tv Washington This Week CSPAN December 10, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EST
policy. thank you so much for joining us. guest: thank you. i am happy to be here. host: let's start off with our viewers who are preparing our taxes. strategiesme top they should be thinking about? guest: we have three weeks to go. charitable contributions. if you itemize deductions, if you make them before december 31 or it is a check you put in the mail by december 31, you can deduct that on your 2016 return. gift, are planning a big put away your checkbook and look at your portfolio. say you bought stock 10 years ago for $1000 is worth $5,000 now, if you give that to a charity, you can deduct the full
$5,000 and you don't have to pay tax on that full $4000 gain, and the charity does not have to pay tax on that game. portfolio,k at your if you have stocks or mutual funds that have gone down in value. think about selling them. if you sell them to the end of the year, you can use the loss to offset gains earlier in the year or up to $3000 of income. wagr let the tax tqag investment dog. , you canst few years harvest gains. people in the 15% tax bracket were lower. belows single and comes $37,000 and married incomes below $75,000. they pay 0% tax on long-term capital gains. if you are below that level, look at your portfolio.
you may be able to sell some stuff. you can buy back the stock or and capturelater gains from that point forward. this is a great thing to look at now. who is great for people turned 70 in the first half of this year. my wife did. 70.5, you have to start taking money out of your ira, and if you do not the government penalizes you 50% of what you should have taken. youyear you turned 70.5, can postpone that one distribution until the next year. because we anticipate that this congress may cut tax rates for 20 something, that could save you -- 2017, that could save you
a lot of money. it is a good idea to think about these kinds of opportunities that the tax law has. people complain about how complex it is. that means opportunity. host: we want to hear more of those tips. we have special lines for this discussion about preparing for the tax season and what people can do in 2016 to prepare for 2017. those in eastern and central time zones can call (202) 748-8000. those in mountain and pacific regions can call (202) 748-8001 as we continue our discussion with kevin mccormally. what are the most common deductions that people take? guest: the main one, this is another thing we talked about in tax policy. this could change next year. 70% of the people take the standard deduction. they do not itemize.
that is a no questions asked the duction. $6,000 if you're single $12,000 if you are married. expenseseductible exceed that level, you start itemizing deductions on schedule a. state income taxes, local property taxes. tax billve a property due in january, if you pay it before december 31, you can deduct it this year rather than next year. that can save you some money. taxes, if you're paying quarterly estimated income taxes, if you go in general, pay by december 31 two .16 taxes.your if you have that january bill and pay in december, you can deduct now. you will have one fewer payment next year, but this will give
you 13 payments in one year. it saves you money now rather than later. those are the big ones. charitable, state taxes, and one thing they made permanent last year -- it used to be you could deduct state income taxes. five or six years ago they decided they wanted to help people to choose between deducting state income taxes or state sales taxes. that makes sense for people in texas and florida who do not have a state income tax. kiplinger,a note, kevin mccormally wrote a piece that identifies .3 tax deductions that you cannot afford to overlook. he goes through each of these text inductions on kiplinger.com. bob is calling in from philadelphia. caller: good morning. thank you to c-span for taking my call. kevin, i am 55, careening
towards retirement. i just have a basic question about my 401(k) if i can. what is the latest i can put additional money for 2016? is tax-deductible? guest: i think it is 18,000 this year. the limit changes each year. i take that back because you are over 50, that is where the catch-up kicks in. you can do 23,000 adoptable. that has to be a payroll reduction. you cannot just put cash into the 401(k). it has to be in your paycheck or your employer. you have the advantage since you are working that you don't have to take money out. generally you have to take deductions -- distributions five 70.5. until youstpone
actually retire if you're still working. wisconsin, youm are on. caller: i have a question. my husband who had a stroke had stocks for many years. he has no paperwork. we got a check from a company that we signed to close out the stock. it is a lousy $300. i cannot find our papers from one he bought the stock it will cost me. plus to try to track this down. i would like to know what i can do my taxes this year. even if it was all only $45 int is
taxes. i don't think you have a big issue there. i would suggest you do your very best to figure out when he bought this stock. did he buy it in 1990 or 1997. come up with a reasonable estimate somehow. if you cannot do it yourself, as someone to help you get on the internet and find the store stock prices. find out what 25 shares of that stock were selling for the year he bought it, and use that as a good faith estimate. i don't think you will have a problem with the iris. irs. i don't know how that is going to work. i would suggest doing it yourself. i'm sure you cannot talk to your husband since he has had the stroke. if you have your old tax
returns. you might have reported dividends from that stock some year. go back. use that as a good faith estimate. host: we have a lot of caller questions. i want to ask one first. for people who have health care coverage under the affordable care act, talk about the tax issues involved there. guest: it is so constituted. they will get a notice from their -- it is so complicated. they will get a notice from their health care carrier. there is a box that you have to check saying that you have qualified coverage. if you don't, you have to pay the penalty. the interesting thing is that there was so much opposition to the affordable care act that opponents built-in for bidding the irs to go after collection.
