Look at the contrast between the mayor’s reassurance about tiny sacrifices and Johnson’s bold declaration in his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964.
“It will not be a short or easy struggle, no single weapon or strategy will suffice, but we shall not rest until that war is won,” Johnson pledged. “The richest nation on earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it.”
Fifty years after the War on Poverty began, the boldest declaration our new champion of liberalism can muster is that his own expansion of the welfare bureaucracy will cost the New York elite no more than their daily dose of caffeine. Oh, how the price to ease their consciences has fallen in half a century. And yet the poor are still impoverished.
Here are the facts: After 50 years and trillions of dollars, bureaucratic government has lost the war on poverty. Each year, we spend $17,000 per person in poverty on means-tested welfare programs alone, as Peter Ferrara points out. That adds up to more than $16 trillion since 1965. Yet today, left-wing leaders like Mayor de Blasio and President Barack Obama still call inequality “the defining issue of our time.” What does this say about their welfare bureaucracies?