President Obama Storms Twitter for Deficit Deal Support

Obama presses for public support as tax increases loom for all.

This March 20, 2012, file photo shows House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and President Barack Obama walk down the steps of the Capitol in Washington.

Nearly a month after the election, Obama and the House Republicans are still trying to find common ground to avoid going over the cliff.

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President Barack Obama, continuing to publicly press for tax hikes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans to help reduce the deficit, took to Twitter on Monday for about an hour to take questions from the public.

The president answered questions posed under the hashtag #my2k — the estimated amount of tax increases most Americans will see if Republicans don't agree to extend the current tax rates for those making less than $250,000. The questions were selected by the White House and ranged from how the deficit deal could help a jobless recent college grad to why Obama opposes keeping rates low for all income brackets.

Obama has said Congress should vote on a deal to prevent those scheduled increases where there is agreement, below the $250,000 threshold, but House Republicans have thus far declined do so. House Speaker John Boehner has said the White House needs to better outline its proposed entitlement spending cuts and reforms before Republicans move forward.

Obama told a purple-coiffed @dontbeaprat:

The president also sought to make it clear he's willing to negotiate on the details of a deficit deal.

To one person who was concerned about losing her home mortgage tax deduction, Obama said programs like that could be threatened without the tax increase on the country's wealthiest.

It wasn't all dry tax talk, though, as the Chicago sports fan was asked which hometown team would be the first to win a national title.

Negotiations appear at a stalemate for the moment and it remains to be seen if the president's public appeals will help sway members of Congress.

Rebekah Metzler is a political writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or reach her at rmetzler@usnews.com.