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Thread: Winter choices in America: heat or eat...and the White House doesn't really care

  1. #1
    Friend of Gossip Rocks! buttmunch's Avatar
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    Default Winter choices in America: heat or eat...and the White House doesn't really care

    By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON The Bush administration has denied requests from five states to increase food stamps for low-income families facing higher heating bills this winter.
    Maine, New York, Kansas, Virginia and South Carolina sought to raise monthly food stamp allotments by projecting what families will pay to heat their homes. The increases would have ranged from $8 to about $30 a month for families who pay their own utility bills.

    State officials and advocates for the poor said the decision will make it hard for needy families to afford both heat and food. The Energy Department has forecast 25% average increases in heating bills this winter. Research shows that when utility bills rise, some poor families reduce food purchases.

    Robert Greenstein, director of the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said federal food stamp law says benefits should reflect current costs. "It's effectively cheating low-income families," he said. If the five states' requests had been approved, many others would have followed, he said.

    The Agriculture Department, which runs the food stamp program, said the best solution to rising utility bills is an increase not in food stamps, but in the low-income heating assistance program. The administration supports a $1 billion increase, pending in Congress. Advocates for the poor say as much as $4 billion is needed.

    Jean Daniel, director of public affairs for the Agriculture Department's Food and Nutrition Service, said states can seek an increase in food stamps if they document higher utility bills. That way, she said, the government can "make sure that each individual is getting the right benefit amount ... not too little, not too much."

    The federal food stamp program helps 25.7 million Americans pay for food by giving them an average of $92.70 in purchasing power each month. To be eligible, family income generally must be below 130% of the federal poverty level, or about $25,100 for a family of four.

    At least two states Maine and New York said they would appeal the decisions.

    Barbara Van Burgel, acting director of Maine's Office of Integrated Access and Support, said families are expected to spend about $200 more this winter to heat their homes. "They'll use that cash for heating, and they will have less food on the table," she said.

    Russell Sykes, deputy commissioner of New York's Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, said the decision "forces some difficult circumstances on people who have marginal incomes."

    Duke Storen, director of benefit programs in Virginia, said rising heating bills represent "just as big a crisis for low-income and vulnerable households this winter" as Hurricane Katrina was for Gulf Coast residents.

    James Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, said the decision "will force people to choose between heat, medicine and food. ... We know that people will eat less. ... It will have particularly damaging effects on kids, especially poor kids."

    But Daniel said actual figures, not projections, are required. "We also have a responsibility to the taxpayers," she said.
    'Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.' Ben Franklin

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross."
    --Sinclair Lewis

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    Elite Member Glasgow53's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winter choices in America: heat or eat...and the White House doesn't really care

    Of course the White House doesn't care, the tax payers pay to heat that barn of a place, and when they are at their other home, it is in Texas, not so much of a heating problem. Meanwhile we are freezing because the oil companies are gouging us. Go Bush!
    Keep passing the open windows.

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    Elite Member Sojiita's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winter choices in America: heat or eat...and the White House doesn't really care

    Well for me(and the several million other customers served By Columbis Gas of Ohio)gas bills starting in January are going up FIFTY PERCENT!!! the average bill will rise from around $200.00 to around $300.00. Dammit!

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winter choices in America: heat or eat...and the White House doesn't really care

    You know what really gets to me? Is that will all the high cost of everything from gas to heating oil to housing is that fucking Congress gave themselves a big, fat raise. Fuck the little guys, let us eat cake. Oh, wait, we can't AFFORD that either!

    I wish for once those rich bastards would by pass the raise.

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    Elite Member Glasgow53's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winter choices in America: heat or eat...and the White House doesn't really care

    Wouldn't that be nice, and donate the money to poor people. But it will never happen, congress feels it works too H - A - R - D to not get a raise!
    Keep passing the open windows.

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    Elite Member SammysMom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winter choices in America: heat or eat...and the White House doesn't really care

    As long as the people in Congress have a full tummy and a warm place to lay their head at night they think EVERYONE is doing the same thing. WRONG!!!

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    Elite Member Mr. Authority's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winter choices in America: heat or eat...and the White House doesn't really care

    Wouldn't that be nice, and donate the money to poor people. But it will never happen, congress feels it works too H - A - R - D to not get a raise!
    And never the sadder thing is, congress has'nt done much to deserve a raise.

    It pisses me off that even our own government fails to consider that not everyone in this country (especially under Bush) is doing so well. For many people food stamps is the only source of income they have to buy food, and now that some states are'nt going to rasie that help the low-income people suffer for it and have to sacrifice heat for food. So much for the income-equality in this country.

  8. #8
    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Winter choices in America: heat or eat...and the White House doesn't really care

    ^^^^What is EVEN more fucked up is that their raises are our tax dollars!!

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