President Obama says better education in math and science is critical to pushing the U.S. forward in the global competition for innovation and jobs, and he wants the private sector to get involved in making it happen.
Obama recorded his weekly radio and Internet address during a visit this week to Intel Corp. outside of Portland, Ore. He praised the company Saturday for making a 10-year, $200 million commitment to promote math and science education -- and held it up as an example of how corporate America can make money at the same time it builds the country.
"Companies like Intel are proving that we can compete -- that instead of just being a nation that buys what's made overseas, we can make things in America and sell them around the globe," Obama said. "Winning this competition depends on the ingenuity and creativity of our private sector. . But it's also going to depend on what we do as a nation to make America the best place on earth to do business."
Obama's West Coast swing, which also included a dinner with big names in California's Silicon Valley including Apple's Steve Jobs and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, was part of his push to promote a budget proposal that increases spending in targeted areas like education, research and development and high-speed Internet, while cutting in other areas. Republicans newly in control of the House are pushing much deeper cuts and resisting new spending.
The GOP is also taking Obama to task for avoiding significant changes to the biggest budget busters: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. In the Republicans' weekly radio address, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., trumpeted the GOP's push to cut $60 billion from the current fiscal year budget and promised a 2012 budget proposal that, unlike Obama's, offers "real entitlement reform."
"Our reforms will focus both on saving these programs for current and future generations of Americans and on getting our debt under control and our economy growing," Price said. "By taking critical steps forward now, we can fulfill the mission of health and retirement security for all Americans without making changes for those in or near retirement."