President Obama on Wednesday marked the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's “War on Poverty” and said the effort was “far from over” as he pushed his own economic initiatives to help the nation's poor.

“These endeavors didn’t just make us a better country. They reaffirmed that we are a great country,” said Obama in a statement. “They lived up to our best hopes as a people who value the dignity and potential of every human being. But as every American knows, our work is far from over.

“In the richest nation on Earth, far too many children are still born into poverty, far too few have a fair shot to escape it, and Americans of all races and backgrounds experience wages and incomes that aren’t rising, making it harder to share in the opportunities a growing economy provides,” he added.

Obama has said that tackling income inequality would be the central focus of his second term, calling it the “defining challenge” of our time. The president has urged lawmakers to pass a number of measures he says will bolster the middle class.

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