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White House takes its payroll tax cut campaign to Twitter and Facebook

Washington, Dec 22 ():  The Obama administration took its campaign over a crucial tax extension to the payroll tax cut to Twitter and Facebook this week, generating thousands of responses to its question, “What does $40 mean to you?”

The $40 represents the average amount lost per paycheck for a family making about $50,000 per year, if the payroll tax cut is not renewed by the time it expires on Dec 31.

A surprising majority of Tweeters declare they can eat for a week on $40. But one astute Tweeter asked if those who said they buy one to two weeks of groceries with $40 are eating ramen noodles.

A good deal of Americans responded that $40 will get them to work for a week. In other words, $40 covers the price of gas.

The responses have also poured into the micro-blogging website Twitter, where they are trending under “#40dollars.”  Forty dollars “is half of my grocery budget for the week  for my family,” Will Jones posted on Twitter.

“It means getting a new winter jacket for my toddler son (he lost his last week) & the rest for groceries,” wrote Barb B.

President Obama said “ If the House Republicans refuse to vote for the Senate bill, or even allow it to come up for a vote, taxes will go up in 11 days.“

Many believe that taking such matters to social media campaign is a revolutionary idea and it will support the cause of the people.

“Twitter has allowed the White House to frame the debate as a fight between workers who benefit from the tax cut and an obstructionist GOP,” Todd Wasserman, business and marketing editor, wrote on Mashable.com on Dec. 21.

“This is no “(Justin) Bieber Fever” level of engagement, although it is enough to get on Twitter’s map,” Nick Judd, associate editor, wrote in an article on techPresident.com on Dec 21. “But it does something that is often hard to do, which is drive action online from people who aren’t already actively working for one side or the other of the partisan divide in national politics.”