Fifty years ago, LBJ’s speech writer, Richard Goodwin, was asked to strip naked and swim with a naked Lyndon Johnson.
Press secretary Bill Moyers, the only LBJ senior staffer who survived the administration with his reputation intact, also had to jump in. He still regales us with his opinions on PBS — the last Wise Man of that era to do so. His war on personal poverty was highly successful.
While swimming with Johnson, Goodwin gave him a tip. Start something called “the war on poverty.” Johnson loved the phrase. He used it, along with “the Great Society.”
That society was not great. That war was lost.
Johnson lost the war in Vietnam. So did Nixon. Finally, Ford pulled out the troops.
No one in power in Washington suggests that the war on poverty has been lost, and that we should pull out the troops.
AN UPDATE AT HALF CENTURY
Here is an article on poverty. Drudge posted it, so it got coverage.
The Census has been tracking these data since 1959, when the percentage of children under 18 living in poverty was 26.9%. In 1964, when then-President Lyndon B. Johnson announced the War on Poverty, the percentage of children living in poverty was 22.7%. Since then until now, the percentage has decreased by only 6.2%.”In 2012, over one in five children (21.3%) in the United States, some 15.4 million, were poor — both their poverty rate and estimated number poor were statistically unchanged from 2011,” said the CRS report. “The lowest recorded rate of child poverty was in 1969, when 13.8% of children were counted as poor.”
So, after 50 years of welfare spending, the poverty rate has not changed. A variation of 6% is basically statistical noise.
(For the rest of my article, click the link.)