Wednesday Open Lines

Eight-month-old Cooper Wagner grabs President Barack Obama’s face while taking a picture with his parents, Captain Greg Wagner and Meredith Wagner, at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2011. The President and First Lady Michelle Obama visited with members of the military and their families during Christmas dinner at Anderson Hall. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Prudence mentioned Tuesday the cost of the Hawaii vacation by the President and family to the taxpayers.  From what I could find, while the Obamas are paying for their own beach front rental, taxpayers are picking up the rest of the tab, at an estimated cost of $4,113,038. That includes $3,629,622 for separate travel for the president and his family, $151,200 for housing for security, $72,216 for staff to stay in one of Hawaii’s most luxurious resorts, the Moana Surf-rider in Waikiki, and local police protection and ambulance detail for $260,000.

The White House plans to ask Congress by the end of the week for an increase in the government’s debt ceiling to allow the United States to pay its bills on time and is expected to ask for authority to increase the borrowing limit by $1.2 trillion, part of the spending authority that was negotiated between Congress and the White House this summer.  The debt limit currently stands at $15.194 trillion and would increase to $16.394 trillion with the request.  (read more)

January 1st, North Carolina and Federal gas taxes will rise by about 8 cents a gallon combined.  Half of the increase comes from the state. North Carolina’s gas tax is linked to the price of gas and is adjusted every six months. Because gas prices have gone up since July, the state tax, which is already one of the highest in the country, is going up by 3.9 cents a gallon on Jan. 1.  The remainder comes from the federal government which has subsidized ethanol to keep its price down and encourage people to use it. That subsidy cost taxpayers about $6 billion dollars last year, so Congress decided not to renew it.  When the credit runs out Sunday, the ethanol required in a gallon of gas will cost 4.5 cents more.  (read more)

What goes on around Henderson for the New Year?  Any celebrations, parties, etc? 
If Henderson had a ‘icon’ to ‘drop’ like New York’s apple, Raleigh’s Acorn, or Mt. Olive’s Pickle, what would it be?
Welcome to the Wednesday Open Lines!