Analysis of The War on Poverty

787 Words Jul 8th, 2018 4 Pages
The “War on Poverty”, introduced by former US President, Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address, was the unofficial name for legislation. President Johnson delivered his "War on Poverty" speech at a time of recovery in which the poverty level had fallen from 22.4% in 1959 to 19% in 1964. Critics saw it as an effort to get the United States Congress to authorize social welfare programs. [1] During Johnson’s 1964 Presidential campaign, he often spoke about his vision for America. He envisioned an America "where no child will go unfed and no youngster will go unschooled; where every child has a good teacher and every teacher has good pay, and both have good classrooms; where every human being has dignity and every worker …show more content…
Our chief weapons in a more pinpointed attack will be better schools, and better health, and better homes, and better training, and better job opportunities to help more Americans, especially young Americans, escape from squalor and misery and unemployment rolls where other citizens help to carry them. Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.” [3]
President Johnson declared the war on poverty 50 years ago and at that time only 19 percent of all Americans were poor. He claimed that as a wealthy nation we can afford to win this war. He proposed many initiatives such as expanding food stamps to providing new unemployment insurance.
Priorities have changed since. Food benefits were cut down at an average of 7 percent costing around $9 a month for about 48 million Americans, in November 2013. The food stamp program that had been enacted was allowed to expire during the great recession. In January, 1.3 million Americans were unemployed. They were scheduled to stop receiving unemployment checks, after Congress refused to lengthen the extension of jobless benefits to 73 weeks, from 26.
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