Texas utility customers pay a little extra on their bills that is supposed to go into a fund to help the poor cover their own utility payments. But in a year of record heat, less than half the fund is being paid out, forcing people to do without air conditioning in triple-digit temperatures.
CBS reports that the Texas legislature has repeatedly approved raiding the fund in order to balance its budget without raising taxes. By 2013, there will be $900 million sitting unspent, with no plans to ever pay it out.
And not only are the poor being shortchanged, but members of the middle class who pay utility bills are being charged that extra fee which does nothing but subsidize keeping taxes low on the wealthy.
This video is from CBS News, posted August 12, 2011.