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War on poverty: US spent $15 trillion over 5 decades

Nearly 90 million Americans, roughly one-third of the population, are out of work.
Nearly 90 million Americans, roughly one-third of the population, are out of work.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Months after JFK's assassination, Lyndon Johnson told congress and the nation that he was declaring "an unconditional war on poverty in America." Five decades and $15 trillion later, that war is lost.

Taxpayers have been bilked trillions of dollars.

Back in 1964, America's poverty rate was 19 percent. Today, it's 15 percent and the number is rising thanks to failed programs. The government borrowed money and forced taxpayers to spend $15 trillion in anti-poverty programs. However, bureaucrats and politicians have not been held accountable for squandering America's wealth.

With such a massive sum, all the $15 trillion in taxpayers' money did was establish a welfare state in which a victom mentality was rewarded with handouts, government cheese, extended jobless benefits, food stamps, free healthcare, subsidized housing, and other entitlements that encourage leeches to be lazy.

A government cannot lift a person out of poverty. Personal responsibility and hard work lift a person out of poverty. Dependency keeps people poor.

An anti-poverty program should largely consist of job training and technical education to provide poor people with a chance to climb the financial ladder. They should accumulate capital through their own effort.

Waiting for bread crumbs is not an honorable way to live. If you're poor, it's declaring to yourself that you are surrendering to adversity.

Free handouts worth $15 trillion only make the masses dependent on the planks of politicians and government bureaucracy.

Nearly 90 million Americans, or roughly one-third of the population, are out of work. Democrats, and some Republicans, have squandered much of our wealth on ineffective, fraud-laced programs.

Americans without jobs need to learn new skills so they can thrive in a trade or profession that pay decent wages. The government can help them do that.

Teach a man how to fish. Don't give him fish in the hope that he'll vote for you or your political party because he is forced to.

Leaders have an obligation not to waste trillions of our tax dollars on people who choose to bilk the system. They do have a solemn duty to help people help themselves.

Contact: Marv Dumon at marvin.dumon@gmail.com