Dear Mr. President,
I filed my Tax return today, and, to my great surprise, I'm getting a refund more than double what I'd anticipated. This is largely due to the American Opportunity Tax Credit which was, surprise surprise, part of the stimulus bill. I'm going to use half of it to finally pay off my credit card. My best friend, upon hearing of my refund, exclaimed, "let's stimulate the economy!", so you can bet we'll be spending the other half more quickly than we should. I have to say, it's difficult not to feel happy with the Recovery Act when I have such tangible evidence of how I personally benefit from it. I'm a fairly well-informed person, and even I had no idea how much the Recovery Act was going to benefit me. I think, had it been explained better, more people would have supported it, and been happy with your administration's efforts.
Anyway, my worries about credit card and student loan debt, my anxiety about returning to school, my general stress about the state of my finances is greatly alleviated by all of this. Thank you so much. I'm generally not opposed to paying taxes, but I won't lie- it was nice not to pay so much this year. I'm still glad you didn't concede to Republican requests for an across the board tax cut in your discussion with them today. Not cutting taxes for the very wealthy, for people like my former CEO, is an incredibly sensible thing to insist upon, and I feel that you did explain this very well. You do a much better job of admitting mistakes, taking blame, and discussing the ideas of your political rivals than I feel President Bush ever did.
The coverage of the State of the Union address continues to be divided along ideological lines, which is upsetting but in no way surprising. Today I watched Jon Stewart mention his perception of your administration as being a third entity, being isolated from congressional Democrats and Republicans. I don't know how accurate his impression of this is, but I think it indicates the sense people have of the Democratic party being fractured so badly it is unable to effectively lead. I sincerely hope that your State of the Union address helped ease this, and that congressional Democrats rally to the pass the proposals you outlined in the speech. I would hate to lose control of the House or the Senate in November, but if the Democrats don't see the ramifications of their in-fighting and start governing more effectively, we deserve to.
Listening to your speech Wednesday, and your answers to the Republicans today, I have to say you sound just like you did in The Audacity of Hope and its nice to know you're still that optimistic. I can't speak for any one but myself, but for me, at least, that optimism seems to be catching.