The “War on Poverty” was declared 50 years ago by Lyndon Johnson. Summary: We lost the War!
From his program evolved Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, Community Action and an additional 126 programs to date (Now I will say the program did work on one major front! It created 2 to 4 generations of people that are dependent on the government. Remember, dependant people take on a sense of entitlement which leads to loyal voters for that party. Duh!)
From the Census Bureau the poverty rate in 1964 was 19% and it did drop to 16% in 2013. At that rate of reduction it is evident the poor will still be with us in 2264. The poverty fighters want to keep fighting the war with the same weapons and tactics (That would be like trying to fight the war in Iraq with tactics of the Romans.)
Over those 50 years Federal and State governments have spent $16 trillion (adjusted for inflation), yet, no one asks…” Has it improved the lives of those in poverty… or… did it improve the economic potential of those who live in poverty?”
Antipoverty spending is at about $600 billion per year in our $3.4 trillion federal budget. Add in $230 billion in state spending. Wow- almost a trillion spent per year with little improvements.
The amount of money spent on this “war” is close to our National debt. Just think, the amount of money spent on fighting poverty last year alone would have been enough to send every poor person (man, woman and child) a check for $11,000: This $11,000 is the U.S. measure of poverty for an individual. So, by doing so everyone should be out of poverty. Right? So where is the money?
Keep in mind the government data on the income of people in poverty does NOT include other benefits they receive. That is, food stamps, other food subsidies, home heating subsidies, value of Earned Income Tax Credit, value of premiums for private health insurance as a substitute for Medicaid, value of free or reduced school lunches, and, the value of public housing and subsidies.
Remember the government poverty rate was 19% in 1967 and 10% in 2012. Yet, if you eliminate all the government benefits it would have been 25% in 1967 and 31% in 2012. Thus government programs in 2012 reduced poverty in half to 16%.
Thus, the government lost the war on poverty, but, it has taken some territory back.
There are simpler, more efficient ways to correct the issue.
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