(NaturalNews) In the mid-1960s, President Lyndon B. Johnson, that era's left-winger, was not content to merely fight a needless, pointless, misguided war in Vietnam. Ever the progressive, Johnson also wanted to fight a similar kind of aimless and unwinnable war in the United States, so he concocted a so-called "War on Poverty" that, over the next four decades, would see the country spend a staggering $14 trillion with zero return on the investment.
In fact, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the number of Americans currently living at the poverty level is exactly what it was when Johnson began his "war" against it.
From The Associated Press:
As President Barack Obama began his second term in January, nearly 50 million Americans - one in six - were living below the income line that defines poverty, according to the bureau. A family of four that earns less than $23,021 a year is listed as living in poverty. The bureau said 20 percent of the country's children are poor.
Today's poverty is caused by - the sequester?
In the years since the 1965 passage of legislation creating the modern-day welfare state and after implementing hundreds of "training" and "jobs" programs, hiring thousands of government employees and bureaucrats, spending hundreds of billions a year and trillions of taxpayer dollars over a generation, the country has nothing to show for it. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing.
As pathetic as that is, the media's sham explanation for all of it is even worse. Today's current 1960s-poverty level isn't the fault of failed, flawed welfare policies - which were never designed to lift Americans out of poverty but rather to hook them on taxpayer benefits so they become dependent, reliable voters of expansive government. No, Republicans, rich people and the sequester are to blame.
From the same AP story:
While the U.S. economy is slowly recovering, improvements for those deep in poverty do not keep pace with the cuts now in place. The spending reductions going into effect will hit hardest at Americans whose prospects are not directly tied to the economy...
Democrats want a deficit reduction plan that includes some spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy. ...Republicans want to see even more cuts in next year's budget, reductions that would, by and large, return military spending to pre-sequester levels and provide big tax benefits to wealthy Americans.
Policies that sustain poverty are to blame
Did you catch that? Cutting spending is bad. Tax increases - especially if they are leveled against evil rich people - to continue feeding this failed "war on poverty" is good (even though the top 10 percent of earners already pay 71 percent of income taxes and are the class of earners who actually hire people).
This AP story is reflective of the left-wing mindset of the likeminded politicians who have been enablers of a permanent "poverty class" in America. These politicians support policies that create or implement:
-- higher gasoline taxes, which hit low-income people harder;
-- higher cigarette taxes (lower-income people tend to smoke more, according to research);
-- higher payroll taxes (as evidenced by the sunset of the 2-percent payroll tax holiday at the beginning of this year);
-- higher food prices;
-- job-killing laws like Obamacare.
These are just some of the most common policy positions these politicians take, all the while pretending like they care for "the poor."
It's a scam. It's always been a scam. It always will be a scam because like other groups, these politicians exploit the poor for their own selfish political ends.
Permanent cycle of poverty
"Since we started the War on Poverty in 1965, the federal government alone has spent more than $13 trillion fighting poverty," writes Michael D. Tanner, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute.
"Throwing money at the problem has neither reduced poverty nor made the poor self-sufficient. Perhaps it's time to focus less on making poverty comfortable, and more on creating the prosperity that will get people out of poverty. That means that if we wish to fight poverty, we must end those government policies - high taxes and regulatory excess - that inhibit growth and job creation," he says.
It's not about time we did these things, it's past time we did them, as the current Census Bureau figures on poverty prove.