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President Obama (or, presumably, one of his underlings) has created the equivalent of a bumper sticker phrase on Twitter, using the hashtag “#My2k“ to spread the message about the consequences of inaction in the so-called “fiscal cliff” situation. Specifically, “#My2k” refers to the tax increase of about $2,000 that the typical U.S. family would face if Congress does not extend the Bush tax cuts for incomes up to $250,000. President Obama and his staffers want Tweeps to use the “#My2k” hashtag to discuss (and tweet to their members of Congress) what that $2,000 means to them, in terms of paying their bills, paying for medical care, food and other necessities, etc.

The “#My2k” hashtag, not coincidentally, harks back to the “Y2k” (i.e., Year 2000) scare in 1999, when many people thought that the world’s computers would crash due to the impending date change, and many companies, government agencies, organizations and individuals took extraordinary steps to try to avert what could have been termed the “century cliff.” So the Obama administration is using fear to try to influence public policy. Tactically, therefore, they are taking a page from the Republicans, whose playbook regularly involves the use of fear tactics, from “mushroom clouds” to “Sharia law.” Once again, however, the Democrats’ scare tactics, unlike the Republicans’, are based in reality.

The “#My2k” hashtag is a good start. However, since not all American voters use Twitter, the Obama administration needs to use more traditional forms of communication, such as crashing the Sunday morning news shows, to push a coordinated “fiscal cliff” message.

[Originally published at Messaging Matters]

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