-- I'm Marco -- I'm blessed to represent Florida in the United States senate. Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the start of the second term. Tonight I have the honor of responding to... See More
-- I'm Marco -- I'm blessed to represent Florida in the United States senate. Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the start of the second term. Tonight I have the honor of responding to -- State of the Union Address on behalf of my fellow Republicans. And -- especially honored to be addressing our brave men and women serving in the armed forces and in diplomatic posts around the world. You may be thousands of miles away. That you are always in our prayers. The State of the Union Address is always a reminder of -- unique American news. -- for much of human history most people were trapped in stagnant societies where a tiny minority always stayed on top. And no one else even had a chance. But America's exceptional because we believe that every life at every stage. Is precious. And that everyone everywhere has a god given right. To go as far as their talents and hard work we'll take them. Like most Americans for me this ideal -- person. My parents immigrated here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and -- give their children the chance -- an even better one. They made it to the middle class -- my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier made. I didn't -- any money from them. But I inherited something far better. The real opportunity to accomplish my dreams. This opportunity to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life. It isn't bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money. Open a business and when they succeed they hire more people who in turn invest or spend their money they make helping other start -- business and create jobs. Presidents in both parties from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan have known that are free enterprise economy. Is the source of our middle class prosperity. The President Obama. He believes as the cause of our problems. That the economic downturn happened because our government didn't tax enough spend enough for control enough. And therefore as you heard tonight. His solution to virtually every problem we face. Is for Washington to tax more borrow more and spend more. This idea that our problems were caused by a government that was too small. It's just not true. In fact the major cause of our recent downturn with the housing crisis created by reckless government policies. And the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle class taxpayers. That's an old idea that's failed every time it's been tried. More government isn't gonna help you get ahead. It's gonna hold you back. More government isn't going to create more opportunities. It's going to limit them and more government isn't going to inspire new ideas new businesses and new private sector jobs. It's going to create uncertainty. Because more government -- complicated rules and laws that small businesses can't afford to follow. Because more government raises taxes on employers who then pass the costs on to their employees through fewer hours lower pay and even layoffs. And because many government programs that claim to help the middle class. Often and the person. For example obamacare. It was supposed to help middle class Americans afford health insurance. But now some people are losing their health insurance they were happy -- And because -- -- created expensive requirements for companies with more than fifty employees. Now many of these companies aren't hiring. Not only that they're being forced to lay people off and switch from full time employees the part time workers. Now does this mean that there's no role for government of course not. The plays a crucial part in keeping us safe enforcing rules and providing some security. Against the risks of modern life. But government's role is wisely limited by the constitution. And it can't play is essential role and ignores those limits. There are valid reasons to be concerned about the president's plan grow our government. But any time anyone opposes the president's agenda. He and his allies usually respond by falsely attacking their motives. When we point out that no matter how many job killing laws we pass our government can't control whether. He accuses us of wanting dirty water and dirty air. When we suggest we strengthen our safety net programs by giving states more flexibility to manage them. He accuses us of one -- to leave the elderly and the disabled to fend for themselves. And tonight he even criticized us for refusing to raise taxes to delay military cuts cuts or his idea in the first place. -- -- -- -- -- of that those of us who don't agree with him that we only care about rich people. Mr. President. I still live in the same working class neighborhood I grew up. My neighbors are millionaires. There retirees -- depend on social security and Medicare. There workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills there immigrants who came here because they were stuck in poverty. In the countries -- the government dominated the economy. The tax increases -- deficit spending you propose will hurt middle class families. It will cost them their raises will cost them their benefits it may even cost some of them their jobs. And it will hurt seniors because it does nothing. To save Medicare and Social Security. So Mr. President I don't oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I opposed the plans because I want to protect my neighbors. Hard working middle class Americans who don't need us to come up with a plan to grow the government. They need a plan to grow the middle class. Economic growth is the best way to help the middle class unfortunately our economy actually shrank during the last three months of 2012. But -- we can get the economy to grow -- just 4% a year. It would create middle class jobs. And it would reduce our deficits by almost four trillion dollars over the next decade. Tax increases can't do this. Raising taxes won't create private sector jobs and there's no realistic tax increase that could blow our deficits by almost four trillion dollars. That's why I hope the president will abandon his obsession. With the raising taxes. And instead work with us. To achieve real growth in our economy. One of the best ways to encourage growth is to our energy industry. Of course solar and wind energy should be a part of our energy portfolio. But god also -- -- -- -- America with abundant hot coal oil and natural gas. Instead of wasting more taxpayer money on so called clean energy companies like Solyndra. Let's open up more federal lands for safe and responsible exploration. Let's reform our energy regulations so that their reasonable and based on common sense. We can grow our energy industry it will make us energy independent. It will create middle class jobs and it will help bring manufacturing back from places like China. Simplifying our tax code will also help the middle class because it will make it easier for small businesses to hire and grow. -- we agree with the president we should lower corporate tax rate which is one of the highest in the world. So that companies will start bringing their money in their jobs back here from overseas. We can also -- -- -- grow our economy -- we have a legal