Recently the Supreme Court put an end to Joe Biden’s efforts to gift erstwhile college students almost a trillion dollars in “debt relief”. That’s a lot of money… but in reality that’s a tiny fraction of the money the government has wasted on redistribution, AKA social programs over the last six decades.
Next year the United States will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the War on Poverty, initiated by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. The War’s programs initially started on a modest scale but have expanded almost parabolically since. At the 50th anniversary of the launch the government had spent more than $22 trillion on various welfare and redistribution programs and today spends $1 trillion a year on said programs… not including various “targeted” expenditures under Social Security or Medicare, which make the true total simply unknowable. To put that in perspective, $1 trillion is greater than the GDP of 194 of the world’s 213 countries.
Is this massive expenditure justified by the results of the War on Poverty? Initially one might suggest the results say yes. As of 2021, poverty in the United States hovered at approximately 11.6%, down from the approximately 18% rate in 1964 when the War on Poverty began. That’s a reduction of 6.6%, or almost one third.
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