War on Poverty Fails
President Johnson’s first State of the Union speech declared “War on Poverty.” This set Congress in motion creating several programs which were designed to be temporary but still exist today. Current spending on welfare programs, adjusted for inflation, is 13X greater than in 1964.
But poverty rates haven’t decreased and today there are 126 antipoverty programs administered by a massive bureaucracy with a ~$1 trillion budget. Since 2008 President Obama has expanded poverty program spending 42 percent.
Obama is also changing the official “poverty measure” that will increase the number of people considered poor. NYC recently adopted similar measures that increased their poverty number 22 percent since 2008. This will not only grow our deficit; it will buy votes.
Government spends $61,830 per poor family of three a year. That’s 3X above their poverty line. The Obama administration also projects over 10 years that total poverty spending will be $250,000 for every person. It’s hard to comprehend the magnitude of this redistribution.
We need to reverse this dependency culture by helping poor families climb out of poverty. Start by concentrating on lowering high school drop-out rates and reducing teen and out of wedlock pregnancies. Also, teaching sound work ethics is important since only 2.6 percent of full-time workers are poor.
The United States is at a critical crossroads because programs like war on poverty aren’t working. It’s consuming more of our budget and creating a “nanny state” with moral and cultural ramifications. We need to change this tide of government dependence. If we don’t the country is doomed.
South Burlington, Vermont
Tuesday July 31: The Milton Friedman Centennial Program: Going Independent in Vermont Burlington Sheraton Conference Center University Amphitheatre 7:00 PM. Click here for more details.
Sunday August 5: Castleton Republican Annual Family BBQ, 2:00 – 5:00 PM at Crystal Beach, Route 30 North, Lake Bomoseen. Rain or Shine. Meet many of the 2012 candidates and enjoy a great meal.
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