Thursday, June 05, 2008

What's The Exit Strategy?

It was on 8 January 1964, that President Lyndon Johnson declared a "War on Poverty." In light of the debacle he advanced in Southeast Asia (an undeclared war), it gives him the distinction of being the only American President to have lost miserably two wars.

Yet more than forty-four (44) years later, while we are out of Viet Nam, we are still engaged in the folly --- dare I say "quagmire"? --- of trying to fight a condition most frequently associated with bad personal decisionmaking by merely throwing money at it. By 1993, writes Robert Rector, we had spent more than $5 trillion without appreciably shrinking the percentage of Americans below the government-set "poverty line." Now, fifteen years later, the number may be as much as double the 1993 amount.

In the meantime, as Thomas Sowell observed:
The black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.
GMU economist Walter Williams points out that the defining characteristic of economic success is marriage, noting that "The only distinction between both the black and white populations is marriage — lower poverty in married-couple families."

Now, if I proposed a program to destroy marriage in the black community, I'd rightly be called a racist.

The Left did it, and they're portrayed as "compassionate."

Some compassion.

And it's funny, but it never seems to be enough for the far Left. Spending on social[ist] welfare programs increases in good times, when the economy is growing, and it increases in bad times. Now, I suppose one could make the case that government spending on handouts should increase when economic times are tough, but when the economy is growing!?!?! This fact, more than anything else, is the immediate tip-off that government welfare is not about "compassion," or "priming the pump," or "getting the economy back on track."

It is about power and control, pure and simple.

But I digress. My point is, in the spirit of our friends in the moonbatosphere who complain about spending $1 or $2 trillion dollars to free 25 million people, and bang the drum for precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, even as conditions improve --- oh, wait, that's an official Democrat blog --- it seems fitting to ask:

What is your exit strategy from the War on Poverty?

From those of us who are footing the bill, and decidedly not engaging the social pathologies which cause poverty --- and which many of you refuse even to call "pathologies" any more --- tell us:

What is your timetable for withdrawal?

What are the conditions for "victory"?

When can we exit from the quagmire into which you have foolishly plunged us?

Perhaps when these questions are answered, we can take seriously complaints from these "deep thinkers" about Conservatives' commitment to win the war in Iraq.

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