David Davenport: The Wars on our Domestic Woes


This is David Davenport of the Hoover Institution for Townhall.com.

Perhaps you missed the memo from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. The War on Poverty, declared by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, is largely over, they say, and we won. Amazing, since a lot of people obviously still live in poverty.

As is often the case in government, the difference is in the definition of the problem. Historically we have defined poverty by income and the CEA defined it by a consumption test instead. Neither test is truly accurate.

No, the War on Poverty isn’t over, but presidential wars on domestic problems should be. We have lived for decades with wars on poverty, crime, drugs, terror and energy consumption, all declared by a lot of presidential speeches but with very little policy on dealing with these big problems.

It’s one more failure of big government in Washington, not a huge success.