October 29, 2016 by Sean O'Leary
Social Security Keeps 132,000 West Virginians Out of Poverty

Social Security continues to play vital role in reducing poverty in West Virginia. According to the latest Census data, in 2014-2015 there were approximately 318,000 West Virginians living in poverty, including 40,000 seniors. Without Social Security, 132,000 more West Virginians would live in poverty. Most people aged 65 and older receive the majority of their…

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January 28, 2015 by Ted Boettner
West Virginia is Risking the Future of the U.S. Constitution (Updated)

by Betty Rivard and Ted BoettnerWest Virginia has been targeted by a number of conservative groups to adopt a resolution calling on Congress to convene a constitutional convention of the states, with the goal of adopting a balanced budget amendment (BBA). Opponents from across the full political spectrum are alarmed that a convention of the…

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April 9, 2014 by Brandon Merritt
West Virginia’s Top Medicare Billers

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the release of a bunch of Medicare data today, the biggest release in CMS history, in fact.  The data include information for nearly 900,000 distinct health care providers across the country who received over $77 billion in Medicare payments in 2012.  This is the second big…

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May 22, 2013 by Sean O'Leary
11% of West Virginia Seniors Living in Poverty Under New Measure

A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation looks at the poverty rate of seniors across the country. The report uses the new supplemental poverty measure from the Census Bureau to estimate poverty rates. According to the Census Bureau, poverty rates among elderly West Virginians are slightly higher under the supplemental poverty measure (11%) than…

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March 27, 2013 by Ted Boettner
Chained CPI: A Bad Deal for West Virginia Seniors

Over the last several months, federal policymakers have been considering changing the inflation measure used to calculate the annual cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) of Social Security payments from the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) with the chained-CPI.  On Friday, the U.S. Senate voiced opposition  to adopting the chained-CPI, although President Obama…

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November 26, 2012 by Ted Boettner
What Does Raising the Social Security Retirement Age Mean for West Virginia?

As part of the "fiscal cliff" and "grand bargain" deficit negotiations, some CEOs, politicians, and pundits are saying that raising the retirement age of Social Security should be on the deficit chopping block despite the fact that it does not contribute to the federal budget deficit. Raising the retirement age is usually premised on the…

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October 29, 2012 by Ted Boettner
Romney/Ryan Budgets: How Would They Impact West Virginia?

While there has been a lot of debate about how President Obama's environmental policies would hurt West Virginia's coal industry and economy, there has been very little discussion about the impact of  Governor Romney and Representative Paul Ryan's proposed policies on the Mountain State. Both Romney and Ryan have proposed drastic changes to federal spending…

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June 6, 2012 by Sean O'Leary
Raising the Social Security Tax Cap

Last year, legislation was introduced in Congress to apply the Social Security payroll tax to earnings above $250,000, to help alleviate Social Security's long term budget shortfall. Currently, wages over a certain yearly total ($110,100 this year) are exempted from Social Security payroll taxes. Raising or eliminating this cap could help strengthen Social Security's finances, but for…

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May 24, 2012 by Ted Boettner
More Seniors Working in West Virginia

On Friday, Floyd Norris of the New York Times had a piece on the increase in seniors working since 2006.  In West Virginia, we've seen a similar pattern. In 2011, approximately 13.2 percent of those 65 and older were employed compared to just 9.0 percent in 2006. In comparison, in 2011 49.9 percent of all…

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October 24, 2010 by Elizabeth Paulhus
Government plays key role in keeping people out of poverty

Approximately one in seven West Virginians found themselves in poverty during the recession years of 2008 and 2009. This number would have been even higher without crucial assistance from government programs (Figure 1). Figure 1. West Virginians in poverty with and without government programs Source. Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2010. Microdata…

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