President Calls on Congress to Pass
Economic Security Package-- January 22, 2002
Remarks by the President to the Employees of Cecil I. Walker Machinery
Cecil I. Walker Machinery Company
Charleston, West Virginia
1:00 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. Thank you for that warm
welcome. Steve, I appreciate the fact that everybody who works here
has got a uniform on with my middle name. (Laughter.) I don't know
if he'll claim me as a relative, being a Walker. (Laughter.) But
hearing how you like to sing at parties in West Virginia, I'm not
so sure I want to claim you. (Laughter.)
Helping American Families
Focused on Consumers and Investors
But I'm honored you all would have me. I appreciate small business
owners, entrepreneurs, people who work hard, people who build a
team. I want to thank the workers here for such a warm greeting.
I also appreciate you for your high-quality work. You know, American
workers are the best in the world, and Walker employees are some
of the best workers in the world, too. (Applause.)
I can't think of a better place to talk about economic security
than at a place that works hard to create jobs and helps people
keep a job, and makes sure that people who work here are treated
well, treated with respect.
At its core, an economic security plan for every American has got
to be the goal of our government. And it begins with a good education,
and ends with secure retirement. And in between, much of one's life
depends on being able to find work -- good, steady work. And that's
how I approach decisions about our economy. I ask, are we creating
an environment in which people can find work.
My economic plan is summed up in one word: jobs. And that's what
all of us in Washington ought to be asking: how do we create jobs
for people who want to work in America. (Applause.)
I want to thank members of the West Virginia delegation who are
with me. Shelley traveled with me from Washington. We flew down
together, we had a good visit. Every time I talk to her she constantly
talks about West Virginia. Every time I talk to her, she doesn't
necessarily do everything I tell her to. She's got kind of a West
Virginia independent streak to her. (Laughter and applause.) But
I'm proud to call her friend, and I'm also proud to call Jay Rockefeller
friend. He and I are different political parties, but that's okay.
We both love America.
The other day I had the honor of signing a piece of legislation
at the White House, called the Safe and Stable Families Act. It's
a really good piece of legislation. It's legislation that promotes
adoption; legislation that helps foster care children. It's a legislation
sponsored by Republicans and Democrats. Senator Rockefeller was
one of the sponsors, and I sung his praises there, and I'm happy
to come on his home turf and sing his praises here for this piece
So, thank you, Senator Rockefeller, for doing it. (Applause.)
Every job begins with one decision, and that is the decision by
somebody to say, I want to hire you. It comes as a surprise to some
in Washington, though, when you think about that, that most of the
hiring does not take place at the government level. Of course, we
create jobs by hiring people at the government level. Most hiring
takes place at small businesses. Most hiring takes place when an
employer in the private sector says, I need you to work for me.
And so the job of the government, if you think about it, is not
to try to create wealth. That's not the job of the government. The
job of the government is to create an environment in which more
people are willing to hire more workers.
If jobs are the most important part of one of my jobs, then I'm
going to insist that people ask the question, how do we encourage
people to hire more people. That's what we ought to be asking. And
that's the role of Washington, D.C.
It starts with making sure everybody is well-educated. Every new
product, every new service starts with a good idea. And then that
needs to be carried out by talented, skilled, educated people. With
a better educated work force, our businesses, small and large, all
across America are going to be able to innovate and make improvements.
A better educated work force will mean America is more productive,
and higher productivity means more jobs and higher paychecks.
So we've got to get it right when it comes to education. And I'm
proud to report this is one issue where a handful of us in Washington
decided to put aside our political parties and focus on what was
right for America. I had the honor of signing a very good piece
of education legislation, sponsored by, of all people, in the Senate,
Ted Kennedy. Now, look, I traveled the country saying the guy is
not a bad guy. (Laughter.) I think I put him in shock. (Laughter.)
I know I put the people in Crawford, Texas coffee shop in shock.
(Laughter.) But on this issue we worked well together. Republicans
and Democrats. We showed the country that, party is all right --
I'm a proud Republican -- it's not nearly as important as the education
of our children. (Applause.)
One of the roles of government is not only to create an environment
that is good for jobs, but to remove obstacles, if they exist, for
people having jobs. One of the obstacles that exists in our society
is a public school system that simply shuffles children through
the schools. It's so much easier to quit on a child, one that's
supposedly hard to educate. And in some schools, in some school
districts, and in some states, we've had the practice of just moving
And that's not right in America. It is not right to quit on kids.
And so now, as a result of this piece of legislation that both of
the members here voted for, we asked -- we say, look, if you get
federal money -- and we're going to spend money, by the way, on
certain areas in education out of the federal government -- but
if you get it, you've got to show us whether or not the children
can read and write and add and subtract.
I'm asking the simple question, are we getting results with your
money? (Applause.) And if not, do something different. If we're
spending money, we expect children to learn to read. And if they
can't, you'd better change; or otherwise we're going to give parents
different options, so that there is no child trapped in a school
that will not teach, and will not change.
I want to assure you, I remembered where I came from. I trust the
people of West Virginia to run the schools of West Virginia, so
we passed power out of Washington to the states. But we expect high
standards, and high accountability and results. If what we're worried
about is jobs, we've got to remove the obstacles for people finding
good work by educating every child who lives in America.
But education doesn't just stop at the elementary school level
or high school or college. This nation has got to understand, as
technology changes, we've got to make sure the work force changes
with it. And that's why I strongly support local job training programs.
We're increasing -- significantly increasing the amount of job
training in our -- in the budget I submit to Congress. It recognizes
there are a lot of good, hardworking people in America who received
an education, that were skilled in one area, but the job base has
shifted and, therefore, we better educate people to make sure that
they can shift with the technologies. And, as well, my 2003 budget
increases funding for Job Corps, which is an effective program that
will help disadvantaged young people learn how to work.
So one thing we can do to make sure that people find a job is to
make sure our education system works well throughout its entirety.
Another thing to make sure there's an opportunity to create more
jobs is to have good tax policy that allows people to keep more
money, more of their own money, that you can put more of your own
money in your own pocket and you can spend it. (Applause.)
When workers have more money -- and, by the way, it's your money
to begin with; it's not the government's money. Somebody said the
other day, well, the government is giving back the money. Well,
it's not the government's money, it's the people who work for a
living's money. (Applause.) If you have more of your own money,
it means you're going to spend more. And if you spend more, somebody
is going to have to make more of what you're spending it on, which
means it's more likely somebody is going to find work. That's how
the economy works.
The same with Walker. I want the Walkers to have more money to
reinvest in their business. I want the Walkers to be able to have
more cash flow so they can upgrade the equipment which the workers
here use. It means it's more likely that somebody is going the find
a job for the long-term.
Now, there is kind of a wacky economic theory going around Washington.
It says, the more they take in your taxes, the better off you'll
be. (Laughter.) It doesn't make any economic sense. It doesn't make
any dollars and cents. And here in West Virginia, like they do elsewhere,
they've got to know this is nonsense. (Applause.)
This economy started slowing down last March. And so the tax cut
we put in place for everybody who pays taxes came right at the right
time. If you want to encourage an economy to recover, you let people
keep more of their own money. If you want to slow down an economy,
you stop tax cuts. You, in essence, take money away from people.
And that's not right, folks. I'm worried about job security. The
more money people have, the more likely it is you're going to be
able to find work.
Now, I'm also worried about people who have lost work because of
the evil ones who attacked us. And I look forward to working with
members of both political parties to extend unemployment benefits
to those who lost their job, and to help them with health care.
Surely, we can come together to do that.
But any good economic stimulus plan must ask the question, how
do we create more jobs. And one way to do that is to accelerate
tax relief for workers. And the other way to do that is to make
sure the tax code doesn't punish companies like Walker. We ought
to allow them to accelerate the depreciation schedule so that it
is more likely they will buy more equipment. And we've got to reform
a tax code that makes them pay more taxes even though their profits
are going down. (Applause.)
And it is time for a vote. It's time for people to set aside who's
going to benefit on the nightly news, you know, whose picture is
going to look the best. Let's get a vote up. Let's pass this bill.
Let's quit talking about it, and let's get the bill going. Congress
is coming back tomorrow, and I'm confident, if they listen to the
people out there, they'll know it's time to get a piece of legislation
moving that will help create jobs, and help workers who got affected
as a result of 9/11.
The next opportunity is to make sure that this nation has an energy
policy. This nation needs an energy policy. (Applause.) Jobs depend
on affordable energy. If there's a price spike or a disruption in
supply, people may not have work. And it's also in our nation's
national security interests that we become less dependent on foreign
sources of energy. (Applause.)
And we're dependent. We're dependent on energy from some parts
of the world where sometimes they like us, and sometimes they don't.
And we need to do something about it. We need an energy bill. We
passed one out of the House of Representatives, and it's now time
for the United States Senate to pass a good bill.
It's one that says, of course, we'll conserve more. All of us want
to have new technologies that will make conservation a part of our
life. And we can do a better job in America. One of these days,
we're going to be driving automobiles that are fueled differently.
And that's going to be exciting times for America. In other words,
there's new technologies coming down, and we can encourage those
technologies. So conservation and technological development have
got to be an integral part of energy.
But folks, we need more supply. You know, I'm walking back here
in the back, and they said, I'm now repairing a machine that digs
for coal. We need to use coal. We've got a lot of it, and we need
to make sure that we've got coal. (Applause.)
A lot of people don't realize that good energy policy means jobs.
Bad energy policy means we might lose jobs. Good energy policy means
we can create jobs.
