Transforming the American Economy Through Innovation

Uploaded by whitehouse on 24.08.2010

Secretary Chu: Thank you for joining us today.
And when President Obama and Vice President Biden entered
the White House, they made a commitment to bringing science
back to government.
As a physicist, I was inspired and honored to
join them in this effort.
In fact, during his speech in the National Academy of Sciences
last April, President Obama pledged the largest commitment
to scientific research and innovation in American history.
The reason for that's simple.
Both the president and the vice president understand that
innovation is directly tied to our nation's future prosperity.
It's also hard-wired into our DNA.
Throughout our history, Americans have never been
willing to accept that something can't be done.
We refuse to accept that any challenge is impossible.
No matter what the challenge, we'll find a way.
Fueled by our great universities,
our unparalleled national commitment to research,
American ingenuity has helped us conquer frontiers in science,
medicine and space that were long thought of as fantasy.
The spark of American innovation launched new industries,
put millions of Americans to work and raised our
standard of living.
The Obama administration understands that this legacy
must be renewed by each successive generation.
That has never been more true than today,
when tough economic times demand a continued focus on innovation
to create the next generation of jobs and industries for
Americans' economy.
In the field of energy, these game-changing breakthroughs
will position the U.S. to be a global leader in the
clean-energy economy.
A new industrial revolution will help unlock limited --
potential, advanced batteries with perhaps 100 times the
current energy storage capacity, three times less cost;
solar panels, which now cost 3.50 (dollars),
$4 per watt, we're aiming to get there within 10 years or
less to a dollar a watt so they can be put up on many rooftops
without subsidy; a smart grid that lets appliances talk to
the power grid, optimizing electricity use and saving
consumers money.
These innovations are all closer to happening thanks
to investments made possible by the recovery act.
Perhaps most importantly, these breakthroughs are helping us
create tens of thousands of new jobs, allowing the U.S.
to continue as a leader in the global economy and help provide
a better future for generations to come.
Many people have helped implement the recovery act to
ensure its success and, with it, the success of the nation.
But few people have done more when it comes to fostering new,
innovative science and technology than Vice
President Biden.
He understands our hopes for tomorrow are grounded in the
breakthroughs of today.
And that's why he's such a tireless champion of these
investments in innovation, a forceful advocate of what
American ingenuity can accomplish for
the American economy.
With that, it's my pleasure to now introduce the vice president
of the United States, Joe Biden.
Vice President Biden: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Secretary, let me begin by saying it's an honor to
serve with you.
I -- we not only believe this administration to -- bring back
science, but we've brought back -- we brought into the
administration one of the leading physicists in the world,
a Nobel laureate and a man who is -- understands how we got
to where we are and why we had to continue to invest
in innovation, providing the seed money for that.
And I must say, I've held high public office for a long time,
but there's few people I learn more from and have learned more
from than Secretary Chu.
It's been a genuine literal education being able to
work with him.
And I thank you for being willing to serve, Mr. Secretary.
Folks, if you'd forgive me, I'd like to start today with a few
items that are worth noting prior to getting to the meat
of what I'm here for.
First, as of today we have officially reduced the number
of U.S. troops in Iraq to below 50,000, meeting a commitment --
-- meeting a commitment President Obama made before
taking office and meeting it ahead of schedule.
And next week, as you know, the United States military will end
its combat mission in Iraq while remaining troops will be there,
50,000, advising, assisting and training Iraqi forces.
This, quite frankly, is a remarkable milestone in a
war that began more than seven years ago,
the longest war -- the second-longest war in
American history, Afghanistan being longer.
And we owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the tens of
thousands of American troops that have sacrificed to get
us to this place.
And I might pay special tribute to our commanding general in
General Ray Odierno, who has done such a remarkable job in
getting us to this point.
The second thing I want to respond to are remarks made this
morning by the Republican leader of the House, Mr. Boehner.
After months of promising a look at his party's agenda for their
plans for America, their economic agenda,
he made what was billed this morning as a major
economic address.
And his chief proposal when you look at it apparently was that
the president should fire his economic team.
Very constructive advice, and we thank the leader for that.
