Things That Matter

These Government Aid Programs Exist For You To Use Because Your Tax Dollars Pay For Them

There is a multitude of government aid programs that are part of what makes America great. We pay taxes specifically to create government (one that provides equity for all).

Before we dive into the programs, you should know that receiving government aid is far more common than you think. In 2012, more than 1 in 4 Americans benefitted from some kind of government assistance. When you look at the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 analysis of Latinos specifically, you’ll find that about 36 percent of Latinos participate in government aid. Now, here are some programs you might be unaware of but pay taxes to keep them going.

These programs are here for you, paid by you.

@TimGurung / Twitter

While President Trump claims that reliance on welfare “is out of control,” it has actually drastically declined since 1996, and the vast majority of recipients are children. If you’re reading this, we know you’re not a child and that you’re entitled to programs that make life more equitable.

1. American Music Abroad Program

@IndieWire / Twitter

That’s right. Your music group could be eligible to “foster cross-cultural communication with global audiences.” You’ll never know if you don’t find out.

2. Cell Biology and Biophysics Research and Research Training

@CamBiochem / Twitter

If you’re one of those brainy, bioscience people, then The Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics might sponsor you to conduct research to prevent, treat and cure diseases that come about from disturbed or abnormal cellular activity. Serve your country with sicence.

3. The Lifeline Program

@onthehoneyy / Twitter

Lifeline is an income-based program, so if you’re stretched thin, you might be eligible for discounted landline or cell phone services. Take what’s yours. The world is vastly connected through technology and lacking technology is the fastest way to be left behind.

4. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

@heating_guide / Twitter

There is simply no reason to go cold during cold snaps or sweat your physical energy away during heat waves because of costs. This program issues grants from the Department of Health and Human Services to help heat or cool your home.

5. Unclaimed.org

@BirchwoodInvest / Twitter

Don’t think of this as free money. It’s money that’s literally owed to you, that is turned over to the state when you can’t be found. Moved recently? You might have a forgotten deposit paid to a utility company or uncashed paycheck waiting for you to claim it at unclaimed.org

6. American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) Leadership Development Programs

@thehill / Twitter

Ok, I’m not saying that ACYPL put Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the map, but you could be the next AOC thanks to ACYPL. Participants are offered leadership training, international relations education, and the connections you need to become an up-and-coming global leader and policy maker.

7. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

@LouisianaDCFS / Twitter

SNAP is the largest federal nutrition assistance program and provides benefits to low-income folks with something that functions as an actual debit card. Whether you’re in the Los Angeles living struggle bus to pay rent, work at an underpaying non-profit or just have found yourself in a pinch, don’t pinch pennies around your health and nutrition. SNAP is here for you.

8. Identity Protection

@hurlinspiel / Twitter

Dwight’s right, which is why the U.S. government created the Identity Protection Program. When your name, Social Security Number is stolen, the IPP will resolve the crime and case for you.

9. The Child Care and Development Fund

@HoneyTWilton / Twitter

Child care is a growing, crippling cost for dual-income households. This fund gives states, territories and tribes money to distribute to low-income families to help pay for the child care of your choice. Just find the Child Care and Development Fund contact for your state.

10. Disaster Legal Services

@LucyWicken / Twitter

DLS offers legal assistance to low-income individuals who have been affected by a presidentially declared major disaster. Boricuas, this is for you.

This legal advice can help with insurance claims for doctor and hospital bills, property loss, home repair, and beef with your landlord.

11. Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program

SUPER BOWL WHATEVER GIF BY AMAZON / GIPHY

At the same time, communities affected by disaster desperately need crisis counseling. Puerto Rico, I see you. The CCP can train you to become a crisis counselor or offer access to one. Just call 1-800-621-FEMA.

12. Education Grants

@insidehighered / Twitter

College grants are goldmines for access to higher education, and an obvious choice for anyone without half a million dollars to drop on an education. Some major grants include:

  • The Pell Grant
  • The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant
  • The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Here’s how to get those grants.

13. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

@PDHScounseling / Twitter

We all know what FAFSA is, and there is no shame in using the federal student aid program to be able to afford outrageously expensive college tuition. Why let there be shame in any other aid program usage?

14. American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC)

@KTLA / Twitter

The AOTC will help reduce your tax obligations on expenses paid for the first four years of education post-high school. You can get an annual credit of $2,500 and even $1,000 refunded by the IRS if you owe no taxes. ????

15. Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

@agentyoo / Twitter

You’re done with school and in the workforce, congrats. JAN offers free expert assistance to employees and employers who require workplace accommodations for a disability or health-related issues.

Got terrible endometriosis coupled with debilitating cramps? I feel you, and JAN can tell you what you need to be acknowledged fairly by your employer for sick time.

16. Housing Counseling Assistance Program

@JonathanREdwar1 / Twitter

Most millennials aren’t even financially able to own a home, let alone pay an accountant for their expensive services. the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds housing counseling agencies across the country that will offer up advice on buying, renting, foreclosing, and more…for free.

17. Property Improvement Loan Insurance

@ArgoDevelopment / Twitter

According to our government, “The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) makes it easier for consumers to obtain affordable home improvement loans by insuring loans made by private lenders to improve properties that meet certain requirements. Lending institutions make loans from their own funds to eligible borrowers to finance these improvements.”

18. Health Insurance

@BoostHLTH / Twitter

Last but certainly not least is Obama’s parting gift to Americans: health insurance. Healthcare.gov will guide you on how to find affordable coverage that’s right for you.

You can find out what other benefits you’re eligible for at benefits.gov.

@OaklandResearch / Twitter

There, you can fill out a questionnaire that will generate a list of federal programs that you may be eligible for. I filled it out myself and found out I was eligible for 20+ programs.


READ: DREAMer Gets Hate After Telling The Internet ‘Undocumented Immigrants Pay Taxes Too’

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FIERCE ‘Money Moves’ Talks Stocks And What To Do With Them

Fierce

FIERCE ‘Money Moves’ Talks Stocks And What To Do With Them

Money is a hard thing to talk about. It is a taboo topic that we have been trained not to address but that only hurts us in the long run. FIERCE Money Moves is talking with Latinas to get all of the information you want to know about growing your wealth.

Linda Garcia is here to teach you about stocks.

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A post shared by Linda García (@luzwarrior)

Garcia is the found of In Luz We Trust. The organization is dedicated to helping heal the generational wealth gap within our community. She approaches the work from a unique spiritual angle after years as a tv and movie executive. Garcia is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to stocks and growing your wealth for years to come.

In Luz We Trust is here to give you the tips you need to grow that wealth.

Garcia sat down with Sam to walk us through the process of getting stocks, growing wealth, and how to safely navigate that world.

Sam: “Could you explain the difference between a stock versus a mutual fund and an ETF and what those things do?”

Linda Garcia: “An ETF or a mutual fund, I want you to look at that like a basket of stocks. I do invest in one specific ETF but I’m not focused on ETFs myself. I am solely a stock picker. That’s my focus. That is what has given me the most growth. There’s a really big opportunity when you’re investing in individual stocks, which is something that I specialize in. But the ETF format is like a basket.

“It keeps your money much more diversified. It’s a less stressful, safer investment for those who don’t have a risk tolerance or a risk tolerance developed. Someone that’s maybe newer into the market might feel a little safer with an ETF. I really like to unfold what the market is and what stock picking is and the potential growth that can take place. The $7,000 total that I took month by month, I would have never been able to grow that with an ETF or a mutual fund. That’s a growth that can only take place with stock picking. Understanding the stock market.

“It can feel overwhelming. The way that I like to explain stocks is to imagine a molcajete dominiguero, a swap meet, a trader’s village. Just very simple. Imagine walking into a market and there are all tables, there are all of these business owners that have their businesses out there and you can literally just walk in and start purchasing a piece of that company and becoming part owner in it.”

S: “What would you recommend for somebody who is ready to get started?”

