America's War On Poverty Has Been Going Broke

The Clinton Administration has modestly increased funding for low-income programs. But over the past decade, the federal government's antipoverty campaign has suffered major losses during this era of fiscal conservatism and nagging inflation, according to Washington-based Center on Budget & Policy Priorities. The center calculates that in the current fiscal year, federal appropriations for nonentitlement programs for the poor will run 40% lower in inflation-adjusted dollars than in fiscal 1981. The biggest cutbacks have come in subsidized housing programs, which--adjusted for inflation--have been slashed 62% since 1981. Other cutbacks, after taking inflation into account, include employment and training programs, down 59%; community-development block grants, down 29%; energy assistance, down 54%; and legal services, down 26%.