March 27th, 2013 by
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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October 29th, 2012 by
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 6th, 2012 by
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 24th, 2012 by
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 24th, 2010 by
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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August 18th, 2010 by
Hoppy, just say you want to privatize Social Security

Hoppy Kercheval's commentary today about how politicians are "raiding Social Security" illustrates his long confusion with the program and his desire to privatize or gut the program. Hoppy seems to be getting his inspiration from this Wall Street Journal article. As we've illustrated here and here, Social Security is a basic means of survival for many of our elderly. Not to…

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August 11th, 2010 by
Social Security Prevents Poverty for 120,000 of West Virginia Elderly

According to the national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities , many of West Virginia's elderly would be living in poverty, if not for Social Security. According our recent report, about 30 percent of West Virginia seniors rely solely on Social Security in retirement.     What's particularly surprising is the significant number of children who receive…

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