Johnson became President in 1964 on the biggest landslide in U.S. history, and then he brought about the largest expansion of government in our history. Instead of lifting Americans out of poverty, President Johnson got Congress to pass 40 federal programs and those 40 programs trapped millions of Americans in permanent dependency. Today's legislative battles -- raising the minimum wage, expanding and perpetuating government-financed health care for seniors and the poor, extending long-term unemployment benefits, and big appropriations to the education establishment are all about extending government spending for the programs that Lyndon B. Johnson started.
LBJ announced his War on Poverty in his 1964 State of the Union address. He then summoned his young speechwriter and told him to use the unfinished John F. Kennedy program "as a springboard” and turn it into an "aggressive Johnson program" so that he could move us “upward to the Great Society." Johnson became fascinated with the term Great Society and talked about it all the time.
LBJ's pie-in-the sky promises, followed by continued expansion of the taxpayer spending he rammed through Congress, gave us a dozen years of what we, with hindsight, can see was a massive change in the role of government. It made millions of our fellow citizens perpetually dependent on government.
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