#My2K: Can Facebook and Twitter sway 'fiscal cliff' debate?
President Obama and the White House hope to rally support on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
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At issue is the so-called "fiscal cliff" – the tax hikes and spending cuts that will take effect in early January, unless Congress can reach some sort of deal on the federal budget. Democrats want to end the Bush-era tax cuts for Americans making a quarter million dollars or more, and extend tax cuts for the middle-class.
But Republicans have fought any increase in taxes, choosing to focus instead on cuts to entitlement programs such as Medicare.
In a press statement this week, the White House said the "fiscal cliff" would prove disastrous for the American public.
"If Congress fails to act before the end of the year, every American family’s taxes will automatically go up," the White House press team wrote. "A typical middle-class family of four would see its taxes rise by $2,200 starting in 2013."
To help hammer home the message, the White House is encouraging supporters to use the "#My2K" hashtag on Twitter and to post testimonials on Facebook. Thus far, hundreds of thousands of messages have piled up. "This should not even be a debate. We need money. The middle class is already suffering. Tax the rich, they can afford it. COMMON SENSE," one user wrote on Twitter.
It's worth noting, of course, that Obama has tried this strategy before. Back in 2011, when Congress was engaged in a rancorous wrestling match over the debt, Obama encouraged his followers on Twitter to reach out to their local representatives.
"Tweet at your Republican legislators and urge them to support a bipartisan compromise to the debt crisis," Obama wrote.
Unfortunately, the 2011 talks effectively ended in stalemate.
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