they can send you a bill if you of the penalty, but they cannot go after you. oregon, you are on. caller: thank you. good morning. i had a quick question involving amt and the future administration. i was researching online and noticed talk of removing that tax or log in whatever you call it. i'm curious if you have any insight whether that is going to happen for individuals? trump is totally against this. it is the alternative minimum tax. you figure out your tax under the regular tax law, and you take away deductions and figure out your tax that way. one thing he will be considering
is the elimination of the amt. republicans have been fighting this years. there is a good chance that the personal and the business anti-will disappear if not next year the year after. -- amt will disappear if not next year than the year after. host: what other changes do you expect? guest: i have been covering taxes for 40 years. in 1950, there was a huge guest: we worked under the tax reform bill. we are sure we are going to get something. donald trump once major tax reform. ahead of the ways and means committee wants major tax reform. expect tax rates to come down. how much might they come down?
the top rate is 39.6%. the plan the republicans have put forward and that donald trump has sort of endorsed would reduce that to 33%. is that possible? when ronald reagan was possible, the top rate was 70%. by the end of the next year, it was 50%. 28%.86, it went down to it started to go back up. major tax reform is going to reduce that rate. there are huge differences that go along with us. you have to pay for that. you were talking about eliminating production -- the deduction. now, 70 sent -- percent of the people take it.
they would still people to itemize charitable deductions. there will be fewer people doing it. those are the kinds of things we are talking about. on the business side, there are even more changes. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. we had to sell my mother's house. she's going to have a big capital gain on that. she had some bonds that just it their 30 year mark last month. can i delay caching the bonds in so that she doesn't have to count that as income this year? aboutreading something depending on when they were issued, they have to reach maturity. i did not know what that meant
versus they paid interest for 30 years. guest: we were talking about ee savings bonds. i suggest you go to the website where you will get it all. i am not certain if you can can postponeou reporting that interest. that's one of the changes. i hope you are taking advantage of the capital gains exclusion. at least $250,000 is tax-free. if she owned it with your data, you have to be careful. jointdied, if they were owners than the basis of the home increased. make sure when you are figuring, take advantage of that step up
in basis as well as the tax-free exclusion. host: john is colin in from montana. good morning. caller: thank you for c-span. selling question about a primary residence. you just mentioned the tax rule. residence thatry i have lived in for 12 years and bought another home. i am having trouble hearing. host: for going to need to have you repeat the question. caller: i am asking about a primary residence. i sold mine that i had lived in for 12 years. i bought another one this year also. can you tell me the tax rules on that? days, if you old bought a new house after you ind one, that rule when away
1991. liveu are single and you in the house leading up to the $250,000 in a profit is tax-free. than $250,000, you don't even have to report it to the government. if it's more than it $250,000 you have to pay. almost no one pays taxes on home sales are in -- sales. that is your basis. you subtract that from the proceeds of the sale, which is the sale price minus the commission. $250,000,ss than don't even bother reporting it to the government. host: steve, you were on. caller: thank you.
this is steve calling it from mississippi. i've got a question about gambling winnings. when a person wins at the casino, it seems like the irs has to make you fill out a w-2. i was wondering if that threshold of the $1000 could sometimes be raised to $5,000 which would help to put more money into people's pockets and help the casino industry hire more people. guest: if it meant that people weren't paying taxes on winnings, it would cost the government money. there is a different level for different times of -- kinds of gambling. gambling winnings are generally taxable, you can do. your gambling losses, what only to the extent to your report winnings. most people don't itemize.
