The United States has spent $3.7 T over the past five years fighting poverty. That's $740 B per year. The Census Bureau says there are 46.5 M Americans in poverty. That's $15,913.98 per year per poor person. In 2012 there were 9.52 M households in poverty, meaning the average poor household has 4.88 people in it. If we just handed out the poverty expenditure, the average household would receive $77,660.22, more than 2.5 times the poverty level for a family of five.
What does this mean? It means the government could completely eliminate poverty for less money than it's currently spending on maintaining poverty. Every year every family below the poverty line could receive a check making up the difference (and some extra) and our spending on "the war on poverty" would be less than it is now.