Friday, February 11, 2011

What's going to happen to us?

8:00 am.: It's minus 13 degrees outside right now, and I wonder: what's going to happen to us?
President Obama wants to halve the funding for the  Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps eligible families pay for some of their heating costs.  This is only one of the many cuts affecting poor people that we'll be writing about in the next weeks, but one that is much on my mind as I sit by my little electric heater. This is the third year I've decided that I just didn't have enough money to put oil in the tank that provides central heating for my apartment, and instead to get by with my gas stove and space heater.  But this was more or less a choice for me.  Many don't have that choice.
The other issue really on my mind right now is housing.  Yesterday about thirty people from the No One Leaves Campaign stood outside the home of the Diaz family, as we attempted to shame Wells Fargo and potential buyers into calling of the auction of the Diaz family's home.  We didn't succeed yesterday, but the fight is not over.
More than 12,000 homes were foreclosed in Massachusetts last year.  What happens to people forced back into the rental market?  What options do they have?  Not many now, and ever fewer after the Obama and Patrick administrations get done with us.  And Obama and Patrick are supposed to be on our side!  Just keep remembering: none of these cuts would even be necessary if the rich were paying their fair share of taxes, if banks were loaning out the money we, the taxpayers, gave them, if we weren't in a state of perpetual war.Just to get this discussion started, take a look at this great flyer done by WRAP: Sorry that I'm unable to reproduce it fully.

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