PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Although ultimately our success will depend on all the innovation and hard work of our private sector, all the grit and resilience of the American people, government is going to have a critical role in making sure we have an education system that prepares our children and our workers for a global economy. The budget Congress passes will determine whether we can hire more workers to upgrade our transportation and communications networks or fund the kinds of research and development that have always kept America on the cutting edge. So what happens here in Washington makes a difference. What happens up on Capitol Hill will help determine not only the pace of our growth, but also the quality of jobs, the quality of opportunity, for this generation and future generations.
The problem is, at the moment, Republicans in Congress donâ€™t seem to be focused on how to grow the economy and build the middle class. I say â€˜at the momentâ€™ because I am still hoping that a light bulb goes off here. So far, their budget ideas revolve primarily around even deeper cuts to education. Even deeper cuts that would gut the scientific research and development. Even deeper cuts to Americaâ€™s infrastructure investment. Our roads, bridges, schools, and energy grid. These are not the policies that would grow the economy faster. They are not the policies that would help grow the middle class. In fact, they do the opposite.