Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered his famous “War on Poverty” speech, purposing “not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.” Unfortunately, like our other wars in the last half-century, this one has not lived up to its noble ideals.
Despite our spending more on this “War on Poverty” than on all the military wars in America’s history, the poverty rate today is nearly the same as it was 50 years ago. Instead of preventing poverty, we have locked millions into government dependency and inter-generational poverty. Our welfare programs have, too often, provided disincentives for able-bodied adults to work and tax penalties for fathers to remain in the home.
Empirical studies have concluded that children born and raised outside traditional marriages are five times more likely to experience poverty than their peers from intact families. They also face obstacles educationally, behaviorally, and relationally.
We need win to the “war on poverty” by enacting welfare reforms which promote self-sufficiency and strong marriages, keeping both fathers and mothers in the homes and involved in the lives of their children!