I asked you to refrain from empty statements like "don't throw money at the problem" or "it would be better if people didn't have to rely on government assistance" and other such phrasings that you have used.
Those aren't empty statements, but I won't belabor that point anymore. We clearly disagree.
That you also combined programs like Social Security with your complaints about Welfare in general, is yet another hallmark of why I differ with you. You even thought it was necessary to combine them. It's not. Never was, never have been.
Once welfare reform hit, a lot of people shifted over to Social Security - specifically the long-term disability part. It is exactly this kind of shuffling that makes it difficult to separate the programs. Social Security is not one thing - it is a retirement program for all wage earners (except some public unions), but it also contains a significant social welfare element. I don't mind separating them for whatever analysis you want to do - either way the amount of money spent has only gone up and poverty has not budged since those initial gains way back in the 60s.
Here's a decent write-up. I wish we could paste graphs in, but I'll do my best. First, look at the very first chart, which shows a dramatic decrease in the poverty rate in the first 10 years, followed by no progress over the remaining 40. The second chart addresses the criticism that the official poverty rate is not accurate, but it also shows only a slightly more optimistic trend. The last chart shows spending as a percentage of GDP, broken down into all programs and programs exclusively for the benefit of the poor - as you keep suggesting.
You can see from this chart that the initial ramp-up from 0.5 to 1% of the GDP corresponds to a reduction in the poverty rate from 22% to 12%. This represents an astounding success: for 0.5% of our total output, we cut poverty almost in half!
However, the ensuing years see us increase spending 4x, with little to show for it. I know that my analysis is simplistic. I know that much of the spending has been on health care, which has grown at a rate far in excess of the GDP. Nevertheless, it is a completely reasonable interpretation of the data to say that money is probably not the problem anymore. It certainly looks like it was in 1950, but you have to recognize that we reached a point of diminishing returns sometime in the early 70s.
An interesting correlation is the 2nd chart from the bottom, where black and Hispanic poverty took a nose-dive in the mid 90s. We were coming out of a recession and entering the dot-com era, and that probably explains some of it. But I think it is notable that this is when welfare reform started to kick in. Sometimes you can help the poor by doing something counter-intuitive.