It was 51 years ago today that President Lyndon Johnson declared his War on Poverty. Since that time federal and state government has spent more than $15 trillion on welfare programs. This staggering amount has helped poor people with food, housing, and medical assistance, but it has not eliminated poverty by any means.
The programs set up by President Johnson and the 1960's Democrats created a massive wealth transfer to benefit poor people via huge government bureaucracies. The money moved, but poor people remained poor.
The saddest part of all this wasteful spending is that Johnson knew in 1965 that his programs did not address the biggest problem contributing to poverty among blacks. It was 50 years ago that Kennedy academic Patrick Moynihan released his study, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action. Despite having impeccable progressive liberal credentials, Moynihan was honest enough to recognize the facts, even if they would not be well received by his party.
Moynihan reported "at the heart of the deterioration of the fabric of Negro society is the deterioration of the Negro family." He blamed the increase in out-of-wedlock births as the key cause of black poverty.
As we are all aware, the federal government's welfare laws made no attempt to address this problem. If fact welfare made the problem worse, with many poor black women finding that they could get more welfare assistance without a husband in the home. Moynihan was concerned that the rate of out-of-wedlock black births in 1963 was 25%.
Now 50 years later it is over 70% for blacks and over 40% for the general population. Talk about a big time FAIL.
When the great Chicago running back Walter Peyton was a young boy in the 1950s, he noticed that black men who abandoned their children were ostracized by the black community. You were expected to do all you could to support your family.
Johnson's welfare programs replaced black fathers with Uncle Sam to the great harm of black families.
The 1965 Moynihan report shows that Democratic leadership knew what the real problem was but chose to ignore it. After 50 years we are still paying the price for the harm created by this failure of government to take steps to support families instead of destroy families.
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