that includes lotteries as well as casinos. host: let's talk about one of the overlooked reductions you mentioned in this piece. student loan interest paid by mom and dad. a deduction for that interest. even if somebody else is paying for it, you can still take it. guest: the rule is to be deductible and you have to be legally obligated to pay it. a lot of times parents help kids pay back those student loans. nobody got the deduction. congress changed the law and what they do, obama dad pay the interest. we are going to pretend that mom and dad it gave you the money and let the student to duct 2500 a year. talking to the senior vice president at winger. he is been there since 1977. good morning, carol. caller: good morning and thank
you for having c-span. i appreciate it. question, i am 73 years old and i have a state pension and a social security. off $36,000 a year. how long do i have to pay income tax? guest: both of those are probably fully taxable. income as your taxable exceeds your deductions, you are going to have to play taxes. if the deduction goes up to $15,000, that would protect half of your income. because of deductions that i can't do the math in my head right now. muchbet you don't owe very
income tax. you've got a standard deduction. you've got a personal exemption of $4000. as long as you have taxable income, you have to pay taxes. host: bonnie is colin in from virginia. caller: good morning. you're the first person that understands. i talked about the exception if you're still working. juneoblem is i retired in 2014. i went back to work for the same employer part-time. they have me is active. says i am403 b's active in the other says i am retired. i really did not want to take
them. i wait and have you answer the first one? guest: we looked into this area there is no answer. employee, an active you don't have to take your minimum distribution unless you are still working. active employee is not defined anywhere. it's really up to the employer. we consider part-time people active employees. the fact that you've got two different questions here, i would go back to the payer who says you are retired and asked them why they are saying that and maybe they will change it. i think that's what the government is going to look at. that's what they are going to look at, what the employer says. i thank it might be my fault for saying i was retired. i am going to check with them.
i went ahead and took distribution. then i called them because i didn't want to. it puts me in a higher bracket. taken them, is the irs going to expect me to take them from now on? they are saying i am taking them because i am age-appropriate to take them. guest: i don't think they will expect that. theink they would look at 1099. enforcement is so minimal. they can't go after things like this. --you are actively employee employed, i would not take them until you retire. host: what is the chances now of getting audited? guest: almost done. very few people get audited. nobody likes the irs.
it's a real problem. the vast majority of employees don't have to worry about it because they have no way to hide income. somebodytrying to find who is doing phony deductions. the irs knows what our wage income is because our employer tells them. they know how much interest we are because the bank has to tell them. think wehy some people could get to a point where people don't need to file a tax return. the irs would just send them a bill because they've already got the information. when you're tax return is out of whack from what they are expecting to see, the audit is going to come. they just have the manpower. most people are honest. they don't have time to go after honest people. it might be a $45 tax, they
can't make a phone call for $45. host: he is interest -- answering your tax questions. if you're in the mountain and pacific, you can call (202) 784-8001. karen is calling from georgia. my mother died in 2010. she was living in her home. i now have someone living in it paying utilities. anything from it. fixing it up a little. i have my own home. i'm retired. i am just wondering about tax law. is there any inheritance in a fit?
what kind of taxes should i expect? guest: there is a huge benefit. we collect the angel of death tax break. when the owner of property dies, that's stepped up. i was just looking at some statistics the government thinks this break will save taxpayers $60 billion this year. disappears.ny gain your basis is the value of the home on the day she died. that may be hard for you to figure that out, but a good solid estimate. you only owe taxes on that for any gain from that point forward. there could be in issue that it's an investment property. something thate gets audited. if we just treated this as an investment property, that would
be a basis. the law is really weird on this. the law says you must depreciate a property if it's allowable. even if you did not take the reductions, you're supposed to reduce the basis. there is a special tax form. whatess figured out at point it was unfair. you have to be careful. you're in a complicated situation. accrued -- gain that while your mom on the house is tax-free. jim is calling in from virginia. caller: good morning. i have another inheritance question. my mother passed away earlier this year. some money receive from her estate.
