The terrible rise in gasoline taxes has placed its burden in an unexpected place: In the stomachs of the homebound elderly living alone.
Here’s The New York Times report from July 5, 2008:
SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. — Early last month, Jeanne Fair, 62, got her first hot meals delivered to her home in this lake town in the sparsely populated southwestern part of the state. Then after two deliveries the meals stopped because gas prices had made the delivery too expensive.
“They called and said I was outside of the delivery area,” said Mrs. Fair, who is homebound and has not been able to use her left arm since a stroke in 1997.
Faced with soaring gasoline prices, agencies around the country that provide services to the elderly say they are having to cut back on programs like Meals on Wheels, transportation assistance and home care, especially in rural areas that depend on volunteers who provide their own gas. In a recent survey by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, more than half said they had already cut back on programs because of gas costs, and 90 percent said they expected to make cuts in the 2009 fiscal year.
Is this the sort of America we want?
Do we yearn for starving babies and hungry old people as part of the American Dream?
Should we rely on sun and wind power to feed our craving for oil?
Oil might drive the bus of big business, but oil is now unable to feed our young or care for our elderly — and if we hope to survive as a nation for another hundred years — we need to find sustainable and renewable resources so we can once again be self-sufficient as a nation of wants and dreams that will no longer require the intervention of foreign interests to make us whole and thriving.