meet the goal that I set when I took office:  By 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

I know the American people understand why this is so important.  And I think that those of us who are working in Washington need to understand why these investments in the future are so important as well.

I mentioned in my weekly radio address a letter that I recently got from a woman named Brenda Breece.  Brenda is a mom. She’s a special ed teacher in Missouri, and her husband, David, lost his job when the local Chrysler plant shut down.  So money has been tight for the family, and they’ve had to sacrifice the little things that they can do without.  One thing that Brenda knows she can’t afford to sacrifice is her daughter Rachel’s education.  And that’s why she’s looking, as we speak, for a second job to help put Rachel through college, and ensure, as she told me, that “the money is there to help Rachel with her future.”

What’s true for Brenda’s family is true for the larger American family:  Education is an investment that we need to win the future — just like innovation is an investment that we need to win the future; just like infrastructure is an investment that we need to win the future.  And to make sure that we can afford these investments, we’re going to have to get serious about cutting back on those things that would be nice to have but we can do without.

That’s what families across the country do every day –- they live within their means and they invest in their family’s futures.  And it’s time we did the same thing as a country.  That’s how we’re going to get our fiscal house in order.  That’s how we’ll grow our economy and attract new jobs to our shores.  And that’s how America we will win the future in the 21st century.

Thanks very much, everybody.

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