Your Tax Dollars At Work
Wall Street Bonuses
Senate Passes Health Insurance Bill for Children
Immigrant Clause Opens Rift
By Ceci Connolly
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 30, 2009; Page A01
The Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation yesterday to provide health insurance to 11 million low-income children, a bill that would for the first time spend federal money to cover children and pregnant women who are legal immigrants.
The State Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is aimed at families earning too much money to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford private insurance, currently covers close to 7 million youngsters at a cost of $25 billion.
Lawmakers voted 66 to 32, largely along party lines, to renew the joint state-federal program and spend an additional $32.8 billion to expand coverage to 4 million more children. The expansion would be paid for by raising the cigarette tax from 39 cents a pack to $1.
China’s Solution for Unemployed College Grads: State Jobs in the Boonies
By Maureen Fan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, January 30, 2009; Page A08
BEIJING — Liu Yongquan thought he was well prepared for China’s job market, with his degree in electromechanical engineering. But a long internship had provided no help in the way of connections, nor any real job experience. So after graduating in 2007, he headed for rural Laozhuanghu village in Xiji town, on the outskirts of Beijing, where he works as a librarian, passing out legal and health-care notices and conducting surveys.
“I’m not from the city, so this job can solve my residential permit problem. Second, the rural experience helps me in my civil service exam,” said Liu, who is from Shandong province and now hoping for the stability of a state job. “I’m forgetting all my engineering knowledge, but this work doesn’t need professional skill. It is enough if you are patient and careful.”
Obama Calls Wall Street Bonuses ‘Shameful’
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and STEPHEN LABATON
Published: January 29, 2009
WASHINGTON – President Obama branded Wall Street bankers “shameful” on Thursday for giving themselves nearly $20 billion in bonuses as the economy was deteriorating and the government was spending billions to bail out some of the nation’s most prominent financial institutions.”There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses,” Mr. Obama said during an appearance in the Oval Office with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. “Now’s not that time. And that’s a message that I intend to send directly to them, I expect Secretary Geithner to send to them.”
It was a pointed – if calculated – flash of anger from the president, who frequently railed against excesses in executive compensation on the campaign trail. He struck his populist tone as he confronted the possibility of having to ask Congress for additional large sums of money, beyond the $700 billion already authorized, to prop up the financial system, even as he pushes Congress to move quickly on a separate economic stimulus package that could cost taxpayers as much as $900 billion.