The War on Poverty

By Melissa Mollet

Published 01/08 2014 04:13PM

Updated 01/08 2014 04:15PM

(NBC News) 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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