Obama calls for investment in innovation, education, infrastructure

January 26, 2011 1:00 pm 

WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 — U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday night called in his State of the Union Address for more investment in innovation, education and infrastructure to maintain the country's competitive edge.

"We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world," said Obama, saying "that's how we'll win the future."

He laid out his vision in a three-step effort that includes investment in spurring innovation, reform and investment in education and rebuilding out-dated infrastructure.

In innovation, Obama said maintaining leadership in research and technology is crucial to the country.

"In a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We'll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology — an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people," said Obama.

He urged Congress to get behind the effort and pay for it. He asked Congress to eliminate "billions in taxpayer dollars" currently given to oil companies, and invest in renewable energy.

Obama said that by 2035, 80 percent of the country's electricity will come from clean energy sources such as wind and solar, nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas.

"I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen," said Obama.

He went on to make the case for investment in education, saying "if we want to win the future — if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas — then we also have to win the race to educate our kids."

"By the end of the decade, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world," said Obama.

Obama said that third step in winning the future is "rebuilding America."

To attract new businesses, Obama said, the United States needs "the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information — from high-speed rail to high-speed internet."

Obama proposed redoubling efforts in infrastructure building.

Within 25 years, he said, the goal is to give 80 percent of the U.S. public access to high-speed rail, and within the next five years, it will be made possible for business to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of the public.

He also asked the Congress to simplify the tax system and get rid of loopholes to level the playing field for businesses. (PNA/Xinhua) DCT/mec

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