War on Poverty Part III: The Great Society

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson announced his War on Poverty initiative, a sweeping vision of government intervention to provide all manner of welfare to those in need. Today, America has over 70 welfare programs to aid the poor and has spent $22 trillion on the so-called War On Poverty. One would think such massive resources and efforts would have eradicated --- or greatly lessened --- poverty in America. Instead, the poverty rate, which was 14 percent in 1965, has increased to 14.3 percent. In this four-part series, we explore the failed War on Poverty and how more government is never the answer.

War on Poverty Part III: The Great Society

In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson declared "unconditional war on poverty in America," launching The Great Society that altered social programs of The New Deal. According to Johnson, The Great Society asked "not how much, but how good."

Perhaps "how much" was the greater question because the answer was $22 trillion --- and counting. The Cato Institute estimates an additional $48 trillion in unfunded liabilities from Medicare alone.

Today, Medicare, Medicaid and FDR's Social Security program account for 47 percent of all federal spending. That's almost $1.8 trillion annually. And the total amount of America's unfunded liabilities are said to be in excess of $125 trillion --- more than twice the amount of all money in the world today.

Was it worth it? LBJ said "not how much, but how good." So how good was it? Sadly, the poverty rate is higher today than in 1965.

LBJ proposed many initiatives to launch his War on Poverty:

• An educational program to ensure every American child had the fullest development

• A massive attack on crippling and killing diseases

• A national effort to make the American city a better and a more stimulating place to live

• Increase the beauty of America and end the poisoning of rivers and air

• A new program to develop regions of the country suffering from distress and depression

• New efforts to control and prevent crime and delinquency

• Elimination of every remaining obstacle to the right and the opportunity to vote

• Honor and support the achievements of thought and the creations of art

• An all-out campaign against waste and inefficiency

According to one source, his vision was to help the disadvantaged help themselves, hoping that an education equaled opportunity, and the chance to come into the mainstream of American middle class economic life.

However, even in his own party, some were not convinced that his efforts were effective, including Senator Robert F. Kennedy who said, "If we learned anything in the last summer and over -- in the last 30 years, what we've been doing hasn't been the answer. It's been helpful. But what we've been doing has not been the answer. And we can't just be doing the same thing that we've been doing for the last three decades and hope that eventually all these problems are going to disappear."

Regardless, LBJ kept pumping out the programs, preparing bill after bill, funds for education --- elementary, secondary, college and Head Start for preschool children --- funds for conservation, clean air, clean rivers, highway beautification, national parks, consumer protection, truth in labeling and packaging, automobile safety, urban renewal and housing, public television, creation of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Arts --- the list goes on and on.

Part of the LBJ War on Poverty initiative included bringing about social and racial justice --- equal rights for blacks. His efforts helped create the impression that Democrats were the ones fighting for minorities and Republicans were the racist corporation cronies. This, despite the fact that Republicans had freed slaves and fought along with black Americans for civil rights. LBJ, on the other hand, had fought against civil rights the first 20 years of his political career, including opposing President Harry S. Truman's proposals against lynching and segregation and interstate transportation. Johnson called the proposed civil rights program a farce and a sham.

No one knows what was in Lyndon Johnson's heart at the time, but being as he was incredibly opportunistic and ambitious as the nation began to demand civil rights for blacks, his position changed. Democrats have reaped the benefit of that change ever since.

By the early '90s, studies were showing that rather than eradicating poverty, The Great Society was eradicating families --- and that trend has worsened ever since.

Listen to the Full Series on War on Poverty

Part I: Founders' Thoughts

Part II: The Great Depression

Part III:The Great Society

Part IV: Abusing the System

What is the Secret Service trying to hide about Trump's assassination attempt?

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This past weekend we were mere inches away from a radically different America than the one we have today. This was the first time a president had been wounded by a would-be assassin since 1981, and the horrific event has many people questioning the competency and motives of the supposedly elite agents trusted with the president's life.

The director of the Secret Service apparently knew about the assassin's rooftop before the shooting—and did nothing.

Kimberly Cheatle has come under intense scrutiny these last couple of weeks, as Secret Service director she is responsible for the president's well-being, along with all security operations onsite. In a recent interview with ABC, Cheatle admitted that she was aware of the building where the assassin made his mark on American history. She even said that she was mindful of the potential risk but decided against securing the site due to "safety concerns" with the slope of the roof. This statement has called her competence into question. Clearly, the rooftop wasn't that unsafe if the 20-year-old shooter managed to access it.

Glenn pointed out recently that Cheatle seems to be unqualified for the job. Her previous position was senior director in global security at America's second-favorite soda tycoon, PepsiCo. While guarding soda pop and potato chips sounds like an important job to some, it doesn't seem like a position that would qualify you to protect the life of America's most important and controversial people. Even considering her lack of appropriate experience, this seems like a major oversight that even a layperson would have seen. Can we really chalk this up to incompetence?

Former Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / Contributor | Getty Images

The Secret Service and DHS said they'd be transparent with the investigation...

