From the CNN Newsroom here in Atlanta, Georgia, straight to your classrooms, I`m Carl Azuz and this is CNN Student News. Today we`re starting with something called a payroll tax.
Here`s the deal on the payroll tax, from A to Z. Americans have been getting a break on their federal payroll tax.
What this means is that they`re taking home a bit more of what they earn. For example, someone making around $50,000 this year took home an extra $1,500, thanks to the payroll tax break. But the government has to take action to extend the payroll tax cuts into next year, otherwise the payroll tax goes back up and Americans see less money in their paychecks.
What Democrats and Republicans don`t agree on is how to pay for this. Extending the payroll tax break would cost the government about $200 billion.
Democrats, including the president, want to pay for this by raising taxes on millionaires, whom, they believe, can afford to pay more. Republicans don`t want taxes to go up for anyone during a lousy economy. They want to pay for the extension by cutting government spending. Will the two sides find common ground?
Maybe, maybe not. But no matter how much you or your parents make, you`ll probably notice.
There are only a few weeks left for Congress to vote on whether or not to extend the payroll tax cut. During a speech yesterday, President Obama urged Congress to act immediately. Democrats and Republicans have both been offering plans on this, but the proposals have been criticized, sometimes from members of the same parties who offer them.
Well, yesterday, we brought you headlines from near and far, far away. Today, we`re going a little bit farther, like 600 light years. A light year is the distance that light travels in a year, and 600 light years away is where NASA scientists say they`ve discovered the first confirmed planet in what they call the habitable zone. That means, in theory, this planet could have liquid water on its surface.
It was found during the Kepler mission, which cost around $600 million. Back in 2009, NASA launched this giant telescope out into space. It`s exploring the Milky Way galaxy for stars and their nearby planets.
Scientists are looking for planets that could be like Earth. This one, which is called Kepler-22b, is the first one that NASA says it`s found that could be similar to ours. Chad Myers looks at the comparisons.
Here`s what we know. We have our sun and we have this blue line -- that`s our Earth`s rotation, our orbit around our sun. The sun that they found up here, Kepler -- between the Kepler-22 system, slightly smaller than our sun, slightly cooler than our sun, but the same type of class, the same type of sun.
And then they found this planet, rotating around it, almost the exact same distance away. In fact, we take 365 days to go around, or at least approximately. This planet takes 290 days to go around. So it`s almost in the exact perfect spot.