But let's take a look at the rest of a -- his advice.
But first let's review a little bit of history here.
For eight years before we arrived in the West Wing,
Mr. Boehner's party ran the economy and the middle class
literally into the ground.
They took a $237-billion operating surplus inherited from
the Clinton administration and left us with a $1.3-trillion
deficit, and in the process quadrupled the national debt,
all before we literally turned on the lights in the West Wing,
before we did one single solitary thing.
They gave free rein to the special interests to write
their own rules, at the expense of everybody else,
not just the middle class.
And the sum total was the greatest economic crisis since
the Great Depression, a crisis that wreaked havoc upon American
families and businesses all across this country,
a crisis from which we are still digging out.
You know, the head of their campaign committee,
Republican Representative Pete Sessions -- a fine guy,
by the way; this has nothing to do with these people in terms of
their character and personality.
Just have fundamentally different views than they do.
Representative Pete Sessions, who heads the -- heads the
reelection committee, he said that if they were to take
control of the Congress this fall -- which I tell you they
will not; they won't take control -- that they would go,
and I quote, "back to the exact same agenda," end of quote,
that they were pushing before President Obama took office.
They think that the policies that they had in place during
the eight years of the Bush administration,
the ones that Mr. Boehner and his party helped craft and sell,
were the right ones.
I respect them for their honesty.
I respect them for stating what they think.
Well, let me tell you, there are millions upon millions of
Americans who saw their savings, their paychecks shrink;
lost their jobs, their homes.
Mr. Boehner is nostalgic for those good old days,
but the American people are not.
They don't want to go back.
They want to move forward.
And so folks, I'm still waiting for what it is
that they are for.
And let me respond to a few specific points that
Mr. Boehner raised.
On taxes, let's be clear what the debate is about.
And you're going to see it unfold in September and October.
The large tax cuts of the Bush years, the last decade,
were scheduled by law, when they were passed,
to expire this year.
Put it another way.
Unless the Congress affirmatively reinstitutes
those tax cuts, they go away, not because of anything we did
but because of the way the law was passed 10 years ago.
President Obama says that the middle class can't afford higher
taxes in the midst of this recession,
they need expendable income, that they've borne the brunt
of this recession.
So the president's proposed to extend the tax cuts for 98
percent of the American people, the middle class and those
striving to be in the middle class.
What Mr. Boehner wants to do is extend the tax cut to the
remaining 2 percent, and that means going to have to go out
and borrow another $700 billion over the next 10 years to give
an -- hundred-thousand-dollar tax cuts to someone making a
million dollars.
This is not a populist argument.
I have no objection to cutting taxes for everyone.
It'd be wonderful if we could pay no taxes at all, everyone.
But the truth of the matter is, those making over a million
dollars a year are not in a position where they are not
liquid enough to be able to spend on what they need.
And another hundred thousand dollars in liquidity is not
going to have any impact on economic growth or job creation.
But a $700-billion further deficit will, in the long term.
So to justify continuing the tax cut for the top 2 percent,
he has created a myth that tax cuts for millionaires actually
cut taxes for small businesses.
Let's have a little truth in advertising here.
There aren't 3 percent of the small businesses in America that
would qualify for that tax cut of the top 2 percent.
It's a Wall Street tax cut, not a Main Street tax cut.
And the irony is, at the same time they're talking about small
business, they are blocking by a filibuster in the Senate a
$12-billion tax cut for small businesses, which we proposed.
Also, they want to give U.S.
companies that shift jobs and profit overseas a tax credit for
the taxes they don't even pay.
Again, this is not a populist argument that, in fact,
you know, there shouldn't be any American business overseas.
The tax credit is not needed.
We've seen this movie before, Mr. Boehner.
We've seen it before, and we know how it ends.
The American people deserve something different and
something better.
The rest of this so-called plan doesn't offer any
economic agenda.
It's merely a list of the things that they think the president
should not do.
So after all this buildup and hype,
all we know is what John Boehner and his Republican colleagues
are against.
I know what they're against.
What I don't know, other than the tax cut for the
top 2 percent of the taxpayers in America,
I don't know what they're for that's going to change
our economic circumstance.
