Obama Calls For Innovation, Scientific Research, More Help For College

Speaking to students at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, N.Y., today, President Obama spoke about how encouraging innovation — by supporting scientific research and helping students afford college — will help boost the economy.

“It was not an accident that America led the 20th century. It was the result of hard work and discipline and sacrifice, and ambition that served a common purpose. So it must be in the 21st century. Future success is no guarantee,” he said. “As Americans we always have to remember that our leadership is not an inheritance, it is a responsibility.”

He spoke about a bill, which has passed the House, to stop subsidies to private banks for student loans, thereby “cutting out the middle man.” His goal, he said, is to have the hightest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

“We used to be No. 1, we’re gonna be No. 1 again,” he said.

He spoke about investing in basic scientific research through public grants, lamenting that the private sector often doesn’t bother with basic research.He also, of course, mentioned health care reform as part of the strategy to help small businesses.

Obama also brought up the climate change bill, which has been on the back burner during the health care debate.

“In no area will innovation be more important than in the development of new ways to produce, use, and save energy. I firmly believe that the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy,” he said. “We have to lead on energy. We can’t be lagging behind.”