Investing in Our Future: The Federal Budget
Just a few weeks ago, in my State of the Union Address, I spoke about how America can win the future by out-educating, out-innovating and out-building the rest of the world. I also talked about taking responsibility for our Nation's deficits, because we can't win the future if we pass on a mountain of debt to our children and grandchildren.
Yesterday, I sent my budget proposal for 2012 to Congress, and I wanted to take a moment to explain some of the tough choices we had to make so we can afford to invest in our future.
Like American families, the Federal Government must live within its means. That means eliminating wasteful spending and cutting programs that aren't working. It also means that programs, like Community Development Block Grants, which I care about deeply, need to be scaled back to confront the crushing debt we face.
You can learn more about the budget proposal and watch Jack Lew, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, explain our approach here:
Getting our fiscal house in order requires shared sacrifice. But even in these tough times, we have a responsibility to make smart investments in our Nation's future.
That's why we must invest in innovation to ensure that the jobs and industries of the future are built right here in America. It's why we need to invest in roads, bridges, high-speed rail and high-speed Internet to help our businesses ship their goods and ideas around the world.
And it's why America must invest in education so that all of our children have an opportunity to fulfill their potential. Even though parents are the key to a child's education, we have a responsibility to ensure that America's students are prepared to compete and thrive in the 21st century global economy.
Yesterday, I visited Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology near Baltimore, Maryland. At Parkville, students gain a strong background in math, science and critical thinking skills that they will need to compete for the jobs of the 21st century. In fact, the most popular subject in their magnet program is engineering.
Investing in schools like Parkville, investing in quality teachers, investing in higher education - these are down payments on our children's and our country's future.
Here are just a few investments in education that I've proposed in the budget I sent to Congress:
- Preparing 100,000 new math, science and engineering teachers.
- Expanding Race to the Top, a reform program that has led more than 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning for less than 1 percent of what we spend on education each year.
- Helping more kids afford college by making the American Opportunity Tax Credit permanent and strengthening Pell Grants for 9 million students.
President Barack Obama
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