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Obama: 'You Don’t Get to Pick Which Rules You Play By'

9:18 AM, Jul 26, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
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In making the case for closing tax loopholes used by corporations, President Obama says in his weekly address that the American people "don't get to pick which rules you play by." Neither should corporations, Obama argues. 

Obama in Cairo

Obama in Cairo

"Even as corporate profits are as high as ever, a small but growing group of big corporations are fleeing the country to get out of paying taxes.  They’re keeping most of their business inside the United States, but they’re basically renouncing their citizenship and declaring that they’re based somewhere else, just to avoid paying their fair share," Obama says.

"I want to be clear: this is only a few big corporations so far.  The vast majority of American businesses pay their taxes right here in the United States.  But when some companies cherrypick their taxes, it damages the country’s finances.  It adds to the deficit.  It makes it harder to invest in the things that will keep America strong, and it sticks you with the tab for what they stash offshore.  Right now, a loophole in our tax laws makes this totally legal – and I think that’s totally wrong.  You don’t get to pick which rules you play by, or which tax rate you pay, and neither should these companies."

The irony of President Obama -- who has been criticized for governing by interpreting laws however he says fit and by executive order--was not lost on everyone.

Don Stewart, a communications aide to Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, tweeted, "Pres. Obama actually said this today: "You don’t get to pick which rules you play by" #SelfAwareness."

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