U.S. Poverty Rate Down, Unchanged in WV
Monday, October 16, 2017
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Economic growth is finally reducing poverty in most of the country - but not in West Virginia, according to a new report.
The research, released jointly by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy and the Coalition on Human Needs, found the U.S. poverty rate has fallen by about 2 percent in the last five years. But Sean O’Leary, senior policy analyst with the Center, said the poverty rate here is all but unchanged over the last decade.
"West Virginia is not making progress. Our poverty rate, just like everyone else’s in the country, went up during the recession, but ours has been flat,” O’Leary said. "Nationally we've seen a decline, but in West Virginia, our poverty rate has remained the same."
O'Leary said much of the job creation in the state has been in low-paying positions. He said the state needs to protect programs that support low-income households while also investing more in education and job training.
O'Leary called education the best cure for poverty.
According to Deborah Weinstein, executive director at the Coalition on Human Needs, the reductions in poverty have been spotty - bypassing Maine and West Virginia, and leaving minority communities behind as well. She called that troubling.
"It's also of concern that, even though we've made this progress, we still have more than 40 million people poor in this country,” Weinstein said. "We still have children disproportionately poor."
She added budget and tax plans now being discussed in Congress risk stalling whatever progress has been made.
"President Trump and his allies want to slash the very programs that are helping,” she said. "And amazingly, they would put trillions of dollars into tax cuts for the very richest among us, and corporations."
The President has argued that the high-end tax cuts would spark more economic growth, although Democrats say increasing tax credits for the working poor would do more good.
According to the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, more than half of the proposed Trump tax cuts would go to the top 5 percent of households in the state.
get more stories like this via email
North Dakota's farming landscape is seeing policy shifts dealing with corporate ownership of agricultural interests. Now, there's fresh debate at the …
Advocates for unpaid family caregivers in Maine say they'll need continued support beyond the recently passed paid family and medical leave program…
The Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida are filing lawsuits against the deacti…
A new report from WGU Labs, a nonprofit affiliate of Western Governors University based in Millcreek, Utah, is shedding light on the importance of …
Many older residents of Washington state are facing strains on their budgets -- and the government programs that could assist them are underused…
Bloomington and Indianapolis are getting some international recognition for the work they're doing to help the environment. The two have been named …
Health and Wellness
New Mexico activists are tapping today's World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, to announce they'll ask the State Legislature to provide more money for treatment …
Bipartisan legislation that proposes the installation of solar panels in schools across Pennsylvania awaits a vote in the state Senate. The Solar …