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Happy 50th birthday to the War on Poverty!

Happy 50th birthday to the War on Poverty!

Do we really have to let this thing reach 65 before retiring it?

At NRO, Arthur Brooks explains that government's good intentions were never enough to make the War on Poverty an actually success:

The past half-century has had its ups and downs, but the past half-decade offers reason for pessimism. Since January 2009,

  • Food-stamp recipiency has increased fully 50 percent. Forty-eight million Americans — one-sixth of our country — require food assistance to get by;
  • Labor-force participation has fallen to 63 percent. The smallest fraction of Americans since the 1970s are employed or seeking work;
  • Uptake of disability insurance — permanent unemployment for millions — has surged by 20 percent. On average, a million new people have begun collecting disability every year;
  • Unemployment among African-American teens has climbed to 38 percent.

The administration is quick to blame the Great Recession (or George W. Bush), and everyone knows the fierce headwind that the economic crisis created. But ultimately, there will be no excuses: History will assign responsibility to the president of the United States. Barring a miracle, the Obama years will be remembered as the time America gave up ground in our War on Poverty.

Click here to see what other experts have to say about the War on Poverty and its golden anniversary.

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