As Prepared for Delivery
Thanks to Jim Phillips and Dr. Ajay Malshe. I admire what you have built.
And thanks to Congressman Steve Womack for welcoming me to Arkansas. A quick note about Steve. I had a chance to testify the other day before one of his Committees. And he was tough, but smart and civil and fair, and he was focused not on the politics of the moment, but on what works and what doesn’t.
It is excellent to be out of Washington.
I had a chance this morning to meet with a group of business leaders from your community, and then to take a look at what NanoMech is creating and building here in America.
Why this state, this community, this company?
Across the United States, not just in Silicon Valley or the Research Triangle, despite the damage caused by this crisis, despite all the challenges we have as a nation, and despite stronger competition from around the world, American companies are designing and building the products of the future, demonstrating the fundamental dynamism and resilience of the American economy.
This community and this company can help Americans understand our strengths, help Americans appreciate what it is going to take to win the future, and help Americans be confident that we can meet that challenge.
Our most important economic policy challenge is to make sure that the United States of America is the best place on the planet to do business, the best place in the world to do what Dr. Ajay Malshe did—to transform an idea into a company, a company that provides the chance for an American family to earn a decent living, put their children through college, save for retirement.
To help make this possible, we need Washington to do a lot of things better.
We need a skilled, highly educated workforce.
We need to support cutting edge research and technology.
We need a fast and reliable transportation and communications network.
Innovate, educate, invest – these are the foundations of the American economic strategy.
And they require investments and reform in Washington.
Investments in education, innovation and infrastructure.
A financial system that will provide the capital and funding businesses need to grow.
Reforms to cut spending and deficits so that we can afford those investments.
A centerpiece of this strategy is to create stronger incentives for investment and innovation in the United States.
The President has proposed a permanent and more powerful tax credit for research and development. And we released a report today on the economic benefits of this kind of incentive in helping support more than $100 billion dollars in innovative research and nearly 1 million research workers in professions that pay a good salary. And most of these benefits will go to manufacturing companies.
This proposal should be part of a comprehensive reform of the corporate tax system to make American companies more competitive. Reform that eliminates loopholes and preferences, lowers the tax rate on investments in the United States, and replaces a complicated muck of temporary provisions, with a more powerful, but more targeted set of permanent incentives, like the R&E tax credit.
These incentives can help companies like NanoMech innovate and expand.
We have a lot of challenges ahead of us. Millions and millions of Americans are still looking for work, at risk of losing their homes, less confident about their future, struggling to provide for their families in the face of higher gas prices. And the rest of the world is getting better at things that had defined America’s strengths.
But we are a very strong country, and we are getting stronger again.
As we dig out of this crisis and fix our budget deficits so that we are living within our means, we need to make sure we keep working to strengthen our ability to grow. We need to bring a relentless focus to making this country the best place on earth to create and build things, to start a company, to raise a family and educate your children, and to invest in the future.
This is the President’s economic strategy. This is our responsibility. And I hope we can find a way to get Washington to work together to make that happen.