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Obama takes fiscal cliff case to Twitter


Bully pulpit, make way for the bully hashtag.

In his latest social media push to get support for his fiscal cliff plan, President Barack Obama participated in a brief Twitter question-and-answer session, alternately defending his position on taxes and addressing concerns over losing favorite tax deductions in the course of fiscal cliff negotiations. 

Among the thousands of submissions using the keyword, or hashtag, “My2K” (the amount the administration says most people would have to pay if their Bush-era tax cuts expired), the president picked eight tweets, most of which seemed chosen to reinforce a key part of his plan.

“What is your opposition to taking away deductions for the 2% rather than up the rate? Seems like a reasonable compromise,” user @huntertred tweeted referring to Republicans offer to close loopholes instead of raising rates, as opposed to the White House’s plan to do both, while keeping some of the most popular and wide-ranging deductions intact.

“@huntertred not enough revenue, unless you end charitable deductions, etc. less revenue=more cuts in education etc,” Obama responded, linking to a blog post from his top economic advisers titled, “Limiting Tax Deductions: The Reality of the Math.”

The president, tweeting at the official @WhiteHouse handle, also warned about threats to some of those popular tax cuts, including the mortgage interest deduction,  that he said might meet the chopping block if Republicans held the line on keeping tax rates low for the wealthiest.

“Breaks for middle class impt for families & econ. if top rates don't go up, danger that middle class deductions get hit,” the president warned @soitgoesem.

He also told @pmmckenzie that any reforms to social programs like Medicare and Medicaid would not affect those who most needed financial help.

“We can reduce deficit in balanced way by ending tax cuts for top 2% + reforms that strengthen safety net & invest in future,” he responded to the question, which asked for assurance that entitlement reform would not hurt the neediest.

While the president did answer eight questions, he really answered seven on the fiscal cliff, as the last one veered off topic to which Chicago sports team would “win it all” first.

“.@Mica4Lifeda bears still gotta shot, despite sad loss this weekend! plus rose will return for playoffs!!! -bo” came the response.