President Obama Wants To Win The Future, But First The Present Needs Some Serious Attention

by | Feb 20, 2011

President Obama visited the Portland area on Friday. He used the opportunity to highlight an American company that’s big on innovation. He also said, “America has to out-build, and out-innovate, and out-educate and out-hustle the rest of the world.” That’s the path his administration hopes will help us “win the future.”

The President also made his weekly address to the nation from Intel’s campus in Hillsboro during his visit. Let’s listen.

Here’s an important passage from his talk:

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.

That last line is an interesting one to deliver in Oregon, a state that is widely regarded as being anti-business. Many articles have been written about the topic, but I think you can boil it down to the fact that Oregonians believe in regulating business. When you fail to regulate business, the greedy bastards take down your forests, foul your waterways and lop off the top of mountains for coal and other minerals. Ask someone from West Virginia what happens when you don’t regulate industry. Ask someone from Louisiana.

I like the loftiness of Obama’s stated goals. Hustle is an intangible, and it’s something we see in action everyday, especially in immigrant-owned small businesses. Maybe we can all tap our inner-immigrant and put a bit more hustle into our routines.

To out-innovate and out-build, we first must out-educate, and that costs money. Tax money, to be specific. Going to college today is an outrageous expense. If Obama is serious about his stated intentions, then he and his team need to wrestle away money wasted on corporate welfare and put that money into our schools and into students’ hands, so they can afford to attend.

I was pleased to learn last week that the administration’s new budget proposes to slash tax credits for the oil and gas industry, a move that will save $3.6 billion in fiscal year 2012 and a total of $46.2 billion during the next decade. Naturally, the gas and oil titans have the most powerful lobby in Washington, DC and those hired hands are now busy slapping backs and lining pockets up and down the halls of Congress to counter Obama’s cuts.

Does it not boggle your mind that the forces who make so much noise about social entitlements, fight to the death for corporate entitlements? It’s doublespeak and we the people need to know and reject doublespeak when we hear it. Republicans believe in small government is doublespeak. Small governments don’t fund imperialist wars. Small governments don’t build more prisons than schools. At the same time, I have plenty of complaints against the Democrats. Democrats are not the answer, you are the answer and I am the answer. We need a people-powered movement in these states.

Personally, I don’t care what your political stripes indicate, I care about what’s in your heart and in your mind. Is the promise of a better America one you’re willing to keep? If so, it’s time to believe in yourself and in your neighbors. It’s time to think on your feet, and time to dampen all the polar language and work together to advance our common cause. It’s not an abstract concept and there’s room for you in this solution. It may mean building a business or it may mean building houses for the poor. The point is find a way to contribute.