around $100,000. how will i be affected? i know the inheritance tax will be taken out. she lived in new jersey. we live in virginia. when i receive that money, do i have to show that? will that be taxed again? would it benefit me also to carry it over to next year? most inheritance is tax-free to the beneficiary. if this is an ira your mom had or an annuity that she had, different rules apply. are taxed as you withdraw it. yourwill be taxed you in top bracket. if you are not the spouse, you have two choices.
you can start the year after the year of death and take out money based on your life expectancy. if this was cash that you were inheriting, no tax at all. that is tax-free to you. house, theerty white basis is stepped up. nothing is taxed until you sell it. in.: francis is calling we lost francis. los angeles, good morning. caller: good morning. following: is the am going to refinance my personal residence. i am going to change the way i am holding titles. my husband passed away five years ago. if and when is
sell the property, is the buyer bethe house going to calculated on the irs point of view? half of the house is going to go back to the year my husband passed away. communityifornia is a property state. entiree spouse dies, the basis is stepped up. you need to go back and see what the house was worth when your husband died. that becomes your tax basis. remarried, you only have the $250,000 tax-free exclusion. that is based on what it was worth when he died. you've got a step up in basis to pay the debt alley. any appreciation after that point, that's taxable if it's
over $250,000. host: let's talk about a few of these overlooked deductions. one is job search expenses as well as moving expenses to take a job. guest: moving expenses to take your first job are deductible. if you're moving at least 50 miles. if you went from the dorm to that's ajob, deduction. if you have the 50 mile rule, if you drive there is a mileage -- jobhunting expenses are not deductible. for a subsequent job, it's deductible if you are in the same line of work. congress doesn't want you going from a high-priced social --
tell the television personality to a social worker. if it's the same line of work, they will allow you to deduct jobhunting expenses. that is whether or not you get a job. pursuing another job and don't get it, that's deductible. only the total of your itemized to directions exceed 2% of gross income. they don't make it easy. host: tracy is calling in from florida. caller: good morning. we love stuart, florida. it's a wonderful place. host: go ahead, tracy. caller: i'd bought a piece of ground in another state. i sold this year. i received a 99. can i claimis this,
the taxes i paid on that piece of ground? also, the maintenance. i cleared 22,000. to $6,000 forse lawn mowing. i'm not sure what the taxes are. can i claim that against the profit? guest: you should have been claiming them annually as an expense against this property. taxes youowing and should have been deducting. you can go back and amend returns three years. you need to look if it's worth a your 2000 13, 14, and 15 returns and get a little refund back for that. you can't host: to ducted all at
once against the sale price. host:debbie is calling in from los angeles. my mom had to have a couple of part-time carriers in 2015. she still has caregivers. she did the w-2. it was so expensive. in 2016, all the people i hired for her, i gave them a 1099. i think it was a w nine to fill out first. what if 2015 was wrong? the accountant said it's not wrong.
i think we might go to someone else this year. how would i check that? we already paid the irs. caregivers are considered your mother's employees. you have to pay unemployment tax on them. knows the income so they can be taxed on it. those are the rules. people whoevised for have caregivers for children. the same rules applied to caregivers of older americans. it sounds like you are doing everything right. if you are paying those taxes that are due, the alternative is if you hire someone that works , that caregiver could be the employee of the firm. you get out of those tax rules and it's going to cost you more.
that's one thing you might what to consider. it's a little bit simpler from your standpoint. host: john is calling from indiana. you are on. caller: thank you. i want to say i think how you been answering questions during you are obviously very knowledgeable. i appreciate that. this is the situation i'm in. i received a letter from the irs and they said there was a mistake on my 2014 taxes. the majority of that was the place i worked at the time, they failed to send a w-2 to the irs. they did not have a record of my withholdings. that was easy to fix. the company just sent them a letter. there was a small amount.
i explained the mistake. a couple of weeks ago, i received a letter saying it had been settled to their satisfaction. i tried calling the irs. i don't know what to do with the check. to coveru sent the 250 the mistake you made. they sent you the check back. you've tried to contact them. you cashed the check. it right away.d there should be an address on the u got from them with the check. i would suggest you write them a letter and say you got this check.
