Monday, February 22, 2016

Presidential Campaign Finance

As the 2016 Presidential campaign continues to heat up, many political pundits seem to be citing campaign contributions in their predictions of who will do well in various primaries. If you'd like to examine some details about campaign contributions and draw your own conclusions, this Presidential Campaign Finance map from the Federal Election Commission provides several ways to locate data:

You can see contribution totals and where contributions for each candidate originated nationwide, or you can search for lists of contributors by name, employer, city, or ZIP Code.

Based solely on contributions thus far, it appears that our next Commander in Chief may be a Ma'am rather than a Sir.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Presidents' Day

While most federal websites are designed for use by adults, many are also directed toward younger audiences. Here's an example from the U.S. Mint. It has some interesting information about Presidents' Day and even offers some educational games:

You may learn a lot about both Presidents and coins, and it won't be a "coin"cidence. ;-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Taxpayer Advocate Service

Dealing with any government agency usually involves cutting through a certain amount of red tape, but the Internal Revenue Service seems to have a particularly thick layer. As tax season approaches, please be aware that there is a place to turn if you're having problems with the IRS. Most states have a Taxpayer Advocate who may be able to help you sort out any stubborn or serious issues you're having with the IRS:

So, if you have a tax problem you haven't been able to resolve through regular IRS channels, give the Advocate a call. As the IRS site itself says, "Remember, the worst thing you can do is nothing at all.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Zika Virus

The spread of the Zika virus was recently declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization. For the latest news on the impact and outlook for this virus, see this page from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

If we have the early spring that the groundhog predicted this morning, you can help to slow the spread of Zika by ensuring that those spring rains don't turn into "standing water" where mosquitoes can breed. This virus is just one more good reason to stay vigilant and "fight the bite."