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 Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora