The assassination of President Kennedy elevated Lyndon B. Johnson into the Presidency; coming into an era of “The New Society. ” At the time of his presidency he faced many political, economic, and social problems that were on the rise. Johnson used his charm and whit to respond to the issues of the United States and most of his strategies ended up causing chaos. Politically, Johnson was not very popular as his term went on because of his decisions in the Vietnam War.
The number of soldiers in Vietnam escalated and his re-election bid in the 1968 United States presidential election collapsed as a result of turmoil within the Democratic Party related to opposition to the Vietnam War. Economically, President Johnson believed that the United States was in need of government support. He proposed a message to congress on March 16, 1964 which called for the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
Johnson goes on to say that this Act will create better lives for the people of the U. S. by giving opportunities to develop skills, continue education, finding useful work, and giving Americans the chance to fight poverty (Doc B. ) This War on Poverty presented Job Corps for Urban Blacks, Community Action Programs, Head Start, and Medicare and Medicaid. It is proven in (Doc. G) that some people were unhappy with Johnson’s policies regarding helping the underprivileged. Some of these unhappy feelings were expressed in a letter from a private citizen in North Carolina.
This person established how enraged he was by saying that good citizens of America are only punished and bothered to help the other less fortunate people of his society (Doc. G). Not only were people losing money this way but they were also losing money because of the War in Vietnam. War costs exceeded $21 billion per year, leading to a 10 percent tax increase, raids on the Social Security fund, inflation, and cuts in Great Society Programs. Americans were fed up to say the least. As Social problems arose in America- Race riots and hostility toward overnment- Johnson became less and less popular.
Although it is proven in (Doc. H) that the Poverty levels for all races were reduced, popular figures such as Malcolm X still pushed for a segregated nation by establishing the Organization of Afro-American Unity. Socially, America was not on the same page. While some of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s policies helped reduce poverty and create equal rights for some blacks, a lot of his policies back fired on him. Maybe he wasn’t ready for the Political, Economic, and social hardships for which he was presented.