Shortly after the attempted assassination, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees the Secret Service, launched an investigation into the shooting and the security protocols in place at the rally. The DHS promised full transparency during the investigation, but House Republicans don't feel that they've been living up to that promise. Republican members of the House Oversight Committee are frustrated with Director Cheatle after she seemingly dodged a meeting scheduled for Tuesday. This has resulted in calls for Cheatle to step down from her position.

Two FBI agents investigate the assassin's rooftop Jeff Swensen / Stringer | Getty Images

Why is the Secret Service being so elusive? Are they just trying to cover their blunder? We seem to be left with two unsettling options: either the government is even more incompetent than we'd ever believed, or there is more going on here than they want us to know.

Cheatle steps down

Following a horrendous testimony to the House Oversight Committee Director Cheatle finally stepped down from her position ten days after the assassination attempt. Cheatle failed to give any meaningful answer to the barrage of questions she faced from the committee. These questions, coming from both Republicans and Democrats, were often regarding basic information that Cheatle should have had hours after the shooting, yet Cheatle struggled with each and every one. Glenn pointed out that Director Cheatle's resignation should not signal the end of the investigation, the American people deserve to know what happened.

What we DO and DON'T know about Thomas Matthew Crooks

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It has been over a week since 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks narrowly failed to assassinate President Trump while the president gave a speech at a campaign rally in Butler, Pennslyvania. Despite the ongoing investigations, we still know very little about the would-be assassin, which has left many wondering if the agencies involved are limiting the information that Congress and the public are receiving.

As Glenn has pointed out, there are still major questions about the shooter that are unanswered, and the American people are left at the whim of unreliable federal agencies. Here is everything we know—and everything we don't know—about Thomas Matthew Crooks:

Who was he?

What we know:Thomas Crooks lived in Bethel Parks, Pennsylvania, approximately an hour south of Butler. Crooks went to high school in Bethel Parks, where he would graduate in 2022. Teachers and classmates described him as a loner and as nerdy, but generally nice, friendly, and intelligent. Crooks tried out for the school rifle team but was rejected due to his poor aim, and reports indicate that Crooks was often bullied for his nerdy demeanor and for wearing camo hunting gear to school.

After high school, Crooks began work at Bethel Park Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center as a dietary aide. In fact, he was scheduled to work on the day of the rally but requested the day off. He passed a background check to work at the facility and was reportedly an unproblematic employee. Crooks was also a member of a local gun club where he practiced shooting the day before the rally.

It was recently revealed that sometime before his attempted assassination, Crooks posted the following message on Steam, a popular computer application used for playing video games: "July 13 will be my premiere, watch as it unfolds." Aside from this, Crooks posted no warning or manifesto regarding his attack, and little other relevant information is known about him.

What we don't know:It is unclear what Crook's political affiliations or views were, or if he was aligned with any extremist organizations. Crooks was a registered Republican, and his classmates recall him defending conservative ideas and viewpoints in class. On the other hand, the Federal Election Commission has revealed he donated to a progressive PAC on the day Biden was inaugurated. He also reportedly wore a COVID mask to school much longer than was required.

Clearly, we are missing the full picture. Why would a Republican attempt to assassinate the Republican presidential nominee? What is to gain? And why would he donate to a progressive organization as a conservative? This doesn't add up, and so far the federal agencies investigating the attack have yet to reveal anything more.

What were his goals?

What we know: Obviously we know he was trying to assassinate President Trump—and came very close to succeeding, but beyond that, Crooks' goals are unknown. He left no manifesto or any sort of written motive behind, or if he did, the authorities haven't published it yet. We have frustratingly little to go off of.

What we don't know: As stated before, we don't know anything about the movies behind Crooks' heinous actions. We are left with disjointed pieces that make it difficult to paint a cohesive picture of this man. There is also the matter that he left explosives, ammo, and a bulletproof vest in his car. Why? Did he assume he was going to make it back to his car? Or were those supplies meant for an accomplice that never showed up?

The shocking lack of information on Crooks' motives makes it seem likely that we are not being let on to the whole truth.

Did he work alone?

What we know: Reportedly, Crooks was the only gunman on the site, and as of now, no other suspects have been identified. The rifle used during the assassination attempt was purchased and registered by Crooks' father. However, it is unlikely that the father was involved as he reported both his son and rifle missing the night of the assassination attempt. Crooks' former classmates described him as a "loner," which seems to corroborate the narrative that he worked alone.

What we don't know: We know how Crooks acquired his rifle, but what about the rest of his equipment? He reportedly had nearly a hundred extra rounds of ammunition, a bulletproof vest, and several homemade bombs in his car. Could these have been meant for a co-conspirator who didn't show? Did Crooks acquire all of this equipment himself, or did he have help?

There's also the matter of the message Crooks left on the video game platform Steam that served as his only warning of the attack. Who was the message for? Are there people out there who were aware of the attack before it occurred? Why didn't they alert authorities?

We know authorities have access to Crooks' laptop and cellphone that probably contain the answers to these pertinent questions. Why haven't we heard any clarity from the authorities? It seems we are again at the mercy of the federal bureaucracy, which begs one more question: Will we ever know the whole truth?

