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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-ii]
Monday, February 12, 2001
Volume 37--Number 6
Pages 257-278

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]



 Addresses and Remarks

    See also Meetings With Foreign Leaders
    J.C. Nalle Elementary School--274
    Radio address--257
    Ronald Reagan, tribute to former President, videotaped remarks--265
    Swearing-in ceremonies
        Secretary of Commerce Donald Louis Evans--259
        Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta--273
    Tax cut
         Plan, announcement--257
         Proposed plan--271
         Tax family reunion--266
    Virginia, Tree Top Toys & Books in McLean--263

Communications to Congress

    Andean Trade Preference Act, message transmitting report--263
    Chemical Weapons Convention inspections, letter transmitting 
    Iraq, national emergency, message transmitting report--274
    Patients' Bill of Rights, letters--269, 270

Communications to Congress--Continued

    Tax cut, message transmitting proposed plan--273

Interviews With the News Media

     Exchanges with reporters
         Diplomatic Room--257
        J.C. Nalle Elementary School--274
         McLean, VA--263
         Oval Office--261
        South Lawn--266

Meetings With Foreign Leaders

    Canada, Prime Minister Chretien--261


    American Heart Month--268
    National Burn Awareness Week--269
    National Consumer Protection Week--260

Supplementary Materials

     Acts approved by the President--278
     Checklist of White House press releases--277
     Digest of other White House announcements--276
     Nominations submitted to the Senate--277

  Editor's Note: The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is 
also available on the Internet on the GPO Access service at http://


Published every Monday by the Office of the Federal Register, National 
Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC 20408, the Weekly 
Compilation of Presidential Documents contains statements, messages, and
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preceding week.

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There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in 
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[[Page 257]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 257]
Monday, February 12, 2001
Volume 37--Number 6
Pages 257-278
Week Ending Friday, February 9, 2001
The President's Radio Address

February 3, 2001

    Good morning. This coming week I will send to Congress my tax relief 
plan. It is broad and responsible. It will help our economy, and it is 
the right thing to do.
    Today, many Americans are feeling squeezed. They work 40, 50, 60 
hours a week and still have trouble paying the electric bill and the 
grocery bill at the same time. At the end of a long week, they collect 
their paycheck, and what the Federal Government takes is often unfair.
    Picture a diner in one of our cities. At the table is a lawyer with 
two children. She earns $250,000 a year. Carrying her coffee and toast 
is a waitress who has two children of her own. She earns $25,000 a year. 
If both the lawyer and the waitress get a raise, it is the waitress who 
winds up paying a higher marginal tax rate. She will give back almost 
half of every extra dollar she earns to the Government.
    Both of these women, the lawyer and the waitress, deserve a tax cut. 
Under my plan, both of these women and all Americans who pay taxes will 
get one. For the waitress, our plan will wipe out her income tax bill 
    My plan does some important things for America. It reduces taxes for 
everyone who pays taxes. It lowers the lowest income tax rate from 15 
percent to 10 percent. It cuts the highest rate to 33 percent, because I 
believe no one should pay more than a third of their income to the 
Federal Government. The average family of four will get about $1,600 of 
their own money returned back to them.
    There's a lot of talk in Washington about paying down the national 
debt, and that's good, and that's important. And my budget will do that. 
But American families have debts to pay, as well. A tax cut now will 
stimulate our economy and create jobs.
    The economic news these days is troubling--rising energy prices, 
layoffs, falling consumer confidence. This is not a time for Government 
to be taking more money than it needs away from the people who buy goods 
and create jobs.
    My plan will keep all Social Security money in the Social Security 
System, where it belongs. We will eliminate the death tax, saving family 
farms and family-owned businesses. We'll reduce the maximum rate on 
small business income to 33 percent, so they can help create the jobs we 
need. Above all, my plan unlocks the door to the middle class for 
millions of hard-working Americans.
    The country has prospered mightily over the past 20 years. But a lot 
of people feel as if they have been looking through the window at 
somebody else's party. It is time to fling those doors and windows open 
and invite everybody in. It is time to reward the work of people trying 
to enter the middle class and put some more money in their pockets at a 
time when they need it.
    My tax reduction plan does all these things, and I hope you'll 
support it.
    Thank you for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 8:30 a.m. on February 2 in the Oval 
Office at the White House, for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on February 3. 
The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary 
on February 2 but was embargoed for release until the broadcast.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 257-259]
Monday, February 12, 2001
Volume 37--Number 6
Pages 257-278
Week Ending Friday, February 9, 2001
Remarks Announcing the Tax Cut Plan and an Exchange With Reporters

