Thousands of the poor across the Northeast are going to have a tough winter after the federal government cut home heating aid to states like New Hampshire and Massachusetts, you know, places where it can get bitter cold in the winter. Congress is considering making further cuts of more than $1 billion from last year's $4.7-billion Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. It had served nearly nine million households.
Mary Power is 92 and worried about surviving another frigid New England winter because deep cuts in federal home heating assistance benefits mean she probably can't afford enough heating oil to stay warm.
She lives in a drafty trailer in Boston's West Roxbury neighborhood and gets by on $11,148 a year in pension and Social Security benefits. Her heating aid help this year will drop from $1,035 to $685. With rising heating oil prices, it probably will cost her more than $3,000 for enough oil to keep warm unless she turns her thermostat down to 60 degrees, as she plans.
"I will just have to crawl into bed with the covers over me and stay there," said Power, a widow who worked as a cashier and waitress until she was 80. "I will do what I have to do."
Thousands of poor people across the Northeast are bracing for a difficult winter with substantially less home heating aid coming from the federal government.
As long as the upper 1 percent continue to receive their special tax breaks...