Great Society

The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States launched by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964–65. The main goal was the total elimination of poverty and racial injustice.

New major spending programs that addressed education, medical care, urban problems, rural poverty, and transportation were launched during this period. The program and its initiatives were subsequently promoted by him and fellow Democrats in Congress in the 1960s and years following. The Great Society in scope and sweep resembled the New Deal domestic agenda of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Some Great Society proposals were stalled initiatives from John F. Kennedy's New Frontier.[citation needed] Johnson's success depended on his skills of persuasion, coupled with the Democratic landslide in the 1964 election that brought in many new liberals to Congress, making the House of Representatives in 1965 the most liberal House since 1938.[1]

Anti-war Democrats complained that spending on the Vietnam War choked off the Great Society. While some of the programs have been eliminated or had their funding reduced, many of them, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Older Americans Act and federal education funding, continue to the present. The Great Society's programs expanded under the administrations of Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.[2]

Economic and social conditions

Unlike the old New Deal, which was a response to a severe financial and economic calamity, the Great Society initiatives came during a period of rapid economic growth. Kennedy proposed an across-the-board tax cut lowering the top marginal income tax rate in the United States by 20%, from 91% to 71%, which was enacted in February 1964, three months after Kennedy's assassination, under Johnson. The tax cut also significantly reduced marginal rates in the lower brackets as well as for corporations. The gross national product rose 10% in the first year of the tax cut, and economic growth averaged a rate of 4.5% from 1961 to 1968.[3]

Johnson's tax cut measure triggered[citation needed] what one historian described as "the greatest prosperity of the postwar years." GNP increased by 7% in 1964, 8% in 1965, and 9% in 1966. The unemployment rate fell below 5%, and by 1966 the number of families with incomes of $7,000 a year or more had reached 55%, compared with 22% in 1950. In 1968, when John Kenneth Galbraith published a new edition of The Affluent Society, the average income of the American family stood at $8,000, double what it had been a decade earlier.[4]

Other Languages
العربية: مجتمع عظيم
български: Велико общество
Deutsch: Great Society
한국어: 위대한 사회
italiano: Grande società
Nederlands: Great Society
português: Grande Sociedade
Simple English: Great Society
svenska: Great Society
中文: 偉大社會