Maryland man freed from Cuba to attend State of Union

19 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

5 main goals from Obama’s 2014 State of the Union.

Even President Obama’s most fervent opponents must acknowledge that he’s getting quite good at putting them on the defensive. WARREN, Mich. (AP) – A Detroit-area woman is getting a prime viewing spot for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address near first lady Michelle Obama.Obviously it didn’t take long for the banking industry to start complaining about the new tax that President Obama has suggested upon the liabilities of the largest banks.

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. That’s because while he was able to check off most of what he promised to do through executive action in last year’s speech, Obama was unable in the bitterly partisan election year to get Congress to go along with the bigger plans he had for the country that required their approval. Which is a pity as it’s actually founded on a good idea and with a few small changes could be a very welcome addition to the system.The basic point being that the government is providing an insurance backstop to those large banks, insurance should be paid for, so why not move it over into the FDIC which does bank insurance? 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).

As Obama prepares to make that annual trek up Pennsylvania Avenue to address Congress once again, here’s a look back a year later at five of the promises he made — and which got fulfilled and denied. “Let’s get immigration reform done this year,” Obama declared to a Congress that had long blocked his efforts. 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. The year’s group includes astronaut Scott Kelly, the president and CEO of CVS Health and eight people who wrote letters to Obama, including four he spent time with last year. And so he did, although it was not the broad plan he envisioned that would have allowed a path to citizenship for more than 11 immigrants illegally in the United States. 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.

Instead, Obama took executive action to make more than 4 million of those immigrants eligible for protection from deportation and eligible for work permits. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association said the fee is an unnecessary attempt to rein in risk on Wall Street, following the approval of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. 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). For years, Obama has been asking Congress to encourage more Americans to grow a retirement nest egg by allowing all workers to be automatically enrolled in IRAs unless they specifically opt out.

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. 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.

The Treasury Department has set up a new security as the basis for the investment and for the past month has been running a pilot program with a small group of employers, with plans to expand the program by the end of 2015. While most of Obama’s proposals last year were positions he had long advocated, one of the few new proposals he offered was extension of the earned-income tax credit, which helps boost the wages of low-income families through tax refunds. One thing’s for sure: as the economy improves, both parties are now being forced to address the underlying issues of stagnant wages and inequality that have been an anchor around ordinary people’s lives for the last few decades. 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. Obama wanted it broadened to provide more help to workers without children, a view embraced by some Republicans and conservative economists. “Let’s work together to strengthen the credit, reward work, and help more Americans get ahead,” Obama said optimistically — too optimistically, it turned out.

Obama said the goal of his energy policy is to create jobs and a cleaner planet and announced that he wanted to set higher fuel economy standards for trucks. 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? 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. – LeDaya Epps, of Compton, California.

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. The mother of three completed a union apprenticeship in construction, one of only two women to do so, and is on the crew building the Crenshaw/LAX light rail line.

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. It’s not a tax: it’s an insurance premium and if the banks don’t want to pay it they can not have these liabilities and thus not need the insurance. 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. – Kathy Pham, of Washington, D.C.

Pham is a government computer scientist who works to improve health information technology, expand access to benefits for veterans and improve the way government provides services to families like hers. A husband and father of six, the veteran Los Angeles police officer heads the Community Safety Partnership program in the neighborhood of Watts, once scarred by race riots and subsequent gang violence.

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. Shetty went to Liberia in August, returned to the U.S. late last month and is going back to West Africa later this week. – Prophet Walker, Carson, California. 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. –Tiairris Woodward, of Warren, Michigan.

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