President Barack Obama's third State of the Union address was much like his first two — great rhetoric giving little hope of real action, Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador tells Newsmax exclusively.
The president's words that Washington has to cooperate like the military team that took out Osama bin Laden were "very powerful," but the reality is far different, Labrador said.
"There is always validity in working together," the freshman congressman said. "But what he means is let's work together by you agreeing with me."
Labrador said that, after last year's State of the Union, he sent a letter to Obama saying he too wanted to work on three main areas: energy independence, regulations, and tax reform. But he didn't even get a response.
In Tuesday's speech, Obama highlighted all three issues, saying he wanted to work with Republicans to get better answers on them.
"The devil is in the details," Labrador said. "It seems to me that he just wants to tax people more."
On taxes, Labrador said he was surprised the president didn't make more of Mitt Romney's tax returns that were released earlier in the day showing he paid a rate of around 15 percent on more than $20 million of investment income.
"And I read that Warren Buffett's secretary was in the audience, so I was surprised he didn't mention her by name.
He said the much-quoted claim from the multibillionaire that his secretary pays taxes at a higher rate than he does has a simple solution.
"Why doesn't Warren Buffett pay her in stocks? She would pay the same rate as him and would soon become a very wealthy woman," the congressman said.
Labrador said Obama tried to come off as a conservative Republican with his approach to those issues and others. It was only when people listened harder they would have discovered that he wanted to "create three new agencies, pay for everybody's education and everyone's healthcare.
"He was talking like a conservative and then changed and started to speak of more government."
Labrador said the part of Obama's speech that he found most fascinating was when he talked about employment. "Yes the unemployment rate has gone down, but that only started when the Republicans took control of the House and we stopped his spending agenda, then his budget couldn't pass and we got back to some form of fiscal sanity.
"We haven't cut the rate as much as we would like, but he shouldn't be taking the credit for what we have done," he said.
Labrador said he believes that the final year of Obama's first term will end up much like the first three. All of them started with flowery speeches and ended up achieving little.
"He has talked a good game, but he has not been able to play it. Now he tries to blame Congress for obstructing him, but he seems to forget that for two years he had a Congress that was working hand-in-glove with him. The more they worked with him, with healthcare reforms and Dodd-Frank, the more the American economy was destroyed."
Obama seemed to be daring Republicans to stand up to him during much of the speech, Labrador said.
"It's become a running theme for Democrats that they don't need Congress, they only need the president. They must have forgotten to read their Constitution, the president is not a dictator and must not act like one."
But he agreed with Obama's sentiment that America will rise again. "We always seem to think we are in danger from someone," he said.
"I am a child of the 1980s, and then we were afraid of the Soviet Union. In the 1990s, it was Japan; in the early 2000s, it was the rise of the European Union; now it is China.
"But every time we overcome, because the U.S. people are the greatest people in the world, the Constitution gives us the best form of government and our resources and vitality will again help us reach greatness."
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