Obama's Goals For 2011: 'Out-Innovate, Out-Build, Out-Compete, Out-Educate'
President Barack Obama promised Saturday to bring life to an education system lacking the backbone and do-or-die attitude of its counterparts in China and India.
Without offering details about how exactly he would accomplish them, the president outlined his goals for the final two years of his first term in a video e-mailed to campaign supporters and posted to YouTube on Saturday afternoon. Job growth and remaining competitive with the rest of the world top the list.
In the video, Obama previews his State of the Union speech at 6 p.m. Tuesday night.
"Our job is to make sure the American Dream is attainable to everybody who's willing to work for it, everybody who's willing to strive for it," he says.
Noting the difficulty of working with conservatives, who now control half of Washington D.C. (the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court), the president said he still remains focused "on making sure the economy is working for everybody."
He said four goals to get to that point are:
Obama is likely to ask for Congress to outlay more federal money to be invested in research and development, and ask the private sector to put more of their own money into finding new and more efficient solutions in the energy, transportation and technology sectors.
Obama seems likely to charge ahead with his plans to build high-speed rail networks in the Midwest, Florida and California. He may ask for a new round of stimulus spending to keep job growth going by putting more federal money behind shovel-ready infrastructure projects. This time the focus of those projects will likely be related to renewable energy.
Obama wants more free trade agreements, so the country can bring manufacturing back to America and export goods elsewhere.
With the focus of his presidency moving from stabilizing the economy to revitalizing, education is the most important mechanism for keeping the three other goals going well into the future. This year, Obama and Congress must decide how they want to modify President Bush's No Child Left Behind Act.
The questions to ask now: What's the best way to create more jobs in these next two years? Should we really be worried if the national debt keeps rising? How do Republicans want to change the education system? And when will Obama finally tackle immigration reform, tax reform and Medicare/Social Security reform?