The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later – A House Budget Committee Majority Staff Report, March 3, 2014.
“Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty. Since then, Washington has created dozens of programs and spent trillions of dollars. But few people have stopped to ask, “Are they working?” In “The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later,” the House Budget Committee majority staff starts to answer that question. There are at least 92 federal programs designed to help lower-income Americans. For instance, there are dozens of education and job-training programs, 17 different food-aid programs, and over 20 housing programs. The federal government spent $799 billion on these programs in fiscal year 2012. But rather than provide a roadmap out of poverty, Washington has created a complex web of programs that are often difficult to navigate. Some programs provide critical aid to families in need. Others discourage families from getting ahead. And for many of these programs, we just don’t know. There’s little evidence either way.”