I was with Jimmy Hoffa the other day, of the Teamsters, in his
headquarters. I know, I mean, people just don't expect a Republican
to be hanging out with the Teamsters. (Laughter.) But he and I share
something in common. We worry about people who want to work. He
worries about it, as the head of a mighty union. I worry about it
as the President.
See, I'm the President of everybody, not just a few. I'm the President
of people whether they voted for me or not. I'm the President of
union and non-union. I'm the President of Republicans and Democrats
and independents. And I share something in common with Jimmy, and
that is how best to get jobs. That's why he and I both know that
the energy bill ought to make sure we can explore for natural gas
and crude oil in Alaska. It's good for jobs. (Applause.) He knows
what I know, that means work for people.
There's going to be a lot of work. And he knows what I know as
well, that we can do so in an environmentally friendly way; that
we can have a footprint in this vast tundra that will not affect
the environment and, at the same time, make us less dependent on
foreign sources of energy.
Listen, finding oil and gas and coal in our own hemisphere, and
nuclear power, for that matter, in our own hemisphere is in our
national security interest. And I ask the Senate to put aside all
the politics and get me a good energy bill. It's in the best interests
for people trying to find work and it's in the best interests of
the United States of America. (Applause.)
We can create more opportunities by selling more products overseas.
I spent a lot of time as the governor of Texas with the farmers.
The agricultural sector is an incredibly important part of our economy.
And one of the benefits we have as a nation is we can feed ourselves.
That's good for the national security interest, by the way. But
we produce more food than we need. We ought to be selling it overseas.
The more markets available for U.S. products, the more likely it
is somebody is going to find work.
It is so important for America to understand that we're good at
what we do. We can compete with anybody in the world. We've got
the most productive work force on the face of the Earth; therefore,
let's open up markets to sell our products. (Applause.) The Senate
has got to give me the ability to do that. It came out of the House;
it's bottled up in the Senate. I ask them to pass that bill, called
the Trade Promotion Authority.
In order to create good jobs, we've got to have a legal system
that's fair and balanced. I want people who have got a good case
to be able to make their case in court. But I'm going to tell you,
the Walker boys fear frivolous and junk lawsuits. I don't know them
that well, but I can guess they do. (Laughter.) And we don't need
a lot of regulation either. The federal government ought to be wise
about how we enforce standards, but not overregulate those who are
trying to create work. (Applause.)
We can do some smart things in Washington to create jobs. One of
the things the government needs to do is to spend money on research
and development. The more research and development there are, the
more likely it is we'll find interesting answers to energy problems
or health problems or national security issues. And that translates
And so my budget for 2003 spends $110 billion on federal research
-- on grants for research and development. It makes sense. The more
we know today about the future, the more likely it is we're going
to be able to have a work force that's steadily employed.
And finally, we've got to make sure that we have retirement security;
that if part of a secure economic environment begins with education,
it's got to end with making sure that our Medicare system works
well, that people are given options, that it's a modern system that
reflects the modern ways of medicine; and that we have a Social
Security system that fulfills the promise to the elderly, but recognizes
we better reform it for the younger workers so that they will have
a Social Security system -- one that says if you're relying upon
Social Security today, nothing changes. The promise we have made
you will be a promise this government will keep.
But if you're a younger worker, we've got to trust you to manage
your own money, if that's what you choose to do. You see, ownership
is a part of what it means to have a society that is vibrant, that
is a society based upon economic security. I want people to own
their home, and so we've got plans to encourage ownership from renters.
I want people to be able to manage their own money. I want people
to be able to own and start their own business. I want them to be
able to pass their farm or ranch or business from one generation
to the next. That's why I was so insistent we get rid of the death
tax in the tax code.
Ownership is what makes America unique and different. And if we're
asking about how to make sure we have a secure environment for workers
and families, let's encourage people to own their own home and business
and their own retirement accounts. And we can do that.
As a matter of fact, I'm confident in our economy, confident in
-- because I'm confident in the American way of life. You know,
they hit us on 9/11, but Walker was running before 9/11 and it's
running after 9/11. I mean, some certainly have gotten affected
as a result of the attacks. But they didn't diminish the entrepreneurial
spirit of America. They didn't diminish the drive by small business
owners to expand and grow and to create jobs.
We've got -- the underpinnings of growth are with us. And our job
in Washington, D.C., is to encourage that growth, and to always
remember that jobs are the cornerstone of good economic policy.
But these are unique times in America, which means we've got to
really deal with the problem that came upon our shores. The truth
of the matter is, the best thing I can do for the economy is to
make sure the enemy doesn't hit us again. And I'm proud of the --
(applause). Every morning I wake up, walk into the great Oval Office.
Well, first I take Barney and Spot outside. (Laughter.) But I go
into this fabulous office -- by the way, it is just a -- it's a
shrine to our great democracy -- and I read a threat assessment.
You know the intentions of the enemy are to hit us again. And I
make a vow every morning that I will do everything in my power and
encourage those of us in positions of responsibility not to let
You need to know our government is on full alert, and I hope you
are, as well. People say, what does that mean. Well, if you see
something odd happening, let somebody know. Something out of the
ordinary. It's just like that stewardess on the airplane that time
when the shoe man showed up. She saw something was odd. (Laughter.)
She thought something was different and she brought him in. That's
what Americans must do now as a result of the evil ones hitting
us. We've got to be on our toes.
The FBI has changed its culture. The FBI is now focused on preventing
another attack. We've got agents all across the country working
day in and day out to sniff out any lead, any idea. Because our
biggest job is to prevent them from coming at us. They may come
at us, but they're not going to get us. (Applause.)
I want to thank the local law enforcement officers here in West
Virginia who are working hand in hand with state officers and working
with our federal people, too. But the truth of the matter is, the
best way to make sure that we secure our homeland is to find the
enemy where they hide and bring them to justice. And that's exactly
what we're going to do. (Applause.)
Many of you have got relatives in the military, and I want to thank
you. And you thank them on behalf of their Commander-in-Chief. Put
the military to a task, and the military is preforming brilliantly.
We told the world -- I told the world -- our government has told
the world, our country has told the world, that this compassionate,
generous nation will not let terror stand; that wherever we find
terror, we will deal with it. We put a great coalition together,
people who understand that this is an historic opportunity and a
moment in which those who love freedom must not blink and must not
tire. That -- I made it clear that if you harbor a terrorist, if
you feed a terrorist, we're going to treat you like a terrorist.
And the Taliban learned that lesson because of our United States
military. (Applause.) They're not in power. And by routing them
out of power, this great nation not only defended freedom, not only
sent a clear message about our intention, but this great nation
liberated a people. We liberated women and children. We freed people
from incredible oppression. What a proud moment for America, that
we stood for what we believe, and in so doing, gave people a better
chance for life.
I want to thank you all, and thank the American people for your
patience. If we tire, the world will tire. If we get impatient,
the terrorists win. Yet our great nation is bound by such a love
for freedom, and the desire not for revenge, but for justice, that
we're not going to tire; that we will stay the course. (Applause.)
Families in America have suffered the greatest sacrifice of all,
the loss of a loved one. But in this case, the cause is noble, and
it is just. We fight for freedom and the ability for our children
and grandchildren to grow up in a peaceful world, one that does
not fear murderers coming to our shore and killing through acts
This country must not yield. We must seize this moment of history.
It is this generation's calling, and we are not going to let the
world down. We're ready, we're steady, we're resolved. And we will
rout out the terrorists, no matter what cave they think they can
hide in, and bring them to justice. (Applause.)
You know, I was floored to think about the attitudes of the enemy
when they thought we were soft. I couldn't figure out which TV show
they had been watching. (Laughter.) I mean, can you imagine somebody
saying the great United States won't respond, or the great United
States really doesn't care, won't commit the resources necessary
to rid the world of evil? But, my, oh, my, did they make a huge
They also didn't understand the character of the country. They
don't understand how good we are. They don't understand America's
values -- the values of freedom of worship, no matter what religion
you choose; freedom to speak; freedom to run for office; freedom
to vote; freedom to be -- to work for your family so your family
can live in a peaceful world. They don't understand that. They must
not understand it.
I'm asked all the time, what can I do to help. Well, what you could
do to help for a while was to travel, and it looks like we're getting
better. Airlines are filling up and people are going to different
destination places. But the truth of the matter is, if you want
to fight evil -- and make no mistake about it, this is good versus
evil -- if you want to fight evil, do some good.
If you're interested in fighting evil, tell your children you love
them every day this year. If you want to fight off evil, get involved
in the school system and make it as good as it can be. Teach a child
to read. If you want to fight evil, go to your church or synagogue
or mosque and start a program that will love a neighbor. If you
want to fight evil, go see a shut-in and say, what can I do to help.
You see, the great character of America is not defined necessarily
by our military actions, although that counts. The great character
of America is defined by millions of acts of decency and kindness
that take place every day all across our country. (Applause.)
The evil ones struck, but out of this will come incredible good.
The world will be more peaceful when we accomplish our mission.
And this country will be more compassionate and more decent and
It's such an honor to be the President of a land that has achieved
so much, but with much more to do. Thank you for giving me the chance
to come, and thank you for giving me the chance to be your President.
May God bless you all. (Applause.)
END 1:33 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT'S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS--
January 29, 2002
The United States Capitol
9:15 P.M. EST
|The President reviews draft of his SOTU speech
with White House staff, 1/24/02.
White House photo by
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Mr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney,
members of Congress, distinguished guests, fellow citizens: As we
gather tonight, our nation is at war, our economy is in recession,
and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. Yet the state
of our Union has never been stronger. (Applause.)
||We last met in an hour of shock and suffering.
