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      Nebraska's Leaders Respond to State of the Union Address

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      President Barack Obama gave his first State of the Union address for his second term Tuesday evening.

      Following the speech, Sen. Mike Johanns released a statement telling the president that Americans deserve change from the past four years.

      He said, "Americansdeserve better than what they've gotten the past four years. The stirring soundbites we have heard over that time amount to little more than calls for highertaxes and increased spending, but they lacked a clear picture how more of thesame big-government policies would improve our economy or create jobs.

      Johanns added, "Ihope the President is prepared to do more in his second term than pay lipservice to bipartisanship and trade negotiations. If he is willing to work withRepublicans, we are ready to work with him to find responsible, common-sensesolutions."

      Congressman Adrian Smith also had a response following the president's speech.

      He accused the president of focusing on the same policies from the last four years instead of changing his approach to reduce the national debt and create positive economic growth.

      Smith said, "President Obama seemed to double down onthe same tax, spending, and regulatory policies which have failed to createadequate economic growth and which have added trillions of dollars to thenational debt. Rather than repeating the failed policies of the past,American taxpayers, families, and job creators need Washington to take adifferent approach."

      Smith said he would specifically like to see the president focus on tax reform that simplifies the entire tax code as well as bringing the budget to balance.

      He said, "I am glad the President spoke about the need for taxreform. However, tax reform should not be a money grab, but rather acomprehensive review and simplification of the entire code to make complianceeasier and to encourage economic growth. In addition, a balanced approachrequires us to rein in spending, balance the budget, and begin to pay down ourdebt."

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