The White House launched a PR campaign to try to save the floundering payroll tax cut extension last night, asking supporters to chime in with what $40 meant to them—since that’s how much the average family stands to lose per paycheck if the extension doesn’t pass, CNN reports. Whitehouse.gov was inundated with more than 10,000 responses, and #40dollars soon topped Twitter’s trending chart, David Plouffe boasted in an email. Many respondents spoke of gas money, grocery bills, and health care costs.
“$40 less a paycheck means I will have to pick between my insulin and the water bill,” said one response highlighted on WhiteHouse.gov. Others were sillier; one respondent said it meant “40 Hot Wheels mainline cars.” The White House blog post says the campaign is aimed at an obstructing House. But in an op-ed in USA Today, John Boehner today paints Obama as his ally, since like Obama, he wants the payroll tax cut extended a full year. He laid the blame on Senate Democrats, and urged Obama to call on them to return to Washington to negotiate.