So let's be clear about the kind of change that we support.
Today, Secretary Duncan, the Secretary of Education,
is going to announce an additional group of --
of grants to states in what we call the Race to the Top,
which is our administration's plan to reward states -- because
we don't control local education,
nor should we -- but we're rewarding states who are willing
to take bold new steps to change the way we educate our children.
We cannot continue the same policy in the 21st century and
expect to create the jobs of the future and lead the world.
We can't continue to remain 12th in the world in the percent of
graduates that -- relative to population,
that we graduate from college and expect to lead the world.
My wife, who teaches full time at a community college,
Dr. Jill Biden, has a great phrase.
She said: Any country that out-educates us
will out-compete us.
Look, it's striking that Mr. Boehner's economic address
was devoid of any proposal as to how
to improve America's schools.
Yet another key to our economic future that Mr. Boehner has
ignored is what we're here to discuss today,
innovation -- not a word, not a word from our opponents on how
we're going to spur innovation, change our energy policy,
reduce our dependence and again be able to lead the world in
the 21st century.
I asked a rhetorical question: Does anybody in this audience
or anybody listening to me think it's possible to lead the world
in the 21st century as -- did in the 20th with the same
economic/energy policy we had and the same education policy?
Let's talk about the basic formula that our administration
has adopted relative to innovation.
Government -- as it has done historically,
I might add -- plants the seed; the private sector
makes them grow.
We in the process launch entire new industries and create
hundreds of thousands of jobs and spark new forms of Congress
-- commerce that were once unimaginable,
allowing us to do in the 21st century what we did in the 20th:
dominate the world economically.
You know, Secretary Chu is really the perfect person to
talk about innovation with us today.
He should be the one spending the whole time talking to you.
But from what I understand, you don't win a Nobel prize for
repeating formulas of the past.
I don't know that they're often given for that.
Secretary Chu: It's true.
Vice President Biden: You win Nobel prizes --
-- you win Nobel prizes for doing something that's never
been done before.
You win one for innovating.
Now more than ever, the American people need a
policy of innovation.
I've been all over this country, literally.
I've been told I've now traveled -- according to the air ops,
I've now traveled over 300,000 miles since being vice
president, here and abroad.
I've spoken to an awful lot of people in the process.
And I've yet to find anyone, here or abroad,
who suggests that America's future can be built on the
industries of the 21st century.
Times have changed.
As my favorite poet, William Butler Yeats, would say,
in reference to his Ireland, back in a poem called "Easter
Sunday, 1916", he said the world has "changed, changed utterly.
A terrible beauty" has been born.
The world has changed utterly, and we believe we have to
change with it.
Just bring us back to where we were,
just bring the economy back to what it was before the beginning
of the recession, and what do you have?
Do you have a country in a position to lead
in the 21st century?
Because not only were families struggling before the beginning
of this "great recession."
Productivity rose 20 percent from 2000 to 2007 and the middle
class fell behind, but America was stagnating.
And it wasn't just all Bush.
It was our failure to address a lot of problems,
including energy, in the decade before as well.
We're seeing big challenges getting bigger -- climate
change, our dependence on foreign oil,
and the erosion of our manufacturing base -- and
at the same times, Americans are losing jobs and even maybe more
desperately -- as my dad used to say, a job, Joey,
is worth a lot more than a paycheck;
it's about your dignity, it's about your respect.
A lot of people have lost their dignity,
through no fault of their own, and the consequence --
a lot are losing hope.
So when we passed the recovery act, our goal was threefold.
And I might note parenthetically it was predicted by our
opponents that there would be massive waste, fraud and abuse.
Thus far that dog hasn't barked.
Less than 1 -- I think it's one-half of 1 percent,
but under 1 percent of all the money spent has even been
questioned as to whether or not there's any complaints made as
to whether or not it's being spent appropriately.
So we did this to rescue -- for three reasons: to rescue a
rapidly deteriorating economy and tens of millions of people
falling into a black void.
We did it to put the economy on the path to recovery,
getting Americans back to work as quickly as we possibly could,
and to invest in the country's long-term economic future.
On the first two counts, we're making progress.