In four short months, our nation has comforted the victims,
begun to rebuild New York and the Pentagon, rallied a great
coalition, captured, arrested, and rid the world of thousands
of terrorists, destroyed Afghanistan's terrorist training camps,
saved a people from starvation, and freed a country from brutal
The American flag flies again over our embassy in Kabul. Terrorists
who once occupied Afghanistan now occupy cells at Guantanamo
Bay. (Applause.) And terrorist leaders who urged followers to
sacrifice their lives are running for their own. (Applause.)
|The President delivers his SOTU address.
House photo by Eric Draper.
America and Afghanistan are now allies against terror. We'll be
partners in rebuilding that country. And this evening we welcome
the distinguished interim leader of a liberated Afghanistan: Chairman
Hamid Karzai. (Applause.)
The last time we met in this chamber, the mothers and daughters
of Afghanistan were captives in their own homes, forbidden from
working or going to school. Today women are free, and are part of
Afghanistan's new government. And we welcome the new Minister of
Women's Affairs, Doctor Sima Samar. (Applause.)
Our progress is a tribute to the spirit of the Afghan people, to
the resolve of our coalition, and to the might of the United States
military. (Applause.) When I called our troops into action, I did
so with complete confidence in their courage and skill. And tonight,
thanks to them, we are winning the war on terror. (Applause.) The
man and women of our Armed Forces have delivered a message now clear
to every enemy of the United States: Even 7,000 miles away, across
oceans and continents, on mountaintops and in caves -- you will
not escape the justice of this nation. (Applause.)
For many Americans, these four months have brought sorrow, and pain
that will never completely go away. Every day a retired firefighter
returns to Ground Zero, to feel closer to his two sons who died
there. At a memorial in New York, a little boy left his football
with a note for his lost father: Dear Daddy, please take this to
heaven. I don't want to play football until I can play with you
again some day.
Last month, at the grave of her husband, Michael, a CIA officer
and Marine who died in Mazur-e-Sharif, Shannon Spann said these
words of farewell: "Semper Fi, my love." Shannon is with
us tonight. (Applause.)
Shannon, I assure you and all who have lost a loved one that our
cause is just, and our country will never forget the debt we owe
Michael and all who gave their lives for freedom.
Our cause is just, and it continues. Our discoveries in Afghanistan
confirmed our worst fears, and showed us the true scope of the task
ahead. We have seen the depth of our enemies' hatred in videos,
where they laugh about the loss of innocent life. And the depth
of their hatred is equaled by the madness of the destruction they
design. We have found diagrams of American nuclear power plants
and public water facilities, detailed instructions for making chemical
weapons, surveillance maps of American cities, and thorough descriptions
of landmarks in America and throughout the world.
What we have found in Afghanistan confirms that, far from ending
there, our war against terror is only beginning. Most of the 19
men who hijacked planes on September the 11th were trained in Afghanistan's
camps, and so were tens of thousands of others. Thousands of dangerous
killers, schooled in the methods of murder, often supported by outlaw
regimes, are now spread throughout the world like ticking time bombs,
set to go off without warning.
Thanks to the work of our law enforcement officials and coalition
partners, hundreds of terrorists have been arrested. Yet, tens of
thousands of trained terrorists are still at large. These enemies
view the entire world as a battlefield, and we must pursue them
wherever they are. (Applause.) So long as training camps operate,
so long as nations harbor terrorists, freedom is at risk. And America
and our allies must not, and will not, allow it. (Applause.)
Our nation will continue to be steadfast and patient and persistent
in the pursuit of two great objectives. First, we will shut down
terrorist camps, disrupt terrorist plans, and bring terrorists to
justice. And, second, we must prevent the terrorists and regimes
who seek chemical, biological or nuclear weapons from threatening
the United States and the world. (Applause.)
Our military has put the terror training camps of Afghanistan out
of business, yet camps still exist in at least a dozen countries.
A terrorist underworld -- including groups like Hamas, Hezbollah,
Islamic Jihad, Jaish-i-Mohammed -- operates in remote jungles and
deserts, and hides in the centers of large cities.
While the most visible military action is in Afghanistan, America
is acting elsewhere. We now have troops in the Philippines, helping
to train that country's armed forces to go after terrorist cells
that have executed an American, and still hold hostages. Our soldiers,
working with the Bosnian government, seized terrorists who were
plotting to bomb our embassy. Our Navy is patrolling the coast of
Africa to block the shipment of weapons and the establishment of
terrorist camps in Somalia.
My hope is that all nations will heed our call, and eliminate the
terrorist parasites who threaten their countries and our own. Many
nations are acting forcefully. Pakistan is now cracking down on
terror, and I admire the strong leadership of President Musharraf.
But some governments will be timid in the face of terror. And make
no mistake about it: If they do not act, America will. (Applause.)
Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening
America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction.
Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September the
11th. But we know their true nature. North Korea is a regime arming
with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its
Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while
an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom.
Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support
terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve
gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that
has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens
-- leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children.
This is a regime that agreed to international inspections -- then
kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to
hide from the civilized world.
States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis
of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons
of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger.
They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means
to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to
blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of
indifference would be catastrophic.
We will work closely with our coalition to deny terrorists and their
state sponsors the materials, technology, and expertise to make
and deliver weapons of mass destruction. We will develop and deploy
effective missile defenses to protect America and our allies from
sudden attack. (Applause.) And all nations should know: America
will do what is necessary to ensure our nation's security.
We'll be deliberate, yet time is not on our side. I will not wait
on events, while dangers gather. I will not stand by, as peril draws
closer and closer. The United States of America will not permit
the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's
most destructive weapons. (Applause.)
Our war on terror is well begun, but it is only begun. This campaign
may not be finished on our watch -- yet it must be and it will be
waged on our watch.
We can't stop short. If we stop now -- leaving terror camps intact
and terror states unchecked -- our sense of security would be false
and temporary. History has called America and our allies to action,
and it is both our responsibility and our privilege to fight freedom's
Our first priority must always be the security of our nation, and
that will be reflected in the budget I send to Congress. My budget
supports three great goals for America: We will win this war; we'll
protect our homeland; and we will revive our economy.
September the 11th brought out the best in America, and the best
in this Congress. And I join the American people in applauding your
unity and resolve. (Applause.) Now Americans deserve to have this
same spirit directed toward addressing problems here at home. I'm
a proud member of my party -- yet as we act to win the war, protect
our people, and create jobs in America, we must act, first and foremost,
not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Americans. (Applause.)
It costs a lot to fight this war. We have spent more than a billion
dollars a month -- over $30 million a day -- and we must be prepared
for future operations. Afghanistan proved that expensive precision
weapons defeat the enemy and spare innocent lives, and we need more
of them. We need to replace aging aircraft and make our military
more agile, to put our troops anywhere in the world quickly and
safely. Our men and women in uniform deserve the best weapons, the
best equipment, the best training -- and they also deserve another
pay raise. (Applause.)
My budget includes the largest increase in defense spending in two
decades -- because while the price of freedom and security is high,
it is never too high. Whatever it costs to defend our country, we
will pay. (Applause.)
The next priority of my budget is to do everything possible to protect
our citizens and strengthen our nation against the ongoing threat
of another attack. Time and distance from the events of September
the 11th will not make us safer unless we act on its lessons. America
is no longer protected by vast oceans. We are protected from attack
only by vigorous action abroad, and increased vigilance at home.
My budget nearly doubles funding for a sustained strategy of homeland
security, focused on four key areas: bioterrorism, emergency response,
airport and border security, and improved intelligence. We will
develop vaccines to fight anthrax and other deadly diseases. We'll
increase funding to help states and communities train and equip
our heroic police and firefighters. (Applause.) We will improve
intelligence collection and sharing, expand patrols at our borders,
strengthen the security of air travel, and use technology to track
the arrivals and departures of visitors to the United States. (Applause.)
Homeland security will make America not only stronger, but, in many
ways, better. Knowledge gained from bioterrorism research will improve
public health. Stronger police and fire departments will mean safer
neighborhoods. Stricter border enforcement will help combat illegal
drugs. (Applause.) And as government works to better secure our
homeland, America will continue to depend on the eyes and ears of
A few days before Christmas, an airline flight attendant spotted
a passenger lighting a match. The crew and passengers quickly subdued
the man, who had been trained by al Qaeda and was armed with explosives.
The people on that plane were alert and, as a result, likely saved
nearly 200 lives. And tonight we welcome and thank flight attendants
Hermis Moutardier and Christina Jones. (Applause.)
Once we have funded our national security and our homeland security,
the final great priority of my budget is economic security for the
American people. (Applause.) To achieve these great national objectives
-- to win the war, protect the homeland, and revitalize our economy
-- our budget will run a deficit that will be small and short-term,
so long as Congress restrains spending and acts in a fiscally responsible
manner. (Applause.) We have clear priorities and we must act at
home with the same purpose and resolve we have shown overseas: We'll
prevail in the war, and we will defeat this recession. (Applause.)
Americans who have lost their jobs need our help and I support extending
unemployment benefits and direct assistance for health care coverage.
(Applause.) Yet, American workers want more than unemployment checks
-- they want a steady paycheck. (Applause.) When America works,
America prospers, so my economic security plan can be summed up
in one word: jobs. (Applause.)
Good jobs begin with good schools, and here we've made a fine start.
(Applause.) Republicans and Democrats worked together to achieve
historic education reform so that no child is left behind. I was
proud to work with members of both parties: Chairman John Boehner
and Congressman George Miller. (Applause.) Senator Judd Gregg. (Applause.)