February 5, 2001

    The President. Good morning. I want to thank the families for being 
my guests here at the White House. I'm honored to host the Peterson 
family, the Claytor family, and the Gordon family, to talk about the 
economic challenges they face. Their circumstances are

[[Page 258]]

different, but I strongly believe they deserve to keep more of their own 
money, and so does every family in America, deserve to keep their own 
    And we're talking to these families here--I think they like the 
idea. Despite the prosperity of the past two decades, many American 
families feel squeezed. They sometimes carry a lot of consumer debt. In 
1998 the average family credit card debt was more than $4,000. At the 
same time, every American family is facing higher energy costs.
    Under the plan I'll be sending to Congress later this week, every 
American who pays income taxes will get tax relief. And the average 
relief for a family of four with two children will be $1,600. This is 
real and practical help, when at this time many Americans need it. 
Sixteen hundred dollars will pay the average mortgage for a month. 
Sixteen hundred dollars will pay for a year's tuition at a community 
college. Sixteen hundred dollars will pay the average gasoline costs for 
two cars for a year. And $1,600 will buy the average California family 
24 months' worth of electric power.
    My plan addresses the struggles of American families and respects 
their judgment. It doesn't tell families how to spend their money. It 
doesn't single out some Americans for relief, while leaving others out. 
It's tax relief for everybody who pays taxes. That's what the times and 
basic fairness demand.
    Here's how it will work. Under the existing law, Americans are 
grouped in five income tax brackets: 15 percent, 28 percent, 31 percent, 
36 percent, and nearly 40 percent. My plan would reduce that to four 
lower brackets: 10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, and 33 percent. In 
other words, we'd begin the simplification of the code.
    Each of the families with me today would benefit from these lower 
taxes. Most families will get a $1,000-per-child tax credit. Everybody 
who pays income taxes will get some relief, but the biggest percentage 
cuts will go to the families who need it most.
    The Peterson family, for example, will get a 100 percent cut in 
their income taxes, saving almost $1,100 a year. Paul and Debbie and 
their two beautiful girls would appreciate that. All of the income tax 
rates should be cut. Most families over a lifetime will move through a 
couple of different tax brackets. Many families will move through all 
four as they move up the ladder of economic success and then back down 
as they retire and leave the work force.
    Our tax code should not punish success at any stage of life. The top 
Federal income tax rate at almost 40 percent, and the State income taxes 
on top of that, people can sometimes feel like the junior partner in 
their own lives. That's why we set the top rate at 33 percent. I believe 
it's an important principle that no American should pay more than a 
third of his or her income to the Federal Government in Federal taxes.
    And Government shouldn't block the way into the middle class for 
hard-working people who are trying to get there. The single mother 
earning $25,000 a year manages to earn $1,000 by getting a promotion; 
the Federal Government takes about half of it away from her. That's a 
higher marginal tax rate than a lawyer earning $250,000. That's not 
right, and that's wrong. And my plan addresses this inequity.
    This is my approach: tax relief for everybody, in every bracket, 
averaging $1,600 per family, while still reducing our national debt and 
funding important priorities.
    I'm asking all Americans to examine this plan, and I'm asking for 
your support. The Constitution charges the Congress with the 
responsibility to write our tax laws. And I respect that responsibility. 
But it is my obligation to lead, and that's what I'm going to do. My 
plan is good for the long-term health of our economy. It is good for the 
businesses that create jobs. It is good for America and for the American 
families that make our country so unique and strong.
    Thank you for coming.

Retroactive Tax Cut

    Q. Mr. President, do you think the tax cut should be retroactive to 
the first of the year?
    The President. A lot of Members of Congress have talked to me about 
that. And I do. And we look forward to working with Congress to expedite 
money into the pockets of the American people. I strongly believe that a 
tax relief plan is an important part of helping our country's economy 
recover. And

[[Page 259]]

I think expediting money into peoples' pockets is going to be a key 
ingredient. I look forward to working with Congress, Members of both 
parties, to accommodate the budgetary needs and, at the same time, help 
get money into peoples' pockets quicker.

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