Status of War on Poverty

January 25, 1967

Report Outline
Uncertain Future of War on Poverty
Evaluation of the Anti-Poverty Program
New Directions in Anti-Poverty Planning

Uncertain Future of War on Poverty

Proposals for New Look at Poverty Program

A pledge by President Johnson in his State of the Un ion address to press ahead with the war on poverty has failed to modify the prevailing impression that this latest offensive against an age-old enemy is coming to a standstill. “I recommend that we intensify our effort to give the poor a chance to join in the nation's progress,” the President said on Jan. 10.

But the modest increases sought in the 1968 budget, presented to Congress on Jan. 24, hardly suggest that the relatively newborn anti-poverty program is slated for vigorous growth. If Congress approves the administration's proposals, poverty program expenditures in the year beginning July 1, 1967, will total $1.9 billion or only $280 million more than in the current fiscal year. Even the popular Head Start program for pre-school children will not be expanded significantly, as expected, under these terms.

It is now three years since Johnson, in his first major address as President, declared “unconditional war on poverty in America,” and it is 29 months since the administration's anti-poverty proposals were enacted into law on Aug. 20, 1964. Today the program growing out of the President's “declaration of war” is rocked by political dispute, internal dissension, charges of betrayal by those it set out to help, and uncertainty over the fate of the agency (the Office of Economic Opportunity) that Congress created to serve as leader of the new crusade. Friends and foes of the anti-poverty program both consider it ripe for a full-dress congressional investigation.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Poverty and Homelessness
Jan. 11, 2019  Domestic Poverty
Aug. 04, 2017  Poverty and Homelessness
Jul. 17, 2015  Fighting Urban Poverty
Oct. 10, 2014  Housing the Homeless
Oct. 28, 2011  Child Poverty
Sep. 07, 2007  Domestic Poverty Updated
Jun. 18, 2004  Ending Homelessness
Dec. 22, 2000  Hunger in America
Apr. 07, 2000  Child Poverty
Jan. 26, 1996  Helping the Homeless
Aug. 07, 1992  The Homeless
Mar. 30, 1990  Why Homeless Need More Than Shelter
Sep. 30, 1983  Hunger in America
Oct. 29, 1982  The Homeless: Growing National Problem
Jan. 25, 1967  Status of War on Poverty
Feb. 05, 1964  Persistence of Poverty
Jun. 06, 1956  Pockets of Poverty
Budget Process