No one wants to see the needy go hungry or without basic necessities like clothes and shelter. After trillions of dollars spent, however, Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty has been an utter failure in reducing homelessness or otherwise helping the poor. Those who are in genuine need tend to rely more on their families, communities, churches, and neighborhoods for assistance, while the federal welfare bureaucracy is characterized by cold inhumanity, fraud, and waste, subsidizing the very social problems it claims to cure.

Many billions are wasted every year, most of it consumed by the bureaucracy itself, while the problems of poverty rage on. It is a bad deal for the taxpayers, but most of all for the Americans caught up in a cycle of endless dependency. Despite the Clinton-era “welfare reform,” heralded by Republicans and Democrats alike, the federal government spends more than ever on its counterproductive welfare state. Meanwhile, many of the root causes of poverty are never addressed, because they involve economic interventions, from labor regulations to licensing laws, that are favored by powerful special interests.

Learn more about Welfare problems and solutions:

“From War to Welfare: How Taxes and Entitlements Begin with Militarism”
Ivan Eland (The American Conservative) February 27, 2013

“The Great Society’s War on Poverty”
Robert Higgs (The Freeman) October 1, 2011

“Why Freeze Spending on Only Part of the Budget?”
Ivan Eland; January 27, 2010

“From Welfare State to Police State”
Stephen Baskerville (The Independent Review) Winter 2008

The Poverty of Welfare
(book review in The Independent Review) Fall 2004

“Poor Before Welfare
David T. Beito (National Review) May 6, 1996

See Also:

The Independent Institute’s Archive on Welfare