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Hello, Syracuse! (Applause.) It is good to be in Syracuse! (Applause.)
Can everybody give Emilio a big round of applause for a great introduction? (Applause.) I think
Emilio's parents are probably here. Where are Emilio's parents? Wave your hands. There
they are right there. He did pretty good, didn't he? We're very proud of him. We might
have to run him for something.
In addition to Emilio, I want to mention a couple other people. You already heard from
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who's doing a great job every day. (Applause.) You've
got Mayor Stephanie Miner here. (Applause.) There she is. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
is here. (Applause.) Your Congressman, Dan Maffei, is here. (Applause.) The superintendent
of the Syracuse City School District, Sharon Contreras, is here. (Applause.) Your principal,
Robert DiFlorio, is here. (Applause.) And most importantly, a bunch of students are
here. (Applause.)
My understanding is there are students from all five Syracuse high schools here. You got
Corcoran in the house. (Applause.) You got Fowler in the house. (Applause.) Nottingham.
(Applause.) The Institute of Technology. (Applause.) And our host, Henninger, is here. (Applause.)
We're all one family.
Now, I especially want to thank the students because I know that you're still on summer
vacation. You've got a few more days. So taking the time to be here when you've still got
a little bit, that last little bit of summer break, that's a big deal, and I'm very honored
to be here with you.
I am on a road trip -- by the way, if people have seats, feel free to take a seat. I'm
going to be talking for a while. If you've got no seats, then don't sit down -- (laughter)
-- because you will fall down. (Laughter.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!
THE PRESIDENT: I love you back. (Applause.)
So I'm here on a road trip through New York into Pennsylvania. This morning, I was at
the University at Buffalo. Tomorrow, I'll be at Binghamton University and Lackawanna
College in Scranton. But I wanted to come to Syracuse -- (applause) -- because you're
doing something fantastic here, with programs like "Say Yes" -- (applause) -- Smart Scholars
Early College High School -- these are programs that are helping Syracuse kids get ready for
college, and making sure that they can afford to go.
And this is a community effort. All of you are coming together and you have declared
that no child in the city of Syracuse should miss out on a college education because they
can't pay for it. (Applause.) And so we're hoping more cities follow your example, because
what you're doing is critical not just to Syracuse's future, but to America's future.
And that's what I want to talk about briefly here today.
Over the past month, I've been visiting towns across the country, talking about what we
need to do to secure a better bargain for the middle class and everybody who's working
hard to get into the middle class -- to make sure everybody who works hard has a chance
to succeed in the 21st century economy.
And we all understand that for the past four and a half years, we had to fight our way
back from a brutal recession, and millions of Americans lost their jobs and their homes
and their savings. But what the recession also did was it showed this emerging gap in
terms of the life prospects of a lot of Americans.
What used to be taken for granted -- middle-class security
-- has slipped away from too many people. So, yes, we saved the auto industry. We took
on a broken health care system. (Applause.) We reversed our addiction to foreign oil.
We changed our tax code that was tilted too far in favor of the wealthy at the expense
of working families. And so we've made progress. Our businesses have created 7.3 million new
jobs over the last 41 months. (Applause.) We've got more renewable energy than ever.
We are importing less oil than in a very long time.
We sell more goods made in America to the rest of the world than ever before. Health
care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years. Our deficits are falling at the
fastest rate in 60 years.
So there's good news out there. And thanks to the grit and the resilience of the American
people, we've been able to clear away the rubble from the financial crisis, and start
laying the foundation for a better economy. But as any middle-class family will tell you,
we are not --
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)
THE PRESIDENT: I hear you. I got you.
AUDIENCE: Booo --
THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no, that's fine. Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. We're okay. We're
okay. That's okay. Hold on a second. Hold on. Hold on. Hello, everybody, hello. Hold
on. Hold on a minute. Hold on a minute. Hold on. So, now -- hold on a second. (Applause.)
Can I just say that as hecklers go, that young lady was very polite. (Laughter.) She was.
And she brought up an issue of importance, and that's part of what America is all about.
