The Blog

LBJ Declares War … Among Other Things

12:12 PM, Jan 8, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

The most famous line, of course, from President Lyndon Johnson’s State of the Union Address 50 years ago today was:

This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.

There is much debate and discussion today about the success – or lack thereof – in that war.  None, however, would say that it has been won or that the enemy is even on the run.  One wonders if LBJ and his supporters expected victory by now and that the country would have moved on to other things.  Did he anticipate permanent stalemate and that we would still be fighting on the same ground, making many of the same arguments—indeed, saying many of the same things—half a century later?

Doubtful.

Interesting that the speech also contained this line that one does not expect President Obama to repeat when he makes his State of the Union Address and covers some of the same old tired ground.

Above all, we must release $11 billion of tax reduction into the private spending stream to create new jobs and new markets in every area of this land.

LBJ, a tax cutter.  Even a supply-sider.  

Who would’ve thought.

Recent Blog Posts