immigration system that allows us to attract and assimilate the world's best and brightest. We need a responsible permanent solution of the problem of those who are here illegally. But first we must follow through on a broken promises of the past. To secure our borders. And enforce our laws. Caught in the middle class -- -- require an education system that gives people the skills today's jobs -- and the knowledge that tomorrow's world require. We need to incentivized local school districts to offer more advanced placement courses and more vocational and career -- And we need to -- all parents. Especially the parents of children with special needs the opportunity to send their children to the school of their choice. -- because college tuition costs have grown so fast we need to change the way we pay for higher education. Now I believe in federal financially. I couldn't on the college without it. It's not just about spending more money. It's -- about strengthening and modernizing them. The 21 century workforce should not be forced to accept twentieth century education solutions. Today's students aren't only eighteen year olds they're returning veterans. -- single parent to decide to get the education they need to earn a decent wage. And their workers who have lost jobs that are never coming back and need to be retrained. We need to be made that does not discriminate against program to nontraditional students rely on. Like online courses or degree programs that give you credit for work experience. But I finished school -- over a 100000 dollars in student loans. And that I paid off just a few months ago. Today many graduates face massive student loans. We must give students more information on the cost and benefits of the student loans are taking out. All these measures are key to helping grow the economy. -- we won't be able to sustain a vibrant middle class. Unless we solve our debt problem. Every dollar government borrows is money that isn't being invested to create jobs and the uncertainty created by the debt is one reason why many businesses aren't hiring. The president loves to blame the debt on President Bush but President Obama. Created more debt and for years. Than its predecessor did and eight. The real cause of our debt is that our government has been spending one trillion dollars more than it takes and every year. That's why we need a balanced budget amendment. The biggest obstacle to balancing the budget are programs -- spending is already locked in. One of these programs as Medicare it's especially important to me. -- provided my father the care he needed to battle cancer. And ultimately to die with dignity. And it pays for the -- my mother receives right now. I would never support any changes to Medicare that would hurt seniors like -- -- But anyone -- in favor of -- Medicare exactly the way it is right now. Is in favor bankrupt. Republicans have offered a detailed and credible plan that helps save Medicare without hurting -- retirees. Instead of playing politics of Medicare what is the president going to offer -- you don't plan to save it. Tonight would've been a good time for him to do it. Of course -- face other challenges as well. We were -- heartbroken by the recent tragedy in Connecticut. We must effectively deal with a rise of violence in our country. But unconstitutionally undermining the Second Amendment Rights of law abiding Americans it's not the way to do it. On foreign policy. America continues to be indispensable to the -- of global liberty. Property in safeguarding human rights. The world has a better place when America is the strongest nation on earth. But we can't remain powerful. -- we don't have an economy can afford. The short time that I've been here in Washington nothing is frustrated me more than false choices like the one -- president laid out tonight. The choice isn't just between big government -- big business. What we need is an accountable efficient and effective government. That allows small new businesses to create more middle class jobs. We don't have to raise taxes to avoid the president's devastating cuts or military Republican. The -- the plan that replaces these cuts with responsible spending reforms. In order to balance our budget the -- doesn't have to be either higher taxes or dramatic benefit cuts for those in need. Instead we should grow our economy so that we can create new tax -- not new taxes. And so our government can afford to help those who truly cannot help themselves. And the truth is every problem can't be solved by the government. Many are caused by the moral breakdown in our society. And the answer to these challenges lie primarily in our families. And our -- Not our politicians. Despite our differences I know that both Republicans and Democrats love America. I pray we can come together to solve our problems. Because the choices before us could not be more important. If we can get our economy healthy again. Our children will be the most prosperous Americans ever. We do not. We will forever be known as the generation responsible. For America's decline. At a time when one showdown after another -- and short term deals that. Do little or nothing about our real problems some are starting to believe that our government leaders just can't or won't make the right choices anymore. But our strength has never come from the white house of the capital. It's always come from our people. A people united by the American idea that if you have a dream and are willing to work hard. Nothing should be impossible. Americans have always celebrated and been inspired by those who succeed. But it's the dreams of those were still trying to make. -- sets our nation apart. Tonight all across this land. Parents -- hold their newborn children arms for the first time. Many of these parents. For many of these parents like the stock on the way they had planned. Maybe they were born in the circumstance that they found difficult to escape. Maybe they've made some mistakes along the way. Maybe they're young mothers all alone the father of their child long gone. But tonight. When they look into the eyes of their child for the first time. Their lives -- changed forever. Because in those eyes. They we'll see what my parents on me. And what your parents on you. -- we'll see all the hopes and dreams they once had for themselves. The stream of a better life for their children it's the hope of parents everywhere. Politicians here and throughout the world have a long promised that more government can make those dreams come true. But we Americans have always known better. From our earliest days we embraced economic liberty. And because we did. America remains one of the few places on earth where dreams like -- Even have a chance. Each time our nation has faced great challenges. What is kept us together. With our shared hope for a better life. Now. Let that helped bring us together again. To solve the challenges of our time. And write the next chapter in the amazing story. Of the greatest nation -- -- Thank you for listening. And god bless all of you. -- god bless our president. And may god continue to bless the United States of America.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.
President Obama on Voting Reform
President Obama on Voting Reform
The president announces commission to improve efficiency and accuracy of the voting experience.