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Monday, February 14, 2011

President Obama Explains What It's Like To Be C-I-C

Also Unveils 2011 Budget

Amazing testimony today from President Obama as he spoke to students at Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology  to highlight work the students are doing in math, science and engineering.

He was asked what it's like to be Commander in Chief.

Read the exchange below, that includes some telling information, including what really gets on President Obama's nerves.

Parkville Middle School Student: What does it feel like to be President?

President Obama: "What does it feel like to be the President? You know, some days -- some days you're burdened by some really tough decisions. Some of you may have family members who are in Afghanistan, for example. And I'm the Commander-in-Chief, and so I'm responsible for sending those young men and women over, who are doing an amazing job. Some of them get hurt. Some of them get killed. And so you feel a responsibility that is profound about making that decision. Even though you think it’s the best thing to do for the country, it’s one that carries an unbelievable cost.

There are days where you feel really excited because something that you got done you know is helping somebody. So when we passed the health care bill that we passed and it was controversial. It was a lot of work. It was and some people still don't like it. But I would get letters from people who said, my kid couldn't get insurance before and now I feel secure because they’re able to get health insurance so that when they get sick they’re able to get health care. So that makes you feel good.

Every day I feel proud and privileged to have the chance to work in this office. But I'll be honest with you. There are certain parts of the job that are kind of tough, like I'm kind of in this bubble. I can't go anywhere, I can't just if I want to just go to the corner drugstore and buy some shaving cream or something, or if I just feel like taking a walk with Bo, like I can't do anything spontaneous. And that kind of gets on your nerves.

And the other thing is people know who you are everywhere obviously. So you have to you always have to like shave and comb your hair and you can't just roll out of bed and be out there. So that kind of stuff can be a little tough."

More about Parkville Middle School here

While at the school the president, along with Secretary Arne Duncan and Budget Director Jack Lew also unveiled the president's 2011 budget which includes further investments in education, high-speed rail and high-speed Internet.

"These investments are an essential part of the budget my administration is sending to Congress.  Because I’m convinced that if we out-build and out-innovate and out-educate, as well as out-hustle the rest of the world, the jobs and industries of our time will take root here in the United States.  Our people will prosper and our country will succeed", the president stated.

More on the budget here.

The president also wants to cut the deficit by "living within our means".

"I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term.  The budget I’m proposing today meets that pledge, and puts us on a path to pay for what we spend by the middle of the decade. We do this in part by eliminating waste and cutting whatever spending we can do without."

Among those items the president hopes America can do without include superfluous office buildings, and government-owned properties.  Other proposed items to be cut include community action programs in low-income neighborhoods and towns, and community development block grants, and cuts in the Defense Department’s budget.

He likened scaling back on government spending to households that scale back on household spending.

"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 we will win the future in the 21st century."

Protestor outside the White House gives his take on the President's budget. Photo/CD Brown.
Many oppose the budget, both Democrats and Republicans alike, saying it doesn't do enough to bring down the deficit, but instead raises taxes.

"We need a government that finally does what every other American has to do in their households and their businesses, and that's to live within our means," Eric Cantor (R-VA) said. "Instead, President Obama's budget doubles down on the bad habits of the past four years by calling for more taxes, spending and borrowing of money that we simply do not have."

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