(CNN) – The White House looked to harness the power of social media – again – to boost its public relations push on the fiscal cliff by launching the #My2K hashtag Wednesday.
The effort to popularize the Twitter subject hashtag coincided with President Barack Obama's meeting Wednesday with 85 Americans who answered a White House email sent out last week asking why extending middle class tax cuts was important for Americans.
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"I'm asking Americans all across the country to make your voice heard," Obama said at the event. "Tell members of Congress what a $2,000 tax hike would mean to you. Call your members of Congress. Write them an email, post it on their Facebook walls. You can tweet it using the #My2K."
If Congress is unable to come to an agreement on a deficit-reduction deal, the White House says that a typical middle class family would see their taxes go up by $2,200.
The president said he was excited to work in a bi-partisan manner to address the expiring tax cuts and the potential for slashed military and entitlement spending making up the fiscal cliff.
"But, our first job is to make sure that the taxes on middle class families don't go up," Obama said, "and since we all theoretically agree on that, we should get that done. If we get that done, a lot of the other stuff is going to be a lot easier."
Following the event, the White House asked that Americans use the hashtag to share their stories on Twitter, other social media channels and on WhiteHouse.gov. As of Wednesday afternoon, #My2K was already trending on Twitter.
"I'm asking Americans to make your voice heard. Tell members of Congress what a $2,000 tax hike would mean to you."— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 28, 2012
"I'm asking Americans to make your voice heard. Tell members of Congress what a $2,000 tax hike would mean to you."
This isn't the first time the Obama administration has used social media to pressure lawmakers.
In a fight over student loan interest rates in July, the president urged a crowd at a campus of University of Nevada-Las Vegas to use #dontdoublemyrate on social media to force Congress to act on impending interest rate hikes. And in December 2011, the president asked Americans to lend their support to extending the payroll tax cut via Twitter using #40dollars. According to the White House, that effort saw the hashtag trending not only nationwide, but worldwide in a short time.
As for #MY2K, the White House Twitter account retweeted some of the responses, including one from @BasilBaker:
#My2K is needed to pay for my prescriptions. My neighbors need their 2K to help keep their son in college. Pass middle-class tax cut now!
#My2K is needed to pay for my prescriptions. My neighbors need their 2K to help keep their son in college. Pass middle-class tax cut now!— Basil Baker (@BasilBaker) November 28, 2012
Democratic lawmakers also took advantage of the hashtag's popularity to gain support. The Democrats in the Ways and Means committee tweeted:
1 down, 240 House Rs to go. #GOP should agree with @TomColeOK04 and pass middle class tax cuts now. #my2k— Ways and Means Dems (@WaysMeansCmte) November 28, 2012
1 down, 240 House Rs to go. #GOP should agree with @TomColeOK04 and pass middle class tax cuts now. #my2k
Not to be outdone, Republicans in the Twitter-verse used the hashtag to turn the tables on the president. The Heritage Foundation, for instance, purchased a promoted tweet using the hashtag and then pulled together top conservative tweets on the subject.
Who is saying what about the #FiscalCliff? Top 15 tweets about it: herit.ag/Sbq7zK #my2k #debt— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) November 28, 2012
Who is saying what about the #FiscalCliff? Top 15 tweets about it: herit.ag/Sbq7zK #my2k #debt
And Former George W. Bush press secretary and CNN contributor, Ari Fleischer made light of Obama pushing for a Bush policy:
If tax cuts get extended for 98%, give O White House credit for the #My2K hashtag. Give Pres. Bush credit for the tax cuts.— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) November 28, 2012
If tax cuts get extended for 98%, give O White House credit for the #My2K hashtag. Give Pres. Bush credit for the tax cuts.
If tax cuts get extended for 98%, give O White House credit for the #My2K hashtag. Give Pres. Bush credit for the tax cuts.
The president's push to muster public support for fiscal cliff negotiations is part of a larger public relations thrust by the west wing in an effort to pressure congressional action on the fiscal cliff.
That effort, largely based on gathering support outside the Beltway, has faced criticism by Republican members of Congress who suggest the president's time would be better served reaching across the aisle in Washington.
"Rather than sitting down with lawmakers of both parties and working out an agreement he is back on the campaign trail presumably with the same old talking points that we are all quite familiar with," Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday.
The president is traveling to Pennsylvania Friday to host a campaign-style event focused on the fiscal cliff.
Based on a poll released Wednesday, it would seem the president already has the public's support, in part, for his approach to the negotiations. An ABC News/Washington Post survey shows that 60% of Americans questioned say they back higher taxes on people making more than $250,000, with 37% opposed. And a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday indicated that two-thirds of Americans supported a deal to avert the fiscal cliff that included both spending cuts and tax increases.
– CNN's Becky Brittan, Alex Mooney and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.
GOP needs to cooperate with president–or else they lose like dogs in 2014.
Hey Obama, where are your spending cuts? America re-elected incompetence. What a loser we have to endure for another 4 years.
Dang these new-fangled Presidents and their knowledge of the InnerNetz! Get off my lawn!
How nice of him! He is going to keep the middle class tax cuts and then wants to raise gas tax that will double the tax cuts. Can we say "politician"?
