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Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Mrs.PatsFanInVa, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #12 Jersey

    And better yet, why?

    How can we, as a people, a compassionate people, continue to allow tax cuts to our wealthiest citizens and cut off the heat to the poorest ones?


    Reports that President Barack Obama's upcoming budget will propose steep cuts in the government's energy assistance fund for low-income Americans ricocheted quickly on Capitol Hill Wednesday, spurring some intraparty squabbling.

    Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) wrote a letter to Obama asking him not to drop funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by about $3 billion.

    "I understand that difficult cuts have to be made," the Massachusetts Democrat wrote. "But in the middle of a brutal, even historic, New England winter, home heating assistance is more critical than ever to the health and welfare of millions of Americans, especially senior citizens. I request that the administration preserve LIHEAP funding at least to the Fiscal Year 2010 funding at $5.1 billion when it submits its FY12 budget proposal to Congress."


    Obama To Cut Energy Assistance For Poor; Kerry Urges Him To Reconsider
  2. The Brandon Five

    The Brandon Five Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    The funds are needed for high speed rail?

    Or maybe it's that the energy assistance program didn't encourage "green" energy? It's mostly oil, isn't it?

    Doesn't make any sense to me, unless there are plans to require energy companies to provide heat to the less fortunate at little or no cost...
  3. JackBauer

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    It's kind of like how the best cuts House Republicans can find are pregnant mothers, children, and police.

    The only difference is that you expect that from them.
  4. IcyPatriot

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    #87 Jersey

    that looks like 230,000,000 to me ... not 3 billion.

    It's going back to the amount it was before Obama took office.

    The cut word is highly misleading.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  5. PatsWSB47

    PatsWSB47 Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    You're consistant, I'll give you that
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  6. JackBauer

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    What I wrote is entirely consistent with the cuts proposed by Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), Chairman of the House Appropriates Committee.
  7. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #12 Jersey

    Where did you get that 230,000,000 figure from, IP? I'm confused.

    Yes, it is going back to pre-Obama days but how does that make the "cut" word misleading? If you take away what's already been raised, it's a "cut," isn't it? Was this supposed to be a temporary raise in aid (like the tax cuts to the rich were supposed to be temporary) or is it a reduction in aid, regardless of how long it's been in effect?

    The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, would see funding drop by about $2.5 billion from an authorized 2009 total of $5.1 billion.

    The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, would see funding drop by about $2.5 billion from an authorized 2009 total of $5.1 billion. The proposed cut will not touch the program's emergency reserve fund, about $590 million, which can be used during particularly harsh cold snaps or extended heat spells, three officials told National Journal.

    In 2010, Obama signed into law an omnibus budget resolution that released a total of about $5 billion in LIHEAP grants for 2011. Pointing to the increasing number of Americans who made use of the grants last year, advocates say that LIHEAP is already underfunded. The American Gas Association predicts that 3 million Americans eligible for the program won't be able to receive it unless LIHEAP funding stays at its current level.



    NationalJournal.com - EXCLUSIVE: White House to Cut Energy Assistance for the Poor - Thursday, February 10, 2011
  8. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    I don't know the details of this program, but I don't think compassion is a good grounds for determining appropriate government spending levels -- wouldn't that same rationale warrant, say, $6.1B of spending rather than just $5.1B?

    I do agree with you about tax cuts, though. While I'd like to see taxes reformed (not just cut), if we're making hard spending cuts like the one described here, taxpayers -- particularly the wealthy, and especially the extremely wealthy -- can sacrifice their tax cuts until we get spending under control. (I also hope we're making more meaningful and justifiable cuts elsewhere throughout the budget.)
  9. PatsWSB47

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    #12 Jersey

    Right, yesterday a block of republicans broke ranks and voted with democrats and your response is to whine about the republicans that didn't. Today it's Obama who has proposed cuts and you repond with something a republican did. You turn every eventy into some kind of talking point, completely missing or ignoring the OP's point just to make your own. Do you think the affected people give a rats azz which side cuts the fuel off? is Obama proposing this in a compassionate way and Rogers is proposing it in a mean spirited way?
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  10. JackBauer

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    My response wasn't to "whine" about Republicans that didn't vote against renewal. I was illustrating that the failed vote wasn't due to any purported "Tea Party insurrection," contra to the line being parroted in the thread and elsewhere in the media. Please try to keep up.

