Thousands Telling Washington What 40 Dollars Means to Them

The #40dollars hashtag is popping up all over Twitter thanks to a White House outreach effort asking ordinary citizens to tell Washington (the Republicans really) what $40 means to them.

The effort was launched in light of Congressional push back against the Senate- and President Obama-supported payroll tax cut that would have put $1,000, or $40 per paycheck, in the pockets of American workers.

We received an email with the request for feedback, which also appears on the White House website. The White House also made the appeal on its Twitter account, on President Obama’s account,  and on Storify. According to Macon Phillips, the White House director of new media, they were getting answers at a rate of 2,000 per hour on Tuesday night.

Many of the responses that we’ve seen say the $40 will do some pretty huge things: pay for milk, bread, and a full gas tank; pay for a chiropractor visit to keep someone pain-free; or cause a mortgage default as one man opts to feed his child.

The Washington Post sums up the issue here, but in a nutshell, it’s all part of the ongoing and highly frustrating brawl between Dems and the GOP. The Senate passed a bill that would extend the current “payroll tax holiday” for two months.

“Once again, Democrats and Republicans foundered over whether to fund an initiative by cutting entitlements and other spending or by raising taxes on the wealthy,” the article says.

Now there’s a ton of back and forth between the two sides, with some vowing to stay in Washington until a compromise has been reached (Democrats say they had one until the bill was killed). Now some are saying the Republicans may have overplayed their hand.

As for the campaign, it is being declared a winner for President Obama and the White House just as we enter an election year.