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Bush, George H. W. (Administration)

President George H. W. Bush’s administration (1989–1992) sought to address issues of poverty to varying degrees, but with limited success. Bush possessed conservative credentials and believed government should not be overly involved in solving societal problems, as demonstrated by a lack of urgency in battling poverty through public policy during his tenure. Though he was widely viewed as more moderate in his attitudes toward the poor, an economic downturn during the latter half of his presidency challenged Bush’s public concern in this arena. The resulting recession led to widespread unemployment, pushing a large portion of the electorate below the poverty line. At the same time several international crises dominated Bush’s agenda, leaving his domestic policy concerns open to partisan attack, resulting in his defeat ...

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