is everything done it? if you've got a letter from them saying the case is settled, i think you are ok. just be up front with them. tell them what is going on. i think you are going to be fine. host: good morning. caller: i've got an insurance type of deal. i have money in a 401(k). at the same time, my insurance rate in this obama deal or whatever is based on my year before income. i have to talk to the insurance agent. like andwhat it sounds i've been looking for verification is that if i pull the money out between christmas and the first of the year, it won't count against the years insurance rates. guest: it will count.
the obama care subsidy is based on your income. it will count when they figure your 2018 premiums. if you take it out before the , if you delayr until january, it will be 2017 and who knows if there will be obamacare in 2018. host: good morning. caller: thank you for taking my question. i have inherited from an elderly lady along with her caregiver. she had no relatives. we were both in the will, the caretaker and myself. we had to clean up her house and we sold it.
when we get the revenues from the closing, are we going to have to pay taxes on that? guest: any gain on that property up to the time the previous owner died is forgiven because the basis stepped up. you would inherited, the money you spent to fix it up, i have a good friend whose mother-in-law died. the basis for stepped up and they had to put in a new furnace. for what was house worth when the mother-in-law died. they had to put the furnace in and they got to claim a loss on the house. basis increased their above the day of death value. they got the claim a loss. the income they got from a, save them taxes. you may need to have somebody help you figure this out. it's highly unlikely you're going to have to owe any tax and
only appreciation beyond that point is taxable and if it's taxable, it will be 50% unless you are in the 15% tax rate. i wouldn't worry about it much. get a hold of an accountant to help you make sure this goes smoothly. it's complicated, but it shouldn't cost you any money. host: barbara is calling in from chicago. caller: good morning and thank you so much for taking my call. i have a question. i actually have two questions. my husband was diagnosed with early onset dementia. we do have long-term care insurance. that long-term care insurance only covers half of his costs. that the amount of the long-term care insurance is considered income and i have to
pay taxes on the long-term care insurance. my first question is is that true? guest: i have never heard of that. is this insurance that pays a set dollar amount per day? caller: it's monthly. and it comes out. it's $4000 a month for his care. they pay out of the long-term insurance. we have had it forever. we were one of those people that got in early, thank goodness. i was told that was taxed. out.s coming --et a monthly check it check. most long-term insurance
payouts are not taxable. there was a certain kind of insurance that is based not on the illness but on a flat dollar amount. that might be taxable. i'm sorry. i don't know. host: ok. thank you for joining washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impacted. saturday morning, the heritage foundation's thomas ford on issues facing president-elect trump's national security team, plus criticism that his cabinet has she done many generals -- has too many generals. he will also about -- talk about the 2017 measure of military strength.
also, the american federation of teachers president randi weingarten joins us from new york city to talk about the trump administration's education policy, and what effect the nomination of betsy devos as education secretary will have on the cabinet. and a discussion on what impact president-elect trump's recent conversation about the president of taiwan might have on u.s. -china-taiwan relations. live beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern sunday morning. join the discussion. on tuesday, house speaker paul ryan joined the architect of the members of thed idaho congressional delegation for the official lighting of the u.s. capitol christmas tree. this year's tree is an 80 foot angle and spruce -- englewood spruce. the ceremony is 15 minutes.
good evening, and welcome to the 52nd annual christmas tree lighting ceremony at the united states capitol. [applause] mr. ayers: i am stephen ayers, the architect of the capitol, and i am excited to serve as your master of ceremonies. first, i would like to extend a big thank you to the united states air force ceremonial brass band under the direction doyle.ain dustin let's give them a round of applause. [applause] mr. ayers: thank you. hth architecteig of the capitol, george stewart, at the suggestion of speaker of the house john mccormick established the annual tradition of decorating a tree.
