Study: $15 trillion in welfare spending has had little impact since 1964

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  • kimcatsuki garfield, AR
    Dec. 5, 2013 9:29 p.m.

    How sad all this is. drug test everyone on Federal programs and all the politicians and most of the problems will go away.

  • kimcatsuki garfield, AR
    Dec. 5, 2013 9:25 p.m.

    So many of the comments are right on.The Federal Government is flat wrong.The one thing I did not read in the comments was drug testing for all Federal programs.As far as that goes all federal employes should be made to take monthly drug tests.The private sector does it!. If All these programs were temporary except for special circumstances more people would work their way back into society. The unfortunate thing about these programs is that they take away incentive and our integrity. So 1) should change to short term benefits 2) drug testing

  • Coach Biff Lehi, UT
    July 16, 2012 3:13 p.m.

    Mark, I'm having a really hard time understanding your justification of our current welfare model. We have stranded generation upon generation on welfare, quelling life affirming motivation to excellence and achievement. Do you think that was the goal of the Savior? The fact that you liberals on these posts have the temerity to defend this blood sucking leviathan is beyond the pale. I don't think any of you will be satisfied until we're all considered poor. But, I guess, that just might be your goal. Sure seems to be the goal of the current resident in the white house....

  • GK Willington SLC, UT
    July 15, 2012 12:13 p.m.


    I'm curious? What was the tax rate in the 50's/during the Eisenhower Administration?

  • Mister J SLC, UT
    July 15, 2012 11:20 a.m.

    So, the war on poverty has been at best a push.

    Whats next? Determining the war on cancer, drugs, & terrorism are smoke and mirrors as well?

    at lost in DC 7/11 8:59 p

    And in voting for Mitt, we can keep making sure that the 1% are well cared for & exacerbating the current situation for the rest of us.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    July 13, 2012 8:37 a.m.

    Cedar City, UT,

    Success is not a negative as it's being presented by our leaders.

    Yes we help the poor and needy, but not the idle. Please quit miss interpreting the scriptures.

    A sixteen trillion dollar debt is because of corrupt leadership, not greedy citizens holding to the fruits of their labors.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    July 12, 2012 11:02 p.m.

    @Too -- Through the ages people actually did starve when they had to rely on the kindness of their neighbors. It works for neighbors to help each other when the needs are relatively small (a few meals, some day care, a little bit of rent money, etc.), but what about when needs are more drastic. For example, payment for cancer treatments, payment of rent long term because someone is disabled, etc. How do you propose to care for those people without doing it collectively, through our elected representatives (i.e. the government)? I think sometimes people focus on the "welfare queens" or some story of how someone was ripping off the system and forget that there really are people who need help, and sometimes that needed help is just too large for the neighbors to provide.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    July 12, 2012 10:30 p.m.

    Poverty rate of 15 percent? Then why so many on the dole, and half our people don't pay income taxes? Why do our children need to be fed at school? Why unemployment at over eight percent and many with low pay?

    Wasn't like that in the 1960's. We've been lied to scammed.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    July 12, 2012 1:39 p.m.

    All this religious talk about what Jesus would or wouldn't do to justify bad behavior and greed only goes to show that religion and government are the same thing. They are there for those who can't tell the difference between right and wrong and therefore need a set of rules written down with punitive actions either now or later as a threat to behave like a human.

    Christ wrote nothing and only gave ONE rule, but that's to simple to ask people to treat others as they would want to be treated. People like many above, need to justify treating others poorly as they quest for their version of the Golden rule, Thank You religion

  • Kathy. Iowa, Iowa
    July 12, 2012 11:40 a.m.

    If you want to increase poverty don't graduate from high school and have children outside of marriage.

    Looks like those things are working.

    I was surprised that Mitt hit the nail on the head at the NAACP. Your chance of being poor are 77% if you don't graduate from high school and have a child before you are married. Your children will not do as well in school and life if you are a single parent.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2012 11:29 a.m.


    Okay, fine, and like I said: Religions and charities, get on the ball and start taking care of the needs of the poor and we can get government out of the picture. Don’t just talk, get it done. I’d be happy to let you guys do it. Just get it done. But, you’re not, are you?

    And I don’t expect you to do it yourself (don’t be silly, you might want to read Matt. 6:2-4., though). But you claim religions and charities can do it, then they need to get it done, because people are starving. And I realize that there are charitable and religious people out there working hard, but they really don’t have the resources.

