Poverty Up 30.5% for Americans 18 to 64 Since LBJ Declared War on Poverty

Ali Meyer, CNS News, June 4, 2014

The percentage of 18- to 64-year olds who live below the poverty level has increased 30.5% since 1966, two years after Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We have declared unconditional war on poverty. Our objective is total victory. I believe that 30 years from now Americans will look back upon these 1960s as the time of the great American Breakthrough toward the victory of prosperity over poverty,” said then-President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

According to a House Budget Committee Report, the federal government spent $799 billion on 92 programs to combat poverty: $100 billion on food aid; $200 billion spent on cash aid; $90 billion on education and job training; $300 billion on health care; and $50 billion on housing, in fiscal year 2012 alone. {snip}

According to the Census, there were 26,497,000, or 13.7% of 18- to 64-year olds, living below the poverty level in 2012. In 1966, the same age group reported 10.5%–11,007,000 people out of 105,241,000–living below the poverty level.

This means that since 1966 the percentage of 18- to 64-year olds living in poverty has increased 30.5%–from 10.5% to 13.7%. {snip}

When looking at all ages, the House Budget Committee Report shows that, since 1965, the poverty rate decreased from 17.3%  to 15%. {snip}

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