Americans respond to President Obama's speech by phone, email - and twitter

Throughout the day, we've seen reports that Congress' switchboards and websites have been overwhelmed by Americans responding to what President Obama said last night:

The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn’t vote for a dysfunctional government.  So I’m asking you all to make your voice heard.  If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your member of Congress know.  If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.
At this end of Pennsylvania Avenue, we've noticed a bump in messages from Americans – email is coming in at nearly 5 times the normal rate.  About half of those emails were from people interested in the President’s ongoing efforts to find a balanced approach to reducing the deficit and ensuring that the US government lives up to its financial obligations.  Contrary to some reports, the White House Switchboard noted a slight increase in calls, but functioned normally throughout the day.   Here are a few excerpts of what people are saying:
 
"Please continue to work and speak out for an end to the partisanship. Both sides in this bitter battle need to knock it off and work together. Revenue increases as well as intelligent entitlement reforms to cut waste and fraud are needed to deal with the debt and deficit issues."
 
"Mr. President I urge you to consider your place in history, and not merely the moment. You have an opportunity to create an effective, lasting legacy. One in which Americans may be proud. The true mark of some our greatest Presidents is this same issue which now confronts you.Compromise. Please recall that you are a Servant, and it is the will of the people that you compromise- and pass a fair bill regarding the debt of this country."
 
"I support smart increases in taxes, but the cuts you have outlined are insufficient. I don't see a plan from any party that begins to even cover the deficit let alone the debt. Any family knows you have to make more than you spend. I have to balance my budget every month, why doesn't the Federal Government?"
We've also kept our eye on our social media accounts, including Twitter. In fact, we just wrapped up our first session of "Office Hours" - an online Q & A with NEC Deputy Director Brian Deese. We were also impressed with the number of people who reposted speech excerpts we published through the @WhiteHouse account while the President was speaking last night.
 
Related Topics: Economy, Debt Debate
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