(Applause.)
But what America is also all about is making sure that middle-class families succeed, and
that people who work hard can get into the middle class. And what I was saying was is
that we're not where we need to be yet. We've still got more work to do. Because even before
the most recent financial crisis, we had gone through a decade where folks at the top were
doing better and better; most families were working harder and harder just to get by.
And we've seen growing inequality in our society and less upward mobility in our society.
The idea used to be that here in America anybody could make it. But part of that was because
we put these ladders of opportunity for people. And, unfortunately, what's happened is it's
gotten tougher for a lot of folks. So we've got to reverse these trends. This has to be
Washington's highest priority -- how do we make sure everybody gets a fair shake. That's
got to be our priority. (Applause.)
Unfortunately, you may have noticed that in Washington, rather than focusing on a growing
economy and creating good, middle-class jobs, there's a certain faction of my good friends
in the other party who've been talking about not paying the bills that they've already
run up; who've been talking about shutting down the government if they can't take away
health care that we're putting in place for millions of Americans.
Those are not ideas that will grow our economy. They're not going to create good jobs. They're
not going to strengthen the middle class -- they'll weaken the middle class. So we can't afford
the usual Washington circus of distractions and political posturing. We don't need that.
What we've got to do is to build on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America
-- a good job, good wages, a good education, a home, affordable health care, a secure retirement.
That's what we need to focus on. (Applause.)
And we've got to create as many pathways as possible for people to succeed as long as
they're willing to work hard. That's what's always made America great. We don't judge
ourselves just by how many billionaires we produce. We've got to focus on our ability
to make sure that everybody who works hard has a chance to pursue their own measure of
happiness.
And in that project, in that work, there aren't a lot of things that are more important than
making sure people get a good education. That is key to upward mobility. That is key to
a growing economy. That is key to a strong middle class. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We love you!
THE PRESIDENT: Love you back. (Laughter.)
Now, everybody here knows that. That's why you're here. That's why a lot of your families
are making big sacrifices to send kids to college. You understand that in the face of
global competition, a great education is more important than ever. A higher education is
the single best investment you can make in your future. (Applause.) Single best. And
I'm proud of all of the students who are working toward that goal.
And in case any of you are wondering whether it's a good investment, think about these
statistics: The unemployment rate for Americans with at least a college degree is about a
third lower than the national average. The incomes of people with at least a college
degree are more than twice what the incomes are of Americans who don't have a high school
diploma. So more than ever before, some form of higher education -- two year, four year,
technical college -- that's the path into the middle class.
But the main reason I'm here is to talk about the fact that we've seen a barrier and a burden
to too many American families, and that's the soaring cost of higher education. (Applause.)
The fact is, college has never been more necessary, but it's also never been more expensive.
Think about this: Over the past three decades, the average tuition at a four-year public
college has risen by more than 250 percent. The typical family income has gone up 16 percent.
So I wasn't a math major, but let's just think about it -- college costs, 250 percent; incomes,
16 percent. What that means is, is that more and more, it's getting harder and harder for
students to be able to afford that college education. And families are making bigger
and bigger sacrifices -- including a lot of parents who are putting off their own retirement,
their own savings, because they're trying to help their kids afford a college education.
In the meantime, over the past few years, you've got too many states that have been
cutting back on their higher education budgets. Colleges have not been cutting back on their
costs, and so what you end up with is taxpayers putting in more money, students and families
picking up the tab, but young people are still ending up with more debt.
The average student who borrows for college now graduates owing more than $26,000. And
a lot of young people owe a lot more than that. I've heard from a lot of these young
people, and they're frustrated because they're saying to themselves, we've done everything
our society told us we were supposed to do, but crushing debt is crippling our ability
to get started in our lives after we graduate. It's crippling our self-reliance and the dreams
that we had.
At a time when higher education has never been more important or more expensive, too
many students face a choice they should not have to make: Either they say no to college,
or they pay the price of going to college and ending up with debt that they're not sure
will pay off. And that's not a choice that we should ask young people to make. That's
not a choice we should accept.
