(National Review) -- During his State of the Union address last week, President Obama defended his Cuba policy by pointing out, “When what you’re doing doesn’t work for 50 years, it’s time to try something new.”
As it happens, I agree with the president on Cuba. But it seems to me that his advice should be applied to a number of other issues as well. For example:
The War on Poverty: Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty in January 1964, just three years after the start of the Cuban embargo. Since then we’ve spent more than $20 trillion fighting poverty. Last year alone, federal and state governments spent just under $1 trillion to fund 126 separate anti-poverty programs. Yet, using the conventional Census Bureau poverty measure, we’ve done nothing to reduce the poverty rate. More -ccurate alternative poverty measures do show some gains during the War on Poverty’s first few years, but little change over the last several decades, despite steadily rising expenditures. And, whatever success we’ve achieved in making material poverty less uncomfortable, we’ve done little to help the poor become independent and self-supporting.
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