Some of the "attitudes" and "mentalities" that might be portrayed in the following letter may seem sarcastic or curt. They may at times seem overly idealistic or one sided, prioritizing or profiling at others, but please note that any tendency that seems directed in such a nature is purely accidental or merely in jest to add a jocular tone to represent a rather serious matter.
Take our legislative and executive branches of our federal governing bodies. Or simply consider for the sake of consideration, the government at home in the way of more local, county and state offices. Those tools to our existence in these United States as a free nation and a freer people that permit us to "claim" to a fault, that we live in a democratic society are often well constructed and put together, created and fulfilled to a proper optimistic purpose towards the goals intended. At other times with the mass sheer volume of problems requiring tenacity, it seems like those same channels become clogged and stifled with a lack of objectivity and then it becomes an illness where they seem to suffer from blindness of any enlightenment to our nation's troubles, thus becoming a far off shadow of the real problems at hand.
In 2008/2009 we found President Obama promoting and implementing a $250 per person economic assistance grant to low income households (more for two parent families) to help the stimulus of the country.
Yet in 2010, he turned from his afore perceptive visual wisdom and sought to steal assistance away from the disabled and elderly parties included in low income households, in the way of LiHeap funding cuts who not only relied on heating and cooling help, but to an “absolute” needed and genuinely relied on that assistance to survive in some of what may very well be the worst/longest running on record temperatures in the past 40 years.
President Obama sought for and enacted a 50% cut in the nation's energy utility assistance program funding and put many an American in severe distress for such a period until the Senate stepped in and returned those funds back into the LiHeap program.
Local utility companies were already circling like buzzards to cut off power or gas to any households that showed a past due status in an effort to bypass State Statutes set forth by the Senate to prevent heating utilities from being disconnected from October through February during 32* freezing weather or below, if I believe my memory serves me right (correct me please if I am mistaken).
Only by an affirmative action through the very same Senate we citizens sometimes scoff at for partisan policing of our legislative system, did those elderly and disabled re-receive that 50% energy assistance that was stolen from them, to allow full funding for the LiHeap program. This funding is necessary as it pays for their winter heating for only October and November, since normally reticent funding runs out around then.
This assistance is not only needed to relieve the financial burdens for such households of the elderly and disabled, but also is present in order for those applicable recipients to prepare and save funds during those assisted months, to help pay for heating bills from their own pockets through the remaining "unassisted" months of December, January and February (the coldest of the year without dispute).
Not one of our prestigious and honored Representatives nor Senators have most likely been written an "awareness note" to help encourage them in their jobs and duties to take the time to reassess the situations at hand, and inform them of the simple fact that the elderly and disabled represent a far more “needy” and urgent embodiment for energy assistance than merely the “economically under-privileged and financially challenged”.
It is one thing for the poor man to have to arise from their lounge chair in the back yard during his weekend off and go mow an extra yard or two or cut wood, or if the wife then to take in additional laundry or clean a few houses for extra income to help subsidize their cooling or heating bills. They are more physically capable of taking on the additional fund raising work than we can imagine a feebly burdened elderly couple or a disabled person could be envisioned of taking on extra income arenas.
We must be perceptively objective enough to realize, and admit, that programs present the elderly and disabled with little to absolutely no protocols in place, no provisions provided to assist them further once the current basic and diminutive assistance and help programs are extinguished, finally depleted and the restricted funding dries up.
Not many of us can claim that we have seen the local 82 year old grandma known to one and all in the neighborhood, go off mowing yards locally to help subsidize her cooling bill. Not many of us are ignorant enough to insist that the neighbor next door who is non-ambulatory needs to take up extra house cleaning jobs from local families to help gather enough funds to merely and simply help with their cooling bill in the coming sweltering heat of the summer's 100*+ weather or provide extra funds for heating during the coming chills of winter.
We'll admit there are substantially far more elderly and disabled amongst our nation's "needy" that qualify as "unable to self-assist" than there are the many choices and opportunities available and accessible to those in merely low-income levels.
