Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Washington Watch: Week 12

Boston Skyline (LB March 2013)
This week the whole nation mourns over the attack in Boston. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and their families.

I was in Boston a few weeks ago for the Association of Health Care Journalists annual conference. It was fitting that the conference was held in Boston because the city has some of the best healthcare in the country. 98% of the residents in Massachusetts are covered. In addition, the hospitals in Boston are top-rate. 

I enjoyed the city and even took time to go to the St. Patrick's Day parade where I mingled with residents. I came away with the feeling that this was a big city comprised of many close-knit neighborhoods. The various communities were represented in the parade and it was clear that Bostonians have a closeness that you don't see in other major U.S. cities. They appreciate their history and their traditions -- their faith, their schools, their sports, and their 'green beer on St. Patrick's Day.'  They are empathetic yet tough. They will continue.

In other news....this was Tax Week -- 

Where Does the Money Go?

The White House has an interactive tool where you enter how much you pay in taxes and it gives you a rough estimate where your tax dollars go based on income and family size. It is called 'Your Federal Taxpayer Receipt.'  Try it out -- click here.  

Feel better?

The Obama and Biden Tax Returns

Their actual returns are available for download. Here is the pdf of the President's return. He made $395,000 in wages, with another $259,000 in business income. Here is the pdf of the Biden's return.  Now this is transparency although I assume other President's have also released their returns. 


President Obama's First Term
A Look Back at Week 12 - 2009: 

(Excerpts from my blog National Scene -- Week Twelve)

Tax Cuts and Tea Parties.  As many Americans rushed to meet the April 15th deadline for filing their 2008 taxes, critics of the President held rallies across the country protesting his fiscal policies. These GOP-led events were called ‘tea parties’ in reference to the protests over taxation many years ago that led to the Revolutionary War and the founding of our country. 

High-Speed Rail in America. Rail trips between Los Angeles and San Francisco, or from Anaheim to Las Vegas, may get a lot faster in the coming years if President Obama has his way.

Simplifiying FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, which contains well over 100 questions on income, assets, family characteristics, personal characteristics, and other items—will get a major overhaul by the Obama Administration.

First Cabinet Meeting. The President held his first cabinet meeting, and used the occasion to remind his cabinet members of the importance of cutting waste and streamlining their departments.

And Finally.....back to 2013:

President Obama: "The American People Refuse to be Terrorized"  (click title for White House report)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the explosions that occurred in Boston, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, April 16, 2013.
(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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