    In the USA if we removed all government assistance to the poor, people would be starving in the streets here. If religions are truly willing to take on all the needs of the poor then do it. But they aren’t, are they?

    Maybe you guys should look at these: Ezek. 22:29,31; Is. 10:1-3.; Jer. 5:28f.

  • LDS Cedar City, UT
    July 12, 2012 10:56 a.m.

    We need to understand the Church's welfare assistance process.

    Church welfare recipients must first seek and obtain assistance from State and Federal programs. And Family assistance is also necessary.

    Then after these sources are utilized and the needy require additional help, then the Church program provides limited assistance.

    The underlying principal here is that we live in a country that is governed by Judeo-Christian principles of caring for the poor. The governmental welfare systems are an essential part of the web of care we all depend on one way or another.

    Our taxes are used for defense, law enforcement, environmental protection, education, infrastructure, health research and science and many other purposes for our benefit.

    Government welfare assistance is part of all those important programs the various levels of governments provide.

    And the Church expects us to support and use those webs to protect, educate and provide for each other.

    It really is a Divinely inspired Constituional government.

    July 12, 2012 10:22 a.m.

    It seems that Jesus was correct when he said, "The poor you have with you always."

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 12, 2012 9:50 a.m.

    Re: mark Salt Lake City, UT
    "Have you given everything you have to the poor, Too? Are you a Christian?"

    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." - Chinese Proverb

    Jesus never taught that it was OK take from the man who worked for his money and give it to the man who was to lazy to support himself.

  • Bill Tibbitts Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    It is silly to evaluate programs for seniors and people with disabilities as if the goal of those programs was to turn them into millionaires.

    Of course, nothing can compete with Cato's Soylent Green plan when it comes to "eliminating" poverty.

  • Whos Life RU Living? Ogden, UT
    July 12, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    The Old Testament is probably the worst book to use for examples of compassion.

    Judges 19:22-30

    For some reason, Christians love to jump back to the Old Testament to justify their beliefs, but ignore Jesus' socialistic ideals in the New Testament.

    How do so many people misinterpret the following scripture?

    Mark 10:21 "Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me."

    If Jesus came today, many of us would not be considered Christian!

  • averageguy WASHINGTON, UT
    July 12, 2012 8:53 a.m.


    When Jesus said to care for the poor, I don't recall him speaking to the Government and telling them to compell the citizens to socialize the funding of the poor. I thought he was speaking to individuals about having compassion for the poor and voluntarily giving of their own personal means to care for those in need. All of Jesus's teachings that I have read seem to be about changing my personal heart towards compassion. Personal voluntary compassion to help the poor is much different than government involuntary compulsion to help the poor. We all have an responsibility to help the poor, I prefer my moral duty as taught by Jesus as opposed to my compelled obligation as required by government. Perhaps it's the same money out of my pocket, but one builds my character, makes me feel good and gives me the opportunity to help those I see in need. The other way brings no such feelings or satisfaction.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 12, 2012 8:52 a.m.

    familiar with the Old Testament?

    You know the story of Joseph who was sold into Egypt? Of the seven years of fat and seven years of lean?

    Read the story again, and note that during the 7 years of lean, Joseph did not just give food to the people, he sold it to them. And when they ran out of money, he had them pledge assets to borrow to buy the food. All this was done so the people would not become dependent on the govenrment, but would realize they were responsible for themselves. Otherwise, in year 8 they would have shown up at the steps of the royal grainery demanding to be fed, because that is what they had become accustomed to during the prior 7 years.

    If you esteem Joesph to have been inspired, you would expect what he did to be in line with what Christ would teach a couple thousand years later.

    in other words, help the poor to help themselves. The infirm, diabled we will always have, and we SHOULD provide for them, but we should NOT make the able-bodied dependent. It hurts them MORE than it hurts us.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 12, 2012 8:32 a.m.

    Folks we have not even begun to see the fallout from all this misplaced “compassion” for poverty that has only increased it! Wait until we are forced to correct it!

  • chaliceman Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2012 7:08 a.m.

    Poverty will always be with us. By definition, poverty includes those on the lower tier of the income scale, no matter what their income is. How we chose to deal with poverty is a reflection on the quality of the culture, its people and institutions. We can do better. Where this article goes wrong is in its assumption that our welfare programs were designed to end poverty. They were designed to assist those in the lower income bracket have the basic necessities for life which include food, housing, health care and education and help many get into a position where they no longer need this assistance.

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    July 12, 2012 6:59 a.m.


