Obama on the Record: Costa Mesa Town Hall

this because it serves the most important goal we have today, which is to rebuild our economy in a way that is consistent with our values – an economy that rewards hard work and responsibility, not high-flying finance schemes; an economy that is built on a strong foundation, not one that’s propelled by overheated housing markets and maxed-out credit cards. That’s how we’ll bring about a recovery that endures.

And that is exactly the purpose of the budget I’m submitting to Congress. It’s a budget that makes hard choices about where to save and where to spend. Because of the massive deficit we inherited and the cost of this financial crisis, we are going through our books line by line so that we can cut our deficit in half by the end of my first term and reduce it by $2 trillion over the next decade. But what we will not cut are investments that will lead to real growth and real prosperity – investments that will make a difference in the lives of this generation and future generations.

Because spiraling health care costs are crushing families, dragging down our entire economy, and represent one of the fastest growing parts of our budget, we’ve made an historic commitment to health care reform in this budget – reform that brings us closer to the day when health care is affordable and accessible for every single American.

Because we know that countries that out-educate us today will out-compete us tomorrow, this budget invests in a complete and competitive education for every American – in early childhood education programs that work; in high standards and accountability in our schools; and in finally putting the dream of a college degree or technical training within reach for anyone who wants it.

Because we know that enhancing America’s competitiveness will also require reducing our dependence on foreign oil and building a clean energy economy, this budget will spark the transformation we need to create green jobs and launch renewable energy companies right here in California. It makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy, and it invests in technologies like wind power and solar power and fuel-efficient cars and trucks, powered by batteries like the ones I saw at a facility in Pomona earlier today – all of which will also help combat climate change.

That’s what this budget does. Here’s what it does not do. It does not raise the taxes of any family making less than $250,000 by a single dime. In fact, 95% of all working families will receive a tax cut – a tax cut – as a result of our recovery plan.

Now, there are those who say these plans are too ambitious; that we should be trying to do less, not more. Well, I say our challenges are too large to ignore. The cost of our health care is too high to ignore. Our dependence on oil is too dangerous to ignore. Our education deficit is too wide to ignore. To kick these problems down

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