In 1964, President Johnson asserted that humanity had the capacity to end war, racial injustices, overcome disease, and eradicate poverty. Johnson's "Great Society" would permit people to enjoy a life of freedom and prosperity. The congressional legislation passed during his administration had sweeping effects through out The United States. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 created the educational programs that Johnson believed was the 'weapon' to win "The War on Poverty".Programs such as Project Head Start and The Job Corps are among two of the best well known. Johnson believed that it was only through education that Americans living in poverty could raise their quality of life. The War on Poverty also addressed those in need of medical care. Under the Johnson administration both Medicare and Medicaid were created. Medicare was a health insurance program to assist individuals 65 years or older, and Mediaid was a health insurance program available to those who could not afford health insurance. The idea behind these two programs was again to assist individuals with expenses that might truely affect their quality of life. The mindset of The War on Poverty was that if Americans are educated and healthy, The United States would be a stronger and healthy nation. However, we must not forget that although these programs have wonderful intent they are expensive.This usually results in opposing viewpoints none of which have simple answers.
On January 8, 1964 President Johnson declared :"This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America. ..the war against poverty will not be won here in Washington. It must be won in the field.. The program I shall propose will emphasize this cooperative approach to help that one-fifth of all American families with incomes too small to even meet their basic needs. Our chief weapons will be better schools, and better health, and better homes, and better training, and better job opportunities to help more Americans, especially young Americans, escape from squalor and misery and unemployment rolls where other citizens help to carry them...."