So have you heard of this fiscal cliff thing? I hear it’s bad. And because the President and Congress don’t see eye-to-eye, there’s nothing to be done but drive off of this fiscal cliff like Thelma and Louise. Unless one of them budges…
So, to that end, the POTUS is taking to Twitter once more to rally the people. At 11 AM PT, President Obama began taking questions about extending the middle-class tax cuts from the White House Twitter handle. Users could ask questions using the hashtag #My2k. (The 2K refers to the $2000 that the average middle-class family stands to lose next year if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire.)
This is obviously not the first time the President has turned to Twitter to leverage collective voter outrage to help him fight his battle against Congress. Remember the debt ceiling fiasco back in the summer of 2011? In July 2011, Obama urged voters to push their congressmen and women to reach a bipartisan compromise using the hashtag #compromise. The Barack Obama Twitter account then listed all of the GOP lawmakers—in alphabetical order—by state, along with their Twitter handles.
If the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, taxes will rise significantly on some 90% of Americans and $65 billion will be cut from the budgets of the Pentagon and some other federal agencies. Economists theorize that if the cuts are not extended, the country could end up being thrown back into a recession by January.
The crux of the problem comes from the different answers proposed by the President and Congress. While the President wants to extend tax cuts for middle-income earners, he’s proposing to let the tax cuts expire on the top 2% of earners, which would raise their tax rates to 35% from 33%, and to 39.6% from 35%. GOP leaders argue, however, that raising the tax rates on the top 2% of earners would hurt small businesses, and that just as much money could be saved by limiting deductions rather than raising tax rates.
One voter posed that very question to the President on Twitter:
But the Obama administration has cited research that shows that limiting deductions wouldn’t raise enough revenue to offset borrowing—and it could compromise the charitable deduction.
To be honest, the Twitter “discussion” is kind of looking like an 8th-grade note-passing squabble, with Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor also tweeting their two cents.
Another follower asked President Obama why he is focusing more on raising taxes rather than reducing spending, to which the POTUS responded: