The $20 Trillion Welfare Question

Drudge has linked to several articles this morning reporting on the record number of people below the poverty line in the country.  The latest numbers from the Census Bureau show that 50 million people, including 20% of children in the country, are living below the poverty line.  The poverty rate is at its highest levels since the ‘60s.


The amazing thing about all these articles from the liberal media is that they cannot confront reality even when it smacks them in the face.  This AP story decries the $86 billion in sequester cuts and how they will affect the success of anti-poverty programs.  Aside for the fact that half the cuts are incurred by the military and that spending levels for anti-poverty programs will essentially be frozen at Obama-era levels, the absurd irony is totally lost on these reporters.  We are witnessing these record poverty levels precisely after five decades of the War on Poverty, and particularly after the sharpest rise in spending on welfare programs.

The question that no liberal can answer is this: why is poverty at an all-time high after $20 trillion in spending on welfare programs (before Obamacare kicks in)?  Do we need to spend just another $20 trillion to find that magical panacea?  Yet, these obdurate fools have the audacity to look at baseline spending cuts, which haven’t even taken effect yet, as the culprit for the poverty that has already been created, perpetuated, and exacerbated by the welfare state.


Robert Rector and Jennifer Marshal put out an informative piece several months ago detailing the failures of the welfare state.  They found that our $20 trillion in inflation-adjusted spending on welfare programs has cost more than three times all of the real wars combined.  Our annual combined federal and state welfare spending is approaching $1 trillion.  Spending on Food Stamps alone has gone from $19.8 billion in 2000 to $84.6 billion in 2011.   In 1966, the poverty rate was 14.7%.  Now it’s at 15%.  We literally could have flushed $20 trillion down the toilet and netted the same result (actually the lack of dependency would have resulted in less poverty).

The biggest insanity of liberal politics is that they can come back every election year and say that people will languish in poverty….if we don’t continue the same policies that have grown poverty for a half-century.  It is impossible for any sane person to actually believe that throwing more money at the problem will solve poverty.  Well, maybe in the case of the media you can apply Psalms 82 – “they did not know and they do not understand [that] they will walk in darkness.”  But with regards to the elected politicians, they know exactly what they are doing.  Their objective is not to help the poor; it is to create a permanent dependency class in order to consummate a permanent Democrat governing class.  By that measure, their policies have been a resounding success.


After answering the $20 trillion question, we must also answer the 12 million dollar question: how will granting undocumented Democrats an inevitable path to voting rights, including the “Dreamers” who will receive an expedited path, help turn the tide against the fake war on poverty?

Cross-posted from The Madison Project



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