Forty-eight years after President Johnson declared war on poverty, the number of poor people in the United States remains stubbornly high....Total welfare spending in constant 2011 dollars (including state and local funds) has risen from $256 billion in 1965 to $908 billion today. Measured as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), total welfare spending nearly tripled from 2.19 percent of GDP to 6 percent. In 2011, there were 126 antipoverty programs administered by seven different cabinet agencies and six independent agencies. Combined with state and local spending, government spends $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three. Given that the poverty line for that family is just $18,530, poverty should theoretically have been wiped out many times over. According to Obama administration projections, over the next 10 years, federal and state governments will spend $250,000 for every American currently living in poverty.
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National Center for Policy Analysis
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