Americans are strongly in favor of a very large COVID-19 relief bill. It seems likely that this enthusiasm reflects more than just anxiety over the pandemic; many Americans are fed up with decades of a stingy welfare state, and in this crisis they finally see an opportunity to make back some lost ground.

A recent report by McKinsey & Co. found that countries that generally spend less on social welfare ended up increasing their government spending by more during the pandemic. A look at the data shows this relationship fairly clearly:

The Anglosphere countries — the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada — tend to do substantially less social spending than European countries like France, Germany and Sweden in normal times. But the U.S., U.K. and Canada boosted their spending much more in 2020 than those other countries (Australia did less, but probably just because it wasn’t hit as hard by the virus).