April 20, 2011

Facebook To Get A Visit From Obama Today

Facebook headquarters will host President Barack Obama Wednesday as the President visits the Silicon Valley to take part in a scheduled question and answer session.

Visits to tech companies in Northern California offer the president a traditional chance to "connect face-to-face with new-media users, voters, fans and potential donors," reports the Associated Press (AP).

Obama's 2008 White House campaign made use of social networking sites, and he hopes to hype his "Shared Responsibility and Shared Prosperity" plan to the more than 19 million followers on his Facebook account.

Social media is the new town hall, giving politicians the opportunity to interact with the public in what appears to be a more unfiltered way. However, staffers are often working behind the scenes to compose Twitter and Facebook posts for their busy bosses, reports AP reporter Marcys Wohlsen.

Since April 13, the president has been trying to sell his strategy to get the federal deficit under control and pare down U.S. debt.

At Facebook headquarters Obama will get a chance to pitch his plan to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the 19th wealthiest person in the U.S. According to Forbes Zuckerberg is worth about $13.5 billion.

Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's blueprints to cut about $4.4 trillion from the deficit over 10 years has been, publicly and privately, accused by Obama as looking to gut the Medicare and Medicaid benefits for the elderly and the poor, reports AFP.

Obama says that his plan will cut about $4 trillion from the deficit in 12 years or less, which will not be a simple task. The annual deficit is about $1.6 billion, with a total federal debt topping $14.2 trillion.

The president plans to tour the nation to promote his plan, which includes ending tax cuts for those that make more than $250,000 a year.

"Everybody has to do their part," Virginia students were told by Obama on Tuesday.

"If we're asking people who are going to see potentially fewer services in their neighborhoods to make a little sacrifice, then we can ask millionaires and billionaires to make a little sacrifice," he says.

As the 2012 presidential campaigns pick up, the budget and debt issues will be a major player in politics.

On Monday, the ratings agency Standard & Poor cut the outlook on U.S. sovereign debt to "negative."

"As S&P made clear, getting spending and our deficit under control can no longer be put off for another day," warns Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. "Serious reforms are needed to ensure America's fiscal health."

The tech industry has received praises from the president. He sees it as an "economic bright spot and a jobs engine for our country," reports the AP.

More than 12,000 jobs are added each year as the Silicon Valley economy recovers from the recession, according to Joint Venture: Silicon Valley.

In addition to the live feed event, Obama will host four fundraisers while he is in the Bay Area, which will include a private dinner for 60 at Salesforce.com chief executive Marc Benioff's home, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Seats have sold out at $35,800 a plate.


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