Welfare Spending Up 41 Percent Under Obama
In 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson declared a “war on poverty” in America, the poverty rate stood at around 19 percent.
Since then, total federal, state, and local spending on anti-poverty programs has amounted to $15 trillion, yet the poverty rate now stands at 15.1 percent, the highest level in nearly a decade.
“Clearly we are doing something wrong,” according to the Cato Institute, which has released a new policy analysis on welfare spending that calls the war on poverty a “failure.”
The federal government will spend more than $668 billion on anti-poverty programs this year, an increase of 41 percent or more than $193 billion since President Barack Obama took office. State and local government expenditures will amount to another $284 billion, bringing the total to nearly $1 trillion — far more than the $685 billion spent on defense.
Federal, state and local governments now spend $20,610 a year for every poor person in the United States, or $61,830 for each poor family of three.
“Given that the poverty line for that family is just $18,530, we should have theoretically wiped out poverty in America many times over,” writes Michael Tanner, director of health and welfare studies at the Cato Institute and author of “The Poverty of Welfare: Helping Others in Civil Society.”