December 6th, 2012
03:58 PM ET
(CNN) – In one of the White House’s more elaborate photo-ops surrounding the ongoing fiscal cliff standoff, President Obama Thursday ventured nine miles west of Washington, D.C., to sit down with what his aides described as a “middle class family” in Falls Church, Virginia.
“For them to be burdened unnecessarily because Democrats and Republicans aren’t coming together to solve this problem gives you a sense of the costs involved in very personal terms,” the president told reporters flanked by members of the Santana family in their living room.
“Obviously it would also have impact on the economy because if this family has $2,000 less to spend that translates to $200 billion less in consumer spending next year,” Obama added.
The White House said Tiffany Santana, a high school English teacher, was among those who engaged in the #My2K social media campaign – the effort launched by the White House last week to encourage Americans to write in with stories on how an increase in taxes would affect their lives.
According to the White House, Santana explained her family household includes her husband, 6-year old son, and her parents. Because her parents are also middle-income wage earners, the entire household would see their tax bill go up by $4,000 if the Congress does not act, Santana said.
“The message that I got from Tiffany and the message that I think we all want to send to members of Congress is this is a solvable problem,” Obama also said.
Ahead of the visit, the White House also released a slickly-produced video of the family – reminiscent of a campaign commercial - in which they detailed their monthly expenses and explained why they supported the president’s position. Meanwhile, an Obama/Biden yard sign was spotted still gracing their lawn.
The living room sit-down constituted the president’s latest effort to take his case on the fiscal cliff debate to the American people directly. Earlier this week he spoke to workers at a toy-manufacturing plant outside Philadelphia. He’s set to make a similar speech in Detroit next week.