Dr. Condoleezza Rice told attendees of the IFA 53rd Annual Conference that “getting this economy going again is number one on our country’s ‘to do’ list.” Speaking before a crowd of over 3,500 who gave her multiple standing ovations, Rice said that the private sector will lead the country’s ability to grow our economy, but certainty is needed. “When certainty is there, I’m sure the business community will again begin to hire.”
Rice shared her thoughts on the state of America’s reputation around the world and the importance of not only addressing the issue of growing the economy, but the issues of early childhood education and comprehensive immigration reform, as key issues that are critical to our national security.
It’s not just about getting our fiscal house in order (tax reform, the national debt and spending), but it’s about the core of the United States, what she called our “great national myth.” Rice explained that the nation’s success across the board is based on our belief that “it doesn’t matter where you came from, it’s about where you are going,” referring to the great opportunities for all American’s regardless of their station in society. To keep that alive, we must address the hard issues facing us as a country to ensure that immigrants can contribute to the country in meaningful ways.
Rice cited the need to fix the crisis in early childhood education that is condemning low-income kids to failings schools. If we don’t she said, a large population of low income, uneducated people will be our greatest national security threat. She said that we must require excellence in students, utilize afterschool programs to ensure that the skills of children are equally realized and support charter schools to create competition in grade schools like higher education institutions face.
While the country is facing a myriad of challenges, Rice explained “I have faith in America and Americans. We are still the finest, most innovative, creative and problem-solving country in the world.”