Good Heavens! Check out this story about proposed cuts to heating aid for the poor, from which I take the following:
Congress, which is locked in a bitter battle over reducing spending, still must decide how much money to give the program for the budget year that began Oct. 1.
In fall 2008, amid concerns about rising fuel prices, the government nearly doubled fuel assistance, releasing $5.1 billion to states for the following winter.
But last February, President Barack Obama proposed cutting the program nearly in half, calling for about $2.5 billion. The House is considering $3.4 billion for fuel assistance, while the Senate reviews a $3.6 billion proposal.
Austerity economics is a cruel task matter. Our decades of listening to the Pied Piper politicians tooting away about cutting our taxes and letting us keep more of our money is coming home to roost. Our country always seems to be able to scrape together and borrow the funds for yet another war or military entanglement, but when it comes to our poorest citizens, the answer seems to be "F" you.
Cutting taxes on the alleged "job creators" (read: rich folks) has unarguably failed totally. The jobs they have created largely have been for other countries, where the wages are immorally low. That strategy is pulling down our wages here at home because we must now compete with these other countries.
Those of us who make up the vast working poor have indeed kept more of our money percentage-wise, due to this flawed economic concept, but so what? Our wages, hours, and benefits have been repeatedly slashed to the point that we are still quickly losing ground.
Now our government is looking at slashing aid to the poor, disabled, and elderly. Prices are high, wages are low, jobs are few, sympathy to assist the needy seems also to be in short supply.
Clearly this was a manufactured crisis, and we didn't go into it blindly so much as we just closed our eyes to reality and went along with the loud fluting. Make no mistake about it: The continual cutting of taxes always eventually leads to the cutting of our nation's safety net. Is that who we are as a people?
Meanwhile, it's going to be a long, hard winter.