Obama Uses YouTube in Fiscal-Cliff Fight
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- President Barack Obama again is using the great equalizer in American society during his campaign to pass a budget before the U.S. falls off the so-called fiscal cliff.
Yes, he released a YouTube video. Obama wants to align himself with middle-class families whose taxes would rise if Congress fails to extend George W. Bush-era tax cuts before the fiscal cliff , when tax-relief measures and deep spending cuts will automatically go into effect.
"So, we're doing #MY2K today, right? And, so, what the middle-class tax cut means to a typical family -- $2,000 -- what it would mean to them," Brian Deese, a White House economic expert, said in the video. "You guys do realize you don't need an economic expert to explain that -- it's pretty straightforward."
The video then introduces four different people with the title "Not an Economist" under their names.
The White House deployed a similar tactic during this year's payroll tax extension debate that unfolded in Congress. This time around, the White House has said the typical middle-class family would see income taxes rise by $2,200. The latest video shows what people would do with the extra money next year.
The president has traveled the country to promote his proposal for a "balanced approach" to deficit reduction. Part of his argument has been to say taxes will rise if Democrats and Republicans fail to reach an agreement.
The GOP doesn't oppose tax cuts for the middle class -- House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) and his party have said they would extend them. But Republicans don't want to raise taxes on the wealthiest 2% of society.
"The problem is we talk about income taxes, and that's important, but the bottom people that don't have any income are still paying sales tax, they're paying gasoline taxes and they're paying Social Security taxes," said Berkley Bedell, a former Democratic Congressman from Iowa who recently published the book Revenue Matters: Tax the Rich and Restore Democracy to Save the Nation. "What we've done is reversed the situation where the wealthy get richer and richer and richer because income taxes have been cut so much."
Still, Boehner said Wednesday that a compromise is possible.
"We're ready and eager to talk to the president and get to work with him to make sure that the American people aren't disadvantaged by what's happening here in Washington," he said at a press conference.
Obama spoke to a business roundtable of CEOs on Wednesday, saying Democrats were prepared to make "some tough decisions" on spending, something dear to Republicans.
After the speech, Boehner's office released a statement with the headline: "Is the White House Walking Away From Fiscal Cliff Negotiations?" The House speaker's office posited the question based on the president's comment during the roundtable discussion that the budget can't be done without revenue, which is language for new taxes. GOP leaders won't consider raising taxes on any American, regardless of income.