Obama: We Need 'Smarter Government'

February 12, 2013

President Obama called for smarter government during his State of the Union address Tuesday night in a speech that focused on creating more jobs and strengthening the economy without adding to the country’s deficit.

Early in his one-hour speech, Obama addressed the fiscal battles that have dominated his time in office, calling for an end to political brinkmanship to pass a budget and reduce the deficit through a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases. “Let’s agree, right here, right now, to keep the people’s government open, pay our bills on time, and always uphold the full faith and credit of the United States of America," he said. "The American people have worked too hard, for too long, rebuilding from one crisis to see their elected officials cause another.”

Obama outlined an ambitious -- and mostly domestic -- policy agenda for his second term, including new proposals in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, housing and education that he claimed are “fully” paid for and in keeping with the framework both parties agreed to in the 2011 Budget Control Act.

“Let me repeat -- nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime,” Obama said. “It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.”

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