LEESBURG, Va., Feb. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama told House Democrats Thursday his State of the Union address will focus on job creation, education and energy independence.
Speaking at the House Democratic Issues Conference in Leesburg, Va., the president repeated a theme from his 2012 re-election campaign, that "our economy succeeds and our economy grows when everybody is getting a fair shot and everybody is getting a fair shake and everybody is playing by the same rules."
"Because I believe that is a growth agenda -- not just an equity agenda, not just a fairness agenda -- that is a growth agenda," he said.
"And that means that what you'll hear from me next week, I'm going to be talking about making sure that we're focused on job creation here in the United States of America," Obama said.
The president told House Democrats a balanced approach to fixing the debt will require making "our healthcare programs work better and make them more efficient, and we can cut our programs that we don't need."
"But it also means that we've got to be able to close some tax loopholes and deductions that the average American cannot take advantage of, to raise the revenue to actually do the job in a way that allows us to continue to grow," he said.
Obama said he welcomed an argument "in the court of public opinion" over Republican proposals he characterized as cutting Social Security and Medicare, but not closing "a single loophole" or raising "additional revenue from the wealthiest Americans or corporations who have a lot of lawyers and accountants who are able to maneuver and manage and work and game the system."