Advocacy

Poverty Up 30.5% for Americans 18 to 64 Since LBJ Declared War on Poverty

from – CSNNews.com – by Ali Meyer

The percentage of 18- to 64-year olds who live below the poverty level has increased 30.5% since 1966, two years after Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We have declared unconditional war on poverty. Our objective is total victory. I believe that 30 years from now Americans will look back upon these 1960s as the time of the great American Breakthrough toward the victory of prosperity over poverty,” said then-President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

According to a House Budget Committee Report, the federal government spent $799 billion on 92 programs to combat poverty: $100 billion on food aid; $200 billion spent on cash aid; $90 billion on education and job training; $300 billion on health care; and $50 billion on housing, in fiscal year 2012 alone.  (See War on Poverty Report.pdf)

According to the Census, there were 26,497,000, or 13.7% of 18-  to 64-year olds, living below the poverty level in 2012. In 1966, the same age group reported 10.5% — 11,007,000 people out of 105,241,000 —  living below the poverty level.

This means that since 1966 the percentage of 18- to 64-year olds living in poverty has increased 30.5% — from 10.5% to 13.7%. The Census did not report data for this age group in years 1965 and 1964.

When looking at all ages, the House Budget Committee Report shows that, since 1965, the poverty rate decreased from 17.3%  to 15%.

“The incidence of poverty rates varies widely across the population according to age, education, labor force attachment, family living arrangements, and area of residence, among other factors. Under theofficial poverty definition, an average family of four was considered poor in 2012 if its pre-tax cash income for the year was below $23,492,” according to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) reportentitled, Poverty in the United States: 2012.

“The Census Bureau’s poverty thresholds form the basis for statistical estimates of poverty in the United States,” says the CRS report.  “The thresholds reflect crude estimates of the amount of money individuals or families, of various size and composition, need per year to purchase a basket of goods and services deemed as “minimally adequate,” according to the living standards of the early 1960s.”

“Persons are considered poor, for statistical purposes, if their family’s countable money income is below its corresponding poverty threshold,” CRS states.


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JAY
7 years ago

WE ARE LOOKING AT THE DEMISE OF THE ONCE GREAT USA. THIS ARTICAL IS PROOF POSITIVE, IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME. WE CAN NOT RELY ON SPINELESS POLITICIANS TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. EITHER PARTY, THEY BOTH ARE RESPONSIBLE. MOSTLY DEMS, BUT REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN THERE EVERY INCH OF THE WAY. I’M 73, SO I MIGHT MISS WHATS COMMING. WHEN I WAS A YOUNG MAN I TRIED LIVING BEYOND MY MEANS, IT DID’NT WORK FOR ME, AND ITS NOT GOING TO WORK FOR OUR COUNTRY. I AM NO ROCKET SCIENTIST, BUT ALL YOU HAVE TO HAVE IS ONE OR TWO FUNCTIONING BRAIN CELLS, TO SEE THE LIGHT. I FEEL VERY,VERY SAD FOR OUR GRANDKIDS AND THIER GRANDKIDS…..

TD
8 years ago

PaulE hits the “nail on the head”! How do ya fight that war???

Rik
8 years ago

The “War on Poverty” is a complete success! … Under Socialism, we now have 2 classes of people, the rich and the poor, there is NO middle class! The rich will be extremely rich and all-powerful and the rest of us, citizen slaves, will be equally poor! But, we’ll now be beholden to our rich “masters” to allow us all to “exist” for their entertainment and pleasure! Bow ye down, slaves!!!

PaulE
8 years ago

The War on Poverty in essence created a massive governmental infrastructure to subsidize the very people it was supposedly designed to help by removing or reducing the incentive to gradually work your way up the economic ladder over time. The more you subsidize something, the more of it you have over time because you’ve changed the expectation levels of the people you’re subsidizing. Thus you end up creating a whole new class of people. All with the expectation that the government will always be there to provide some level of assistance.

In the Progressive (Socialist) model, as the number of people in this class grows, it is incumbent upon the government to provide more and greater subsidies to aid this expanding class of people. That of course entails increasing taxes upon the rest of the population to pay for this government largess. Thus the need for massive income re-distribution in the so-called name of “fairness”, “economic justice” or “economic equality”. This upward spiraling of people receiving these benefits and the subsequent increased taxes needed to pay for them is all well documented in the numerous socialist democracies around the world.

From the Conservative perspective, we would of course view the War on Poverty as a dismal failure. There are more people on these so-called anti-poverty programs at an increased cost to the taxpayer than was ever envisioned and the numbers continue to grow.

However, from the Progressive perspective, the War on Poverty is a resounding success. They have created a permanent class of people fully dependent upon the government for various means of their subsistence and that number of people is growing larger with each passing year. They have destroyed the incentive for these people to try to work their way up the economic ladder over time. Thus their mindset is now focused upon protecting their access to these various governmental programs at all costs. This translates into these people voting to keep those in power, the Progressives, who support not only maintaining these programs, but expanding them over time. So from that perspective, the War on Poverty is a huge success.

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