New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 26, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
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"We will move forward together or not at all,” he said, describing America’s challenges as "bigger than party, bigger than politics.”
He said December 2010 tax cuts have helped Americans have higger paychecks, but that while the recession's back may be broken, "to win the future, we’ll have to take on challenges that have been decades in the making.”
Closed factories and vacant storefronts are painful reminders to older Americans that the world of their youth -a world where a worker with a high school education could get a good job for a decent wage for life - has changed.
Competition from nations that have grasped earlier education and greater emphasis on math and science should challenge America instead of discouraging, he said.
" We re the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea ... the idea that each of us should have the chance to shape our own destiny,” he said, citing the nation’s demonstrated ability to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.
What’s next, Obama said, is to take responsibility for the deficit and reform the government.
When the Soviets beat America into space with Sputnik, it galvanized the U.S. to get to the moon first.
“This is our generation’s Sputnik moment,” Obama said, adding that America has
been reinventing itself for two centuries.
"We’ll fund the Apollo projects of our time,” he said, defining those as projects focusing on the country’s hardest problems and clean energy.
"If we want to win the future ... we also have to win the race to educate our kids,” he said, urging America to have as much pride in the winner of the science fair as in the upcoming Super Bowl.
“The question is whether all of us, as citizens or parents, are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child what they need to succeed ... It starts in homes and communities ... Success is not a function of fame or public relations but hard work and discipline.”
The President’s promise to address needs for infrastructure evoked a crack about potholes in New Braunfels - and a handful of snickers. Then, his declaration that they should be "projects based on what’s best for the economy, not what’s best for politicians” got a round of applause.
The thing that brought the River Oaks group to their feet the fastest was Obama’s pledge to stop "the health insurance industry from exploiting patients.”
Smiling at the Republicans, he welcomed any with concerns about the new health care law to bring their positive ideas to the table.
"Anything can be improved ... ideas about making care better or more affordable,” he said, adding that as of Tuesday, he would fix, as an exam
ple, a flaw that burdened small businesses unnecessarily.
“What I’m not willing to do is go back to the days where someone can deny you (insurance) because of a pre-existing condition,” he said. “Let’s fix what needs fixing and move forward.”
"That’s me! How many of you have pre-existing conditions?” host Terri IVuitt asked the group. More than a third responded affirmatively, a sub-group that included Val-Rae l^enius, who said she was "pretty much a rabid person on health care.”
“In 1986, I was refused health care coverage because I had a pre-existing condition. I spent six years here in Texas without coverage. The last two years I was pretty much bedridden beca?ise I had a horrible back from unresolved fractures in the 1960s. I could get no health care,” said Lenius, a former nurse who had herself worked for the very insurance company that denied her coverage because of a pre-existing condition.
Obama said a final critical step for the economy requires making sure the nation isn’t buried under a legacy of debt.
In the wake of the financial crisis of the past two years, spending was required, he said, an apparent allusion to the bailouts of the banking industry and others.
“Now the worst is over, we have to confront the fact the government spends more than it takes in... Families live within their means ... they deserve a government that does the same,” he said, proposing a five-year freeze on
domestic spending - a freeze that means aits to things he and his joint chiefs of staff care about.
Closing tax loopholes and simplifying the tax code - a delicate subject at the best of times — is a key way to do that, he said.
Medical malpractice reform — the tort reform Texas has already gone through - is another, the President said.
Obama showed a willingness to simplify government as well. He usecl the words “merge” and "consolidate,” noting the layers of Beltway bureaucracy that mean salmon are tinder one federal agency in freshwater, another federal agency when they’re in saltwater — and a different agency altogether once they’re smoked.
He pledged to put federal spending online so the public can see what’s spent on what. “Americans deserve to know,” he said, adding that Americans deserve government that’s "open, competent and lives within its means... driven by new skills and new ideas.”
And if a bill comes to his desk with earmarks inside of it, "I will veto it,” he said, getting a rousing hand of support from Rep. Senator and former presidential rival John McCain.