    Talk about taking things WAY out of context. You really expect me to feed 6 billion people? I know there are obviously people starving, I never denied that.
    But yes, I do give lots to the poor. Obviously I can't give EVERYTHING. My wife and I made 13K last year--of that, 3K went to charitable organizations, 7K went to school. We lived off of 3K.
    I'm sure when you were a newly-wed you were able to afford to give everything, but I can't. I give what I can, and that's all Christ expects. Libs are so high in their own eyes that they can't accept the fact that conservatives really do give--when they can, what they can. That is the true teaching of Christ. He didn't force anything from anyone. Yet I have to pay what I can PLUS what the Government thinks I can afford. Christlike? More like demonic.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2012 12:51 a.m.

    CottageCheese asks: . . . would Jesus keep feeding them? I hope thats an obvious answer.

    Yes, the answer is obvious, of course He would feed them. Why in the world do you think He wouldn’t?

    Mt. 5:42. Give to him who asks of you. . .

    Luke 3:11. "Let the man with two tunics share with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise."

    Is. 58:66ff. . . . divide your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him. . .

    Deut. 15:7. . . .you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.

    Ezek. 16:49ff. "Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food, and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it."

    There are no loopholes, no strings attached, He never asks WHY someone is poor. Why are you?

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    July 12, 2012 12:51 a.m.

    Article title: "Study: $15 Trillion In Welfare Spending Since 1964 Has Had Little Impact"

    News flash: conservatives have known this since at least 1975.

    (and some of us around here new it would not work even BEFORE Lyndon Johnson started his so-called 'Great Society')

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    July 11, 2012 11:48 p.m.

    Conservatives don't have compassion. Dogmatic liberals don't have competence (and they probably aren't even compassionate either, consider Obama's black list for political enemies and his hit list of terrorists). We need a new liberalism. Jack Kemp (a Republican senator from New York) described himself as being a bleeding heart conservatives. We need bleeding heart conservatives.

  • CottageCheese SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 11, 2012 11:26 p.m.


    If the multitude found out that there was free food every night out at the mount - and quit working to provide their own...
    would Jesus keep feeding them?

    I hope thats an obvious answer.

    PLUS youre taking that story out of context. The multitude wasnt fed because they had nothing... They were fed because they had lefy their homes to follow Jesus and hear his teachings. Having left their own food and resources they grew hungry and Jesud fed them.


  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2012 10:06 p.m.


    I think you are confusing Jesus, who asked individuals to give of their own free will, and using their own good judgement, with Robin Hood, who robbed from the rich to give to the poor so he would be popular with the people and become famous.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2012 9:28 p.m.

    "Do you really think that we are going to let people starve? Do you think I would let my family or neighbors die of hunger? "

    But you are. People are starving, Too. And we are letting them. Your neighbors are starving. Children are starving. Oh, wait a second, you mean only your immediate neighbors, right. You aren't talking about all of God's children around the world, are you? Just Americans. That live next to you. Ah, of course. Well tell you what, why don't all you charitable people and religions get on the ball and start taking care of the needs of all the poor and we can get government out of it. Hurry up, they are waiting.

    You say Jesus didn't give handouts? What Bible do you read? The one I know says that Jesus fed the multitudes. And he asked for nothing, absolutely nothing, to do it. He gave them a handout. The Jesus I know said for the rich to give everything they have to the poor. Everything. No strings attached. Give it to them, a handout, Too.

    Have you given everything you have to the poor, Too? Are you a Christian?

  • Seronac Orem, UT
    July 11, 2012 9:21 p.m.

    NO! You mean that wealth redistribution doesn't work?!


  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 11, 2012 8:59 p.m.


    I don't think so.

    By creating a dependent underclass and destroying the black family (now over 70% of black children are born to single mothers because welfare requirements at one time said there could not be a father in the home in order to receive payment) all that welfare spending has had a horrible, devastating, and long-lasting NEGATIVE effect.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    July 11, 2012 8:16 p.m.

    Well, in the new normal world of today's Democrat party, the reason it has had little impact is because we have not spent NEARLY enough money on these programs. As Vice President Biden pointed out, "We have to spend to keep from going bankrupt." And along this line, the agency that administers the food stamp program is now advertising on the radio so that more people will take advantage of the program because only about 60% of those eligible are using the program.

    This is the new normal. Trillions in debt with plans to spend much more. Higher taxes for EVERYONE. 8% unemployment. Fewer people looking for work. More people depending on the federal government. This is Barack Obama's 'fundamentally changed' America. If we elect him again, this IS how it's going to be permanently.

