Spreading misinformation about the welfare state

Way out of my league here, but I like seeing justifications for my intuitive belief that the welfare state is not the cause of economic evil, and that the US should double down on the safety net, not cut it.

From the Center for Economic and Policy Research, via Paul Krugman:

If the [Washington] Post had fact checkers, they would ask Samuelson why, if the problem is an excessive welfare state, the countries with the most generous welfare states appear to be doing just fine. If we just take the measure of spending relative to GDP, the leaders would be countries like Sweden, France and Denmark, all of which are surviving the crisis reasonably well. None of the crisis countries rate near the top of the list.

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