Get Liberated ! - not regulated 

"War on Poverty"

President Johnson's
Special Message to the Congress Proposing a Nationwide War on the Sources of Poverty
March 16, 1964

... I have called for a national war on poverty. Our objective: total victory.

...And in the future, as in the past, this investment will return its cost many fold to our entire economy.

...The new program I propose is within our means. Its cost of 970 million dollars

...And this program is much more than a beginning. Rather it is a commitment. It is a total commitment by this President, and this Congress, and this nation, to pursue victory over the most ancient of mankind's enemies.

 Let us look at the results of this grand experiment. 

  • Between 1965 and 2000, welfare spending cost taxpayers over $8 trillion (in constant 1999 dollars) -- Johnson's estimate of $970 million, not withstanding.
  • From the start of the "Great Society" in 1964 to 1972, families on welfare tripled (approximately 1 million to 3 million). As a showing of appreciation to Johnson for this wonderful job, there was massive and bloody rioting in the ghettos of American cities, peaking in 1967.
  • Out-of-Wedlock births for African-Americans, driven by welfare system rules, has grown from around 20% in the early '60s to nearly 70% in the '90s.
  • The total state and federal annual spending for welfare programs has grown from approximately $40 billion in 1960 to $450 billion in 2000 and continues to increase in spite of the so-called "ending of welfare as we know it" legislation of 1996.
  • From 1960 to 2000, the crime rate has tripled and the incarceration rate has increased by nearly 400 percent (another form of welfare?) -- see Charles Murray's "The Underclass Revisited".
  • At the start of the National School Lunch Program in 1946, there were approximately 7.1 million students that participated. By 1997 there were nearly 27 million participants in spite of an enormous increase in the economic well being of the country during that time (source, USDA "School Lunch Program - Fact Sheets"). Sadly, grades, nevertheless, went down.

The above comes to you from

Writing for the Wall Street Journal in January 2014 under the title 'How the War on Poverty Was Lost', Robert Rector notes that: "Fifty years and $20 trillion later, LBJ's goal to help the poor become self-supporting has failed."

The reasonable conclusion from these events is that the attempt to engineer the end of poverty with Federal poverty programs was in fact misconceived, unnecessary, and tragically counterproductive.

How can these results be in the public interest?

If not the public interest, whose interest did all that money serve?







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