What $40 Means to President Obama: Treats for His Dog

By Susan Jones | December 22, 2011 | 11:05am EST

President Barack Obama and his dog Bo visit with a poodle named Cinnamon as they check out at PetSmart, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011, in Alexandria, Va. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(CNSNews.com) - On the same day the White House asked Americans to explain "What does $40 mean to you?" President Obama spent $41 on his dog Bo during a shopping trip in Northern Virginia.

According to the White House pool report, the president left the White House at 12:45 with Bo in tow: They stopped at a Pet Smart: "Okay, Bo, don't get too personal here,” POTUS admonished, holding tightly to Bo’s leash. He pulled out a $50 bill to pay for two items, one a large dog bone. Total was slightly more than $41."

President Obama then stopped at Best Buy, where he spent $194.48 on gifts for his daughters. "Let's see if my credit card still works," he joked. It worked.

According to the pool report, the president ended up at Del Ray Pizzeria, emerging later with three pies. The cost and method of payment were not recorded. "Then he worked the crowd on all four corners of the intersection plus a fifth cluster of squealing well-wishers a bit further down Del Ray," the pool report  noted.

He returned to the White House at 2:05 p.m.

The White House says if the House of Representatives fails to extend the payroll tax cut in the next nine days, the typical family making $50,000 a year will have about $40 less to spend or save with each paycheck.

President Obama is expected to address the political impasse over extending the payroll tax cut shortly after noon on Thursday. He's also expected to draw attention to the overwhelming response the White House has received on the question, "What does $40 mean to you?"

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, the White House said more than 30,000 people had submitted responses through WhiteHouse.gov, and thousands more had tweeted their replies.

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