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Commentary


Statement of NTU Executive Vice President Pete Sepp on Tonight's Upcoming State of the Union Address

February 12, 2013


"In previous years President Obama's State of the Union proposals ranged from tens of billions in new annual spending to billions in budgetary savings. Now more than ever, Americans need him to outline honest reductions in expenditures, finally waging a worthy fight against future federal deficits rather than offering another raft of counterproductive tax hikes. That has to begin with following through on at least the overall amount of spending restraint provided in the 2013 sequester -- a goal that can be achieved in many ways, but not with gimmicks or punitive increases in tax burdens. Such a solution must take a hard look at all spending, including the Pentagon budget.

Meanwhile, the President's leadership on the issue of tax reform could make the difference between an approach that reduces rates while broadening the base for everyone, versus another politicized scheme that allows government to pick winners and losers. Recent statements from the President and his allies on behalf of discriminatory taxes toward traditional energy production are discouraging to taxpayers and businesses seeking a simpler tax code across-the-board -- not to mention job opportunities. 

Just as important, if the President is truly committed to a new direction, he can call for concrete action to overhaul the nation's entitlement programs, which, if left unreformed, will drive debts to unsustainable heights while failing beneficiaries in the process. 

Taxpayers will be waiting to hear whether the President's words reflect hope and change for a more fiscally responsible government, or more of the same failed policies of the past four years."

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