  • sally Kearns, UT
    July 11, 2012 7:55 p.m.

    I have observed the college married students taking advantage of government assistance. Many of them have families who spend thousands of dollars on weddings and receptions, baby clothes and furniture, even furniture for the couples apartment and travel to and from family events. The family will pay for all those things that are not available through welfare to make life fun and comfortable, yet they do not pay for the necessities for their children. The parents have learned how to work the system quite well in the U.S. This allows the students to take out minimum loans to attend college. Government welfare has been used not only today for college students, it was used back in the early 70's too. It could be called generational welfare in planned situations passed on from parent to child.

  • Speaking_Out SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 11, 2012 7:33 p.m.

    Before commenting further on the welfare issue, let me first acknowledge that there are many, many different reasons why people find themselves below the poverty level whether it's within the United States or elsewhere in the world. We will always have those who need help because they simply cannot adequately do for themselves. I acknowledge that and I accept that. That said, however, we SHOULD NOT be supporting (on a long-term basis) those individuals who CAN do for themselves but who refuse to do so. We have four basic categories of people who are getting help: 1) Those who face genuine long-term health, age and/or mental/physical challenges which make it impossible for them to live without help; 2) Those who need help on a short-term basis due to temporary factors such as unemployment, divorce, health challenges; 3) Those who have decided that being supported by the government (think redistribution of wealth) is just grand because it enables them to live an easy lifestyle; and 4) Those whom the Supreme Court calls "Undocumented Aliens" who seem to have the best of both worlds. Needless to say, defunding 3 and 4 should be our #1 priority.

  • peter Alpine, UT
    July 11, 2012 6:58 p.m.

    DN should tell us what percentage of these numbers occurred under Obama's watch. It is not government's job to care for the needy. It is just another excuse to pick the pockets of the working class. And if liberals continue to get their way with our money, we will not always have the working class among us.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 11, 2012 6:12 p.m.

    Most if not all of the money spent by the government on welfare programs ends up in the pockets and bank accounts of the people who sponsored the legislation that created the welfare programs. The notion that the people of poverty had any hand in the creation of welfare programs is silly. And so is the notion that government itself profited.

    Every action taken by the government through legislation, regulation and even the preemption of war is done at the behest of private commercial business owners.

    Not that that’s any thing new, governments have be operating under the thumb of business since the beginning. America promised a new sharing of the wealth of humanity, but over the years business has caused our government to default on those promises.

  • taxedenough concord, 00
    July 11, 2012 6:07 p.m.

    Since the 1960s and LBJ's so called War On Poverty, the taxpayers of this country transferred over $16 Trillion of their hard earned money to the poor and low income through means tested welfare programs. We have over 70 such programs. We now have a huge poverty problem and are $15 Trillion in debt. I guess all that giving didn't work out very well.
    Maybe we should try giving away another $16 Trillion. Maybe it will work better the second time around.
    BTW - I don't hear any of the liberals telling the people who took the $16 Trillion without earning it that they are "Greedy".

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    July 11, 2012 5:33 p.m.


    Off the high horse for a second.
    Jesus didn't let the poor starve--neither do I. I give what I can, not what the government thinks I should be able to give--actually I'm forced to give that too. I give because I know it's right. The problem with Liberals is that they lose faith in society. Do you really think that we are going to let people starve? Do you think I would let my family or neighbors die of hunger? Get real. The left paints a drastic picture of an inhumane society and tries to force us into utopia. They need to wake up and realize there are good people who will do what they should--out of their own good hearts, not because the government forces them to do it.

    Jesus didn't give handouts. Many of his parables talked of work. Many of his apostles were chosen as they were working. Where did Christ say that we should live off the rich? Where does he say we should stand idle?

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    July 11, 2012 5:31 p.m.

    What would Jesus do?
    He'd set up a TEMPORARY assistance program, monitored by a priesthood leader and a relief society leader and set up work opportunities to work for assistance.
    Free labor would be used in the production and delivery of the food.
    And I doubt you'd get a free cell phone from Him.

  • Brian Wasilla, AK
    July 11, 2012 5:18 p.m.

    Like a friend said the other day: "I'm voting for Obama because I'll get more free stuff and I need free stuff to survive."

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 11, 2012 5:13 p.m.

