On Sunday, Gazette gossip columnist Phil Kabler pointed out that John Raese – a West Virginia Republican politician and owner of Greer Industries in Morgantown – “was No. 2 among the top 100 purchase card vendors in the state, making $12,998,945 off the state in 2012.” The fact that Mr. Raese receives so much money from the state is hard to couple with his devotion to “free markets” and “less government.” It just goes to show that many of the folks that often espouse admiration for free enterprise are often the ones taking the most from government. As economist Dean Baker has pointed out time and time again, many wealthy conservatives don’t mind government as long as it distributes money upward and to them.
In other news, the White House released fact sheets yesterday on the impact of sequestration on March 1st in all 50 states. The impact to West Virginia would be cuts in several areas, including
Teachers and Schools: $5.8 million, Education for children with disabilities: $3.6 million, Work-Study Jobs: 200 fewer jobs
Head Start: Eliminate 500 children from program, Environmental Funding: $2.5 million in funding and grants
Military Readiness: 2,000 furloughs, resulting in $9.9 million reduced gross pay, Law Enforcement: $96,000
Job Search Assistance: $247,000, 9,240 fewer people getting help, Child Care: 100 children lose access to child care
Vaccines for Children: $52,000, resulting in 760 fewer children receiving vaccines, Public Health: $669,000
Domestic Violence: $39,000, Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: $160,000,
Yesterday, WV Public New Service reported on a new study by the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that found that Medicaid expansion could provide health coverage to one third of the 11,000 veterans in West Virginia who currently do not have health insurance.
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