At the start of the ’60s over 80% of black households were two parent homes and it was also the early ’60’s when heroin started mysteriously flooding into black neighborhoods all across the nation. This was a time when blacks were routinely denied jobs or any way to support their families. In 1964 President Johnson and the Democrats declared “War on Poverty” suddenly plenty of cash and housing became available to poor families with children and it only had one rule (besides income). “No adult male (the father) is to live in the home of family receiving aid” This rule was vigorously enforced with random unannounced home inspections. They would go through your closets and drawers looking for any sign of a man (the father) living in the home. I know this, I lived it, I remember it, as if it were yesterday. This strange lady opening my drawers looking at my stuff and my mom freaking out if her boyfriend ever left something of his at the house. This went on for over a generation. Having more children was encouraged by having no limits on the number and increasing benefits for every additional child. Marriage for young women was discouraged by the simple fact you lose that safety net and it just became a way of life. Before all this the black family was a strong one, headed by men tempered by 300 years of slavery who demanded strict discipline and control.
Johnson and the Democrats managed to break the back of the black family in a generation. The results of blacks raised without a father being self-evident.
War on Poverty By Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield
In his January 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed, “This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.” In the 50 years since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs. Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all U.S. military wars since the American Revolution. Yet progress against poverty, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, has been minimal, and in terms of President Johnson’s main goal of reducing the “causes” rather than the mere “consequences” of poverty, the War on Poverty has failed completely. In fact, a significant portion of the population is now less capable of self-sufficiency than it was when the War on Poverty began.
In fiscal year 2013, the federal government ran over 80 means-tested welfare programs that provided cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services to poor and low-income Americans.
Federal and state governments spend $1 trillion in taxpayer dollars on America’s 80 means-tested welfare programs annually.
Overall, 100 million individuals—nearly one in three Americans—received benefits from at least one of these programs. Federal and state governments spent $943 billion in 2013 on these programs at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient. (Again, Social Security and Medicare are not included in the totals.)
Today, government spends 16 times more, adjusting for inflation, on means-tested welfare or anti-poverty programs than it did when the War on Poverty started. But as welfare spending soared, the decline in poverty came to a grinding halt. The more the government spends, the less progress against poverty is made.
LBJ actually declared, “We want to give the forgotten fifth of our people opportunity not doles.” He claimed that his war would enable the nation to make “important reductions” in future welfare spending: The goal of the War on Poverty, he stated, would be “making taxpayers out of taxeaters.” Because he viewed the War on Poverty as a means to increase self-support, Johnson proclaimed that it would be an “investment” that would “return its cost manifold to the entire economy.”
Although President Johnson intended the War on Poverty to increase Americans’ capacity for self-support, exactly the opposite has occurred. The vast expansion of the welfare state has dramatically weakened the capacity for self-sufficiency among many Americans by eroding and undermining the family structure.
When Johnson launched the War on Poverty, 7 percent of American children were born outside of marriage. Today, the number is over 40 percent. As the welfare state expanded, marriage stagnated and single parenthood soared.
The number of single-parent families with children has skyrocketed by nearly 10 million, rising from 3.3 million such families in 1965 to 13.2 million in 2012. Since single-parent families are roughly four times more likely than married-couple families to lack self-sufficiency (and to be officially poor), this unravelling of family structure has exerted a powerful downward pull against self-sufficiency and substantially boosted the official child poverty rate.
The War on Poverty crippled marriage in low-income communities. The welfare system actively penalized low-income couples who did marry by eliminating or substantially reducing benefits. As husbands left the home, the need for more welfare to support single mothers increased. The War on Poverty created a destructive feedback loop: Welfare promoted the decline of marriage, which generated the need for more welfare.
Today, unwed childbearing and the resulting growth of single-parent homes is the most important cause of official child poverty
This lack of progress in building self-sufficiency is due in major part to the welfare system itself. Welfare wages war on social capital, breaking down the habits and norms that lead to self-reliance, especially those of marriage and work. It thereby generates a pattern of increasing intergenerational dependence. The welfare state is self-perpetuating: By undermining productive social norms, welfare creates a need for even greater assistance in the future.
The effects of welfare have been horrifying.
By Kimberly Brow, ABC News
One In Five American Children Go Hungry and are Malnourished
Child homelessness in U.S. hit all-time high in recent years, new report says
2.5 million homeless children in America today
40% of homeless have jobs
Homeless U.S. Veterans