    The reason that poverty is unchanged by our efforts is because our efforts only treat the symptoms of poverty and not the cause. Seems like I’ve heard that you can’t cure a disease just by treating the symptoms.

    Little if anything was done during this period to fight the causes of poverty. Instead our society has reduced the need for American labor through technology, automation and foreign labor. But we’ve not done anything to replace the jobs and provide the means for people to live above the poverty. There needs to be a new way for ordinary people to earn their way. Perhaps there needs to be a new way to own and profit from the existence of our society.

    Further during this time period, public education has been denigrated, diminished, starved and become the subject of hate. It is proper now to trample on the teachers and keep people from proper education.

  • CottageCheese SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    July 11, 2012 5:08 p.m.


    Jesus would not spend more money than he had
    Jesus would not allow for inefficiencies and duplicity
    Jesus would not brush aside fraud and abuse
    Jesus would not just GIVE he would TEACH
    Jesus would not perpetuate a system that traps its participants
    Jesus would not promote a process that paralyzes peoples progress

    Jesus didn't give Peter fish... He told him where to drop the net.

    Jesus would want NOTHING and I mean NOTHING to do with the United States welfare system.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    July 11, 2012 4:55 p.m.

    The CATO Institute policy analysis also found that the rich are not getting rich fast enough.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    July 11, 2012 4:38 p.m.

    The deseretnews is not dedicated to the pursuit of truth. That's a fact or they wouldn't publish nonsense political garbage like this with data from the CATO Institute that is not only non-scientific but politically one sided and agendized. Justlook up the CATOInstitute and see. But there is no mention in the article that it's a right wing think tank.

    And I'm sure all those kids that ate the food from welfare thought there was a difference in being full vs hungry thank you.

    To present this information without describing the source, as apposed to simply naming it knowing that most will not look it up is just dishonest. I've learned to always look up the source of DN "facts".

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    July 11, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    There is always room for improvement and evaluation.

    However, possibly the poverty programs are working, but other factors are increasing the poverty rate--like increasing inequality, loss of maufacturing-middle class jobs combined with more service sector jobs and/or more single-parent female headed families (who have a lower earning potential).

    Perhaps we need to examine/address those issues rather than arrive at the conclusion that anti-poverty programs aren't working.

  • Jac0m Provo, UT
    July 11, 2012 4:14 p.m.

    Our government needs to take a step back and really see what they are doing with our money. There really is a sense of entitlement that has left us addicted and dependent. I have no problem helping the poor. I like to do it in my own way. One example was when I saved my own personal money to pay for a volunteer mission down south. With an allowance to pay for some of my needs of only 150 a month excluding gas, people were astonished that not only was I only allowed such a small amount, but they were baffled that I was not lining up to get my food stamps. "everybody has food stamps down here, didn't you know?" was a common question.

    There needs to be a more defined line!

  • LDS Cedar City, UT
    July 11, 2012 3:57 p.m.

    During His ministry Jesus said "ye will always have the poor among you". He also charged His disciples to feed and clothe the poor.

    Did anyone think we could eliminate poverty? NO.

    Are there those that want to end our assistance to the impoverished? YES.

    What should we do? I think the answer is in Jesus' words.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    July 11, 2012 3:42 p.m.

    Wow, a conservative think tank came up with a conservative conclusion. That's news for you. The one thing I agree with is it seems we could be much more efficient if we could consolidate and trim down all those "126" separate programs into something more streamlined.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 11, 2012 3:34 p.m.

    So press releases and studies by the Charles Koch Foundation are now disguised as "news?"

    I have no qualm with the idea that there are too many overlapping programs out there to help the poor, but come on, how about some actual journalism where both sides of a story are shown, and research outside of the press release are done.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    July 11, 2012 3:34 p.m.

    That's a surprise! Nancy Pelosi said herself that the quickest way to inject money into the economy and to spur it's recovery is by giving away money to poor people.

    The problem with that theory, is that first it doesn't work. Second poor people buy made in china junk which only spurs their economy. Third the reason poor people are poor, is because they don't invest in themselves or in items that generate wealth. They are consumers, run up credit cards and believe a car is valuable or a home is an investment, or they just rent and never save up to buy a home.

    I know I'll get attacked because their are a few situations that are out of peoples control (ie health care, disease, accidents etc). If that's the case then 50% of the people in this country fall into that exception, a statistic I have a hard time believing.

    If I can prosper working at minimum wage jobs, put myself through the university on my own dime, save and invest....99% of the people on welfare can do what I did, if they just worked. I'm not special...