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. 

  • America has spent more on welfare than defense since 1993.
  • The War on Poverty has cost $22 trillion -- Johnson's estimate of $970 million, not withstanding. This is three times more than what the government has spent on all wars in American history.
  • Federal and state governments spend $1 trillion in taxpayer dollars on America's 80 means-tested welfare programs annually.
  • One-third of all Americans receive benefits from at least one welfare program.

    What has the United States gotten in return for all of this spending? It hasn't led to a drop in the poverty rate, which remains close to the same level it was when the War on Poverty began. 

    First, the War on Poverty has failed to achieve Johnson’s goal: to strike “at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty.” Since he declared “unconditional war,” poverty has thumbed its nose at its would-be conquerors. The official poverty rate has hovered between ten and fifteen percent for fifty years. But that is only a part of the story. Since the 1960s, the institutions that contribute to self-sufficiency—namely, marriage and work—have declined. Today, more than 40 percent of children are born outside marriage; in 1964, only 7 percent were.

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?







[an error occurred while processing this directive]