The War on Poverty, which President Lyndon Johnson declared nearly 50 years ago, has “failed miserably,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said Thursday -- and he wants to figure out what approaches would work to get Americans out of poverty.
“When I look at the money spent, when I look at the programs created, when I look at the miserable outcomes and the high poverty rates, as a policy maker, (I say) ‘We can do better than this and we need to figure out how.’”
Ryan said he and his party must “launch an effort with open minds and open hearts on how best to attack the root cause of poverty” and “restore upward mobility in America.”
The Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012 and a potential GOP presidential contender in 2016, Ryan will hold a Budget Committee hearing
next week to assess anti-poverty programs.
“Next year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the War on Poverty. We’ve spent approximately $15 trillion and the question we ought to be asking ourselves is, ‘where are we?’ With a 15 percent poverty rate today -- the highest in a generation -- and with 46 million people in poverty, I would argue it’s not working very well.”
He said, “We shouldn’t be measuring our success in the war on poverty by inputs, by how much money we throw at programs, by how many people we enroll in programs; we ought to be measuring success in the War on Poverty by measuring how many people we get out of poverty." . . .