Fresh from an extended Hawaiian vacation involuntarily funded by taxpayers, Barack Obama was ready to settle back into his familiar class warfare rhetoric this week. In observation of the 50th anniversary of the utterly ineffective War on Poverty, the White House released a report analyzing the past several decades of ostensible progress.
While the report touted a nearly 10 percent drop in the American poverty rate since 1964, the method of measuring that statistic allows for the inclusion of countless government handouts. Instead of heralding the self-sufficient American spirit, this report instead offers a tacit celebration of the welfare state.
“The most important lesson from the War on Poverty,” the report asserts, “is that government programs and policies can lift people from poverty. Indeed, they have for the past 50 years.”
Among the additional proposals included in the report is an automatic minimum wage hike, which Obama and many of his fellow leftists have been clamoring for in recent months.
Overall, the report reflected Obama’s personal philosophy: heavy on government intervention with little attention paid to individual liberty and freedom.
According to the White House, more than 19 percent of Americans would be living at or below 50 percent of the poverty line without the largesse of the federal government. As it stands, the report claims, only 5.3 percent of Americans currently struggle with “deep poverty.”
Prior to Lyndon Johnson’s misguided War on Poverty, Americans were generally encouraged to fend for themselves as much as possible, rely on family and churches in extreme cases, and count on government as a last resort. Throughout the past half-century, though, those priorities have shifted to the point that the White House celebrates welfare as a lifestyle instead of the suboptimal, temporary safety net it was intended to be.
Considering Obama himself is one of the most successful government moochers in American history, it is no surprise his administration’s view of income inequality would be clouded by his own experience. His ability to trot around the globe on someone else’s dime serves as an inspiration for those struggling to make ends meet with only the food stamps, tax credits, housing allotments, and countless other handouts currently provided by the welfare state.
Such programs should exist for only very specific circumstances; however, today’s political left understands that by perpetuating government dependency, they can virtually guarantee such dependents will reliably vote Democrat in perpetuity.
–B. Christopher Agee
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