FROM THE WAR ON POVERTY TO THE WAR ON PROSPERITY

June 24, 2009

Remember President Lyndon Johnson's first State of the Union Address in January of 1964? It was in this address that LBJ declared a War on Poverty.  The President proposed legislation to combat the poverty rate which at that time stood around 19 percent.

This first major policy announcement laid the groundwork for LBJ's Great Society a society in which the government's role in social welfare programs would expand nearly a fifteen times what it did under his liberal predecessor and mentor Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Welfare programs from education to healthcare were to be funded at an unprecedented pace which eventually caused the raising of taxes that just two years before under JFK were cut, thus inverted a well known adage to become "What goes down, must go up!"

Among the major initiatives in LBJ's War on Poverty were The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, the Social Security Act of 1965, Vista, the Job Corps, Head Start, and the Community Action Program. Offshoots of the War of Poverty were the establishment of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the expansion of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the initiation of the Federal Food Stamp program and Medicaid.

Under Lyndon Johnson and for the following dozen years, the welfare roles increased by 450 percent, out-of-wedlock birthrates quintupled, the number of African-American's dependent on government subsidies grew from 18 to 46 percent and the dollar level of the poverty rate remained the same even though between 1970 and 1982 the inflation rate rose on an average of 11.5 percent a year!

Fast forward to 2009, exactly 40 years after Lyndon Johnson left the White House.  Barack Obama has changed the emphasis of this war.  The focal point now is not on poverty, as Mr. Obama would have no such thing as poverty in his country.  He wants all people equal, prompting the question, does he want everybody in poverty or does he want everybody prospering?

Given the factor that he wants to drastically raise taxes on the Top five percent of taxpayers to help pay for government social programs which promise to cost nearly sixty times more than Lyndon Johnson's, there is no doubt that Obama's is a War on Prosperity.

Consider these factors: President Obama has...

  • taken over the auto-industry;

  • taken over most of the banking industry;

  • committed to taking over health care and socializing medicine;

  • promoted and pushed for more bailouts and generating more stimulus which doesn't stimulate anything;

  • end the Bush tax cuts, bring back the estate (Death) tax, raise corporate taxes, raise taxes on the upper class, and find more tax revenues in the form of value-added taxes, excise taxes, national sales taxes, and more taxes;

This list does not include such items as the promotion of unionization of most businesses (large and small), cap and trade, and the many "czars" he has appointed to cover almost every aspect of American life who will report only to him and are not even brought before the Senate for "advice and consent."  Most GOP lawmakers see all of this as the "Obama Power Grab."

In all of this, Obama is not talking so much about poverty, a word which many say he avoids like the proverbial plague.  He does talk about prosperity and only with negative tones and critical words.  raising the taxes on business owners, successful entrepreneurs, business managers, intelligent investors and the like is only a declaration of War.  Mr. Obama hates success.

Perhaps the President's loathing of the successful capitalist is just a hint at what he truly hopes to accomplish in the second half of his first year in office, viz. circumvent success all around so as to create a nation of failures.  After all, Mr. Obama does want to come across as being the only one capable of a true feat.

For our socialist friends I ask: What greater achievement could President Obama have than to win the War on Prosperity.  He laid out the plan on the campaign trail when he said, "Spread the wealth" and he is implementing the war effort without so much as a peep from the Dems on the Hill.

We believe that the Constitution of the United States speaks for itself. There is no need to rewrite, change or reinterpret it to suit the fancies of special interest groups or protected classes.