than one that was publicly funded were at stake. The best way to show this is to compare US social welfare with similar countries around the world. As a starting point, I use the OECD’s social expenditure database…
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