In foreign affairs, the President promised “new levels of engagement” while bringing American troops home from places like Iraq and Afghanistan. “America’s commitment has been kept,” he said. "Our nation is united in support of our troops and their families.”
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unchecked and unchallenged, America's best century will be considered our past century,” Ryan said in televised remarks.
“The days of business as usual must come to an end. We hold to a couple of simple convictions: Endless borrowing is not a strategy: spending cuts have to come first,” Ryan added.
Ryan is the point man in the new House GOP majority's drive to rein in spending and bring the budget closer to balance. Tuesday's speech was the highest profile assignment yet for a wonky former congressional staff aide who has evolved into one of his party's brightest stars.
Ryan is best known for a controversial budget plan brimming with politically unpopular ideas like gradually turning Medicare into a voucher program, curbing
Social Security benefits and allowing younger workers to divert Social Security taxes into private accounts.
He says such tough steps are needed, given intractable budget deficits that threaten America's prosperity.
On Tuesday, Ryan, who often peppers his speeches with straight talk about the need for painful cost curbs to benefit programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, did not offer such “tough love.”
Ryan's plan, the “Roadmap for America,” is so politically toxic that GOP campaign operatives urged candidates to shy away from it. Democrats went on the attack as soon as they heard Ryan was to deliver Tuesday's GOP response.
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Reinig said Miller was “doing marvelously” and was “up and about in his room — walking and looking good.”
Miller, 56, had also been active in legislative pursuits during his hospital stay.
"We spent about three hours together today — he had piles of paperwork around him and he conducted meetings having to do with natural resources issues, and he spent about an hour discussing the budget He was looking over the biennial revenue estimate of the comptroller and was about to sink his teeth into the legislative Budget Board's fiscal outlook on the biennium,” he said.
The former mayor of New Braunfels was admitted to a hospital in Fredericksburg Friday morning after a town hall meeting there Thursday night. His initial complaint was of abdominal discomfort.
He was moved to Christus Santa Rosa-New Braunfels to be close to his office and home, where he was initially in the intensive care unit before being moved to a regular private room.
Tests revealed some bleeding in a specific area of the colon. A diagnosis of diverticu-losis was reached after a colonoscopy, Reinig said. A diet emphasizing vegetables and fiber has been prescribed.
“iTiere was some bleeding, they were able to isolate a spot that was bleeding ... I believe that it resolved itself,” Reinig said.
“They’re trying to monitor (to see if the change in diet helps), so surgery is not necessary. It’s often the case with diverticulosis, especially when it presents itself for the first time, that diet is the first course of action. It’s preferable to surgery,” he said.
While bleeding with diverticulosis can he a dangerous symptom, Reinig said Miller’s medical team feels the lawmaker’s case is well in hand.
“His physicians tire confident that diverticulosis will remain the (diagnosis). ITiey are proceeding cautiously to see how his body responds over the next few days.”
Diverticulosis is more common as individuals age over 40. Risk factors often associated with it include constipation and a diet high in fat and red meat and low in dietary fiber.
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Please approach Bridge Street from Castell Avenue on the back side of the Tax Office,” Tal-cott said.
No cash transactions will be accepted at the Express Drive-Thru, only checks, cashier’s checks, and money orders. If customers want a receipt, they must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Motor vehicle payments will not be accepted at the drive-thru.
“Because of the nature of our Express Drive-Thru, we will only be able to accept payments which are in a sealed envelope and ready to go,” said
Talcott. “last year a total of 537 vehicles utilized the drive-thru, which means 537 people did not have to find a place to park and stand in long lines. The vehicles progressed at a fast pace, so there was never a wait.”
For those choosing to mail their payments, the envelope must be postmarked by January 31 in order to avoid penalty and interest. Payments may also be made in person at the office, or dropped off after hours in the comer door payment slot, or paid with a credit card online at the Comal County website at www.coma-lcountytaxoffice.net.
For more information, call 830-221-1353.
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