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President Obama: The Race we want to win is a “race to the top.”

… the race for good jobs that pay well and offer middle-class security. Businesses will create those jobs in countries with the highest-skilled, highest-educated workers; the most advanced transportation and communication; the strongest commitment to research and technology.

Two senators, one Dem one Republican, are trying to break the GOP objection to raising taxes on millionaires to fund job creation measures. If they're successful, it will become the key to passing President Obama's payroll tax cut proposal, and driving a wedge between powerful anti-tax activists and the Republican party. But if Republicans object it will expose the hollow nature of their overwhelming opposition to taxing the affluent.

When Republicans object to small tax increases on millionaires they claim Democrats are proposing to raise taxes on "small businesses" or "job creators."

This is basically a distraction. Some businesses are organized as pass-through entities, in which federal taxes are paid by the owner as individual income taxes, including a hypothetical surtax on millionaires. But this is a small share of filers, and some of these filers are major, privately held companies -- not small businesses.

To strip Republicans of this objection, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) are proposing to exempt these entities from the millionaire's surtax, and put the remaining revenue to paying for President Obama's payroll tax holiday.

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President Obama says income inequality “distorts our democracy,” giving a voice to the privileged few and “runs the risk of selling out our democracy to the highest bidder.”

In an economics speech in Osawatomie, KS, Obama said “We simply cannot return to this brand of your-on-your-own economics if we’re serious about rebuilding the middle class in this country.”

President Obama said the U.S. cannot return to a “you’re-on-your-own” style of economics. It only makes the rich richer and leaves the middle class out in the cold, Obama said.

Discussing Teddy Roosevelt’s progressive economic vision in Osawatomie, KS, Obama poked fun at attacks on him as a “socialist” by remembering those same attacks were lobbed against Teddy: “For this, Roosevelt was called a radical, a socialist, even a communist. But today, we are a richer nation and a stronger democracy because of what he fought for…”

Speaking from Kansas, President Obama said that the free market cannot solve all of the country’s problems.

It’s a simple theory – one that speaks to our rugged individualism and healthy skepticism of too much government. It fits well on a bumper sticker. Here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It’s never worked.

Updated December 6, 4 p.m. ET

Rick Santorum got in a lengthy argument with young voters in Iowa on some pretty heavy topics: Life, death, health care, and gay sex.

Jason Kornelis, a 23-year-old recent college graduate, challenged Santorum on gay marriage, according to ABC News. Kornelis said that he could not see how legalizing gay marriage would "be a hit to faith and family in America."

"You can't think of any consequence?" Santorum asked rhetorically.

"Really- wow- um okay, well let's see if we can have a discussion," Santorum explained. "We can flesh out some, well, let's look at what's going to be taught in our schools because now we have same sex couples being the same and their sexual activity being seen as equal and being affirmed by society as heterosexual couples and their activity."

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In an economic speech from Kansas, President Obama today drew on themes from President Teddy Roosevelt, and the ideas he espoused in 1910.

But Roosevelt also knew that the free market has never been a free license to take whatever you want from whoever you can. It only works when there are rules of the road to ensure that competition is fair, open, and honest. And so he busted up monopolies, forcing those companies to compete for customers with better services and better prices. And today, they still must. He fought to make sure businesses couldn’t profit by exploiting children, or selling food or medicine that wasn’t safe. And today, they still can’t.

Speaking from Kansas, Obama decried those who were suffering “collective amnesia” about the excesses that led to the Great Recession.

“Well, I’m here to say they are wrong,” Obama said. “I’m here to reaffirm my deep conviction that we are greater together than we are on our own.”