10.01.2008 0

Day 70: Big Government Ices America

  • On: 10/23/2008 16:50:12
  • In: Energy Crisis, Global Warming Fraud, and the Environment
  • The decades-long refusal by the Washington power elite to allow America to develop its own energy resources may soon make this the deadliest winter in U.S. history. That, in sum, is the word coming out of the government’s own Energy Information Administration.

    According to the EIA:

    “Average household expenditures for all space-heating fuels are projected to be $1,137 this winter (October1 to March 31), 15%-percent increase over the estimated $986 spent last winter …

    “Households heating primarily with gas are expected to spend an average of 18 percent more this winter …

    “Households heating primarily with heating oil can expect to pay an average of 23 percent more.

    “Households heating primarily with propane can expect to pay an average of 11 percent more.

    “Households heating primarily with electricity can expect to pay an average of 10 percent more.”

    To the elite, of course, a mere 10 percent to 23 percent increase in the cost of staying warm may seem almost laughable. After all, members of the Senate and House pull in $169,300 a year (not including extravagant benefits). And the leaders of those two august bodies each pull in a good $20,000 more.

    So, to them a few extra hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars is a drop in the bucket. And the rest of us should just shut up – buck up – and learn to live on less. After all, Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama has already warned that once he’s elected, the creature comforts are a thing of the past:

    “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.”

    So much for a cozy home and a warm hearth. So much for the creature comforts. In fact, for millions of senior citizens, barely getting by on a fixed income, so much for heating their homes at all – or surviving the impending winter.

    Yes, those, in fact, are the stakes for elderly Americans – and millions of other low, and even middle-income families who already pinch every penny every day just to keep a roof over their heads, feed and clothe their children, and pay the mountains of bills rising ever higher as government drives up the price of sustenance.

    A recent report published by the highly respected financial firm Ernst & Young put the situation facing the nation’s senior citizens in stark perspective. The fact is, for the nation’s 78 million Baby Boomers, now retiring at a rate of better than 350 per hour, the E&Y analysis reveals the almost unthinkable, yet imminent, danger of a large proportion of them having to live out their remaining years in horrifying deprivation.

    And, remember: this report came out before we learned that Big Government’s refusal to allow energy independence has now driven home heating costs through the ceiling.

    Here’s the bottom line from the E&Y report:

    “The analysis finds that almost three out of five middle-class new retirees can expect to outlive their financial assets if they attempt to maintain their current pre-retirement standard of living. To avoid outliving their financial assets, middle-class retirees will have to reduce their standard of living, on average, by 24 percent.”

    Yet, believe it not, that’s the good news. As is so often the case with economic statistics, the average is an inadequate, even inaccurate, index of the overall reality. The reality is that in 39 of the 50 states, the number of retirees who can expect to outlive their financial assets is right at, or well above, the average 59% – with the dismal outlook for new retirees in several states topping 70%.

    But, hold on; it gets worse. As chilling as the figures are for “new retirees” – those “65 and above who have already entered retirement” – the projections for “near retirees” – those “58 and planning on retiring at 65” – make the current calamity look like a cakewalk.

    According E&Y, the average probability of “near retirees” outliving their financial assets is a staggering 74%. That’s right: on average, three out of every four Baby Boomers who are now 58 years old and plan on retiring at 65, will either have to scrap those plans outright, or substantially reduce their standard of living. And by “substantially,” E&Y estimated a staggering 37%.

    So, where, exactly, are millions of today’s senior citizens, eking out a sustenance-level living in 39 or our 50 states, supposed to get the extra 10% to 23% we now know they’ll be forced to shell out to literally keep from freezing to death. All because Congress refused for over a decade to drill for America’s own oil. Or allow America’s price-slashing nuclear energy industry to build a single new plant.

    Let’s lay it out on the bottom line with no quarter given: The elite powerbrokers in Washington, D.C. – frozen in the ice of their own indifference – have created a home heating crisis in this country that could well take a staggering toll in human lives over the next six months.

    Maine Senator Olympia Snowe recently admitted that the price of heating oil this coming winter could be so high that many Americans “could freeze to death.”

    Yet, Ms. Snowe, it should be noted, has done little or nothing for decades to unleash the bonds on oil drilling or loosen the restrictions on nuclear power. Nor have the vast majority of her colleagues. And neither have the past three Presidents of the United States.

    So, now, the government tells us, home-heating prices for millions of Americans will soon be out of sight. And all of the hot air the elite power brokers expel won’t mean a thing to those huddled in the dark, chill corners of their own homes in the deadliest winter in U.S. history.

    And, it makes you want to weep.

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