Nobody anymore argues whether or not there would be 3 million
fewer people working today than there are now working,
but for the recovery act.
No serious economist is making that argument any longer.
The economy has been growing for a full year.
In the last six months of the Bush administration,
we lost 3 million private-sector jobs.
In the first seven months of this year,
when our policies were fully in place, we've created 630,000
private-sector jobs -- not enough for the persons still
unemployed in my neighborhood back home,
but we're turning this great ship of state around that was
wandering out to sea and it's heading back to port.
Now look, now it's not happening as fast as any of us would like,
and certainly not fast enough for the millions of folks who
are still out of work.
But there isn't any doubt we're moving in the right direction.
It's the third part of our strategy that we're here to
report on today.
As I just said, it's not enough just to rebuild the industries
of the 20th century.
We should rebuild those that are capable of being rebuilt.
But we know we had to lay a new foundation; a new,
more robust economic economy -- American economy that was ready
to meet the challenges of the 21st century --
to repeat myself, that are different than the
challenges of the 20th century.
And like those before us, we know that the -- lay in our
innovative capacity.
Since its birth, the United States has been a nation built
on discovery and innovation.
And in fact the very roots of our growth are in innovation.
We are innovators.
That's who we are.
We're tinkerers.
We're inventors.
We're explorers.
We're entrepreneurs.
It's the spirit of taking bold steps forward amid
daunting adversity.
That's why the president signed the recovery act.
Today I'm proud to release a report -- and I'd like to make
sure you all get a copy of the report,
because it's quite good -- entitled "The Recovery Act:
Transforming the American Economy Through Innovation,"
August 20th, 19- -- 2010.
And this is about how we are making the down payment that
we have made to entrepreneurs and to innovators through the
recovery act that are transforming the American
economy, planting the seeds of transformation.
The report has a lot of details, but I'd like to summarize a few
of them very briefly.
The first point I want to make is,
our investments in innovation are creating jobs,
creating new industries, making the existing industries more
competitive, and in the process, they're driving down the cost of
new technologies that are so badly needed and are helping
our nation reset our place and reassert our place as
the world's center of innovation and entrepreneurs.
This report focuses on our investments in four main areas.
Think of them as seed money.
One, modernizing transportation, including advanced vehicle
technology and high-speed rail.
Second, jump-starting the renewable energy sector through
wind, solar and -- energy.
Thirdly, investing in groundbreaking medical research.
And building a platform that will enhance the private
sector's ability to continue to innovate and speed up
geometrically the innovation that they come up with,
through broadband and the smart grid,
by giving them the tools they need to grow.
In each of these areas, we're seeking game-changing
breakthroughs, and in some areas,
entire new American industries are being born,
the very industries that are going to allow whomever gets
to them first to lead the world in the 21st century.
I'd like to highlight just a bit of what's happening out there in
each of these areas.
First, modernizing transportation.
I know that we have several electric vehicle manufacturers,
battery makers and people working on changing
infrastructure -- the infrastructure of the
transportation here today.
I was yesterday at a Jeep plant out in Indiana.
Right now we're seeing that what we did was the right thing when
we stepped in to give the American automobile industry
a second chance.
Our goal was not to rebuild the auto industry of the past;
it was to put them in a position -- they had to go out and use
their ingenuity to create an auto industry for the next
century that will allow us to once again dominate in
the decades to come.
By the way, I don't know where it's written,
folks -- it seems to me the business and economic community
sort of is buying into this notion of the inevitability
of another country, or other countries.
I don't know where it's written that it says -- maybe it's
because I'm the son of an automobile man.
Where is it written that says we can't be
-- we can't lead the world in automobile manufacturing
in the 21st century?
And don't talk to me about labor cost and all the rest.
How come Germany is such a manufacturing giant relative
to their population?
Folks, I don't buy it.
I want to see the day when you can pop the hood of your
electric car made in Smyrna, Tennessee,
check out your advanced battery made in Holland, Michigan,
or Noblesville, Indiana, and an electric motor made in Longmont,
Colorado, as you recharge your vehicle at a charging
station in San Diego.
We knew -- we knew that day wouldn't come on its own.
