Ex-Cuba Captive and Astronaut Will Attend State of the Union Speech

19 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ex-Cuba Captive and Astronaut Will Attend State of the Union Speech.

“President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday enjoying rising approval ratings that have been strengthened by rapidly improving perceptions of the economy and increased optimism about the overall direction of the country…” Regardless of the poll’s findings, Americans remain starkly divided along Republican and Democratic lines. Facing a Republican Congress and with only two years remaining in his presidency, he seems to come up with a new idea every couple of weeks to drive them up a wall. The White House says Woodward started a second job working on Chrysler’s assembly line in 2010 to help support herself and three children, including one with special needs.

Other guests will include a wounded Afghanistan war veteran, a doctor fighting Ebola in Africa, the chief executive of CVS Health, a young immigrant allowed to stay in the country under an order by Mr. The President’s approval rating improved by nine points over December and seven points over October, before the Republicans further secured their House majority.

At Tuesday’s speech, Obama will announce a series of proposals meant to aid middle class and poor Americans and address inequality, most particularly an increase in the child care credit and a $500 tax credit for working couples (here’s the White House’s fact sheet on the proposals). Republicans currently control the most seats in eight decades. “The bounce has been driven largely by a rebound among millennials — whose support has risen 19 points since December — and Hispanics, who were likely encouraged by his executive action on immigration. To pay for it, investment and inheritance taxes on the wealthy would be increased and some loopholes that small numbers of the super-rich (like one Willard Romney) exploit will be closed. While the SOTU is often the occasion for dramatic announcements that are soon forgotten, this one lands in the center a debate that is looking like it will shape the upcoming presidential race.

Ever since Ronald Reagan, presidents have invited guests to sit in the first lady’s box at the Capitol, with an eye to making symbolic points during their speeches. The heir’s basis in the stock is “stepped up” to the $50 million it was valued when he inherited it, so no income tax is due – ever – on the $40 million of gain. “Each year, hundreds of billions in capital gains avoid tax as a result of stepped-up basis,” the fact sheet states.

Marco Rubio was on the same page. “Raising taxes on people that are successful is not going to make people that are struggling more successful,” he said on Face the Nation. “The good news about free enterprise is that everyone can succeed without punishing anyone.” That was about as close as any Republican came to actually talking about the tax cuts Obama is proposing (though this National Review editorial does discuss them, by arguing that it’s an attack on motherhood). Here’s the thing with the tax code: If you tell people that they can pass billions onto their progeny tax-free, they’re going to structure their income to take advantage of that opportunity. Since they believe that government programs to help ordinary people are useless almost by definition, the only way to give anyone a hand is with a tax cut.

Obama and President Raúl Castro of Cuba that will also restore full diplomatic relations between the countries for the first time in more than half a century. And yes, the hand they usually extend is toward the wealthy, whose burdens are so crushing that justice demands that lawmakers not rest until they can be afforded relief. It’s called a “lock-in” effect: instead of investing such gains in potentially productive activities with a payback for the broader economy, the wealthy have a big incentive to a) define whatever income they can as capital gains, and then b) never realize those gains. Kelly, an astronaut since 1996 who has spent a total of more than 180 days at the space station, will head back up in March, this time to stay for a year, the first American astronaut to do so.

CVS Health pulled cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products from its store shelves last year, a move that was applauded by Obama, a former smoker often seen chewing nicotine gum. Well, the Congressional Budget Office has found that 21 percent of the benefits from “step up” go the richest 1 percent of households, while half of the benefits accrue to the top 5 percent. So Mitt Romney says he has cast off his previous contempt for those of modest means and now wants to focus his 2016 presidential campaign on the issue of poverty?

These changes – ending “step-up” and the rate hike – raise $210 billion over 10 years. • Collapsing six existing education provisions down to two, while improving the American Opportunity Tax Credit to provide more students up to $2,500 each year over five years of college. This part of the plan should cut taxes for 8.5 million families with kids in college. • Expand access to a variety of employer-based retirement savings options, including auto-enroll IRAs, providing new access for tax-favored savings plans for 30 million workers. The president will use his guests to highlight a push for better policing after last year’s tumult in Ferguson, Mo., following a white police officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed young black man. You can argue — and many will — that it’s pointless for Obama to introduce significant policy proposals like this when he knows they couldn’t make it through the Republican Congress. But even fervent anti-tax types agree that loopholes ought to be closed, and I’d really like to hear a cogent argument in support the step-up loophole.

She met Obama when he visited her school this month to announce a plan to make two years of community college free for students who keep their grades up. If I’d been at the table, I’d have argued for revoking cap gains favored status, as it just stokes tax avoidance and doesn’t correlate with investment in any meaningful way.

Tingirides of the Los Angeles Police Department, who leads a program that has helped the riot-torn area of Watts fight crime and promote better relations between officers and the community. They’re not going anywhere.” As noted above, if Obama decided that was the benchmark for thinking about necessary policy changes in America today, he’d shut down his operation, which is of course exactly the opposition’s goal. One guest, Prophet Walker, who served a six-year sentence for robbery, helped found a program to help inmates get an education to avoid the revolving door of prison.

For years, he had to worry about getting growth back in place following the Great Recession, and getting major legislation – health reform, Dodd-Frank – through Congress. Another guest, Anthony Mendez, who grew up in the South Bronx in a family that was homeless for a time and whose best friend was murdered, managed to finish high school and attend to college. Fugate wrote to Obama to share how he went from being an unemployed new father to getting his degree and helping low-income patients obtain medical care. So kudos to the president and his team for not folding up their tents in the face of ardent opposition and for instead fighting back against the embedded inequalities that remain very much with us.

Jared Bernstein, a former chief economist to Vice President Joe Biden, is a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and author of “Crunch: Why Do I Feel So Squeezed?” and other books. Hammer is a sea-level researcher who studies how cities and other areas most vulnerable to the effects of climate change also have large Hispanic populations. The University of Hartford freshman once had to rise at 4:30 a.m. to get to school after his family was evicted and forced to live in a homeless shelter. Last year, she obtained coverage under the law and had surgery to remove a potentially fatal brain tumor that was diagnosed in May 2013, when she had no health insurance.

Shetty is the global emergency health coordinator for International Medical Corps, a partner in the U.S.-backed effort to control the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. After prison, Walker became a construction engineer and has worked to improve relations among law enforcement, community activists, parents and the children of local housing projects. A student at Northwood University, Zamora was brought to the U.S. illegally as a child and has benefited under Obama’s program to defer deportations for eligible immigrants.

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