Poverty: The War Within the War

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"This program," said Minnesota's Republican Congressman Albert Quie, "could become not just a national disgrace, but a national catastrophe." The House G.O.P. leadership has described it as "a churning Disneyland of administrative chaos." "The war on poverty," Richard Nixon said recently, "has been first in promises, first in politics, first in press releases—and last in performance."

The outcry over the Johnson Administration's much-ballyhooed poverty program is by no means limited to Republicans. In city after city, outraged Democratic mayors have protested that Washington is subsidizing wars of civic subversion by...

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