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President Obama's Priorities

With the worst recession in generations behind us, President Obama has put forward a plan to help America live within its means while still fueling the incubators of growth: education, innovation, and infrastructure. The President's 2012 federal budget outlines his priorities for our country’s future—a strategy to spur job creation right now, grow the economy for the long run, and reform government so it's attuned to the needs of American taxpayers.

Learn more about President Obama's priorities by clicking on the tabs below – then share this with your friends, family, and neighbors.

"When a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high performance."

– President Barack Obama
State of the Union address, January 25, 2011

President Obama is committed to improving America's schools and providing the opportunity of higher education to any student who wants it. The President's plan:

  • Continues the maximum Pell Grant award that will help 9 million students afford college.
  • Reforms funding for K-12 schools by raising standards, encouraging innovative teaching techniques, and rewarding success.
  • Expands the Race to the Top concept to encourage competition for success in early-childhood education, school districts, university funding, and education-job training.
  • Trains 100,000 new science, technology, engineering, and math teachers.

"I'm willing to eliminate whatever we can honestly afford to do without. But let's make sure that we're not doing it on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. And let's make sure that what we're cutting is really excess weight. Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine."

– President Barack Obama
State of the Union address, January 25, 2011

Having inherited a massive budget deficit, President Obama is dedicated to finally balancing the government's checkbook. The President's budget:

  • Freezes non-security discretionary spending for five years to reduce the deficit by over $400 billion and to bring spending to its lowest level since President Eisenhower.
  • Cuts government infrastructure programs with an uncertain record of success as well as those programs the government simply can no longer afford.
  • Reduces Pentagon spending over the next five years, effectively freezing defense spending.
  • Patches the Alternative Minimum Tax for three years so that middle-class families aren't hit with a crippling tax increase. This is paid for by limiting deductions for high-income earners.
  • Works with Congress to simplify the tax system, eliminate special-interest loopholes, level the playing field, and reduce corporate taxes for the first time in 25 years—all without adding to the deficit.

"America is the nation that built the transcontinental railroad, brought electricity to rural communities, constructed the Interstate Highway System. The jobs created by these projects didn't just come from laying down track or pavement. They came from businesses that opened near a town's new train station or the new off-ramp."

– President Barack Obama
State of the Union address, January 25, 2011

President Obama's plan details his commitment to helping rebuild America—to improving roads, bridges, trains, buildings, high-speed Internet access, and the crucial types of infrastructure that enable economic growth. His plan:

  • Creates jobs in the short term with a $50 billion investment to establish a National Infrastructure Bank to support important building projects and bring high-speed rail to 80 percent of Americans in the next 25 years.
  • Builds a wireless broadband network that will bring high-speed Internet to 98 percent of Americans, and establishes a network for public safety.

"We're the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn't just change our lives. It is how we make our living."

– President Barack Obama
State of the Union address, January 25, 2011

Innovation has always been the heartbeat of American industry—and President Obama is committed to strengthening that legacy. The President's plan:

  • Invests $146 billion in research and development and biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health – and more than doubles energy-efficiency research and development.
  • Works to put 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015, double the current share of clean-energy electricity by 2035, and reduce the costs to power buildings.
    • To pay for this, the President is eliminating 12 tax breaks to oil, gas, and coal companies.
  • Simplifies, expands, and makes permanent the research and development tax credit.
  • Creates 20 new Economic Growth Zones, which provide tax incentives to economically depressed areas to help jump-start investment and employment.

"Government has a responsibility to spend the peoples' money wisely, and to serve the people effectively. I will work every single day that I am President to live up to that responsibility, and to transform our government so that it is held to a higher standard of performance on behalf of the American people."

– President Barack Obama
Weekly Address, April 25, 2009

Government reform is an effort to make sure that all Americans are well served, and that their tax dollars are never wasted. That’s why President Obama's budget:

  • Cuts nearly $2 billion in administrative overhead costs such as printing, travel, and supplies.
  • Uses the Race to the Top model and creates competitive grant programs for programs relating to early childhood education and college admission, transportation, workforce training, and energy efficiency.
  • Begins to reorganize government to be more efficient and works to ensure that America is more competitive.