Poverty spending is up 41% since the start of the Obama administration, according to a recent study by the Cato Institute. The poverty rate remains at 15.1%, which is the same rate it was in 1965, when LBJ declared his “War on Poverty”.
The poverty rate since then has hovered in the 11-15% range since then; the only time it fell below 11% was a short time in the 1970s. In FY2008, federal anti-poverty spending totaled $475 billion dollars. For FY2011, spending was $668 billion in 126 anti-poverty programs.
The study faults the way poverty programs are designed, saying that the increase in spending and largely unchanged poverty rate showed that the issue is not a matter of money, but a matter of what the programs aim to achieve.
“The vast majority of current programs are focused on making poverty more comfortable – giving poor people more food, better shelter, health care, and so forth – rather than giving people the tools that will help them escape poverty.”
Instead, the study recommends refocusing anti-poverty efforts on keeping people in school, discouraging out-of-wedlock births, and encouraging people to get a job – even if that job is a low-wage one.
Trillions in debt. Nearly 50% of taxpayers don’t pay federal taxes. Uptick in anti-poverty spending with no tangible results. What will Obama do next?