Welfare Hits Record Levels After 50 Years of War on Poverty

By:  Alex Newman
Welfare Hits Record Levels After 50 Years of War on Poverty

Fifty years ago this week, President Lyndon Johnson announced the “War on Poverty” during his first State of the Union Speech. Under the Obama administration, however — five decades, countless unconstitutional federal welfare programs, and more than $20 trillion later — poverty levels remain largely unchanged even based on official numbers, and dependence on government has reached unprecedented new heights.

In reality, Americans’ economic fate is far worse than even bogus government statistics would suggest. Even more troubling is that analysts say the trends look set to accelerate as Washington, D.C., intensifies its failed efforts to supposedly achieve “victory” in the “war” while the Federal Reserve conjures ever greater quantities of currency into existence.

Since Obama took office, 13 million more Americans have become dependent on food stamps, with the numbers now hitting a record 47 million — about a third more than when he was sworn in. In 2007, there were 26 million recipients. Spending on the scheme has more than doubled just since 2008. The explosion of the program, along with other welfare schemes, has resulted in countless commentators and critics labeling Obama “the Food Stamp President.”

By 2011, Census Bureau data released last year showed that the number of Americans receiving means-tested federal welfare benefits outnumbered those with year-round full-time jobs. Almost $1 trillion annually goes to the programs, with over 100 million Americans receiving some sort of benefits — not including Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment. Under ObamaCare, with its massive subsidies even for those earning many times more income than the poverty level, dependence is expected to surge even further.

As the number of Americans dependent on government was growing, so were the ranks of the unemployed. As a Fox News report pointed out, in 1964, when Johnson declared “war,” almost nine in ten men between 18 and 64 years old were employed. By 2012, less than three-fourths of adult males in their prime working years had jobs. Obama and some members of Congress are now working to drive those numbers even higher with a proposal to prohibit employment at any wage under $10 per hour, all but ensuring more dependence on government if the scheme is approved.

Meanwhile, between 2009 and 2011, a shocking one third of Americans slipped below the federal poverty line for at least two months, data show. Under the Obama administration, the Washington Post, citing the recession, noted that persistent, chronic poverty rose from three percent to 3.5 percent even as many more Americans experienced brief periods under the official line — currently $23,492 per year for a family of four. Also, the median amount of time spent below the poverty level surged from 5.7 months to 6.6 under the current administration.

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