In the greatest automotive production country on earth,
we were manufacturing less than 2 percent of the world's
advanced vehicle batteries.
And thanks to the recovery act, that's changing in a big way,
because we provided $2 billion in seed money,
a decision made by Energy as the 30 -- the 30 companies
that would get the money, and 30 advanced battery and
electric -- excuse me, electric drive-train component factories.
And that brought in another $2 billion in private capital
off the sidelines.
And as a result, America's expected of a capacity to
produce 20 percent of the batteries,
the world's advanced batteries of vehicles, by 2012.
And by 2015, it could be as much as 40 percent,
because the private sector is going to continue to invest in
these changes, and in the process, as the secretary said,
drive down -- drive down -- the cost of these batteries.
I can take you back to the transistor radio and what it
cost, and the first cell phone.
Just go down; look at what we have done as a nation in the
innovative changes we've made.
And the by-product has been in every case significantly driving
down the cost.
Reducing the cost of batteries for automobiles by 70 percent,
we believe, by 2015; which at that point would make electric
vehicles cost competitive to similar non-electric vehicles.
When you put all this together, it means America will once again
be able to provide the wheels for the world -- the most
advanced, efficient, competitive cars found anywhere -- with the
side benefit of having no longer to rely on as much oil.
Second, we're jump-starting investment in renewable energy.
Three decades ago, the United States led the world in another
arena, the development of renewable energy:
wind, solar, geothermal.
Since that time, because of the failure in the past to invest in
these industries, we are no longer the leader in the world.
Secretary Chu and President Obama and I set a goal of
doubling renewable-energy generation capacity from wind,
solar and geothermal by 2012.
Now, look, I want you to, if you have this thing -- if we don't
have it -- have we handed this out to the folks yet?
If we haven't, when you get it, on page 18 -- this is the best
way to explain it.
You all know this.
It says we from -- what 1 gigawatt of renewable energy
can do: It can power 290,000 homes for a year,
and power almost a million electronic -- electric vehicles
for a year, saving 349 million gallons of gasoline for a year.
That's what 1 gigawatt renewable energy will do.
If we in fact do as we say -- and we will -- double renewable
energy by 2012, that means we will go from 28.8 gigawatts of
solar, wind and geothermal to 57.6 -- enough to power 16.7
million homes for a year.
That covers a lot of states.
Even big states like New Jersey with 9 million people probably
-- I'm guessing -- have fewer than 3 million homes,
or 3.5 million homes.
Folks, this is groundbreaking.
We want to install as much renewable capacity in the
next three years as we've done in the past 30.
But we've -- we've -- we're way ahead in the pace that -- in
order to meet that.
In Pensacola, Florida, we found -- we funded the largest
photovoltaic power plant in North America, with over 90,000
solar panels -- enough just there to power 3,000
homes for a year without any other help.
The Department of Energy is processing -- in the process
of supporting what will be the world's largest solar thermal
facility in the Mojave Desert, with 349,000 mirrors.
Because of projects like these, we're on pace to cut the cost of
solar energy use in half by 2015,
leading us toward a day when solar power can be as cheap,
or cheaper than electric from the grid;
meaning that thousands and thousands of households will
save money by using solar, the air will be cleaner.
And all told, the generating capacity supported by the
recovery act is going to power, as I said, 16.7 million homes.
And we knew that generating renewable power was only
half the story.
We had to reassert ourselves in renewable manufacturing, as well.
So President Obama set a goal to doubling renewable manufacturing
capacity, as well, by the end of 2011.
And by the way, that means American jobs.
Wouldn't it be ironic if we went from being dependent on foreign
fossil fuels and oil to be dependent upon renewable
energy vehicles -- not just the vehicles,
the windmills and everything else in order to generate
that renewable energy?
We're on track to meet that goal, too.
We're using a tax credit -- fancy phrase, you all know it;
it's 48C in the Tax Code -- to increase incentives for
renewable-energy manufacturers to set up or relocate their
businesses here in the United States.
Already, we have paid out $346 million in tax credits for wind
alone, resulting in 52 wind-manufacturing projects
from scratch being set up here in America to build windmills.
It means American jobs -- good-paying jobs.
