Will We Ever See An Exit Strategy From The War On Poverty?
President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ), in his 1964
State of the Union speech, declared
"unconditional war on poverty in America." LBJ said:
"Our aim is not only to relieve the
symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent
"We must enact youth employment legislation to put
jobless, aimless, hopeless youngsters to work on useful
"We must distribute more food to the needy
through a broader food stamp program."
The "poverty" rate, when LBJ said that,
was 19 percent, and, according to Cato
Institute researcher Michael Tanner, "… falling
rapidly." Tanner also says that despite $12 trillion in federal
welfare spending and $3 trillion in state and local government
welfare spending over the past 48 years, "the poverty rate never
fell below 10.5 percent and is now at the highest level in nearly a
decade." (15.1 percent in 2012 and rising). As Tanner says,
"Clearly, we have been doing something wrong."
To add to the “something wrong” theme, Keith
is a good read. He states that Obama is creating his own “War On
Poverty” by increasing welfare spending to about 25 percent of GDP,
implementing his “ObamaCare,” and (what he calls) investing in new technologies.
Koffler states, “All while running up the deficit to new records.
At least Lyndon Johnson did Socialism in the absence of a roaring
deficit.” Koffler also says that, under Obama, the poverty rate
for blacks has grown from 25.8 percent to 27.4 percent.
Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the US’s
"War On Poverty," with no end in sight. Sargent Shriver,
tasked to implement LBJ’s "War On Poverty," said in 1964
that 1976 would be "the target date for ending poverty in this
land." Well, that date has come and gone, yet poverty is still
with us. Can we consider the "War On Poverty" to be a
failure? Can we “move on?”
Democrats called upon President George W. Bush for
an exit strategy from Iraq. They were advised to make an exit
strategy the number one post-2004 election issue.
Here’s what Harry Reid had to say
"The president needs to spell out a
real and understandable plan for the unfinished work ahead. Most of
all, we need an exit strategy so that we know what victory is
and how we can get there; so that we know what we need to do and so
that we know when the job is done." [emphases
Ironic, isn’t it, that Reid’s comments apply just
as well to the "War On Poverty" as they do to the war in
And, in June 2005, none other than Nancy Pelosi
the "Strategy For Success" amendment to H.R. 2863. The
amendment would have required President Bush to submit to Congress a
plan for success in Iraq and a withdrawal timetable. But the
amendment was defeated 223 to 200. See page CRS-15 for more
And here’s what Joe Biden had to say
"By misrepresenting the facts,
misunderstanding Iraq, and leading the war effort badly, this
administration has brought us to the verge of a national-security
Biden was speaking of George W. Bush’s handling of
the Iraq war. Substitute "War On Poverty" for "Iraq"
in Biden’s statement, and it equally applies to ALL Democrat
presidents and administrations, especially the national-security
"The United States needs a new
strategy in Iraq and the Persian Gulf. The war is at
best a stalemate; the large American presence now causes
more trouble than it prevents. We must disengage from Iraq – and
we must do it by removing most American and allied military units
within 18 months. Though disengagement has risks and costs, they can
be managed. The consequences would not be worse for the United
States than the present situation, and capabilities for dealing with
them are impressive, if properly employed." [emphasis
Again, substitute "War On Poverty" for
"Iraq and the Persian Gulf" in Posen’s statement, and it
equally applies to ALL Democrat presidents and administrations.
Here is a quote
from Bush in 1999 that Democrats are fond of marching out:
"Victory means exit strategy, and
it’s important for the president to explain to us what the exit
Well, Democrats, that quote cuts both ways. Does
the fact that no exit strategy has been proposed mean that there has
never been (nor will there ever be) a victory in the "War On
Democrats have, for some reason, yet to call for
an exit strategy from the never ending "War On Poverty," a
war that has not been won, a war that has lasted longer (49 years
versus 8 years) and cost far more than the Iraq war ($15 trillion
versus $811 billion). So, the (rhetorical) question is, "Are
Democrats hypocrites?" They want an exit strategy from Bush,
but do not seem to want one for a war that one of their heroes
Perhaps the Iraq war exit strategy Dear Leader
Barack Hussein Obama used could also work with the "War On
Poverty." Obama, in October 2011, declared the
Iraq war to be over, saying, "After nearly nine years, America’s
war in Iraq will be over."
Naaaaaaaaaaah! It will not work here. Obama’s
exit strategy will not be used in this country because declaring the
"War On Poverty" to be over will not garner any votes for
Democrats. And votes is ALL Democrats think about.
Why, then, don’t Republicans call for an exit
strategy from the "War On Poverty?" Too many RINOs in
Congress is the only reason I can think of. Why rock the boat when
it’s not necessary? Their view is that the good of the country be
damned, reelection is just too important. Moving on is just not
going to happen.
But that’s just my opinion.
Please visit RWNO, my personal, very conservative web site!