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War On Poverty's 50th Anniversary Marked By White House

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US President Barack Obama speaks about extending emergency unemployment benefits in the East Room of the White House in Washington on January 7, 2014. The US Senate narrowly advanced efforts to provide benefits for America's long-term unemployed, answering President Barack Obama's call to extend the emergency jobless insurance for 1.3 million people. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images) | NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says that although progress has been made in reducing poverty, government can still play a positive role in reducing hardship and increasing economic opportunity.

President Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers is marking the 50th anniversary of the nation's "War on Poverty" by releasing a progress report covering the past five decades. President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the effort in 1964.

The White House says poverty has dropped from nearly 26 percent in 1967 to 16 percent in 2012.

But the report says there's more to be done and that government has a role. It says government programs to help those in poverty have largely been responsible for the progress.

The anniversary comes as Obama is proposing steps to reduce income inequality, including a minimum wage hike.

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