December 28th, 2012
07:30 PM ET

Letters to the President #1439: 'Taking stock'

Reporter's Note: Each day since he took office, I have written to President Obama. He has been equally dedicated to acting like he never reads my letters, but I’m onto him…

Dear Mr. President,

So here we are with the year rapidly dying down again and what do we have to show for ourselves? Oh sure, you scored a big re-election victory and I dazzled the kids with some nifty parlor tricks, but often at this time I find myself asking: What lasting gains have I realized in the past twelve months?

Well, for starters I would say I am in overall pretty good health. My return to serious running has been good in virtually every way. I sleep better, feel more energetic, and have a resting heart rate of about 50 bpm. And if some sort of terrorist attack threatens my safety, I can run a flat fifty miles away without stopping. Not bad.

I don’t think I have picked up any new, bad habits. I probably work too hard and go to bed too late. I still enjoy too many sweets, but I don’t drink or smoke.

On the other hand, I have not picked up a lot of new, good habits either. My attempts at learning Spanish still consist largely of turning on CNN Espanol, squinting and saying “que?” I have produced almost no decent drawings or paintings, and my piano and guitar playing are weak to say the least. My attempts at violin, which have never risen above the level of pathetic, have now descended into the category of virtually criminal.

I’ll easily admit that I allowed my sense of humor to suffer a bit this past year, but I blame that on you…or rather on the economy that you keep saying is getting better. I have looked at the numbers. I know you are right. But I also know that the progress is excruciatingly slow, much slower than you predicted, and it’s hard to be jolly amid all that.

I think I need to focus more on my family in the coming year. The pressures of the job, of the election, of the NHL lockout (Ha! Kidding!) have all taken time away from the homefront, I fear. I’m going to do something about that in 2013. More family meals. More trips to the beach. More walking the dog. All good stuff.

And what about you? Yes, I realize that you are President, but we can all improve in some way. So what do you think you should make better in 2013? Think about it, and give me a call. If you’re short on ideas, I have some. Ha!


soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Ruth Camuse

    While you are at it, how about showing what happens to families with three children?

    December 31, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  2. Ruth Camuse

    Tom, I just watched you explain what the fiscal cliff means in terms of tax hikes for people with different incomes. I think the public would benefit by a more detailed explanation of what happens to people with incomes of 25,000, 50,000, and 75,000 if you are married with no children under 17 or college age. The tax hike would not be anywhere near $2000 per year, would it? People in that category never received much of a tax break in the first place.

    Everything is in the eye of the beholder. If you are making $50,000 a year minus health care costs, federal/state/local taxes, and paying rent/mortgage/food/utilities, there's not a whole lot of money left. That means the social security hike is significant, not just a little bit. If you have earned income of $50,000 the hike of 2% would amount to $1000 per year.

    December 31, 2012 at 7:30 pm |

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