And I was so proud of our work, I even had nice things to say about
my friend, Ted Kennedy. (Laughter and applause.) I know the folks
at the Crawford coffee shop couldn't believe I'd say such a thing
-- (laughter) -- but our work on this bill shows what is possible
if we set aside posturing and focus on results. (Applause.)
There is more to do. We need to prepare our children to read and
succeed in school with improved Head Start and early childhood development
programs. (Applause.) We must upgrade our teacher colleges and teacher
training and launch a major recruiting drive with a great goal for
America: a quality teacher in every classroom. (Applause.)
Good jobs also depend on reliable and affordable energy. This Congress
must act to encourage conservation, promote technology, build infrastructure,
and it must act to increase energy production at home so America
is less dependent on foreign oil. (Applause.)
Good jobs depend on expanded trade. Selling into new markets creates
new jobs, so I ask Congress to finally approve trade promotion authority.
(Applause.) On these two key issues, trade and energy, the House
of Representatives has acted to create jobs, and I urge the Senate
to pass this legislation. (Applause.)
Good jobs depend on sound tax policy. (Applause.) Last year, some
in this hall thought my tax relief plan was too small; some thought
it was too big. (Applause.) But when the checks arrived in the mail,
most Americans thought tax relief was just about right. (Applause.)
Congress listened to the people and responded by reducing tax rates,
doubling the child credit, and ending the death tax. For the sake
of long-term growth and to help Americans plan for the future, let's
make these tax cuts permanent. (Applause.)
The way out of this recession, the way to create jobs, is to grow
the economy by encouraging investment in factories and equipment,
and by speeding up tax relief so people have more money to spend.
For the sake of American workers, let's pass a stimulus package.
Good jobs must be the aim of welfare reform. As we reauthorize these
important reforms, we must always remember the goal is to reduce
dependency on government and offer every American the dignity of
a job. (Applause.)
Americans know economic security can vanish in an instant without
health security. I ask Congress to join me this year to enact a
patients' bill of rights -- (applause) -- to give uninsured workers
credits to help buy health coverage -- (applause) -- to approve
an historic increase in the spending for veterans' health -- (applause)
-- and to give seniors a sound and modern Medicare system that includes
coverage for prescription drugs. (Applause.)
A good job should lead to security in retirement. I ask Congress
to enact new safeguards for 401K and pension plans. (Applause.)
Employees who have worked hard and saved all their lives should
not have to risk losing everything if their company fails. (Applause.)
Through stricter accounting standards and tougher disclosure requirements,
corporate America must be made more accountable to employees and
shareholders and held to the highest standards of conduct. (Applause.)
Retirement security also depends upon keeping the commitments of
Social Security, and we will. We must make Social Security financially
stable and allow personal retirement accounts for younger workers
who choose them. (Applause.)
Members, you and I will work together in the months ahead on other
issues: productive farm policy -- (applause) -- a cleaner environment
-- (applause) -- broader home ownership, especially among minorities
-- (applause) -- and ways to encourage the good work of charities
and faith-based groups. (Applause.) I ask you to join me on these
important domestic issues in the same spirit of cooperation we've
applied to our war against terrorism. (Applause.)
During these last few months, I've been humbled and privileged to
see the true character of this country in a time of testing. Our
enemies believed America was weak and materialistic, that we would
splinter in fear and selfishness. They were as wrong as they are
The American people have responded magnificently, with courage and
compassion, strength and resolve. As I have met the heroes, hugged
the families, and looked into the tired faces of rescuers, I have
stood in awe of the American people.
And I hope you will join me -- I hope you will join me in expressing
thanks to one American for the strength and calm and comfort she
brings to our nation in crisis, our First Lady, Laura Bush. (Applause.)
None of us would ever wish the evil that was done on September the
11th. Yet after America was attacked, it was as if our entire country
looked into a mirror and saw our better selves. We were reminded
that we are citizens, with obligations to each other, to our country,
and to history. We began to think less of the goods we can accumulate,
and more about the good we can do.
For too long our culture has said, "If it feels good, do it."
Now America is embracing a new ethic and a new creed: "Let's
roll." (Applause.) In the sacrifice of soldiers, the fierce
brotherhood of firefighters, and the bravery and generosity of ordinary
citizens, we have glimpsed what a new culture of responsibility
could look like. We want to be a nation that serves goals larger
than self. We've been offered a unique opportunity, and we must
not let this moment pass. (Applause.)
My call tonight is for every American to commit at least two years
-- 4,000 hours over the rest of your lifetime -- to the service
of your neighbors and your nation. (Applause.) Many are already
serving, and I thank you. If you aren't sure how to help, I've got
a good place to start. To sustain and extend the best that has emerged
in America, I invite you to join the new USA Freedom Corps. The
Freedom Corps will focus on three areas of need: responding in case
of crisis at home; rebuilding our communities; and extending American
compassion throughout the world.
One purpose of the USA Freedom Corps will be homeland security.
America needs retired doctors and nurses who can be mobilized in
major emergencies; volunteers to help police and fire departments;
transportation and utility workers well-trained in spotting danger.
Our country also needs citizens working to rebuild our communities.
We need mentors to love children, especially children whose parents
are in prison. And we need more talented teachers in troubled schools.
USA Freedom Corps will expand and improve the good efforts of AmeriCorps
and Senior Corps to recruit more than 200,000 new volunteers.
And America needs citizens to extend the compassion of our country
to every part of the world. So we will renew the promise of the
Peace Corps, double its volunteers over the next five years -- (applause)
-- and ask it to join a new effort to encourage development and
education and opportunity in the Islamic world. (Applause.)
This time of adversity offers a unique moment of opportunity --
a moment we must seize to change our culture. Through the gathering
momentum of millions of acts of service and decency and kindness,
I know we can overcome evil with greater good. (Applause.) And we
have a great opportunity during this time of war to lead the world
toward the values that will bring lasting peace.
All fathers and mothers, in all societies, want their children to
be educated, and live free from poverty and violence. No people
on Earth yearn to be oppressed, or aspire to servitude, or eagerly
await the midnight knock of the secret police.
If anyone doubts this, let them look to Afghanistan, where the Islamic
"street" greeted the fall of tyranny with song and celebration.
Let the skeptics look to Islam's own rich history, with its centuries
of learning, and tolerance and progress. America will lead by defending
liberty and justice because they are right and true and unchanging
for all people everywhere. (Applause.)
No nation owns these aspirations, and no nation is exempt from them.
We have no intention of imposing our culture. But America will always
stand firm for the non-negotiable demands of human dignity: the
rule of law; limits on the power of the state; respect for women;
private property; free speech; equal justice; and religious tolerance.
America will take the side of brave men and women who advocate these
values around the world, including the Islamic world, because we
have a greater objective than eliminating threats and containing
resentment. We seek a just and peaceful world beyond the war on
In this moment of opportunity, a common danger is erasing old rivalries.
America is working with Russia and China and India, in ways we have
never before, to achieve peace and prosperity. In every region,
free markets and free trade and free societies are proving their
power to lift lives. Together with friends and allies from Europe
to Asia, and Africa to Latin America, we will demonstrate that the
forces of terror cannot stop the momentum of freedom. (Applause.)
The last time I spoke here, I expressed the hope that life would
return to normal. In some ways, it has. In others, it never will.
Those of us who have lived through these challenging times have
been changed by them. We've come to know truths that we will never
question: evil is real, and it must be opposed. (Applause.) Beyond
all differences of race or creed, we are one country, mourning together
and facing danger together. Deep in the American character, there
is honor, and it is stronger than cynicism. And many have discovered
again that even in tragedy -- especially in tragedy -- God is near.
In a single instant, we realized that this will be a decisive decade
in the history of liberty, that we've been called to a unique role
in human events. Rarely has the world faced a choice more clear
Our enemies send other people's children on missions of suicide
and murder. They embrace tyranny and death as a cause and a creed.
We stand for a different choice, made long ago, on the day of our
founding. We affirm it again today. We choose freedom and the dignity
of every life. (Applause.)
Steadfast in our purpose, we now press on. We have known freedom's
price. We have shown freedom's power. And in this great conflict,
my fellow Americans, we will see freedom's victory.
Thank you all. May God bless. (Applause.)
END 10:03 P.M. EST
Remarks by the President
at the 2002 National Summit on Retirement Savings--Feb. 28, 2002
Capital Hilton Hotel
White House photo
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much. I appreciate that warm welcome.
It's a pleasure to be here with friends and those who are promoting
an important cause, and that is promoting the security and dignity
of Americans who are in retirement.
Americans can help secure their own future by saving. Government
must support policies that promote and protect saving. And saving
is the path to independence for Americans in all phases of life,
and we must encourage more Americans to take that path.
I want to thank the Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao, for helping
put on this conference, and I appreciate her service. (Applause.)
I appreciate the Director of the Small Business Administration for
being here -- Hector, thank you for coming. (Applause.) It is good
to see at least one fellow Texan, Sam Johnson. I appreciate you
being here, Sammy, thank you for coming. (Applause.) And I appreciate
Bill Roth, the former Senator from Delaware, for being here as well.
Thank you, Senator, for coming today. (Applause.)
Just over a hundred years ago, at the turn of the last century,
the average life expectancy in America was only 47 years. Today,
that number has increased by three full decades. This amazing advance
in the health of Americans is also profoundly changing our society.
Americans who retire today may have decades -- decades -- of healthy
life before them.
This is time to volunteer, making seniors one of the greatest resources
of compassion in America. This is time for family to pass on values
to grandchildren and to strengthen the bonds between grandparents
and family members. And, increasingly, retirement is a time of new
beginnings: a time to travel and explore; a time to take up new
hobbies; and a time to take up new careers.
