Opinion: Weekly remarks: Obama on winning the future; GOP’s Tom Price says ‘the spending binge has got to stop’

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Weekly remarks by President Obama, as provided by the White House
I’m speaking to you from just outside Portland, Oregon, where I’m visiting Intel, a company that helped pioneer the digital age. I just came from a tour of an assembly line where highly skilled technicians are building microprocessors that run everything from desktop computers to smartphones.

But these workers aren’t just manufacturing high-tech computer chips. They’re showing us how America will win the future.

For decades, Intel has led the world in developing new technologies. But even as global competition has intensified, this company has invested, built and hired in America. Three-quarters of Intel’s products are made by American workers. And as the company expands operations in Oregon and builds a new plant in Arizona, it plans to hire another 4,000 people this year.

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. Winning this competition depends on the ingenuity and creativity of our private sector -- which was on display in my visit today. 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.

Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education beyond high school, many requiring proficiency in math and science. And yet today we’ve fallen behind in math, science and graduation rates. As a result, companies like Intel struggle to hire American workers with the skills that fit their needs.

If we want to win the global competition for new jobs and industries, we’ve got to win the global competition to educate our people. We’ve got to have the best trained, best skilled workforce in the world. That’s how we’ll ensure that the next Intel, the next Google or the next Microsoft is created in America, and hires American workers.

This is why, over the past two years, my administration has made education a top priority. We’ve launched a competition called Race to the Top -- a reform that is lifting academic standards and getting results; not because Washington dictated the answers, but because states and local schools pursued innovative solutions. We’re also making college more affordable for millions of students, and revitalizing our community colleges, so that folks can get the training they need for the careers they want. And as part of this effort, we’ve launched a nationwide initiative to connect graduates that need jobs with businesses that need their skills.

Intel understands how important these partnerships can be -– recognizing that their company’s success depends on a pipeline of skilled people ready to fill high-wage, high-tech jobs. Intel often pays for workers to continue their education at nearby Portland State University. As a result, one out of every 15 of Intel’s Oregon employees has a degree from Portland State.

In fact, Intel’s commitment to education begins at an even younger age. The company is providing training to help 100,000 math and science teachers improve their skills in the classroom. And today, I’m also meeting a few students from Oregon who impressed the judges in the high school science and engineering competitions that Intel sponsors across America.

One young woman, Laurie Rumker, conducted a chemistry experiment to investigate ways to protect our water from pollution. Another student, named Yushi Wang, applied the principles of quantum physics to design a faster computer chip. We’re talking about high school students.

So these have been a tough few years for our country. And in tough times, it’s natural to question what the future holds. But when you meet young people like Laurie and Yushi, it’s hard not to be inspired. And it’s impossible not to be confident about America.

We are poised to lead in this new century –- and not just because of the good work that large companies like Intel are doing. All across America, there are innovators and entrepreneurs who are trying to start the next Intel, or just get a small business of their own off the ground. I’ll be meeting with some of these men and women next week in Cleveland to get ideas about what we can do to help their companies grow and create jobs.

The truth is, we have everything we need to compete: bold entrepreneurs, bright new ideas and world-class colleges and universities. And, most of all, we have young people just brimming with promise and ready to help us succeed. All we have to do is tap that potential.

That’s the lesson on display at Intel. And that’s how America will win the future. Thank you. ####

Weekly remarks by Rep. Tom Price, as provided by Republican Party leadership
Hello, I’m Congressman Tom Price and I have the privilege of working for the people of Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. In addition to serving as the chairman of the House Policy Committee, I’m a member of the House Budget Committee.

And by now you’ve probably heard a lot of talk coming out of Washington about a so-called budget battle. We’ve even got some Democrats who run Washington threatening to shut down the government instead of listening to the American people and cutting spending. Right now, our focus should be creating jobs and getting our economy moving again.

After all, the president promised that this would be the year that he got serious about the deficits and the debt hurting our economy. Instead, he started out by asking Congress to raise the debt limit, without any commitment to cutting spending at the same time. In his State of the Union address, he called for more ineffective ‘stimulus’ spending. And this week he submitted a budget for the next fiscal year that destroys jobs by spending too much, and borrowing too much, and taxing too much.

Listen to economists, listen to the folks who create jobs in this country, and you’ll hear that we need to end Washington’s spending binge to reduce uncertainty, to boost confidence, and to encourage private investment in our economy. To help create a better environment for job creation in America, the spending binge has got to stop. Now with the support of Republican governors and our reform-minded colleagues in the Senate, the new House majority is working hard toward that goal.

That’s why the House spent this past week working on a bill to cut discretionary spending by $100 billion over the last seven months of the current fiscal year. We’re not only living up to our Pledge to America, we’re exceeding it. And more cuts and more reforms are on the way.

Now, as part of our focus on job growth, committees in the House are combing through job-crushing government regulations and conducting rigorous oversight of how the government spends the people’s time and your money. We’ll soon begin work on legislation to cut wasteful mandatory spending.

In the spring, under the leadership of our budget chairman, Paul Ryan, we’ll put forth a budget for the next fiscal year that confronts the fiscal challenges facing our nation instead of ducking them. It’ll offer ideas for real entitlement reform so we can have a conversation with the American people about the challenges we face and the need to chart a new path to prosperity.

Now, as a doctor and as a parent, I find it astounding that the president has submitted a budget that ignores the recommendations of his own fiscal commission and it punts on all of the tough choices -– including entitlement reform.

Instead, he’s expanded entitlements through ObamaCare –- a government takeover that will destroy 800,000 jobs, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, and will accelerate our path to fiscal ruin.

This issue demands presidential leadership –- something that the president so far just seems unwilling to offer.

Now if we can find an upside, it’s that the president admitted that his budget fails to address our fiscal crisis. You see, some members of Congress still won’t even acknowledge that there’s a crisis. One in particular, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said not too long ago, and I quote, “Social Security is fine.” But you know it’s not fine. This year, for the first time, it will pay out more money than it takes in.

And, with the wave of baby boomers starting to retire, there’s no way that we can protect programs like Social Security for the future and get our debt under control unless we begin to honestly address entitlements. Now for the president, leadership requires telling friends like Harry Reid the truth, even if it’s politically difficult.

Now, 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. 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.

The new Republican majority will lead even as the Democrats who run Washington ignore their responsibilities.

And if Senator Reid and President Obama change their minds, we’ll be ready to work with them. In the meantime, Republicans are focused on listening to the people, confronting our nation’s challenges, and helping our economy get back to creating jobs. Thanks for listening. ####


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Pete Souza / White House; Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press; Alex Brandon / Associated Press (Price).