discipline, these kinds of cuts will be necessary.
I’m also looking forward to working with members of both parties to take steps beyond this budget freeze -– because cutting annual domestic spending won’t be enough to meet our long-term fiscal challenges. As the bipartisan fiscal commission concluded, the only way to truly tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it -– in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes. So what we’ve done here is make a down payment, but there’s going to be more work that needs to be done, and it’s going to require Democrats and Republicans coming together to make it happen.
We’ve begun to do some of this with $78 billion in cuts in the Defense Department’s budget plan, by ending tax breaks for oil and gas companies, and through billions of dollars in savings from wasteful health spending -– savings we’ll use to make sure doctors don’t see their reimbursements slashed and that they stay in the system seeing patients.
But here’s the thing. While it’s absolutely essential to live within our means, while we are absolutely committed to working with Democrats and Republicans to find further savings and to look at the whole range of budget issues, we can’t sacrifice our future in the process. Even as we cut out things that we can afford to do without, we have a responsibility to invest in those areas that will have the biggest impact in our future -– and that’s especially true when it comes to education.
Right now, this school, Parkville, is preparing our kids for the jobs and careers of the 21st century. It’s a school that nurtures what students are passionate about and prepares them for success. Students in the magnet program here start out by taking courses in each of four subjects –- from applied engineering to environmental science -– gradually focusing their studies on one subject over the next couple of years.
I’m told the most popular subject at this school is engineering. And that’s important, because today the most common educational background for America’s top business leaders isn’t economics. It’s not finance. It’s not even business. It’s engineering.
Engineering and math, critical thinking, problem solving –- these are the kinds of subjects and skills that our kids need to achieve success in the 21st century. That’s why we’re spearheading a drive to prepare more than 10,000 new math and science teachers over the next five years, and train 100,000 more current teachers in those fields. That’s why we’re pushing forward on a Race to the Top in our schools that has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning for less than 1 percent of what we spend on education each year. That’s why we’re protecting the more than $800 increase that we added to the most widely used federal scholarships, and making the tough choices to put them on a firm footing for years to come. And that’s why we’re on track to