August 05, 2019

We Lost the War on Poverty: Why Welfare Keeps Poor People Poor
When President Lyndon Johnson launched his War on Poverty in the 1960s, he pledged to eliminate poverty in America.More than five decades, several welfare programs, and $25 trillion later, the welfare system has utterly failed the poor.The poverty rate remains mostly unchanged, and tens of millions of Americans are dependent on government assistance.Currently, the United States spends about a trillion dollars a year on 80 different federal, state, and local welfare programs.About 40 million Americans are considered poor. If we divided that $1 trillion among those 40 million people, we could give each person approximately $25,000 a year, or $100,000 a year for a family of four.We’re clearly spending a lot of money, so why have we not ended poverty?Our welfare system discourages work. It discourages families from staying together. And it encourages dependence on government.In other words, welfare keeps the poor poor.In many cases, welfare has harmed the very people it was supposed to help, especially children.Why has this happened?As welfare benefits grew over the years, they increasingly served as a substitute for a working parent.As the taxpayer became the family breadwinner, that encouraged many men to stop upholding their responsibilities, leaving more and more women as heads of single-parent households.On the other side of the coin, single mothers were discouraged from marrying the fathers of their children because that reduced their benefits.Sadly, the cycle continues today as many children who grow up on welfare eventually follow in their parents’ footsteps when they have families of their own. So, what do we do?
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