And again, it's not just government.
It's leveraged in private capital.
All in all, the $46 billion in clean-energy funds that we
provided the seed money alone has generated over
$150 billion in investment -- non-federal dollars --
for new energy projects.
And mark my words, that will continue to increase
geometrically if we stay on course,
because the private sector is what's going to ultimately
deliver us to a state of some sense of energy independence.
As a result, we're on pace to hit our target by -- of doubling
America's renewable-energy generation and manufacturing
capacity by 2012.
The third point I'd like to raise is the recovery act is
investing in groundbreaking medical research,
with a goal to finding new ways to treat and prevent some of the
world's most daunting and debilitating diseases;
to develop powerful new medicines;
and even to find strategies that will prevent disease from
occurring in the first place; saving lives and -- tens of
thousands of lives in the process,
and hundreds of billions of dollars in the process.
I love how our opponents have nitpicked some of the research
money that we've given to NIH -- one,
reflecting they know nothing about science --
-- and two, thinking that you can go out and cherry-pick
and know exactly what scientific breakthrough
is going to pay off.
This disease-prevention work is happening all across the board
-- in human genome sequencing, cardiovascular disease, cancer,
autism -- the things that matter to American people's lives.
Thanks to the recovery act, researchers at our National
Institutes of Health are going to complete the sequencing on 50
times as many human genomes as were -- are sequenced today,
not only increasing our understanding of disease,
but also bringing down the cost of doing this work and opening
the door to the future of personalized medicine.
Thanks to the recovery act, NIH will be able to sequence the
genes of cancer, that affects 10 million Americans -- again,
with the potential to start -- to start winning the war
on cancer, a war we declared in the 1970s.
The first human genome map cost an estimated $2.7 billion.
It was worth every penny.
Today's genome map stands at $48,000.
Now we stand on the verge of bringing the cost of a human
genome map below $1,000: 50 times cheaper than what is
currently possible, and with the potential to completely
transform health care in America -- and the world, I might add.
The National Institutes of Health have one of the greatest
assemblages of doctors and scientists in the world.
I think the three greatest assets America has are our
laboratories, from which you came, Doc, number one; NIH;
and our National Park System.
They're the three pieces of heritage we leave to a
generation that cannot be duplicated.
And through the recovery act, we're giving it the tools to
make the most profound innovation of all,
improving and expanding health and human life while bringing
down the cost of medicine in the process.
The fourth area of investment is what many of you are involved
with, in building a platform for private-sector innovation.
It's not enough just to allow you and plant the seeds that
everyone from Abraham Lincoln did through
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Republican presidents,
who were pro-business.
It's not enough just to give you the seed money.
As we build the platform allowing you to geometrically
increase the consequences of what you do rather than
arithmetically, we're all better off for it.
In all these areas, the president and I recognize
the federal government's role is limited,
is to provide the seeds, but it's the private sector's going
to make them grow.
That's why we're investing so heavily in broadband.
Thanks to a $7 billion recovery act investment in broadband --
bringing in, I might add, $3 billion of private capital off
the sidelines -- approximately 2 million rural American
households, tens of thousands of community institutions,
from libraries, colleges, junior colleges,
are now going to have better access to -- high-speed access
to Internet and to broadband.
It makes a difference.
If you're a farmer out in western Iowa deciding when to
sell your cattle, you have to now rely upon the broker.
But you'll be able to access in real time weather reports,
water condition, crop prices and the price of beef,
to make that rancher out in western Iowa or wherever he
or she may be much more competitive,
getting the highest price at the most opportune moment
for the product.
As I said, we're also investing more than $4 billion in the
Smart Grid, bringing more than $5 billion in capital off the
sidelines, for a total of a $9 billion investment so far.
The Smart Grid provides real-time information on
electricity use so that consumers and businesses
can make efficient energy choices and truly,
truly reliable network that doesn't exist now.
The smart utility grid, universal broadband,
these are foundations upon which innovative businesses can build
what they go out and discover and innovate.
They're able to open the doors everywhere, everywhere,
and prosper everywhere.
That's what really this is all about,
giving American entrepreneurs and American businesses the
tools to do what you all do best.