If you think about what built this country, this is a country that's always been at the
cutting edge of making a good education available to more people. My grandfather, when he came
back from World War II, he went -- he had the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.
My mother got through school while raising two kids because she got some help. (Applause.)
Michelle and I, we didn't come from rich folks. We did not come from privileged backgrounds.
So we're only where we are today because scholarships and student loans gave us a shot at a good
education. And we know a little bit about paying back student loans, because we each
graduated from college and law school with a mountain of debt. And even with good jobs,
I didn't pay it off and she didn't pay off her loans until I was almost a U.S. senator.
I was in my 40s.
So over the past four years, what we've done is to try to take some steps to make college
more affordable. First thing we did -- we enacted historic reforms to the student loan
system. What was happening was student loans were going through banks; banks were making
billions of dollars. We said why don't we just give the loans directly to the students,
cut out the banks, then we can help more students. (Applause.)
Then we set up a consumer watchdog that's already helping families and students sort
through all the financial options so they really understand them and they're not ripped
off by shady lenders. And we're providing more tools and resources for students and
families trying to finance college. And, by the way, high school seniors, you guys want
to start figuring this stuff out -- go to studentaid.gov. That's a website -- studentaid.gov.
And it will give you a sense of what's available out there.
We took action to cap loan repayments at 10 percent of monthly income for a lot of borrowers
who are trying to pay their debt but do so in a responsible way. (Applause.)
So, overall, we've made college more affordable for millions of students and families through
tax credits and grants and student loans. And just a few weeks ago, Democrats and Republicans
worked together to keep student loan rates from doubling, and that saves a typical undergraduate
more than $1,500 for this year's loans. (Applause.)
So, now, that's all a good start. But it's not enough. The system we have right now is
unsustainable, because if it keeps on going up 250 percent a year, your incomes are only
going up 16 percent -- not 250 percent a year -- over a decade -- but your incomes are only
going up 16 percent, it's just at a certain point, it will break the bank. There won't
be enough federal aid to make up for the difference. And families, at a certain point, aren't going
to be able to send their kids to school.
And state legislatures, they can't just keep cutting support for public college and universities.
Colleges can't just keep raising tuition year after year, and pushing these state cutbacks
on to students and families, and federal taxpayers are not going to be able to make up all the
difference.
Our economy can't afford the trillion dollars -- $1 trillion in outstanding student loan
debt. Because when young people have that much debt, that means they can't buy a home.
It means they can't start the business that maybe they've got a great idea for. And we
can't price the middle class and everybody working to get into the middle class out of
a college education. (Applause.) It will put our young generation of workers at a competitive
disadvantage for years.
So if a higher education is still the best ticket to upward mobility in America -- and
it is -- then we've got to make sure it's within reach. We've got to make sure that
we are improving economic mobility, not making it worse. Higher education should not be a
luxury. It is a necessity, an economic imperative that every family in America should be able
to afford. (Applause.)
So what are we going to do about it? Today what I've done is propose major new reforms
that will shake up the current system. We want to create better incentives for colleges
to do more with less and to deliver better value for our students and their families.
And some of these reforms will require action from Congress, which is always difficult.
(Laughter.) Some of these changes, though, I can make on my own. (Applause.) And we want
to work with colleges to keep costs down. States are going to need to make higher education
a higher priority in their budgets. And by the way, we're going to ask more from students
as well if they're receiving federal aid.
And some of these reforms won't be popular for every -- with everybody, because some
folks are making out just fine under the status quo. But my concern is not to look out just
for the institutions; I want to look out for the students who these institutions exist
to serve. (Applause.) And I think -- I've got confidence that our country's colleges
and universities will step up to the plate if they're given the right incentives. They,
too, should want to do the right thing for students.
So let me be specific. Here are three things we're going to do. Number one, I'm directing
my administration to come up with a new ratings system for colleges that will score colleges
on opportunity --- whether they're helping students from all kinds of backgrounds succeed;
and on outcomes -- whether students are graduating with manageable debt; whether they're actually
graduating in the first place; whether they have strong career potential when they graduate.
