President Barack Obama told supporters at a campaign rally on Thursday that the federal government needs to fund more research to ensure “the next Thomas Edison, the next Wright brothers.”
“The private sector can’t do it alone, especially when it comes to basic research,” he added.
In Cleveland, Obama again vowed to revoke subsidies to oil companies and to “double down” on alternative energy subsidies. He also said the country must continue research and development funding to compete globally.
“With growing competition from countries like China and India, now is not the time for America to walk away from research and development,” Obama said. “Now is the time to invest, even more so, that the great innovations of this century take place in the United States of America — so that the next Thomas Edison, the next Wright brothers, is happening here, in Ohio, or Michigan, or California.”
He said his plan would not just throw money at every project, but would selectively pick the best projects for government funding.
“My plan would make the R&D tax credit permanent, but the private sector can’t do it alone, especially when it comes to basic research,” Obama said. “It’s not always profitable in the short term. In the last century, research that we funded together, through our tax dollars, helped lay the foundation for the Internet, and GPS, and Google and the countless companies and jobs that followed. The private sector came in and created these incredible companies, but, we together, made the initial investment to make it possible.”