President Obama hosted a Twitter town hall on Monday to push Congress to support his budget plans. Using #My2K, the Obama Administration has encouraged Americans to detail on Twitter how going over the fiscal cliff would hurt them. Officials say a middle class family of four’s taxes would go up $2,200 if no deal is reached by Jan. 1.
President Obama has long argued that the richest Americans need to pay more in taxes, while Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, claim that such tax increases would be “unacceptable.”
When asked why keeping tax rates low for everyone won’t encourage more hires (and more tax revenue), Obama said “high end tax cuts do least for economic growth and cost almost $1T. extending middle class cuts boosts consumer demand & growth.”
Obama was also asked why he doesn’t place more emphasis on reducing government spending versus raising revenues. The president explained he already cut $1 trillion in government spending in the last year, while discretionary spending is at its lowest percentage of GDP since President Eisenhower.
“Open to more smart cuts but not in areas like R&D, edu that help growth & jobs, or hurt vulnerable (eg disabled),” he wrote.
He stressed the higher tax rates are key to having a “balanced” plan to reduce the country’s $16 trillion federal debt. He noted without the higher rates, the government may have to get more revenue by getting rid of tax deductions, like home mortgages.
Obama ended the Twitter session by encouraging Americans to “keep pressure on Congress.” He also answered with a non-fiscal cliff related question from @Mica4Life, who asked, “Who will win it all first: Chicago #WhiteSox, #Bulls, or #Bears? #NFL #NBA #MLB”
The president said of his hometown team that “da bears still gotta shot, despite sad loss this weekend! plus rose will return for playoffs!!!”
See the entire Q&A here: