War on Poverty Is Destroying America

The longest war in American history is not Afghanistan. It is an ongoing debacle that we have been losing from the very beginning: the war against property rights, independence, and self-respect that Democrats misnamed the War on Poverty.

Since its beginning, U.S. taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson’s War on Poverty (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusting for inflation, that’s three times more than was spent on all military wars since the American Revolution.

Although it is a staggering amount of money that could have achieved tremendous good had it not been flushed down the toilet, the $22,000,000,000,000 is not the full cost. Think of all the wealth that would have been created if the millions of people seduced into poverty by the government had not been paid not to work.

The welfare state is an end in itself. The objective is not to help the poor, but to grow it by creating more poor. Democrats have been highly successful in this regard.

This is why Obama was reelected despite his glaringly obvious unsuitability for the office. We have reached the point where whoever is less likely to cut off the flow of other people’s money will win.

The political, economic, cultural, demographic, and moral consequences of having let liberals reduce us to this state will soon prove cataclysmic.

By now, no informed person could possibly believe that paying people to be poor will stop them from being poor.

Over 100 million people, about one third of the U.S. population, received aid from at least one welfare program at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient in 2013. If converted into cash, current means-tested spending is five times the amount needed to eliminate all poverty in the U.S.

And yet,

The present poverty rate is almost exactly the same as it was in 1967 a few years after the War on Poverty started.

This is because even people who live quite well are regarded as poor on the grounds that they do not earn their money, and because the welfare state has crippled the institution of marriage, creating an explosion of the out of wedlock births that drive poverty.

The success of Obama indicates that we may have passed the point of no return. Freed from “stigma” (formerly known as pride and morality), people will not stop voting themselves other people’s money until the system collapses into dictatorship. Many of us will live to see this happen unless the situation is reversed quickly.

A civilization can die from a war. The Third Punic War killed Carthage. The War on Poverty is killing America.

It will kill us if we can’t stop it.

On a tip from DinaRehn. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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