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Local politics

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Spending, taxes top Coats list

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., has suggestions for what President Obama should talk about in his State of the Union address tonight.

In a Monday speech on the Senate floor, Coats said he wants to hear Obama offer plans to boost the economy, reduce federal spending and shore up Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, benefits programs he contended, “are careening toward insolvency.”

Obama “needs to show the American people that he is ready and fully willing to engage in the effort to lead us out of this malaise of economic uncertainty,” he said.

Coats pressed for Obama and Congress to simplify the income tax code, cut corporate tax rates and eliminate, “unnecessary regulatory burdens” on businesses.

As he has done in a string of recent floor speeches, Coats complained about the $16.5 trillion national debt.

“The president keeps promising the American people that he’ll reduce the debt through a balanced approach. However, whenever he’s asked for a plan, all we hear back is a call for more taxes,” Coats said in his speech, broadcast by C-SPAN.

He noted that Congress has enacted $1.6 trillion worth of tax increases that Obama advocated, mostly to fund the national health care law.

“People that I represent in Indiana and the American people will not support another tax increase,” he said. “Spending, Mr. President, out-of-control wasteful spending by the federal government is what must come next.”

bfrancisco@jg.net

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