President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night called for more government spending and programs to bolster his efforts to expand economic growth by creating a rising, thriving middle class. In his address, the President said that none of the programs he’s proposing should increase the nation’s deficit by a single dime. The President stated that “it is not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.”
The President also called for comprehensive tax reform. President Obama said he favors a tax code that closes loopholes to prohibit the wealthy from escaping taxation, and that would eliminate tax incentives for companies to export jobs overseas and instead create employment opportunities in the U.S. Republicans have charged that President Obama wants to close loopholes in order to pay for more spending instead of closing loopholes to lower tax rates and create jobs.
President Obama’s proposals are sure to face tough opposition, particularly from House Republicans who are more interested in paring back government spending and reducing the budget deficit. Since President Obama’s insists his spending plan should not add to the deficit, his “balanced approached” to closing the deficit will include additional taxes on the wealthy. Additional tax increases will not sit well with Republicans who say the debate over tax hikes is over.
The President’s new proposals should make the battle over the automatic spending cuts poised to hit March 1 (sequestration) even more contentious.
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