barack_obama_signs.jpgWASHINGTON (AP) _ President Barack Obama says the U.S can reduce its budget deficit by closing tax loopholes and making “smart'' reductions in spending.

Obama says closing tax loopholes should enable the U.S. to “continue to fund things that can help us grow'' without raising tax rates again.

In an interview on CBS a few hours before the Super Bowl, the president said he wants the tax system to be “fair and transparent,'' noting that the average taxpayer can't take advantage of things like offshore tax havens.

Obama also called for further health care reforms, noting the U.S. spends “more than every other country does.'' He says there's “no doubt we need additional revenue coupled with smart spending reductions.''