Some 80 percent of baby boomers -- I happen to be one -- (laughter)
-- say they plan to work at least part-time in retirement. And smart
employers will be wise to use their experience, and their competence.
The choices seniors make in retirement should not be limited by
arbitrary dates, or obsolete stereotypes. Increasingly, the choices
of seniors will only be limited by two things: the state of their
health, and the state of their savings.
Because the nature of retirement is changing, the needs of retirement
are changing as well. Older Americans now require a retirement nest
egg large enough for decades of enjoyment and ambition. As medicine
increases the length of life, adequate savings must increase the
options we have on longer lives.
Saving is never easy; it's hard for some to do. But it's always
worthwhile. Particularly when you think about the power of compounding
interest. The power of compound interest is one of the great advantages
of American citizens. And they must learn to use it. If a worker
starts saving just $20 a week at age 22, and earns a 5.5 percent
real interest rate on the investment, that adds up to a nest egg
of nearly $180,000 by age 65.
This summit was created by Congress to educate workers and citizens
about the power and rewards of saving, and I want to thank you for
participating. You've accomplished a great deal, but there's much
more to do.
Americans are saving too little -- often, dangerously too little.
The average 50-year-old in America has less than $40,000 in personal
financial wealth. The average American retires with only enough
savings to provide 60 percent of his former annual income. This
problem is especially acute for women and minorities.
We must encourage for all our people the security and independence
provided by savings. I want America to be an ownership society,
a society where a life of work becomes a retirement of independence.
Savings start as an individual responsibility, but government can
help by expanding the rewards of saving and by strengthening protections
for saving. Last year, the Congress passed, and I proudly signed,
powerful new incentives for retirement savings. Many of you in this
room were involved in that effort and I want to thank you.
We relaxed the restrictions on how much workers can invest in their
individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans. Last year's tax
relief plan allowed workers over the age of 50 to make overpayments
to their retirement plans. This is especially important for women,
who take time out of the labor force to stay at home with their
We passed some important reforms to give workers more choices and
more rights. We created a new kind of 401(k), that allows workers
to pay their taxes now and make tax-free withdrawals when they retire,
just like the way the Roth IRA works. And we required companies
to vest their employees' retirement rights more quickly. Your retirement
money becomes yours faster now more than ever.
And, finally, we made it easier to roll over retirement savings
from one account to another. We know that American workers change
jobs more frequently today than they used to. This means that people
are seeing opportunity, and they're seizing it. But if workers are
going to move, their retirement savings need to move with them without
unnecessary bureaucracy and unnecessary paperwork.
Thanks to the 2001 tax relief program, our tax code is now friendlier
to saving than it has been in a long time. Not only am I proud of
cutting taxes, I'm proud of reforming the savings, and I'm proud
of the good work that Congress did on this matter.
But there's still more to do. Even when people are saving enough,
they need to feel more secure about the laws protecting their savings.
In recent months, we've seen how workers can lose a lifetime's worth
of savings if their company were to fail. So my administration has
proposed reforms to make sure that the money Americans put away
in their working years grows safely, so it is available in their
More than 40 million workers own 401(k) accounts totaling over
$1.8 trillion in assets. Many of these assets have been contributed
by employers who match their workers' own savings. We know that
employers contribute more when they have the option to give company
stock as well as cash, and that option ought to remain as positive
for American workers. But a worker should also have more freedom
to choose how to invest their retirement savings.
Companies that contribute stock to employee 401(k)s should not
be permitted to lock their employees into owning that stock for
years and years. My proposal will allow workers to sell company
stock and diversify into other investment options after three years
in their own company's plan. We need action to give workers the
right to put their savings -- to put their eggs in more than one
Another important reform addresses the issue of blackouts, times
when employees are not free to change or access their retirement
accounts. When companies black-out a pension plan, they temporarily
take away a worker's freedom to choose for themselves. Workers should
be given a 30-day notice before any blackout period begins and company
officers should not be allowed to sell their own company stock when
workers cannot. (Applause.) What's fair on the top floor should
be fair on the shop floor. (Applause.)
To make good investment decisions, workers need sound advice and
timely information. Employers should be required to provide updates
on workers' retirement account values every three months. And we
should change current law to remove the threat of lawsuits from
employers who provide sound third-party investment advice.
All these measures will help build faith in America's pension system,
and I urge Congress to act.
I want to thank Senators Tim Hutchison and Chuck Grassley, and Representatives
Boehner, Portman, and Cardin, for their bipartisan efforts to put
forward good, common-sense legislation that seeks to achieve many
of these pension reform principles. Every American deserves to be
an owner in the American Dream.
That dream includes a sound pension plan, and adequate private
savings. And it is ultimately completed by Social Security reform.
Some people like their Social Security exactly the way it is, and
they'll be able to keep it exactly the way it is. But for younger
workers who want to take advantage of the power of compounding interest,
we should allow for personal retirement accounts. (Applause.)
Today, Social Security is not a personal savings program. Retirees'
benefits are paid directly from the taxes paid each year by current
workers. The average return on Social Security is less than 2 percent.
And in the long run, Social Security can pay retirees less than
30 percent of what they earned before retiring. And that's not good
enough as we head into the 21st century.
We can do better, and a lot of people know this. Someone retiring
today after 45 years of work would be entitled to a monthly benefit
of $1,128 a month from Social Security. If that same retiree, if
those Social Security taxes had been invested in the stock market
over the last 45 years, during the same period of time, that person
would now have a nest egg of $590,000, or income of more than $3,700
Because there will be an expanding number of retirees for Social
Security to support in the future, we must apply the power of savings,
investing, and compound interest to the challenges of Social Security
by introducing personal retirement accounts into the system. Americans
would own these assets. After all, it is their money. (Applause.)
They would see more retirement income, and that's necessary as people
live longer lives. And, as importantly, they would be able to pass
these accounts on to their children. (Applause.)
Franklin Roosevelt told the U.S. Congress in 1935 that his goals
for Social Security included providing a secure retirement to American
workers and making sure all Americans could build their personal
wealth. We must dedicate ourselves to both those goals.
At a time when older Americans have longer lives and more options
than ever before, we need to ensure they have access not just to
a monthly check, but to personal wealth. (Applause.) And I mean
all Americans -- not just a few, but all Americans, especially women
and minorities who are often short-changed by the current Social
Robert Johnson, the CEO of Black Entertainment Television, explains
it this way. "African Americans die earlier, therefore receiving
less in the form of Social Security pay-outs. One of the ways to
address this is through the use of wealth-generating private accounts
that form part of an estate opportunity for African Americans."
And Lea Abdnor, a member of the President's Commission to strengthen
Social Security -- as was Mr. Johnson -- said, "I believe very
strongly that we have to give women the opportunity to create ownership
and wealth for the first time." (Applause.) And I couldn't
agree more. (Applause.)
My administration is working to expand growth and opportunity in
our economy. That's why we cut the taxes. (Applause.) And we've
got to make sure the opportunity is available as a result of people
being able to own something, own their own money so they can manage
it themselves, own their own portfolio, have the capacity to generate
wealth. The generation of wealth should not be limited to a few
in our society; it ought to be an opportunity for everybody. There's
nothing better than providing the incentive to say this is my asset
base, I own it, I will live on it in retirement, and I will then
pass it on to somebody in my own family.
If you own something in America, you own a stake in America's future,
and a good retirement vision, a good retirement future says that
we must reform Social Security, not only for the good of the system
but, as importantly, for the good of American workers who work all
their life so that they can have an asset base to call their own.
So as you continue to meet, I hope that you will think not only
about the short term issues we face, but how best to make sure that
the retirement promises are kept. And how to make sure that as we
come up with new systems and new structures that we fundamentally
change America for the better, that we make the system open and
that opportunity extends its reach throughout every neighborhood.
It is such a wonderful opportunity for the country, and I hope you
join me in seizing it.
I want to thank you for giving me the chance to come by. Elaine
is right, I do worry about the security of the American people;
I worry about the security of those who retire. And I want you to
know every day I'm worried about the homeland security, too. Every
day we wake up -- I wake up and go into the beautiful Oval Office
and read about threats to the United States. And it reminds me that
the security of this country is my most important job.
And I want to assure you all that our administration is doing everything
that we possibly can to make sure innocent Americans do not lose
their lives here at home. We're running down every lead, we're following
every hint, every suggestion, every opportunity to chase down some
possible clue of an attack -- we are doing it. And I'm proud of
our law enforcement officers at the federal, state and local level
for their diligence.
But I also want to remind you that in order to make sure the homeland
is as secure as it can possibly be for our children and grandchildren,
that we must hunt down the killers and would-be killers, terrorists,
al Qaeda terrorists and bring them to justice. This is going to
require more time than people may want. It's going to require a
patient and determined nation.
But having traveled around the country some, having had a chance
to listen to the American people, I'm proud of the fact that our
nation is patient and is determined. Because our nation understands
that we fight for freedom, and any time our freedom is challenged,
we stand strong in the face of those who would take away our freedom.
Our military is making great strides, I'm proud of the U.S. military.
And as fellow Americans, I will assure you that so long as I'm the
President, I will do whatever it takes to protect the American people.
I want to thank you for letting me come by. May God bless you all.
President Speaks at Hispanic
Chamber of Commerce -- March 6, 2002
Presidential Hall Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building
2:30 P.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Hector, thank you. One of the best decisions I made
was I asked you to come and be the SBA Director. And he's doing
a fine job. (Applause.) One of the reasons I asked Hector is because
he understands that the role of government is not to create wealth,
but to create an environment in which entrepreneurs from all walks
of life have a chance to succeed.
