Poll: Many Americans blame welfare for ‘persistent poverty’

Poll: Many Americans blame welfare for ‘persistent poverty’

Americans blame government welfare programs for persistent poverty more than any other factor, according to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released this week.

Out of a choice of eight factors, 24 percent of Americans said “too much government welfare that prevents initiative” is the reason for persistent poverty which has become a major concern due to the lagging economy following the recession.

The second most popular answer was “Lack of job opportunities” — 18 percent — and the third most popular answers were “lack of good educational opportunities” and “breakdown of families” — at 13 percent each.

Only 4 percent of respondents said that “lack of government funding” was to blame for persistent poverty, while 3 percent said it was “drugs” and only 2 percent blamed “racial discrimination.”

NBC News and the Wall Street Journal asked a similar question in 1994, when Congress was debating welfare reform. The poll asked about poverty in the inner cities, but did not list welfare programs as a possible response.

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