I know that there are several representatives
of ARPA-E here today.
To the listening public, ARPA-E sounds like some -- I don't know
what it sounds like to y'all.
But it was started by General Dwight D. Eisenhower,
I believe in '57, if I'm not mistaken;
could have been '58, I'm not sure.
It originally was called ARPA.
And it was started in response to the Russian Sputnik.
The goal of this new agency, set up by a Republican president who
understood how to be business-friendly,
was to rejuvenate America's military research and
development capabilities.
In 1962, under a Democratic president,
ARPA launched a nationwide effort
to build a computer network.
They called it ARPA-NET.
By 1975, after just spending $25 million,
ARPA -- the predecessor to ARPA-E -- ARPA researchers had
done just that.
They created a basic structure for the modern Internet.
In the 1980s, private industry dove in.
The seed money was provided, it started to germinate,
and private industry made it grow.
By 2009, the Internet was being used by approximately 27 percent
of the world's population, over 1.8 billion people.
It's the engine of hundreds of billions of dollars of commerce.
That was a relatively modest federal investment that allowed
private industry to completely transform not only our economy
but the world's economy.
That's exactly what we have to do again.
That's what we are doing now.
Our federal investment is bringing money off
the sidelines.
For example, in scientific research,
$2.9 billion in investment is being
doubled by external investors.
Or take clean energy, as I said before;
$46 billion is supporting more than $3 of private money for
every one federal dollar spent.
In fact, $100 billion of recovery act investments thus
far has brought $286 billion off the sidelines to invest in these
new, innovative ideas.
A couple months ago, I visited a company called Cree,
in Durham, North Carolina.
I know we have some folks from Cree here today.
The CEO, Chuck, who is a pretty young guy,
when I got down there -- because sometimes we set these things up
and sometimes it's not always exactly as is planned,
and I had a national reporter with me.
And in front of the reporter who was following me that day,
I said to Chuck, I said, "Chuck, tell me the truth.
Has this -- 48C, has this initiative that we have here,
is it really the reason why you're expanding so much?"
And I was afraid that he was going to give the answer he did.
He said, "No."
And I'm thinking, "Oh, God."
He said, "It's helped."
He said, "It means I expanded here in the United States rather
than my facility in China."
But he said, "Let me tell you what did happen.
Did happen."
He said, "It made a straight -- when you guys -- when I heard
President Obama make the straightforward decision to
continue to invest in the United States and our North Carolina
facilities throughout the supply chain,
our partners across the country contacted me.
They said, we got to do business a different way.
When you committed to renewables,
it fundamentally changed how" -- I think he said;
don't hold me to this, if anyone from Cree -- I think you have
700 outfits you supply?
I'm not sure that's the number.
But the truth of the matter is, he said,
we got calls from them all, so I guess we got
to do things differently.
Folks, part of this president's -- the last president -- as my
mother would say, "God love him" -- saw the future in the
financial industry and growth of the financial industry.
Credit default swaps were not what I call a vision.
Great presidents always are able to set goals and provide a
vision for the American people to which people repair once
they are convinced that we are committed to it as a government
and a people.
In his Nobel lecture Dr. Chu said, "As scientists,
we hope that others take note of what we have done and use
our work to go in directions we never imagined," end of quote.
He had it exactly right, and it brings me back to
where I started.
Government plants the seeds, the private sector nourishes it and
makes it grow, and in the process,
if we are as innovative as we've been in the past,
we launch entire new industries, the consequence of which over
time that we create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the future,
upon which people can live a middle-class life and raise
their families, and in the process,
we spark new forms of commerce that were unimaginable
before we started.
That's how we've led the world in the past.
And that's how we're going to have to be again if we're going
to lead the world in the future.
And looking at all of you, I know that you're already
on your way.
I want to thank you, not only for your incredible talent being
put at the disposal of changing our economy,
but your commitment and your belief in the ability of us to
change, change and make better the economy for the American
people, who will benefit from all of your innovation.
So thank you all.
Please take a look at this report.
It is really a first-rate report.
And I want to thank you again.
May God bless you all, and may God protect our troops.
Thank you very, very much.