by 1970, the united states forest service joined in the holiday cheer by providing it tally cap christmas tree from capitolmerica -- christmas tree from one of america's spectacular national forests. this evening, the payette national forest in idaho graciously -- [cheers and applause] they graciously provided this magnificent england spruce behind me to serve as the 2016 capitol christmas tree. in keeping with tradition, the speaker of the house, the honorable paul ryan, will share his holiday greetings with you and officially light this tree, but before we get there, let me welcome members of congress and are distinguished guest, our capitol hill neighbors, and those of you who are visiting
the nation's capitol today. we are so happy you elected to join us in celebrating this wonderful time of year on the west front of the capitol. areing me this evening members of the idaho delegation, senator mike crapo, senator jim risch, congressman raul labrador, and congressman mike simpson, and this gorgeous ngelman spruce -- eln spruce is a gift from the great state of idaho. ornaments from recycled materials were crafted by children and others in the community across the gym state -- gem state. the diversity and ingenuity of idaho. colorful flowers, bright blue,
delicate butterflies, and, of course, sacks of potatoes. and speaking of ornaments, each year the united states capitol historical society presents a stunning ornament to place upon the street, and this year's ornament features a capitol carved in marble, resting on 24 carat gold. it is my pleasure to introduce the chief historian of the capitol historic society, chuck -- of the capital historic society, chuck. >> on the half of the historical society, i would like to present the 2016 christmas tree ornament, which in a sense is the eastng home from depths of the hudson when they were removed in 1995.
merry christmas, everyone, happy holidays. [applause] mr. ayers: thank you so much, chuck. for more than four decades, the united states forest service and the architect of the capitol have partnered to bring a christmas tree to the capitol, and each year the forest service mostts one of our nation's large national forests to provide a tree to grace the west front lawn, i have these beautiful, magnificent trees never disappoint. i would like to thank the dedicated folks of the united states forest service, both the staff in washington and the payette national forest staff in idaho, who helped make this event possible. we really appreciate your hashtagnt to #plateitforward on your cross-country journey to washington, d.c. by spreading
holiday cheer across this great country. joining us tonight is the honorable tom tidwell, chief of the united states for service. ands a boise boy, born raised in idaho, so i am sure you want to listen to his message. tom? [cheers and applause] mr. tidwell: thank you. i tell you, it is great to be here tonight, and thank you all for coming out and enjoying this kind of warm, wet evening here. , this islks from idaho kind of a balmy night for you, so i don't have to worry about you. thanks to everybody for coming out. each year, the forest service has the honor of providing a tree for the capitol, and it is called the people's tree for a really good reason, because it reminds us as a nation that yes, there are a lot of diverse
interests in this country, but we are one as american people. we share unique history, unique values, and a homeland remains the envy of the world. this tree stands for one of the many things that make our country great. for ourplace to live millions of acres of forest that contribute so much to everything wedo and the quality of life have. this tree represents the challenges we face today in our forests to make sure they continue to provide the clean air and water, the biodiversity, the recreational settings, the economic activity, and most of all that quality of life. to be here tonight. i want to thank all the partners that helped make this happen, because the way we get this done is the way we get everything done, by working together with our communities and our partners. finally, i just want to share a are sitting as we here tonight, for all of us to think about the men and women
out of this country and our military, protecting us to ensure we can enjoy these freedoms. if we could just think about those folks throughout this holiday. then, i would appreciate it. -- about -- throughout this i wouldperiod, appreciate it. mr. ayers: thank you, chief tidwell. his team developed the capitol christmas tree to the west front about a week ago, and once it arrived, our dedicated grounds crew went to work decorating it with thousands of lights and hung ornaments that we mentioned earlier. didn't they do a fantastic job? [cheers and applause] let me also thank ted, our superintendent of capitol grounds, who worked closely with the team in idaho to bring this tree to the capitol. ted has a tough task of selecting one tree from the
millions of trees in the vast payette national forest, and i think she chose well. next, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to andrew's members of the idaho congressional delegation. first up is the official sponsor of the tree, the honorable mike crapo. [applause] >> isn't it great to have this weather? we idahoans are proud to kick off the season with the people's tree. my wishes are that this tree will be the beacon of hope to those who may be struggling or separated from loved ones. let this tree be a sign of good cheer and the holiday season and bring us together. merry christmas, everyone. [cheers and applause] mr. ayers: thank you, senator
