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Tax Dollars and Public Entitlement Programs

             Johnson launched the "War on Poverty" in the 1960s, he stated that it would strike "at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty," and also said that the goal "is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it." (The War on Poverty After 50 Years, heritage.org), When looking at the public entitlement programs enacted by the United States government, it is very difficult to gauge any relative success in relation to the program's intended goals. Over 50 years has passed since the inception of these programs and poverty as well as its consequences are still very much an issue here in America. However, the idea or theory of public entitlement is not the reason for the failure of these programs, instead, it was decades of poor government policies that led to the demise of entitlement programs. The United States government has allowed entitlement programs to balloon to an exorbitant amount and they are becoming increasingly more expensive to maintain. There are roughly "80 federally mandated entitlement programs costing the United Sates government $2.34 trillion a year" (Analytical Perspectives, whitehouse.gov). Poor government policies have caused rampant abuse and fraud within the programs which has minimized the program's effectiveness towards its initial goal. In 2013, it was estimated that "49% of American households received benefits through these programs" (10 Truths About America's Entitlement Programs, uschamber.com). In addition, entitlement programs, as they are currently designed, are unsustainable. "Not a single major entitlement program is projected to be financially solvent 20 years from now" and "the cost to make these programs financially solvent for the next 75 years is almost $40 trillion." (10 Truths About America's Entitlement Programs, uschamber.com) Entitlement programs have grown to become expensive, ineffective, and unsustainable, thus these programs, in their current form, do not maximize the aggregate utility of tax dollars; tax dollars are being wasted.

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