LG: “The first thing you have to do is open a brokerage account. We can’t get away from that. I highly recommend that you do a little bit of research on brokerage accounts. I do feel that there are some out there that we do have to be pretty cautious of. There are newer brokerage accounts that we should definitely be mindful of. I would like to advise someone to go with a well-established company.

“So, you open up your brokerage account and then you become a stock picker. I don’t want to overcomplicate this because it should never be complicated. being a stock picker to me is sit in your living room and talk to me about the electronics that you use. Go to your kitchen and look under your sink cabinet and tell me about the products that are there. Are you using Clorox? Open your spice cabinet. Are you using Lawry’s? What phone are you using? Are you using Apple?

“I don’t think that it needs to be a company that you’ve never heard of. I think it’s really important for us to start with the companies that we’re actually utilizing because being the consumer of the company already takes a lot of the research off of the table. We know the product. We know why we love the product. We know why our tea loves the product. We know why our best friend loves the product. That’s already a big portion of the research.”

Watch the rest of the interview below and take notes to grow that wealth.

READ: Investing Latina’s CEO Is Here To Tell You The Best Ways To Save You Money

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Rep. AOC Calls Out Sen. Ted Cruz After He Tried To Join Her Fight Against Robinhood

Things That Matter

Rep. AOC Calls Out Sen. Ted Cruz After He Tried To Join Her Fight Against Robinhood

The story about Reddit users gaming the stock market at the detriment of hedge fund managers has caught everyone’s attention. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is ready to go after Robinhood for their action to stop people from gaming the system that the elite and rich game every day.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is ready to take on the Robinhood app for intentionally disenfranchising people using the stock market.

There is a lot of buzz about the stock market right now. The GameStop stock soared unexpectedly and everyone was shocked. Then it was discovered that a group of people on Reddit noticed that hedge fund managers were dumping the stock in mass. In response, amateur traders bought the GameStop stock with a vengeance to push GameStop’s value from $2 billion to $24 billion in a matter of days. It was a decisive victory against Wall Street that was celebrated across all social media platforms.

In response, to protect the hedge fund managers, stock trading apps like TD Ameritrade and Robinhood, stopped new trading and buying of the stocks in question. The move has drawn sharp criticism as it appears the move was made to hinder the efforts of amateur investors to the betterment of the hedge fund managers angered to be losing at their own game.

“It is not uncommon for us to make such decisions, which we consider on an individual basis, in the interest of mitigating risk,” a TD Ameritrade spokesperson told CNET. “We have been adjusting our requirements for several days as we continued to see trends indicating unusual volume in an unprecedented market environment, which appear to be divorced from traditional market fundamentals. We have made what we believe to be prudent and appropriate decisions to place some limits on certain transactions for certain securities.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, in an opportunistic tweet, appeared to side with Rep. AOC.

Rep. AOC and Sen. Cruz have a highly publicized strained relationship. The two politicians are polar opposites in their beliefs and styles of governing. Sen. Cruz’s tweet in support of finding out the reason behind Robinhood’s actions was not a welcomed sight.

People have responded to the tweet confused by Sen. Cruz’s interest is siding against Wall Street. Others are highlighting that the trading apps are directly manipulating the market in favor of the hedge fund managers and trying to force the retail investors to sell to the benefit of the hedge fund managers.

Rep. AOC is not interested in working with Sen. Cruz.

Sen. Cruz along with Sen. Josh Hawley, have faced resounding criticism from the public and colleagues after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6. The two senators have been singled out for their rhetoric and support that emboldened the mob that violently overtook the Capitol seeking to injure and kill members of Congress.

Rep. AOC expanded on her thoughts and fully laid bare the hypocrisy in Sen. Cruz’s tweet.

Rep. AOC is not someone who messes around with these issues. She is demanding accountability from those in government who have long created problems and take no responsibility. This is just the latest issue in her fight.

READ: Rep. AOC Took Up For A Medic Who Turned To OnlyFans For Extra Cash Because America Needs To Increase Wages

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