That's the kind of information that will help students and parents figure out how much value
a particular college truly offers.
Right now all these ranking systems, they rank you higher if you charge more and you
let in fewer students. But you should have a better sense of who's actually graduating
students and giving you a good deal. (Applause.)
So down the road we're going to use these ratings, we hope by working with Congress,
to change how we allocate federal aid for colleges. And we're going to deliver on a
promise that I made last year -- colleges that keep their tuition down are the ones
that will see their taxpayer funding go up. We've got to stop subsidizing schools that
are not getting good results, start rewarding schools that deliver for the students and
deliver for America's future. That's our goal. (Applause.)
Our second goal: We want to encourage more colleges to embrace innovation, to try new
ways of providing a great education without breaking the bank. A growing number of colleges
across the country are testing some new approaches, so they're finding new ways, for example,
to use online education to save time and money.
Some are trying what you're doing right here in Syracuse --- creating partnerships between
high schools and colleges, so students can get an early jump on their degree. They can
graduate faster. That means they're paying less in tuition. I want to see more schools
and states get in the game, so more students can get an education that costs less but still
maintains high quality. And we know it can be done. It's just we got to get everybody
doing it, not just a few schools or a few cities around the country. That's the second
goal. (Applause.)
Somebody screamed, and I thought somebody fell, but they were just excited. (Laughter.)
Number three: We're going to make sure that if you've taken on debt to earn your degree
that you can manage and afford it. Nobody wants to take on debt, but even if we do a
good job controlling tuition costs, some young people are still going to have to take out
some loans. But we think of that as a good investment because it pays off in time --- as
long as it stays manageable, as long as you can pay it back.
And remember, again, Michelle and I, we went through this. It took us a long time to pay
off our student loans. But we could always manage it. It didn't get out of hand. And
I don't want debt to keep young people -- some of who are here today -- from going into professions
like teaching, for example, that may not pay as much money, but are of huge value to the
country. (Applause.)
And I sure don't want young people not being able to buy a home, or get married, or start
a business because they're so loaded down with debt. So what we've done is two years
ago, I capped loan repayments at 10 percent of a student's income after college. We called
it "pay as you earn." And so far this, along with a few other programs, has helped more
than 2.5 million students.
But right now, a lot of current and former students aren't eligible, so we want to work
with Congress to fix that so that we got a lot more people who are eligible for this
program. And then the problem is a lot of young people don't know this program exists.
So we're going to do a better job advertising this program so that you will never have to
pay more than 10 percent of your yearly income in servicing your debt.
And if you're involved in public service or non-for-profits, then at some point that debt
gets forgiven because you're giving back to society in other ways. (Applause.) So we're
going to launch a campaign to help borrowers learn more about their options. We want every
student to have the chance to pay back their loans in a way that doesn't stop them from
pursuing their dreams.
So if we move forward on these three points -- increasing value, making sure that young
people and their parents know what they're getting when they go to college; encouraging
innovation so that more colleges are giving better value; and then helping people responsibly
manage their debt -- then we're going to help more students afford college. We're going
to help more students graduate from college. We'll help more students get rid of their
debt so they can get started on their lives. (Applause.)
And it's going to take some hard work. But the people of Syracuse know something about
hard work. (Applause.) The American people know something about hard work. (Applause.)
And we've come a long way together over these past four years. I intend to keep us moving
forward on this and every other issue. We're going to keep pushing to build a better bargain
for the middle class and everybody who's fighting to join the middle class. And we're going
to keep fighting to make sure that this country remains a country where hard work and studying
and responsibility are rewarded. We're going to make sure that no matter who you are, or
where you come from, or who you love, or what your last name is -- (applause) -- in the
United States you can make it if you try. (Applause.)
Thank you, Syracuse! God bless you, and God bless America.
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Obama紐約州雪城演講 (Obama Speaks At Syracuse, NY High School About Education - Full Speech)

2429 分類 收藏
Henry Huang 發佈於 2014 年 10 月 5 日
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