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Obama In State Of The Union: We Need A Smarter, Not Bigger, Government

Excerpts of the speech.

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Charles Dharapak / AP

President Barack Obama waves as he walks down the West Wing Colonnade of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, ahead of tonight's State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will discuss efforts to grow the economy and create jobs in his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, according to excerpts released by the White House.

"It is our generation's task, then, to reignite the true engine of America's economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class," Obama will say.

It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.

It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation of ours.

"A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs – that must be the North Star that guides our efforts. Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?"

Obama will also pledge that the new proposals he will introduce will be be at least deficit-neutral, and will fit within the spending caps agreed to in the Budget Control Act of 2011.

"Tonight, I'll lay out additional proposals that are fully paid for and fully consistent with the budget framework both parties agreed to just 18 months ago," he will say. "Let me repeat – nothing I'm proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime. It's not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth."

Obama's remarks to a Joint Session of Congress are slated to begin at 9 p.m. ET.


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