Presidents & Poverty

4 April 2015
Examines socioeconomic policies & poverty programs of Democrats Kennedy & Johnson & Republicans Reagan & Bush.

The divergent social policies and programs of the Kennedy/Johnson era and the Reagan/Bush era demonstrate the different attitudes in which these administrations viewed the poor. Kennedy/Johnson policymakers regarded the poor as flawed and inexperienced, in need of government assistance to enter the mainstream and assimilate society’s work ethic. Reagan/Bush policymakers regarded the poor as victims of government overindulgence, whose only hope for self-sufficiency was by weaning them from the government dole. Social policies and programs continue to come under severe attack as legislators seek means to control the country’s spiraling federal deficit. An examination of the goals and social theories underlying the policies and programs of the Kennedy/Johnson and Reagan/Bush administrations demonstrates why the thorny issue of poverty…
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