crapo. please join me now, ladies and gentlemen, in welcoming senator jim risch. [cheers and applause] merry christmas, america, on the half of the great people of the great state of idaho, this is our present to you from mccall, idaho. god bless you. have a great, merry christmas. [cheers] thank you so much, senator risch:. and now, ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming congressman raul labrador. rep. labrador: merry christmas. how many idahoans we have. i can [cheers] -- do we have here? [cheers] thank you all for
being here. this is a great pride for the state of idaho, and may god bless you and may god bless the state of idaho. now, ladies and gentlemen, it is my great privilege to introduce to you the speaker of the house of .epresentatives, paul ryan he has served the people from the first congressional district of wisconsin since 1999, and speaker in 2015. tonight, the speaker will be joined by -- rep. ryan: i'm right here. mr. ayers: i didn't see you there. rep. ryan: it's all good. i can't help but think, if we were in idaho or wisconsin, it would be snowing, wouldn't it? it's sideways, though. well, in the words of yogi berra, at least it is a dry rain . either way, this is a night to be grateful, grateful for everyone who put this together. the forestis team,
service, the people of idaho. we are grateful to have this chance to celebrate this wonderful moment with you. i simply want to say to all of you, whatever you do to make this happen, thank you very, very much. butto get too carried away, i cannot help but be more hopeful of what our country than what we are tonight. by that, i don't just mean that we are optimistic, though we are. what i mean is, to see so many people to work so hard for so long to get our tally cap christmas cheer -- our capitol christmas cheer. it is inspiring. hope is not the expectation of good fortune, it is the demonstration of goodwill, the determination to do good, whatever the consequences. that is the message of the christmas story. christ's birth, like this tree, is a reminder that god is always with us. we may neglect him, we may reject him, but he never for success. -- for six us.
sakes us. he feels every valley and brings every mountain load. we have to accept the love he offers us. that is what we are here to celebrate, and that is why we are so pleased to share this wonderful, wet moment with you. merry christmas, everybody. [cheers and applause] i would liked now to introduce our special guest this evening, ms. isabella gerard. come on over here. timella, this is her first in washington. she is going to read for us a guanxi wrote about the christmas tree, and an is going to lie to us. did such a great job that we thought we would save the best for last. isabella, please, the microphone is yours. [cheers and applause]
isabella: idaho is blessed with aautiful mountains and forest. in the winter, the mountains and forests are covered with snow, making the landscape look like never-ending clouds with skyscrapers covered in snow. big, tall trees. beautiful to look at, amazing to see. pristine mountains. as i sit in the forest, i find peace. as the wind blows through the pines, i feel the a sense of solitude and peacefulness. insomeone who has never been an idaho forest, it is hard to understand the site and beauty. if only you could be here looking at these beautiful idaho scenes. [cheers and applause] isabella, all right, this is the moment.
let's everybody counts down. you ready, isabella? isabella: yeah. rep. ryan: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 -- [cheers and applause] ♪ christmas tree"] rep. ryan: what a stunning tree. thank you so much for joining us this evening. a safe and joyous evening and a great holiday season. thank you. [cheers and applause]
announcer: abigail fillmore was the first first lady to work outside the home, teaching at a private school. mimi eisenhower's hairstyle and love of pink created fashion sensations. mimi pink was marketed as a color, and stores sold clip on style.o replicate her jacqueline kennedy was responsible for the creation of the white house historical situation -- organization, and ancy reagan saw her name on list of communist sympathizers. she appeared to screen actors guild had ronald reagan for help. she later became his wife. these are featured in the book "first ladies." the book makes a great gift for the holidays, giving readers givinge personal -- readers a look into the personal
lives of the first ladies, stories of fascinating women and how their legacies resume. paperback,es," in published by public affairs, is now available at your favorite bookseller and also as an e-book. next, president and mrs. obama host a white house reception for this years kennedy center honorees. then at a c ramani honoring harry reid. after that, arizona senator john mccain and former house speaker newt gingrich discuss foreign policy. president obama and first lady michelle obama hosted a white the 2016eption for kennedy center honorees. they included pianist martha argerich, al pacino, james theor, mavis staples, and gi