LBJ and Reagan loyalists clash over Obama agenda

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Critics of Obama's proposed $3.5 trillion federal budget say he's poised to jeopardize the economic gains unleashed by President Reagan.

They say he will make the same mistakes that President Lyndon B. Johnson did when he committed massive amounts of federal money to create a slew of anti-poverty programs dubbed "The Great Society."

"The Great Society created a lot of programs and wasted a lot of money," said Kenneth Khachigian, a former Reagan speechwriter and adviser. "The biggest war on poverty was the economic boom started by Reagan."

But others like Joseph Califano Jr., Johnson's senior domestic adviser, say the notion that the Great Society was a failure is one of the "greatest political scams" in American history.

Republican leaders who have labeled Obama's budget proposals socialist are rehashing the rhetoric their predecessors used to attack Great Society programs like Head Start 40 years ago, Califano says.

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