Overview#War on Poverty is the unofficial name for legislation first introduced by President of the United States of America Lyndon B. Johnson during his State of the Union address on Wednesday, January 8, 1964 was proposed in response to a national poverty rate of around nineteen percent.
War on Poverty speech led the United States Congress to pass the Economic Opportunity Act, which established the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to administer the local application of federal funds targeted against poverty.
War on Poverty, a part of the Great Society, Johnson believed in expanding the federal government's roles in education and health care as poverty reduction strategies. These policies can also be seen as a continuation of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, which ran from 1933 to 1937, and the Four Freedoms of 1941. Johnson stated, "Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it"
War on Poverty had the following initiatives:
- The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 which created the
- Community Action Program
- Job Corps
- Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), centerpiece of the "war on poverty" – August 20, 1964
- Food Stamp Act of 1964 – August 31, 1964
- Elementary and Secondary Education Act – April 11, 1965
- Social Security Act 1965 (Created Medicare and Medicaid) – July 19, 1965
in 2014Year 2014, 50 years later, "Since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all military wars in U.S. history since the American Revolution. Despite this mountain of spending, progress against poverty, at least as measured by the government, has been minimal."