Geez, it’s been 50 years since Lyndon Johnson launched his “war on poverty” and the war never ends. It goes on and on, and gets more and more expensive. It didn’t eradicate poverty, it expanded it as it made living in poverty comfortable. Paying for all of these policies has put the squeeze on the middle class, so those of us who work hard every day aren’t much better off than those on the dole. Heck, some days I feel like we’re worse off.
This year, the cheerleaders for big government are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the launching of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.
This should be an occasion for mourning, not celebration, because it was the most expensive legislative failure in our history.
Yes, failure. Today we have 4 million Americans who have been unemployed for more than six months, 49 million Americans living below the poverty line and 100 million people receiving some form of food aid from the federal government.
After Johnson’s 1964 election, one of the biggest landslides in U.S. history, he brought about the largest expansion of government in our history, surpassing even the expansion of government initiated by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1930s.
Instead of lifting Americans out of poverty, LBJ’s 40 federal programs trapped millions of Americans in poverty and permanent dependency. Today’s legislative battles — raising the minimum wage, expanding and perpetuating government-financed health care for seniors and the poor, extending long-term unemployment benefits, and big appropriations to the education establishment — are all about extending spending for Johnson’s programs.
Read the whole thing for a list of all of the expensive programs Johnson started. The Jobs Corps alone is costing us almost $2 billion a year, with only a fraction of participants actually getting jobs. (The last link has a video that includes a woman talking about this war on poverty and saying “It doesn’t matter how much it costs.” Progressives still think that, because it’s always someone else’s money. They won’t even admit when they’ve run out of other people’s money. So they just borrow from future generations. Why do they hate children so much?)
Oh, and you’ll never guess who is a big fan of LBJ and how he got things done. If you said “Jeb Bush” you get a gold star.