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Obama Gets Bold About Economy

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- President Barack Obama outlined his plan for keeping the economy's recovery on track Tuesday, emphasizing the importance of the U.S. manufacturing industry and detailing changes to the tax code to encourage corporations to expand in America.

During the last State of the Union address of his term, Obama pointed to success in stabilizing the car makers, noting that General Motors (GM) is once again "the world's number one automaker," and said what's happened in Detroit could happen in other parts of the country and other industries.

"So we have a huge opportunity, at this moment, to bring manufacturing back. But we have to seize it. Tonight, my message to business leaders is simple: Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed," he said.

He proposed to end tax deductions for outsourcing jobs overseas, and said every multinational company "should have to pay a basic minimum tax," referring to tactics used by many big corporations to shelter their profits overseas.

Obama also said he believes U.S.-based companies should be given preference.

"If you're an American manufacturer, you should get a bigger tax cut. If you're a high-tech manufacturer, we should double the tax deduction you get for making products here. And if you want to relocate in a community that was hit hard when a factory left town, you should get help financing a new plant, equipment, or training for new workers," he said.

"My message is simple. It's time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms, and I'll sign them right away."

Obama also called the payroll tax cut bill to be passed "without delay" and said tax reform should follow the Buffett rule -- "If you make more than $1 million a year, you should not pay less than 30 percent in taxes" -- and said that American families who make less than $250,000 shouldn't see their taxes go up.

Now, you can call this class warfare all you want," he said. "But asking a billionaire to pay at least as much as his secretary in taxes? Most Americans would call that common sense."

He continued: "We don't begrudge financial success in this country. We admire it. When Americans talk about folks like me paying my fair share of taxes, it's not because they envy the rich. It's because they understand that when I get tax breaks I don't need and the country can't afford, it either adds to the deficit, or somebody else has to make up the difference - like a senior on a fixed income; or a student trying to get through school; or a family trying to make ends meet. That's not right. Americans know it's not right."