50 Years After The War On Poverty Began And Look Where We Are Today


It’s been 50 years since Lyndon Johnson started the “war on poverty.” The federal government has spent trillions of dollars fighting poverty in the last half a century, but where has it gotten us? I guess living in poverty today is more comfortable than it was 50 years ago, but there has been little change in the poverty rate, and under President Obama things have gotten worse.

“What I think the American people are really looking for in 2014 is just a little bit of stability,” Mr. Obama said.

Although the president often rails against income inequality in America, his policies have had little impact overall on poverty. A record 47 million Americans receive food stamps, about 13 million more than when he took office.

The poverty rate has stood at 15 percent for three consecutive years, the first time that has happened since the mid-1960s. The poverty rate in 1965 was 17.3 percent; it was 12.5 percent in 2007, before the Great Recession.

About 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, which the federal government defined in 2012 as an annual income of $23,492 for a family of four.

President Obama’s anti-poverty efforts “are basically to give more people more free stuff,” said Robert Rector, a specialist on welfare and poverty at the conservative Heritage Foundation. (Read More)