I'll never forget going to the Hispanic Chamber banquet in California,
and I was given the information about the number of Latino-owned
small businesses in the state of California. It was a staggering
number. And I can remember telling friends of mine in Texas and
other states what a magnificent statistic it is, to be able to read
about the thousands of businesses started by Latinos, which means
the American Dream is spreading her wings in every single neighborhood,
which is precisely the vision I have for America. I want everybody
who wants to start their own business to feel comfortable in doing
so, and have an opportunity to succeed in America. And Hector understands
I want to thank you all to the Casa Blanca tambien. I want to thank
Fidel Vargas for being here. He's on the Social Security Commission
-- I put two Latinos on the Social Security Commission. The Social
Security Commission spent a lot of time analyzing the Social Security
system, and came back with a solid recommendation of allowing younger
workers, if they so choose, to have their own money invested in
a personal savings account.
Again, I can't think of anything better for the future of our country
than for people to own a piece of the future of America. After all,
it is not the government's money we're talking about; it is the
workers' money. And I want to thank the hard work of Fidel, y nosotros
and the Commission of the Social Security.
I want to thank George Herrera, the President of the Chamber --
el Presidente. (Laughter and applause). I want to thank Liz, as
well, for being here. E tambien me abogado. (Applause.) Al has been
my lawyer since when I was the governor. He's been mi abogado quando
estoy el presidente, and his advice has always been sound. He's
really a smart guy and a very close friend.
And finally, I want to recognize Miguel Estrada. Miguel. (Applause.)
Miguel is a really bright attorney who I've named to the U.S. --
nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit. They're playing
too much politics in the United States Senate on our judge nominees.
This man deserves a hearing and he deserves a vote. This is a good,
solid jurist who ought to be on that bench. And I'm calling on the
United States Senate to move quickly on Miguel's nomination, so
that we can have a good, young Latino; smart, brilliant man represent
our nation. Thank you for being here, Miguel. (Applause.)
I first want to tell you that -- this is an incredible time for
our country, and I want to assure you all, as leaders in your communities
and moms and dads and as concerned citizens, that our nation is
doing everything we can to protect America; that we've got a homeland
security strategy that is working with first responders and bioterrorism;
that we want to modernize our borders. We want to make sure we do
everything to protect the American people, and we are.
But you've also got to understand my view, and it's this: that
the best way to protect the American people is to find a terrorist
wherever they hide and bring them to justice. You know, when this
first got started I told the American people that we would be in
for a long and difficult struggle. And after nearly six months,
the American people still understand that -- that in order to fight
for freedom, in order to win for freedom, we've got to be determined
and strong and not relent. History has called this great nation
into action, and so long as I'm the President, I will pursue the
opportunity to protect freedom -- any time, anywhere.
And as you know, I've laid out a doctrine that said if you harbor
a terrorist, you're just as guilty as the terrorist. And that's
what the Taliban found out. And I like to remind my fellow Americans,
not only am I proud of how our United States military has performed,
that our military were not conquerors, they were liberators. We
freed women and children from the clutches of one of the most barbaric
regimes in the history of mankind. I cannot tell you how proud I
am of our troops. (Applause.)
And obviously, there is still work to be done in the first theater
in the war against terror. This is a -- I told people and I've been
saying this for a long time, and I will continue to say so -- Afghanistan
is still a dangerous place. There are still people in Afghanistan
who either want to disrupt the Karzai interim government, want to
make sure -- or try to cause Afghanistan to revert back to being
a sanctuary for murderers and terrorists, so they can do one thing,
and that is attack us again. And so, as you know, our military,
combined with the military of our friends and allies, including
the Afghans, are still on the hunt.
And we encountered a large group of al Qaeda-type terrorists. And
we're bringing them to justice. There's a fierce battle waging,
and it's -- but we're winning that battle. I'm so sad we lose life.
My heart breaks when I think about the moms and dads or wives or
children of those who have lost their life. But we defend freedom,
and we're fighting for freedom, and we must continue to fight for
freedom. And so where we find these killers, we'll bring them to
This nation is determined, we're united, we are patient, and we're
resolved to defend the values we hold dear to our hearts. And that's
the way it's going to be, so long as I'm the President of the United
I also want you to know we've got a lot of work to do at home.
I was really proud earlier this year to travel the country touting
the fact that I signed a significant piece of education legislation.
It was a landmark piece of legislation. I don't remember the exact
words I said when I spoke to the Hispanic Chamber in California
in one of my first speeches, but I can assure you I talked about
education. Because it is a passion of mine, and it was a passion
of not only mine, but of both Republicans and Democrats.
I got a good bill on my desk because both people, leaders in both
parties decided that there's something more important than political
party in America, and that's the education of our children. (Applause.)
This is a really good piece of legislation because, first and foremost,
it sets high standards and high expectations for every child --
por todos. It refuses to accept a system that quits on children
early. As you know, in some neighborhoods in America, it's so much
easier just to move the kids through; so much easier to say, you
know, a Latino child can't read very well because his or her parents
may not speak English, so let's just move them through the system.
Those days have got to end if we want the American Dream to extend
to all neighborhoods.
And so I signed a bill that says we're going to measure for every
child. We want to know if every child can read or write and add
and subtract. And if not, we'll correct the problems early, before
it's too late. Every child matters in America, and no child will
be left behind.
We put significant resources into Title I programs. But for money,
we want results. We want to -- because, you see, I believe every
child can learn. I don't accept excuses that say certain children
can't learn. Every child in America can learn.
Now, we also have passed power out of Washington, D.C. I don't
believe all the wisdom in the world exists in Washington. As a matter
of fact, I think by empowering teachers and principals and parents
and school districts, we're more likely to achieve a common objective,
which is high standards for every single child.
I also have unleashed a reading initiative that I truly believe
is going to change America for the better. I like to say reading
is the new civil right. If you can't read, it's hard to understand
other subjects, it's hard to excel, it's hard to be part of this
fantastic future we have. And so we've spent a billion dollars on
And I want to assure you the reading programs are going to be aimed
toward teaching that which works, not that which sounds good. There
is a science to reading. We've got some of the best scientists in
the world now analyzing what works for all kids. And so rather than
just spending money, we're going to make sure we spend money on
what works. And, you mark my words, as we stay focused and energized
on this important subject, more and more children will read. And
as more and more children will read, more and more children will
realize the fantastic future in America. And so I'm proud of this
piece of work we've done.
I also want to thank you all for supporting tax relief. We cut
taxes at exactly the right time. In order to encourage the economy
to grow, it was very wise to give -- let people keep their own money.
Some up here don't understand that. They're reading the wrong textbook.
You hear talk about making sure the tax relief doesn't continue.
It's like raising taxes. You don't do that when times are slow;
you encourage the vitality of the private sector by letting people
keep their own money.
And not only that; I heard from many of you all about the unfairness
of the death tax. And we've now put the death tax on its way to
extinction. It's so important for people to be able to build up
their own assets and their own businesses and have the capacity
to pass that on to whoever they choose, a son or a daughter, without
the government getting in between the entrepreneur and the family
So we're making good progress. I think the economy is still --
has still got problems. But we put the right fiscal policy in place.
I still think we ought to do more. We ought to not only take care
of those who have been unemployed because of 9/11, we ought to help
them with their unemployment benefits as well as their health benefits.
But I like to tell people Americans don't want an unemployment check,
they want a permanent paycheck.
And there needs to be a stimulus bill. The House passed a good
bill. Part of it was a small business incentive bill, recognizing
that the small businesses create more new jobs in America than any
other sector of our economy.
I want to continue to push for trade. I believe trade makes sense.
Yesterday, I made a tough decision on steel. But I will tell you,
in order to be a free trade advocate, in order to be consistent
on free trade, we better make sure we enforce the laws on our books.
The two go hand in hand, free trade and fair trade.
And so I obviously put a temporary plan in place to allow the steel
industry to restructure. But I also want to remind you all I honored
the agreement of NAFTA, so that Mexico and Canada are exempt.
And let me talk about Mexico right quick. My attitude toward Mexico
is that I want Mexico to succeed. I want our neighbors to be successful.
The best kind of neighborhood to live in is one where everybody
is successful. And so our public policy ought to recognize Mexico
as an incredibly important part of the American future. And, therefore,
I look forward to working with el Presidente Fox on how best to
make sure our relationship is strong.
One thing we can do is doing what we're doing, which is encourage
our economy to grow and to recover. That will help Mexico. But the
other thing is to honor NAFTA, which I have done as the President.
I did so in the steel decision yesterday; I will continue to do
so. Because I believe NAFTA is not only good for Mexico; as importantly,
it is good for American workers, as well.
I believe -- and I know we've made great progress. We've got a
spirit of amistad. We've got a relationship that is open and strong.
I told the Congress that I want to make sure that the Mexican citizen
here is well-respected. And we will, we respect people in our country.
And one way to do that is to pass 245I, which will allow for families
to be reunited. If you believe in family values, if you understand
the worth of family and the importance of family, let's get 245I
out of the United States Congress and give me a chance to sign it.
I also want to talk about energy. Energy is incredibly vital for
our economic vitality. And you've got to understand, as the President,
somebody who's concerned about our national security, as well, the
fact that we import over 50 percent of our energy from around the
world is an indication that we're not as strong from a national
security perspective as we could be, or should be.
