The Great Society at 50: Time for America to surrender the war on poverty

If it is really a war on poverty, where is our white flag of surrender? Photo: AP Images

WASHINGTON,  January 6, 2014 — The war on poverty has been a complete failure.

The New York Times is America’s state media for liberalism. Their zeal for ideology over the truth is comparable to North Korea’s state media.  But even the New York Times cannot hide the truth.


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In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson launched the Great Society, his “war on poverty.” His first mistake was calling it a war since Democrats have a reflexive desire to ensure that we lose any war we engage in.

When Johnson launched the Great Society, he wanted to create a permanent welfare state.  His goal was never to eliminate poverty. Democrats are the biggest poverty pimps out there.

Poverty enables the Democrats. Prosperity kills them.

Unfortunately for most Americans, the Republican Party is an indicted co-conspirator in the Democrats’ efforts to keep Americans ensnared in poverty. They have helped keep the Democrats in power.


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As we hit the 50th anniversary of the Great Society, it is past time to reexamine the program and start eliminating most of it. If the War on Poverty were a real war, we would be asking our enemy for the terms of our surrender. 

That is as it was intended; the Democrats benefit when we lose the war on poverty.

On June 1, 2011, the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight and Government Spending of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing on the issue of “Duplication, Overlap, and Inefficiencies in Federal Welfare Programs.”

During that hearing, the Chief Operating Officer of the GAO testified that the government could not identify the number of welfare programs in various government departments.  She could not tell the committee what the cost of those programs was nor could she even tell if any of the programs worked.


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That was three years ago, and the government has done nothing since then to try and get a handle on the failure that is welfare.

The so-called “Obama-phones” are a classic example of government welfare waste.

Despite repeated accounts of abuses, including people getting not one, but multiple Obama-phones, nothing has been done to eliminate the program. The program supposedly exists to give people phones for an “emergency,” yet these phones give people hundreds of free minutes of talk time plus a huge number of text messages.

Life Link is one of the Obama-phone vendors. The program is so profitable for them that they advertise for new users. They offer 250 minutes a month free plus 1,000 text messages a month. That is four plus hours of talk time per month plus 30 or more text messages a day. Other than a teenager, who sends 30 text messages a day?

This program is not helping the poor. It is another program liberals can throw out to convince supporters to vote for them because of what they can “give” them as well as one more financial perk they can reward their crony capitalist buddies with.

So what has Johnson’s Great Society done for America?

It has institutionalized poverty. It has created ghettos. It has allowed for a permanent government poverty class. For the left, which wants to destroy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, they have found they don’t need dictatorship, all they need is the welfare state.

Either the Great Society was designed to end poverty or it was designed to create a permanent base of Democrat voters. It has failed in one objective and succeeded in the latter.

For both of those reasons, the welfare state of the Great Society should be abolished as soon as possible.


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Judson Phillips

Judson Phillips is the founder of Tea Party Nation, one of the largest Tea Party Groups in the country and the number one national tea party site on the Internet.

A lawyer by profession, Judson has been involved in politics since his teens. “Ronald Reagan inspired me,” he says.

Judson became involved in the Tea Party movement in February 2009 after hearing Rick Santelli’s rant on CNBC.   “I heard there was going to be a Tea Party in Chicago inspired by Santelli, but didn’t know if anyone was doing a rally in Nashville where I was based.  Finally I emailed Michelle Malkin and asked her if there was a Tea Party in Nashville.  Malkin sent an email back saying, ‘No, why don’t you organize one?’  I did.”

The first Tea Party in Nashville was held late February 2009 which drew a crowd of about 600. Judson then organized the Tax Day Tea Party in Nashville, which drew over 10,000 people into downtown.   It was at this time that Tea Party Nation was formed.  Later that year, Judson decided to bring activists from across the country together, so he organized the first National Tea Party Convention in February 2010, which featured Alaska’s former Governor and Republican Vice Presidential Nominee, Sarah Palin as it’s keynote speaker.

He currently manages the Tea Party Nation website, writes several daily columns and is working on more projects than any one person should.  He is a frequent guest on cable and broadcast news shows, including on Fox, MSNBC, CNN and others.

Contact Judson Phillips

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