Friday, January 27, 2006

As energy prices soar, America's poor are forced to cut back on essentials like food and medication to survive the winter.

[Maine has one of the highest benefits, at about $420 per household. But with heating oil there recently selling at $2.35 per gallon, LIHEAP aid would put just 179 gallons in a home tank. The average Maine home needs 850 to 1,200 gallons to make it through winter, says the state's energy assistance office. One 70-year-old Maine LIHEAP recipient, who asked not to be named, says that she gets through the winter by keeping her thermostat at 62 degrees. As for her expensive asthma medication: "I try to stretch that out if I can." It's a common route; a survey showed that one third of LIHEAP recipients didn't take prescriptions fully in order to pay energy bills. Some 94 percent of those receiving aid are elderly, disabled, or taking care of children. (U.S. News & World Report)]

So, with energy prices higher than ever before, the government will certainly help its own citizens, right? WRONG.

George W. Bush has gone out of his way to ensure the greatest profits ever by our oil companies. He is supposed to be our leader. Yet Venezuela's Hugo Chavez offers Maine's low income residents discounted oil, as well as parts of the New York, Vermont, and Massachusettes. Why does it take the leader od another country to lead America?

Pat Robertson, "a broadcaster, statesman, author, humanitarian, businessman and Christian", suggests we assasinate Mr. Chavez. More likely than not, the Bush administration would prefer he keep quiet about that sort of thing.


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