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Congressman Higgins' Statement Following the 2010 State of the Union Address

Jan 27, 2010
Press Release
“In the history of this nation we have seen eight recessions and seven recoveries and with each, Americans have found opportunity amongst the challenge. Some of our greatest success stories, companies like Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, GE and Disney, were all born during some of this country’s most difficult times. Tonight we heard a President that is hopeful, and one who understands that resurgence will require a focus on meeting the demands necessary in today’s new world economy.
“Like the President I have been frustrated by Washington’s protracted bureaucratic pace and resistance to change. I support the move toward smart budgeting approaches that is common practice among Western New York families – simply cutting the waste and making targeted investments that lead to prosperity. 
“The first place we can start is by investing in our own human capital. Efforts outlined to provide better and more affordable access to education and programs to help small business will provide us with the best opportunity for long-term leadership in the global marketplace. Decades ago we used to make products and sell them to the rest of the world. Today the rest of the world makes products and sells them to us. Education is the key component providing innovation that leads to an increased demand for American products. When people buy things, people make things and when people make things people work. This will fuel job creation.
“Tax credits and programs that alleviate the load of child, elder care and health care costs and ease the goal of adequate retirement savings are welcome changes for hard working Western New York families. And increased support for selfless military families is necessary and deserved.
“However, I believe strongly that we need an aggressive investment in the United States – not Iraq or Afghanistan. We have spent a great deal of time and treasure in other parts of the world. We have mended their hospitals, rebuilt their schools and constructed their roads and bridges while hospitals, schools, roads and bridges in our country are crumbling. That is what this good and generous nation does, but now is the time to focus on nation building right here at home. 
“Afghanistan has proven itself to be a corrupt nation with the only inspiring stories coming from the work of the American troops and our allies. For us to win in Afghanistan we need reliable partners in the Afghan government and a nation that wants stabilization as much as we do and I am not convinced we have either. The best way to support our troops is to give them a mission where they can succeed. A strong America is our best defense against terrorism and Islamic extremists and it is our best hope for the future. 
“As we have witnessed before, I expect great opportunity and new success stories to rise out of the struggles we face today. I am consistently impressed with the strength and resilience of the Western New York community and I am confident that our best days are immediately before us.”