An Attack on the Poor

 The US taxpayers have spent trillions bailing out Wall Street and the banks and billions more on extending the Bush era tax cuts that apply to the richest 2% of Americans. Now we have been informed that these expenditures have bankrupted the country and someone must pay.

 How is President Obama responding to the budget deficit? He is attacking the poor. Among the many cuts to the poor and working class proposed by Obama is a 50% reduction in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). LIHEAP provides heating bill assistance for the poor, elderly and handicapped. Obama proposes to cut LIHEAP from $5 billion to $2.5 billion.
With unemployment remaining high, family incomes declining, and two years without a cost of living increase in Social Security, the numbers applying for LIHEAP keep rising. Applications numbered 5.7 million in 2008, 7.8 million in 2009, 8.3 million in 2010 with estimates of over 9 million families to be served in 2011. In 2009 Representative Maurice Hinchey successfully fought to increase the amount of LIHEAP for this area. He cited declining incomes and unemployment.

What is the Real Cost?
 We can measure in dollars the cost of the bailouts to the rich but the real cost to the rest of society is difficult to document. The tragic statistics of the LIHEAP cuts will never be compiled.  Many seniors and babies will freeze to death. More will be injured/die in fires started when families try to heat with faulty space heaters. Others will become very ill or die when trying to heat with the oven.

 US corporations currently pay less in taxes than corporations in all the other industrialized countries. Our politicians socialized the bailout of the rich but public programs for the poor are a form of socialism that the capitalist cannot accept. Let’s eliminate socialism for the rich and use the savings to provide services for the rest of us.  
A Concerned Citizen


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