I am an old retired veteran. I would rather see the automatic cuts take place than see the Republicans cave in to Obama and not cut federal spending. I don't want to see the nation I served to protect go bankrupt like Greece, Spain, and Portugal. I don't want to see the nation go farther into the free handouts chasm. I would like to see all the people with fake disabilities taken off SSI. That would save billions. Even if the cuts hurt me and my wife's income and medical care, I still want the government to heavily cut spending and end all the free give aways that Obama has been using to buy votes.
The election results should have been enough for the GOP to take note. Obviously, they represent Goldman Sachs and not their constituents. At this point, I hope Obama lets the Bush Tax Cuts expire. Poll after poll after poll shows the people want the wealthy to pay more and they blame the GOP for this mess. I was a Republican for 35+ years, now an Independent and in my years I've never ever seen the GOP such a mess. Let the Bush Tax Cuts expire, gets rid of Norquist and automatic cuts begin. Maybe the GOP will wake up. If not then vote them out in 2014. We've fell off the cliff before and the world didn't end.
Repubs say he should spend his time reaching across the isle? Let's see. What did that get him the last 4 years? I say it was a waste of time. Time for veto pen and public rallying.
My 2K is needed to pay my mortgage.
Republicans are the lapdogs of the rich. They need to be kicked out of congress, one and all in 2012.
This should have never reached the point we are at. Bush started it, Obama tripled it, and the congress is a bunch of wimps. They need to fix our country. Stay out of Baseball, stay out of the Tour D-France. Do what the Constituion reguire's them to do. Pass a budget, which the dem's have have not done. Protect this country. Stay the heck out of our lives.
In politics media is really important. Imagin the two scenarios with and without this message the President just posted on tweeter and encourage to post on Facebook as well. The impact social media is so important that this can be determinant on making this tax cutt pass. On the other hand, it president Obama would not have done this, there would be many peole that were not completely aware of the problem and probably would not have done anything about it.
I personally think that the Tax cut should be passed to aboid the fiscal Cliff. It seems like congressmen are doing all they can possibly do to bring our economy to an even worse status. We are barely going uphill regarding the recession we have been for years, but that upward slope would be heading down in a really drastic angle if the Fiscal Cliff is not avoided.
An extra $2,200 a year in taxes is taking four months of rent from my family. Its taking away from buying clothes for my children. It will mean I might not be able to pay my utility bills all the time on time. I am against the goverment raising taxes on our middle class. Its hard enough to survive now a days.
Why don't you stop campaigning and get to work. Your leadership skills are severely lacking. Asking the American people to tweet and email our congressmen is outsourcing your job. Wake up and lead the discussion and stop being stubborn about cutting spending. Taxing the rich has a minimal impact on the overall debt.
WA State Congress Reps need to buy-into POTUS's tax plan. We need our 2K to make it paycheck to paycheck (no savings). As state employees, we have had the State's budget balanced on our backs over the last 10 yrs. And after a work injury required brain surgery, I'm not getting full pay during my yr rehab. We're trying to pay for our 4 children's student loans too. For the rich, a tax increase means nothing; but we would have to go without & even lose our house that my father helped build before he died. My son, in the Airforce, was just deployed. Repulicans need to serve this nation properly, rather than always trying to make more money for themselves & special interest friends. They think middle class & poor r takers, but w/the proposed change, the 2% will still likely pay a lower tax % than my family (relatively), as we have no write-offs.
Mitt Romney and the Republicans don't have a clue what any extra money means to hard working underpaid workers. It could mean enough food for the month...new shoes, school supplies, a meal out, Christmas gifts, auto repair, and so much more.
hands off my2k
We know Who is trying to put the brakes on this .We voted for these issues to go through...For the house speaker to vote for the Debt.Ceiling to be raised the last three times,it is not time to sit back and say the 2% tax hike of $250.000 should not go through.I realize you are concerned about your future and you should be.But,not doing your job now is certainly not going to help you.We has the American people can certainly figure it out...
I woke up at 1 AM and not being asleep I turned on CNN and President Obama was giving a speech about the fiscal cliff. Republican politicians, Democratic politicians, Presidential leadership … spend and tax spend and tax spend and tax and spend … the politicians used past, present, and future tax incomes to get the nation onto this fiscal cliff ……. President Obama read his speech and clearly said “if we can get a few Republicans to join the Democrats, then we can get this done.” Then he spoke of how he’ll sign a bill that is limited to what he wants about the tax limits on $250,000, (but that is all he’ll agree to) and then we’ll work on getting the rest (that is again only related to his wants). It is more of his do it only his way method of bipartisanship, and there is no middle ground.
Then he spoke about a My2K budget fix … another threat founded on bright intelligent minds having got the country onto shaky ground. Over several years, people spent huge amounts of personal money, businesses spent huge amounts of their businesses’ money, and politicians spent vast amounts of taxpayers’ money to prepare for and prevent Y2K. How many years are we going to pay for this go around of a 2K variety? Some of the politicians are willing to overlook party politics and self-centered goals toward working and DOING what is best for the nation … that is called leadership. In the military the junior ranks know how it’s done … they say that one has to lead, follow, or get out of the way. It just dawned on me that the President says he is going to Pennsylvania …