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Eye On Boise

Obama: ‘We don’t have to be divided as a people - we are on the same team’

President Obama recounted his themes from last night’s State of the Union address, from the economic recovery to infrastructure investments to free community college. “Republicans were not applauding for many of these ideas,” he said amid some laughter. But he said when it comes to things like infrastructure, everyone’s really in favor. “Too often where we run onto the rocks … is how do we pay for these investments,” he said. “Those things don’t just pop up for free.”

“As Americans, we don’t mind paying our fair share of taxes, as long as everybody else does,” Obama said to cheers. “Where we get frustrated is when we know that … we’ve got some corporations paying nothing while others are paying full freight. We’ve got the super-rich getting giveaways they don’t need, and middle-class families not getting the breaks that they do need.”

He called for closing tax “loopholes,” in order to “use that money to help Americans pay for things like child care and college,” saying, “I believe in helping hard-working families make ends meet.”

“I know there are Republicans who disagree with my approach - I could see that from their body language yesterday,” Obama said with a laugh. “And if they do disagree with me then I look forward to hearing from them how they want to pay for things like R&D and infrastructure that we need to get. … They’ve got to show us what those ideas are.”

He said, “My job is to put forward what’s best for America,” and said, “We don’t have to be divided as a people – we’re on the same team. We are not just a collection of red states and blue states – we are still the United States of America. And if you agree with me … let’s get to work. We’ve got a lot of stuff to do.” 

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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