Government succeeds at keeping poor above poverty line

Government programs have done a better job keeping the poor above the poverty line than the economy at large over the last 50 years, according to a new study.

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The Washington Post reports that Columbia University researchers found the government safety net did particularly well during the most recent economic downturn.

But without government policies, more people would be in poverty now than in the late 1960s.

All in all, the study paints what the Post calls a "mixed picture" of where the U.S. stands a half century after president Lyndon Johnson declared his war on poverty.