Despite spending almost $16 trillion since the War on Poverty began in 1964, welfare programs have failed to reduce the causes of poverty, and instead have hurt many of the people they were intended to help.
Despite spending almost $16 trillion since the War on Poverty began in 1964, welfare programs have failed to reduce the causes of poverty, and instead have hurt many of the people they were intended to help. Poverty in America is overwhelmingly linked to the absence of fathers and a lack of work, but welfare payments have had the destructive effects of eroding marriage and the work ethic in low-income communities. The welfare reform of 1996 transformed one program, significantly reducing welfare rolls and lowering child poverty. But today that reform is in jeopardy, and some 70 other federal means-tested programs need similar reform.
Welfare on the Rise. The growth of welfare spending is unsustainable and will drive the United States into bankruptcy if allowed to continue unreformed. Welfare spending is projected to cost taxpayers $10.3 trillion over the next 10 years.
The President’s Budget. President Obama’s FY 2011 budget request would increase total welfare spending to $953 billion, a 42% increase over welfare spending in FY 2008.
The Collapse of Marriage. The collapse of marriage is the predominant cause of child poverty in the U.S. today. When the War on Poverty began, 7% of children were born out of wedlock; today, the figure is over 40%. Most alarmingly, the out-of-wedlock birthrate among African–Americans is 72%.
Amnesty Will Make the Problem Worse. If the U.S. government were to grant amnesty or “earned citizenship” to illegal immigrants, the welfare system would be flooded with new recipients. Of the 11 million–12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., at least half lack a high school degree.