And so we need to have an energy plan -- one that, on the one hand,
encourages conservation, and the modernization of our infrastructure,
electricity infrastructure; but we've also got to explore for more
energy. And we can do so in an environmentally friendly way, starting
in Alaska, where there's a lot of oil and gas.
Those of you in California know full well that we had a little
scare out there, about a year -- less than a year ago. And the state
has responded by building more power plants to increase the supply
of energy. And that's good.
Except what's interesting is those plants are powered by natural
gas. And the fundamental question is where is that gas going to
come from in the long term? We ought to be exploring for more natural
gas, and a good place to start is Alaska.
I want you to know that Mexico imports gas from the United States.
In other words -- and it's a hemispheric issue, and we've got to
think long-term on behalf of the American citizens. And so I put
out a comprehensive energy plan; it passed the House of Representatives.
It needs to get out of the Senate, and get to my desk, for the good
of the national security of the country, as well as for the good
As you may know, I'm headed down to Mexico, for my second visit
since I've been the President, to Mexico. There's going to be a
conference on development. I look forward to participating in that.
I will proudly remind people that we are the most generous nation
in the world when it comes to developing nations.
I don't know if you know this -- just for example, I was recently,
as you know, in the Far East. And I reminded the people out there
that we provide 300,000 tons of food to North Korean citizens. I'm
not so sure the President, or the head of North Korea gives us any
credit for having provided the food, but we're a compassionate nation,
and we should be proud of our record on helping people.
I then go to Peru, and I look forward to working with the Andean
nations not only on issues of trade, but on the cultivation of coca
leaves for drugs. But I'll also remind them that so long as there's
a demand for drugs, somebody's going to supply them, and it's a
two-way street -- that, one, we'll help reduce supply, but we in
our nation have an obligation to work with our young to reduce the
demand. We must tell them clearly that drugs can ruin their life.
We must educate the youth about the dangers of drug use. We must
reduce demand if we expect our neighborhood to help clean up drugs.
And then I'm going to El Salvador to meet with the Central American
nations. We've got the beginnings of a free trade pact with them.
President Flores is going to be the host, a remarkable young leader.
Like Peru and Mexico, these are strong democracies, they're continuing
to reform their process. It's important for me to herald the fact
that they are embracing democratic institutions which make their
country so much stronger and so much more vibrant. So I'm really
looking forward to spending time in the neighborhood.
I believe the best foreign policy begins in making sure your own
neighborhood is free and democratic and peaceful. So I'm looking
forward to spending time there, as well.
You know, I like to remind people that I truly believe that out
of this evil that was done on us on September the 11th will come
some great good. I believe that. I believe if we stay the course
and are strong and determined, and if the Congress passes the Defense
budget I sent up there, which prioritizes national defense to make
sure our military gets all the best equipment and best training
possible, that we'll have the staying power to make the world more
peaceful. And I believe it will be if we're strong, and we will
I also know that at home that people are taking an assessment of
what's important in life. And I believe as a result of that, some
positive things will happen. I think the culture can begin to change
from one that has said in the past, if it feels good, go ahead and
do it, to a culture that says each of us are responsible for the
decisions we make in life -- the responsibility era, where moms
and dads are responsible for loving their children.
The most important job any American will ever have, if you're fortunate
to have a child, is to love your child. But it goes beyond that,
where neighbors will love neighbors. I tell my fellow citizens that
if you're interested in fighting -- joining the war against terror,
do some good. I mean, if you really want to stand squarely in the
face of evil, help a neighbor in need. Mentor a child. Help a shut-in.
You know, support your schools. Give to charity. Help to start a
faith-based group that will help change people's hearts.
It's this -- it's the collection of the kindness of America. It's
the collection of all the acts of kindness that take place which
not only define our nation, but will stand squarely in the face
of evil. And it's happening, and I'm so proud of the way the American
people have responded. Many in this room have, as well, and I want
to thank you for that.
I do believe that America understands there's a new responsibility,
that this is a new era. That, on the one hand, we've got to be diligent
and alert. And on the other hand, we can make a difference in people's
lives. After all, it was Flight 93 that set a new tone for America.
People on an airline thought they were going on a business trip
or thought they were going home. They heard the Nation's Capital
was under attack. They got on their telephones, they told their
wives they loved them. They said a prayer, and they sacrificed their
life to save somebody else's.
To me, that's one of the most defining events of September 11th
and on. It shows me what a great nation we have. It reminds me of
the character of the American people. And that's why we're so unique
-- not because of our government, but because of our people.
Thank you for coming to Washington, and God bless. (Applause.)
END 2:55 P.M. EST
. Message Regarding Totalization
Agreement with Australia-- March 12, 2002
Message to the Congress of the United States
Pursuant to section 233(e)(1) of the Social Security Act, as amended
by the Social Security Amendments of 1977 (Public Law 95-216, 42
U.S.C. 433(e)(1)), I transmit herewith the Agreement Between the
Government of the United States of America and the Government of
Australia on Social Security, which consists of two separate instruments:
a principal agreement and an administrative arrangement along with
a paragraph-by-paragraph explanation of each provision. The Agreement
was signed at Canberra on September 27, 2001.
The United States-Australia Agreement is similar in objective to
the social security agreements already in force with Austria, Belgium,
Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy,
Korea, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden,
Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Such bilateral agreements provide
for limited coordination between the United States and foreign social
security systems to eliminate dual social security coverage and
taxation, and to help prevent the lost benefit protection that can
occur when workers divide their careers between two countries. The
United States-Australia Agreement contains all provisions mandated
by section 233 and other provisions that I deem appropriate to carry
out the purposes of section 233, pursuant to section 233(c)(4).
I also transmit for the information of the Congress a report prepared
by the Social Security Administration explaining the key points
of the Agreement. Annexed to this report is the report required
by section 233(e)(1) of the Social Security Act, a report on the
effect of the Agreement on income and expenditures of the U.S. Social
Security program and the number of individuals affected by the Agreement.
The Department of State and the Social Security Administration have
recommended the Agreement and related documents to me.
I commend the United States-Australia Social Security Agreement
and related documents.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
March 12, 2002.
President Promotes Compassionate
Conservatism -- April 30, 2002
San Jose, California
10:35 A.M. PDT
THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much for that warm welcome.
I am so grateful for the Commonwealth Club and the Churchill Club
for inviting me here. I appreciate you all coming, and I appreciate
I want to thank Dr. Gloria Duffy for her generous introduction
and for her invitation. I want to thank Silvia Fernandez, who's
the President of the Churchill Club, for joining the Commonwealth
Club to host this event. I want to thank all the elected officials
who are here. I want to thank my fellow citizens for coming.
Whenever I visit California, I'm impressed by the beauty of this
state and by the spirit of the people. Because of its size, the
health of the California economy influences every American. And
California has got a culture of optimism and energy that touches
all of us, as well. This is a vital and a vibrant place. And I'm
glad to be back. (Applause.)
The last time I visited San Jose, Silicon Valley was still in an
economic boom, and America was at peace. For many in this valley,
and across our country, those times are a world away. After a recession
made worse by a national emergency, we have seen some good news.
Our economy is beginning to grow. Just last week, we had the good
news about strong growth in the first quarter. Yet this vital region
reminds us that a lot of work remains to be done.
Business investment and job creation are not what they should be.
We cannot be content with one quarter's news. We cannot be complacent.
My attitude is that we'll let the statisticians talk about the numbers.
But so long as somebody who wants to work can't find work, that's
a problem for America. (Applause.)
We have a great task ahead of us. We must turn our short-term recovery
into long-lasting expansion that reaches every part of our country.
Our economy grows when trade barriers fall. I ask the Senate to
join the United States House of Representatives in giving me what's
called trade promotion authority. (Applause.)
It's important to be a confident country. And I'm confident in
the ability of American entrepreneurs and producers to compete in
the world. I'm confident that our farmers and ranchers can compete
in the world. And I know American technology companies are the best
in the world. And we must open new markets so they can sell to the
Our economy grows when the tax burden goes down, and stays down.
(Applause.) Much of the growth we have seen this quarter is the
result of consumer spending, fueled by well-timed tax deductions.
(Laughter.) To encourage growth in job creation, we must protect
the lower tax rates we've enacted, and we must make them permanent.
(Applause.) And to make sure there is economic vitality around our
country, our government must control its appetite for excessive
Our economy grows entrepreneurs are rewarded for their success,
not hounded by regulations and needless litigation. (Applause.)
We must enact reforms that free entrepreneurs from pointless regulation
and endless litigation, and to restore trust in our economy. Corporate
leaders must be held to the highest ethical standards. (Applause.)
And, as your state knows, our economy grows when we have steady,
stable and affordable sources of energy. (Applause.)
In Washington, we must adopt -- finally adopt -- a comprehensive
strategy to conserve more, to produce more, and to deliver the energy
that keeps our economy running. (Applause.) Both Houses have passed
an energy -- passed energy legislation. I expect them to get a bill
to my desk soon for the good of American economy and American jobs.
(Applause.) By acting in the above way, we confirm that the role
of government is not to create wealth; the role of government is
to create the conditions for economic growth.
Since I was last here, America has also accepted a great challenge
in the world: to wage a relentless and systematic campaign against
global terror. (Applause.) The security of the American people is
the central commitment of the American government. We are in for
a long and difficult war. It will be conducted on many fronts. But
as long as it takes, we will prevail. (Applause.)
In the first phase of our military operation, American and coalition
forces have liberated -- have liberated -- the people of Afghanistan
from a barbaric regime. (Applause.) Our Armed Forces performed with
skill and success and honor. A regime has fallen. Terrorists in
that country are now scattered, and the children of Afghanistan
have returned to school, boys and girls. (Applause.) Our work in
that country is not over. We are helping the Afghan people to rebuild
their nation. And in every cave, in every dark corner of that country,
we will hunt down the killers and bring them to justice. (Applause.)
