It has been almost 50 years since the Great Society was announced by the Johnson administration. It was promoted as a series of government programs to provide a “hand up rather than a handout.” One element of the Great Society was the War on Poverty. Another was the elimination of racial injustice. It resembled the New Deal of the 1930s. Through it the government intended to orchestrate a society of abundance and liberty for all by addressing poverty, education, medical care and a variety of urban problems. In short, the federal government promised to solve the woes of the nation by taking definitive actions, all of which were linked to increased government spending.
Some may say that poverty was reduced during the 1960s, but at what cost and who pays the bill? Today, after 50 years of government orchestrated programs to solve the nation’s problems, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, as well as other entitlements such as food stamps, unemployment, and housing assistance make up 62 percent of all federal spending. The Great Society was supposed to be a hand up rather than a handout, but what resulted are several generations of people who have come to expect the government to take care of them. Poverty has increased. According to Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan, the race problem has not been solved. Rather than helping people to help themselves, we have created an entire class of people who have simply given up. This is the legacy of the Great Society and a federal government composed of people who want to solve problems by spending more money. If that concept had worked poverty and racial injustice would have been eliminated and today they would be only memories.
Our Constitution is designed to limit the power of the federal government. Many of Roosevelt’s programs during the 1930s were deemed unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Since then both the judges and the electorate have been bamboozled into permitting the government to do things that are not permitted according to the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment has been either ignored or re-interpreted until it is unrecognizable. How has this happened? We know that the New Deal and the Great Society failed. Today, a significant part of American society has come to expect the federal government to solve problems that have been, in fact, created by the federal government. The definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.” What will it take for the people of this country to see the writing on the wall?