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Secretary Locke Speaks with Silicon Valley Leadership Group on Obama Administration's Efforts to Foster Innovation

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U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke delivered remarks at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG)’s annual luncheon today, emphasizing the steps the Obama administration has taken to turn around the U.S. economy and create jobs. Locke stressed the administration’s efforts to build a stronger foundation for long-term growth and prosperity by investing in research and development, a 21st century infrastructure and manufacturing, and underlined Silicon Valley’s role as the epicenter of technological innovation.

Sec. Locke wanted it to be known that “when it comes to new ideas, our only criterion is efficacy. It doesn’t matter if they come from the left or the right, the boardroom or academia. We simply will not rest until every American who wants a job can find one.”

Locke emphasized that President Obama’s proposed 2011 budget, while freezing domestic discretionary spending overall, actually increases funding for civilian R&D by nearly 6 percent. Also, he noted President Obama’s support a new business tax cut that will allow small businesses to deduct the full amount of new capital investments immediately.

Locke also highlighted President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which aims to double U.S. exports over the next five years in support of several million American jobs. The NEI will provide more funding, more focus and more Cabinet-level coordination to increase U.S. exports, and represents the first time the United States will have a government-wide export-promotion strategy with focused attention from the president and his Cabinet.

Remarks

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Efficacy

As Secretary Locke was quoted, "Efficacy" is the Administration's only criterion. I feel this is fair and just, however most of the American public seems to not see these actions as fulfilling that criterion. Most don't want to wait for the storm to blow over, they want their jobs now and they don't want to have to sacrifice their hard earned tax dollars in order to make it easier five, ten years down the road.

For all that Obama has done, I am afraid that the public is only just grasping that he is preparing for the change that he campaigned for, it's only that it will take longer than the public thought.

Investing in research and development in order to create new jobs is only the first step, and I feel that this step , along with others, should be widely publicized and acknowledged. Freezing discretionary spending, while it can be tough temporarily for many areas of government, obviously has some real thought and good intention behind it and will only benefit the government in the end.