News / USA

    Obama Takes Deficit Campaign to Facebook

    President Barack Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg take part in a town hall meeting to discuss reducing the national debt, April 20, 2011, at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.
    President Barack Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg take part in a town hall meeting to discuss reducing the national debt, April 20, 2011, at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.

    President Barack Obama is using the social website Facebook to promote his ideas on cutting the U.S. government deficit. The president’s visit Wednesday to Facebook headquarters in California was a recognition of the site’s growing political influence.

    It is estimated that 600 million people around the world use Facebook.  That is roughly twice the population of the United States.

    President Obama tapped into that popularity Wednesday, by visiting the website’s base in Palo Alto, California, where he responded to questions in an online forum.

    Related video report by Dan Robinson


    The host of the event was Facebook’s 26-year-old billionaire founder and chief executive officer, Mark Zuckerberg. "Sorry, I am kind of nervous. We have the President of the United States here," Zuckerberg said.

    Several questions concerned the federal deficit, which is projected to reach $1.6 trillion this year. The president says his plan would cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 to 12 years.  Republican Representative Paul Ryan says his competing plan would slice about $4.4 trillion from the deficit in a similar period.

    One Facebook employee in the audience asked Mr. Obama whether he thought his plan or Congressman Ryan’s was more bold and courageous.

    "The Republican budget that was put forward, I would say, is fairly radical.  I would not call it particularly courageous," the President said.

    The president called the Republican plan shortsighted, and said it would cut too much from social programs and spending on economic development.

    "I do think Mr. Ryan is sincere.  I think he is a patriot.  I think he wants to solve a real problem, which is our long-term deficit.  But I think that what he and the other Republicans in the House of Representatives also want to do is to change our social compact in a pretty fundamental way," Mr. Obama said.

    Republican leaders have charged that Democrats have spent too much over the years, and are not serious about reducing the deficit.

    A new public opinion poll indicates that Mr. Obama needs some help in promoting his deficit-cutting plan.  Fewer than four in every ten Americans surveyed for the ABC-Washington Post poll approve of the president’s handling of the deficit issue.  Republicans in Congress fare worse, with only one in three Americans saying they are doing a good job in closing the shortfall.

    The same poll has Mr. Obama’s overall approval rating at 47 percent, one of the lowest points of his presidency.  However, it also shows him leading each of five potential Republican candidates, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, real estate mogul Donald Trump, former House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

    In 2008, the Obama campaign used Facebook to attract large numbers of young voters and campaign contributors.  Leaders of the president’s 2012 re-election campaign hope to duplicate that success, with the huge expansion of the social media over the past four years.

    In his opening remarks Wednesday, Mr. Obama acknowledged the growing power of Facebook and other social media.

    "More and more people, especially young people, are getting their information through different media.  And obviously, what all of you have built together is helping to revolutionize how people get information, how they process information, how they are connecting with each other," Mr. Obama said.

    Only seven years after its founding, Facebook has an estimated value of $50 billion.  The website was used prominently by pro-democracy activists in Egypt and Tunisia, and it is reported to be planning to enter the China market.

    The president’s three-day Western tour is almost equally divided between public forums on deficit reduction and campaign fundraisers. With 17 months remaining before the election, Obama campaign organizers have said they hope to raise as much as $1 billion. Next year’s U.S. presidential campaign is expected to be the most expensive in history.

    You May Like

    Video How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Scientists Detect Gravitational Waves in Landmark Discovery

    Researchers likened discovery to difference between looking at piece of music on paper and then hearing it in real life

    Prince Ali: FIFA Politics Affected International Fixtures

    Some countries faced unfavorable treatment for not toeing political line inside soccer world body, Jordanian candidate to head FIFA says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.