    My response in this thread was merely a sarcastic point about how this isn't something you'd expect to see from Obama but, rather, the Republicans.

    Back on topic, a little context:

  11. PatsWSB47

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    #12 Jersey

    I can keep up just fine, I just don't feel like following you
    when you go off course
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  12. JackBauer

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    Then don't misrepresent what I wrote, and rest assured you're not obliged to do so.
  13. Stokes

    Stokes Rookie

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    How can we? Well how about the fact that the cost of oil is about 1/2 of what it was in 2008/09?

    Sure, why not tax the wealthy more, the to 5% of earners in this country only pay 60% of the taxes.

    But you're right, we'd better keep the funding at $5 billion instead of $3 billion because we can't forget the millions that died of exposure in the winter of 07/08 before spending increased so dramatically.

    Rather than making a typical class warfare emotional plea, how about evidence? Since fuel prices have dropped, what is the need for the continued increase in spending? Did the previous increase lead to a drop in deaths from exposure or other measurable gains? These are honest questions, I don't have the answers but your case is better made logically than with the tired, lazy "why oh why can't we just tax people more! Won't someone please think of the children?!"

    I forgot here is funding by year for energy assistance programs:

    Low-Income Energy Program Funding, 1977 - 2004 - LIHEAP Clearinghouse

    and the link to the LIHEAP page, where they give other statistics:

    Office of Community Services - Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) Program
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  14. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #12 Jersey

    How about there are nearly twice as many people currently unemployed as there were in January 2008?


    The 5 percent unemployment rate was the highest reading since November 2005, when job losses from Hurricane Katrina were still being felt. The unemployment rate had been 4.7 percent in November, and economists had expected it to creep higher to just 4.8 percent.

    Jobs growth much weaker than expected as unemployment climbs - Jan. 4, 2008

    The national jobless rate fell by 0.4 percentage point
    between November and December to 9.4 percent, 0.5 point lower than in
    December 2009.


    Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary
  15. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Save the Children!

    This is the problem with ever increasing government funding and budgets. Once you've given more and more and more and more and more.... in funding increases year after year, anything below the last inflated total is deemed an eeeeeeeeeeevil cut. Save the children! Be it education, defense, police, or fuel assistance as is the case here. How many times have you seen a pol/candate scream "he cut defense" or "he cut education" in a debate about policy. It happens all the time. The bottom line is that we're broke. We've been, and we are, spending so much more than we both can and should. That means EVERYTHING gets slashed in some way, where possible.

    Why spend $50 billion on trains when people are freezing? Why pay cops six figures when towns and the people that live in them are broke? Why give banks bailouts when we're running trillion dollar deficits, and why spend money on foreign aid when we need our own aid here at home? Then there's the wars issue we could look at as well. The point is we don't have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem. We spend too much, and with that, we spend in the wrong places. Giving a addict more sauce isn't going to help him get sober.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  16. Stokes

    Stokes Rookie

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    Now we're getting somewhere. This is a concrete argument for continued funding of the program.

    Just reading around a bit in past years they have made emergency additions to the fund as necessary for cold winters/high fuel costs, etc. Would it make sense to fund at $3 billion rather than $5 and if there is a need make an additional payment in?
  17. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #12 Jersey

    It might - but I would think that doing it that way would raise the administration costs sky-high. Any time you have to redo a budget or create additional financing it creates a paper jam which almost always ends up being more costly than having figured it properly in the first place.
  18. IcyPatriot

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    #87 Jersey


    The article said they bumped it - part of some weatherization plans.

    2.8 billion - 2.57 billion = 230 million.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
  19. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #12 Jersey

    Ah, ok...but it has been getting 5.1 billion so the 230 million is just a small mistake in the appropriation level. The amount being cut will be 230 million less than reported - meaning they will be cutting 2.57 billion instead of 2.8 billion.

    I get so confused sometimes. It's what happens when you get up too early in the morning.
  20. IcyPatriot

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    #87 Jersey


    No ... they are appropriating 2.57 instead of 2.8:confused:

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