Nor in the same note could we speculate that those in the "elderly or disabled group" compare to the grouping within the economically wanton, who are stuck in the dead-end low wage jobs so many complain of, while still finding the money out of their own "low income budgets", for multiple 6-packs of Budweiser each month to “share with the boys in the backyard”, or merely gathering around the tube with “Ma” to watch continuous libraries of grocery store bought and purchased DVD movies added to their own personal annals, just so that they can find a justifiable reason for having "something to do on the weekend since they can't afford to do anything else".
Hopefully, the number of these genuinely more "needy homes" percentage/ratio wise in the United States symbolized by the elderly and disabled, has now been partially established in these "comical-uneconomical" yet “not-all-that-fictionalized” analogies.
I suppose if someone took the initiative and time to perform a study of the two groups, "the elderly/disabled under-assisted and help-starved" versus the "economically under privileged but able to work", that one might find that the “elderly/disabled” group take a “more” productive, self-motivated initiative upon themselves to cast their approving/disapproving voice in our current times and actually "vote" in order to give a useful and growth orientated input to our system and support with a voice, our local, state and national leaders.
This initiative most likely stems from merely the simple wisdoms gained with age and/or the struggles which inspire and mandate participation at the polls, as compared to and versus the “ poor, unconcerned, indifferent and possibly unmotivated” citizens of our nation's general population who make up a part of those stuck and remaining in low income poverty level jobs...
and if it's alright…
let's throw in just for “good measure” those certain residents estimated to be currently living in the U.S., added to the more recent displaced millions adopted in the past 30 years who feel privileged and righted to partake in our care and assistance systems, (receiving free/subsidized medical care, utility assistance and food benefits in one way or another) who make up the ever increasing number in our populace that don't care “one way or another” about American government enough to vote "one way or another."
There has “always” been an obvious necessity to appropriate additional funding divisions proportionate to the “needs” of the elderly/disabled over and above the simply low-income households of our country’s populace concerning utility assistance and other areas of requirements to aid those groups.
A simpler solution for obtaining those funds without increasing the funding budget would be to limit the utility assistance for mere “low-income families” to cover “one month’s heating” and “one month’s cooling” expenses per year versus the current four months per year provided, yet adding an additional month’s assistance to the fewer total number of households involving and including the elderly and the handicapped or disabled.
Although it seems it would increase the funding deficit to give the increased additional month’s necessary assistance to the elderly/disabled it would simply gain revenue by cutting half the funding deficit each season that would have been given for energy payments for the “low income” groups, making the “application for assistance” qualification into two groups (low income versus the elderly/disabled).
This would enable local area assistance programs and departments to re-allocate and allot “three” months per season (twice annually) instead of just two months, diminishing a much larger amount spent for the massed funding of “low income households” and thus serve a much lowered cost to the program’s funding requirements and serve a far more needy group of the fewer numbers to fulfill the wants represented by utility assistance applications of the elderly and disabled.
I am surely not qualified nor have the necessary wisdom or knowledgeable intellect to direct, design or apply a governing program, or smart enough to know all the details, facts and protocols for the necessary policies concerning how to provide funding and cut present deficits.
Yet it seems to me to be a healthier avenue of cost cutting than what the President did with a 50% cut having the Senate reverse that decision out of necessity and re-appropriate that 50% back into the budget. It seems to my simple-minded way of thinking that this would be giving the budget a cost saving cut, and still serving the needs of the elderly/disabled who often have health requirements necessitating the need for power utilities for medical equipment, Nebulizers, and other facilities at times and thus, meeting the demand of a much more urgent criteria than the simple requirements that need to be met for merely the lower income economically disadvantaged households?
I feel it an objectively accurate viewpoint to administer a policy to be enforced that, if an elderly senior citizen or especially, a disabled senior, or disabled SSD or SSI recipient should fall behind on their utilities what with the constant burden of just merely sustaining an independent home and quality of life, the utility company could not shut their power off on similar policies such as are currently implemented right smart and promptly without giving the customer the opportunity to pay part of the bill, and then pay the balance on the date of their next income check. Failure to pay on that date of the extended grace period bill would then promptly negate the leniency policy enforced by the “writ of mandamus” and the power could then be shut off due to customer failure to comply.
Currently, our utility company will accept NO partial payments, refusing your offer to make a proposed fractional payment and then pay the remaining balance on the following 1st of the month. Worse than that, City Utilities in California, MO is governed by the City Council and ALL utilities are handled through the City Utilities office other than natural gas. That means that if you fall behind and don’t have enough to pay for your electric, they will not allow you to simply pay your water bill, trash bill and sewer bill. This results in ALL utilities being shut off, and that is simply archaic, chaotic and oppressive government.
I am surprised and appalled in the fact that no one in any avenue of government has not already acted on such dominative practices, whether approved by our City Counsel or not. This is simply “BAD” government, self centered and self serving rather than serving the public.
I recently suffered from such overbearing practices and without ANY policies or programs in place to affect or protect me, I spent 12 days without power with some nights reaching 42* lows, from September 20th till the 3rd of October. After surviving this period, I hit the timing just right to be stalled by the “Obama Cutback” on LiHeap for a few days, necessitating my further discomfort as I waited for my power to be turned back on.
Forgive my long-windedness nevertheless this is assuredly a point of major importance as there are many people within this group of the elderly/disabled who have done their duties, worked hard and applied their supportive efforts throughout their lives, who still have a voice and a concerned interest and power to cast their choices, and a body within our populace that should not be forgotten or placed to the side of our national concerns.
from a tenderly smiling but worn-out-yet-concerned / SSI recipient disabled 53 year old / feeling overly aged and elderly / yet hopeful citizen.
Just a little “note” I wrote after enjoyably listening
to part of an authored proverbial analogy one day…
The recurring problems in politics across the face of the nation today can be likened
to an old semi-retired carpenter with failing eyesight:
"“It’s a case of...
if you have a hammer...
everything looks like a nail.”
Yet, when we look at the barn door which we contracted the “hired help” to fix and repair, and see all the nails driven across its face to supposedly re-strengthen and “restore” it’s vigor, we can’t help but notice a few problems with the “job”.
When we finally inspect the end results of the promised proposals to fix and repair the door, we find that the door is still flimsy, unsteady and still in need of repair.
With a genuine desire to understand why the efforts to mend the door have obviously failed, we decide to pull the nails out that were driven in to fix the door, to inspect the original condition of the structural problems, only to discover that all we are left with…
Is a rotten door with a whole bunch of nail-holes?
It's time in our nation that the people stood up and demanded that the door itself be replaced, that a new entry be installed to openly allow access to a better path. It’s time that we were not so gullible and demand that newer purposes and practices be utilized to better maintain and renew the ideals and goals that our renovation plans were originally designed for.
We are tired of the “hired help’s” bickering and arguing, their stall tactics and feeble minded strategies present on our Nation’s “construction site”, on how to better build the project, merely to claim control and label it with their “logo or brand” while totally ignoring the actual integrity of the work done.
It's time we realized and admitted that we were far too trusting and unwisely dependant on previously poorly excused and executed plans and promises of repair and restoration.
In the last few years though, we have at least gained a more basic yet calloused wisdom and experience from our burdens and hardships. Now much wiser, we must face the fact that we need to rethink our approach to finding such solutions as to implement better standards of construction and insist on more practical results. Most importantly, we must insist that our leaders be held accountable for more fully utilizing those designed plans and policies, without relying on or accepting mere empty promises.
We are not a ‘totally’ ignorant people and nation.We have now found this to be the only truer option to better utilize a more feasible blueprint, and eventually build better accesses to more solidly constructed and secure futures.
"A concerned yet envisioned citizen, as we all should be".
We were never as balanced as a balanced Nation should be...
as when the House and Congress were balanced...
where "filabusters" could be refused...
"Vetos" could control a baffled Congress
and a President could tell both buildings to decide,
gain purpose, and find a solution...
before they could go home for Christmas or New Years
or take a vacation while the Nation needed their help so badly.
Its a job folks, no matter what Party we belong to...
and don't dare forget...
its never ever...
been a party.