Who will be Kamala Harris' VP pick?

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Over the weekend, President Joe Biden officially dropped out of the 2024 presidential election and put forward his endorsement behind his Vice President Kamala Harris.

Glenn recently predicted that Biden would step down due to the mountain of pressure within his party to do so. But now that we are here we are faced with an all-new line of questions, like, who will be the candidate on the Democratic ticket? Who will be their pick for vice president?

As of now, the answer to the first question seems to be Kamala Harris, who received the support of the president and several prominent democrats. It's still too early to call for certain, and Glenn doesn't think it's likely, but assuming Kamala becomes the Democrat nominee, who will her VP pick be? There are endless possible options, but there are a 5 big names that could prove beneficial to Harris' campaign:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom

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Governor Newsom has spiked in popularity within his party since his taking office in 2019 due to his scathing criticisms of President Trump and other Republicans. Newsom has been a popular contender as a possible Biden replacement, and a future presidential bid seems likely.

His widespread recognition may be a boon to Kamala's ticket, but the California governor comes with a dark side. Newsom was famously nearly recalled as Governor in 2021, hanging on to his office by a narrow margin. He also faced criticism for his hypocrisy during the COVID lockdowns, attending large gatherings while the rest of his state was locked inside. There's also the issue that both Newsom and Kamala are from California, meaning that if they were to appear on the same ticket, that ticket would lack geographical balance and would potentially lead to a Constitutional issue that would force the duo to forfeit all 54 of the states' Electoral College votes.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro

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Another prominent Democrat Governor, Josh Shapiro has also been floated as a potential VP pick. Governor Shapiro has become a viable pick due to his well-received performance as Pennslyvania's Governor. The governor has good support within the swing state due to his handling of the I-95 bridge collapse, the train derailment in East Palestine, which had effects on his state, and the assassination attempt on the former president last week. Shapiro would bring much-needed support from the swing state if he was put on the ticket.

That being said, Shapiro has little time to build nationwide name recognition before the DNC in August and the November election. This would be Shapiro's debut on the national stage, and he would find himself in the most unforgiving situation possible.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg

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Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and opponent of Biden during the 2020 Democratic primaries, "Mayor Pete's" name recognition might be what Kamala needs on her presidential ticket. Buttigieg rose to popularity during the 2020 election due to his youth and status as "openly gay." Buttigieg has served as the Secretary of Transportation during the Biden administration for the past four years and has formally endorsed Harris.

Nevertheless, Buttigieg has some dark spots on his resume. The East Palestine train derailment disaster has besmirched his reputation as Secretary of Transportation. And while his youth may work in his favor when compared to the other elderly members of our federal government, it also means Buttigieg lacks the experience and prestige that other politicians enjoy.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

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Yet another governor of a crucial swing state, Whitmer was elected in 2018, two years after President Trump was elected, helping secure the state for the Democrats. Whitmer is known for her strong opposition to Trump, both during his presidency and his reelection campaign. Whitmer serves as co-chair for the Biden-Harris campaign and as vice chairperson of the DNC, which gives her influence over the Democratic party, something that would come in handy as a Vice President. Gov. Whitmer also established the Fight Like Hell PAC, which is dedicated to helping Democrats get elected and to stopping Trump by any means.

On the other hand, in a statement following Biden's resignation from the election, Governor Whitmer stated that her role “will remain the same.” It is also worth noting that if she were to be chosen as Kamala's VP, that would make their ticket all-female, which may foster some "woke points," but is politically risky.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear

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Andy Bashear has seemingly beaten the odds twice, having been elected and reelected as the Governor of Kentucky, despite the deep-red nature of the state. Beshear, who has moderate tendencies, would be a boon to the Harris campaign as he has a track record of reaching rural, typically conservative regions where Democrats tend to struggle. He is also known for his propensity to talk about his Christian faith and willingness to work with Republicans, which are traits that might help win over moderates.

But, like Gov. Shapiro, Bashear has very little time to whip up national support and recognition. He also is unlikely to be very much help for the Harris campaign in winning over important swing states.

Five times Glenn had J.D. Vance on his show and where he stands on key issues

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We finally have an answer to the long-awaited question of who Trump will pick for his running mate, and it's none other than Ohio Senator and friend of the show, J.D. Vance. At the RNC in Milwaukee, Trump officially accepted the party's nomination as the Republican candidate and announced J.D. Vance as his running mate.

Glenn has had Senator Vance on the show several times to discuss everything from DEI to the Southern Border. If you are looking to familiarize yourself with the next potential Vice President, look no further, here are five conversations Glenn had with Trump's VP pick:

Why Biden Won't Stop "Racist" Government DEI Programs, But Trump Would

How Trump’s Trials Could HELP Him in the 2024 Election

Could THIS new Senate bill DOOM a Trump presidency?

MIDTERM UPDATE: What Republicans must do to WIN BACK the Senate

'Greatest risk of a terrorist attack in 20 years': Senator SLAMS 'atrocious' Biden move