Just when you think Donald Trump couldn’t do anything more disturbing, you find out you were wrong. Trump is mulling a move to cut a heating program from low-income Americans that would go into affect this winter.
This report from Maine explains in further detail: “President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating heating aid for low-income Americans, claiming it’s no longer necessary and rife with fraud. People needn’t worry about being left in the cold, he says, because utilities cannot cut off customers in the dead of winter.”
WCVB in Portland, Maine points out that 86-year-old Richard Perkins is already worried about how he’s going to stay warm this winter.
However, he is wrong. The heating program provides a critical lifeline for Americans and officials close to the program don’t see any widespread fraud.
“It’s beyond my thinking that anyone could be that cruel,” said Perkins, a retired restaurateur who relies on the program to keep warm in Ogunquit, Maine.
Trump’s proposal will be killing a program that has distributed $3.4 billion to about 6 million households this fiscal year.
From WCVB Boston:
Forty-three senators from mostly cold-weather states already signed a letter urging the Republican chairman and ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee to ensure funding for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, known in many states by its acronym, LIHEAP.
In Maine, the poorest state in New England, the program helped nearly 77,000 people over the past winter, and those numbers represented less than a quarter of eligible households, said Deborah Turcotte of MaineHousing, which helps to run the program.
Perkins is a typical recipient.
His income was fine 10-12 years ago when he retired, but gasoline, food and other expenses grew faster than he anticipated. In the winter, he keeps an eye on his oil storage tank, and the local community action agency sends 100 gallons when it gets low.
It’s difficult for him to keep warm because he’s on a blood thinner, and he shudders at the thought of being cold. But he doesn’t want to move south, either.
“I was born and raised here,” he said. “Maine is part of me. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”
Well, Mr. Perkins, you may not have to worry about living anywhere else if President Trump gets his way with this, since he doesn’t care if you freeze to death.