What can you buy with $40? That's what the white house is asking you today. Millions of Americans could be facing a tax increase if Congress is unable to reach a budget agreement soon. For the average family making $50,000 a year, they'll have about $40 fewer each paycheck beginning January 1st, 2012.
As Congress has failed to extend the payroll tax cut at this point, the Obama Administration has launched a social media campaign to garner support behind the extension. So we took to our social media sites and to the streets to find out what you could buy with forty dollars. "Forty dollars gets you gas, diapers, everything for your kids," says Heather Wojdyla.
According to the WhiteHouse.gov, the goal of their social media campaign is to show Washington that losing the payroll tax cut would affect people everywhere. And there was no problem finding people everywhere who were angry about the idea of paying more taxes. We posted the $40 question on our Facebook page, and got many responses. One woman says forty dollars fills a tank of gas, and gets her husband to and from work every week. One person says, "Gas, food, diapers, bill payment...as a single mom 40 means a lot." "If they want to take forty dollars out they should try doing our jobs for a day," says Wojdyla.
We asked people how they felt about the White House's social media campaign. "I would expect whoever's in the White House to do that, but the fact is Congress needs to do something," says Sid Loeffler, "so they need to stay there and get it done. They're not doing their job. If you and I don't do our job, we get fired."
Congress is currently on recess, and didn't pass the two month payroll extension, and certainly couldn't agree on extending it for a year.
But some lawmakers, including Representative Richard Hanna, are calling for Congress to return to Washington. Hanna says both the Senate and House should do so without delay to extend the payroll tax cut.