Former President Bill Clinton urged Americans to look forward, even with a potential cost of the present, as they pulled themselves out of the economic doldrums.
"We got too interested in the present, and we lost our commitment to the future," Clinton said, speaking to the New York Open for Business Statewide Conference in Albany. "America needs to get back in the future business."
Introduced by New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who worked in the second Clinton administration as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the former president continually urged the country to look ahead as he spoke at the state convention center. "We took a huge detour for eight years and we had an amazing crash as a result of it and now we have to rebuild it. We have to look at this as an opportunity to retool our country for the 21st century."
"We need more emphasis on the future even if we have to give up a little in the present," Clinton said, acknowledging that sacrifice would be required to help correct the problems facing the country. "You can't balance the budget ... nationally without a combination of adequate revenues, appropriate spending cuts, and growth."
Speaking at the conference, Governor Cuomo announced that five technology companies were investing $4 billion in upstate New York, creating more than 4,000 jobs in the region.