KSFY Exclusive: Nancy Naeve's full interview with President Barack Obama

Nancy: “Mr. President, when anyone hears about tax policies, you know, cuts here and this there, they always want to know how is it going to affect me. So how will it effect South Dakotans?”

President Obama: “Well I think it’s very important first of all to recognize that over the last 5 years we’ve seen…each month…more and more job growth. We’ve now created more than 12 million jobs. But there are a lot of middle class families who, even if they’re working, haven’t seen their incomes go up or their wages go up. And so part of what my budget tries to do is to make sure we are helping them directly. So for example, if you’ve got a child you need a child care credit. We triple it. That could end up meaning $900 for a family to help care for their child. If you’ve got a young person going to college in your family, we try to increase the credit that you get in terms of going to college. If you’ve got two parents working in a household, sometimes the tax code is disadvantaged…disadvantages them in ways that aren’t fair. We try to fix that. All told this would end up being for about 44 million people around the country a tax cut of $500 to $1,000. That could make a big difference in a family’s budget.”

Nancy: “We have a very aging population in South Dakota. A lot of retired or retiring baby boomers. How will this effect them?”

President Obama: “Well, part of what we’re also trying to do is to create additional tools for savings and for retirement. One of the challenges on retirement security is that, you know, if you have a lot of money it’s real easy to save and take advantage of all these tax breaks. If you don’t have a lot, and you actually need more help, it’s harder to set one up. So we’re trying to create more tools for ordinary families to save. Now the way we pay for this is to close some loopholes that are already out there for corporations not paying their fair share of taxes. It does contrast with the approach that a lot of the Republican members of Congress have signed onto which not only would take back tax cuts for middle class families but they’re proposing a $270 billion tax cut for about 5,000 families all across the country. In fact, I think it only effects 20 families…it would only benefit 20 families in South Dakota. What we’re talking about would help tens of thousands…hundreds of thousands…in South Dakota. That’s a contrast that I think it’s important for folks to pay attention to. We want to make sure that middle class families, folks who are working hard to get into the middle class, that they get some basic benefits. Not as a handout but because it’s going to help them get ahead.”

Nancy: “You touched on this a little in the GOP response at your State of the Union, a freshman Senator from Iowa, Joni Ernst, said the way to lower taxes is to cut those loopholes. Your proposal does that?”

President Obama: “Yeah it does. Which is great. The challenge is that whenever I ask them specifically what loopholes they’re willing to cut, they can’t come up with any. Then they want to expand this trust fund loophole that costs $270 billion. For the same amount of money that they’re willing to spend to help 5,000 families who are millionaires or billionaires, the top 0.1%...or .01% We could help 44 million families. And that’s why, we all agree the tax system can be a lot more efficient. We can close a lot of loopholes. The question is then who benefits from it? And we want to make sure middle class families do and not folks who don’t need it. Including me.”

Nancy: “Let’s talk…so you’ve been to every state but South Dakota. Are you going to come visit us?”

President Obama: “Now first of all it’s important to know that I…”

Nancy: “You were there when you campaigned..but as a sitting president are you coming to visit?”

President Obama: “The good news is…May 8th…I’m making news here with you. May 8th we’re coming. I’m going to deliver a commencement in Watertown at a community college there. So…I can’t let my South Dakota friends feel neglected.”

Nancy: “Will you see Sioux Falls or Mount Rushmore?”

President Obama: “Well you know I’ve been to Mount Rushmore. Michelle and the girls have been to Mount Rushmore as well. Let’s see how much travel I get while I am up there. But I think by May 8th..finally there should be Spring in South Dakota if I’m not mistaken.”

Nancy: “We should be good. Now we’ve got some breaking news.”

President Obama: “I’m really looking forward to it.”

Nancy: “Thank you so much.”