We have entered the next phase of the war, with a sustained international
effort, to rout out terrorists in other countries, and deny al Qaeda
the chance to regroup in other places. Across the world, governments
have heard this message: You're either with us, or you're with the
And for the long-term security of America and civilization itself,
we must confront the great threat of biological and chemical and
nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists or hostile regimes. We
will not allow the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten America
or our friends and allies with the world's most destructive weapons.
History has called us to these responsibilities, and we accept
them. America has always had a special mission to defend justice
and advance freedom around the world. Whatever the difficulties
ahead, we are confident about the outcome of this struggle. Tyranny
and terror and lawless violence will not decide the world's future.
As Ronald Reagan said. and as every generation of Americans has
believed, the future belongs to the free. (Applause.)
In a time of war, we reassert the essential values and beliefs
of our country. In the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln pointed toward
a new birth of freedom. Leading America into global war, Franklin
D. Roosevelt defined the four freedoms: freedom of speech and religion,
freedom from fear and want. Whenever America fights for the security
of our country, we also fight for the values of our country. In
our time, we will defend the land we love and we will act on the
ideals that gave it birth.
In America, we've not always lived up to our ideals, yet we always
reached for them. We believe that everyone deserves a chance, that
everyone has value, that no insignificant person was ever born.
We believe that all are diminished when any are hopeless. We are
one people, committed to building a single nation of justice and
America rejects bigotry. (Applause.) We reject every act of hatred
against people of Arab background or Muslim faith. (Applause.) We
reject the ancient evil of anti-Semitism, whether it is practiced
by the killers of Daniel Pearl, or by those who burn synagogues
in France. (Applause.)
America values and welcomes peaceful people of all faiths -- Christian,
Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and many others. Every faith is practiced
and protected here, because we are one country. Every immigrant
can be fully and equally American because we're one country. Race
and color should not divide us, because America is one country.
These American ideals of opportunity and equality come to us across
the generations. And they have attracted millions from across the
world. Yet there are young Americans growing up here, under this
flag, who doubt the promise and justice of our country. They live
in neighborhoods occupied by gangs and ruled by fear. They are entitled
by law to an education, yet do not receive an education. They hear
talk of opportunity and see little evidence of opportunity around
Every American must believe in the promise of America. And to reach
this noble, necessary goal, there is a role for government. America
doesn't need more big government, and we've learned that more money
is not always the answer. If a program is failing to serve people,
it makes little difference if we spend twice as much or half as
much. The measure of true compassion is results.
Yet we cannot have an indifferent government either. We are a generous
and caring people. We don't believe in a sink-or-swim society. The
policies of our government must heed the universal call of all faiths
to love a neighbor as we would want to be loved ourselves. We need
a different approach than either big government or indifferent government.
We need a government that is focused, effective, and close to the
people; a government that does a few things, and does them well.
Government cannot solve every problem, but it can encourage people
and communities to help themselves and to help one another. Often
the truest kind of compassion is to help citizens build lives of
their own. I call my philosophy and approach "compassionate
conservatism." It is compassionate to actively help our fellow
citizens in need. It is conservative to insist on responsibility
and on results. And with this hopeful approach, we can make a real
difference in people's lives. (Applause.)
Compassionate conservatism places great hope and confidence in
public education. Our economy depends on higher and higher skills,
requiring every American to have the basic tools of learning. Every
public school should be the path of upward mobility.
Yet, sadly enough, many are the dead-end of dreams. Public schools
are some of the most important institutions of democracy. (Applause.)
They take children of every background, from every part of the world,
and prepare them for the obligations and opportunities of a free
society. Public schools are Americans great hope, and making them
work for every child is America's great duty.
The new education reforms we have passed in Washington give the
federal government a new role in public education. Schools must
meet new and high standards of performance in reading and math that
will be proven on tests and posted on the Internet for parents and
everyone to see. And we're giving local schools and teachers unprecedented
freedom and resources and training to meet these goals.
It is conservative to let local communities chart their own path
to excellence. It is compassionate to insist that every child learns,
so that no child is left behind. (Applause.) By insisting on results,
and challenging failure where we find it, we'll make an incredible
difference in the lives of every child in America.
Compassionate conservatism offers a new vision for fighting poverty
in America. For decades, our nation has devoted enormous resources
to helping the poor, with some great successes to show for it: basic
medical care for those in need, a better life for elderly Americans.
However, for millions of younger Americans, welfare became a static
and destructive way of life.
In 1996, we began transforming welfare with time limits and job
training and work requirements. And the nation's welfare rolls have
been cut by more than half. But even more importantly, many lives
have been dramatically improved.
One former welfare recipient here in California, happened to be
a mother of a chronically-ill child and the victim of domestic violence,
describes her experience upon leaving welfare. She said, "I
feel like an adult again. I have my dignity back."
We need to continue to fully transform welfare in America. As Congress
takes up welfare reform again in the coming weeks, we must strengthen
the work requirements that prevent dependency and despair. Millions
of Americans once on welfare are finding that a job is more than
a source of income. It is a source of dignity. And by helping people
find work, by helping them prepare for work, we practice compassion.
Welfare reform must also, wherever possible, encourage the commitments
of family. Not every child has two devoted parents at home -- I
understand that. And not every marriage can, or should be saved.
But the evidence shows that strong marriages are good for children.
When a couple on welfare wants to break bad patterns and start
or strengthen a marriage, we should help local groups give them
counseling that teaches commitment and respect. By encouraging family,
we practice compassion.
In overcoming poverty and dependence, we must also promote the
work of charities and community groups and faith-based institutions.
These organizations, such as shelters for battered women or mentoring
programs for fatherless children or drug treatment centers, inspire
hope in a way that government never can. Often, they inspire life-changing
faith in a way that government never should.
Our government should view the good Americans that work in faith-based
charities as partners, not rivals. (Applause.) We must provide new
incentives for charitable giving and, when it comes to providing
federal resources to effective programs, we should not discriminate
against private and religious groups. (Applause.)
I urge the Senate to pass the faith-based initiative for the good
of America. It is compassionate to aggressively fight poverty in
America. It is conservative to encourage work and community spirit
and responsibility and the values that often come from faith. And
with this approach, we can change lives one soul at a time, and
make a real difference in the lives of our citizens.
The same principles of compassion and responsibility apply when
America offers assistance to other nations. Nearly half of the world's
people still live on less than $2 a day. When we help them, we show
our values, our belief in universal human dignity. We serve our
interests and gain economic partners. And by helping the developing
nations of the world, we offer an alternative to resentment and
conflict and terror.
Yet the old way of pouring vast amounts of money into development
aid without any concern for results has failed, often leaving behind
misery and poverty and corruption. America's offering a new compact
for global development. Greater aid contributions from America must
be and will be linked to greater responsibility from developing
I have proposed a 50-percent increase in our core development assistance
over the next three budget years. Money that will be placed in a
new Millennium Challenge Account. At the end of this three-year
period, the level of our annual development assistance will be $5
billion higher than current levels.
This is a record amount of spending. And in return for these funds,
we expect nations to rout out corruption, to open their markets,
to respect human rights, and to adhere to the rule of law. And these
are the keys to progress in any nation, and they will be the conditions
for any new American aid. (Applause.)
It is compassionate to increase our international aid. It is conservative
to require the hard reforms that lead to prosperity and independence.
And with this approach, we'll make a real difference in the lives
of people around the world.
Compassionate conservatism guides my administration in many other
areas. Our health care policies must help low-income Americans to
buy health insurance they choose, they own and they control. (Applause.)
Our environmental policy set high standards for stewardship, while
allowing local cooperation and innovation to meet those standards.
Our housing programs moved beyond rental assistance to the pride
and stability of home ownership. Our reforms in Social Security
must allow and encourage and help working Americans to build up
their own asset base and achieve independence for their retirement
All of these policies and all of these areas serve the same vision.
We are using an active government to promote self-government. We're
encouraging individuals and communities and families to take more
and more responsibility for themselves, for their neighbors, for
our nation. The aim of these policies is not to spend more money
or spend less money; it is to spend on what works.
The measure of compassion is more than good intentions, it is good
results. Sympathy is not enough. We need solutions in America, and
we know where solutions are found. When schools are teaching, when
families are strong, when neighbors look after their neighbors,
when our people have the tools and the skills and the resources
they need to improve their lives, there is no problem that cannot
be solved in America. (Applause.)
By being involved and by taking responsibility upon ourselves,
we gain something else, as well: We contribute to the life of our
country. We become more than taxpayers and occasional voters, we
become citizens. Citizens, not spectators. Citizens who hear the
call of duty, who stand up for their beliefs, who care for their
families, who control their lives, and who treat their neighbors
with respect and compassion. We discover a satisfaction that is
only found in service, and we show our gratitude to America and
to those who came before us.
In the last seven months, we've been tested, and the struggle of
our time has revealed the spirit of our people. Since September
the 11th, we have been the kind of nation our founders had in mind,
a nation of strong and confident and self-governing people. And
we've been the kind of nation our fathers and mothers defended in
World War II; a great and diverse country, united by common dangers
and by common resolve.
We in our time will defend our nation, and we will deliver our
nation's promise to all who seek it. In our war on terror, we are
showing the world the strength of our country, and by our unity
and tolerance and compassion, we will show the world the soul of
our country. May God bless America. (Applause.)
END 11:12 A.M. PDT