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pd13ja03 Letter to Congressional Leaders on Continuation of the National...
until 2008 to move more taxpayers from the 15-percent bracket to the lowest bracket of 10 percent, we should make that change now and help 2 million working Americans. And instead of gradually raising the child tax credit from $600 to $1,000 per child by the year of 2010, for the benefit of 26 million families, we should raise it now. These tax reductions will bring real and immediate benefits to middle-income Americans. Ninety-two million Americans will keep an average of $1,083 more of their own money. A family of four with two earners and $39,000 in income will receive more than $1,100 in tax relief, real money to help pay the bills and push the economy forward. And the sooner Congress acts, the sooner the help will come. Taken together, these income tax cuts will put an additional $70 billion to work in the private economy over the next 18 months. And there's no better way to help our economy grow than to leave more money in the hands of the men and women who earned it. Our second challenge is to encourage greater investment by individuals and small businesses, the kind of investing that builds personal wealth and helps company expand and creates new jobs. We are increasingly a nation of owners, who invest for retirement and the other financial challenges of life. One-half of American households own stock, either directly or through pension funds. And we have an obligation to make sure, now more than ever, that American investors are treated fairly. We can begin by treating investors fairly and equally in our tax laws. As it is now, many investments are taxed not once but twice. First, the IRS taxes a company on its profit. Then it taxes the investors who receive the profits as dividends. The result of this double taxation is that for all the profit a company earns, shareholders who receive dividends keep as little as 40 cents on the dollar. Double taxation is bad for our economy. Double taxation is wrong. Double taxation falls especially hard on retired people. About half of all dividend income goes to America's seniors, and they often rely on those checks for a steady source of income in their retirement. It's fair to tax a company's profits. It's not fair to double-tax by taxing the shareholder on the same profits. So today, for the good of our senior citizens and to support capital formation across the land, I'm asking the United States Congress to abolish the double taxation of dividends. The benefits of this tax relief will be felt throughout the economy. Abolishing double taxation of dividends will leave nearly 35 million Americans with more of their own money to spend and invest, which will promote savings and return as much as $20 billion this year to the private economy. By ending this investment penalty, we will strengthen investor confidence. See, by ending double taxation of dividends, we will increase the return on investing, which will draw more money into the markets to provide capital to build factories, to buy equipment, hire more people. We must also encourage the investments that help turn small businesses into larger ones. Small businesses create the majority of new jobs in America, and they account for half the output of the economy. Currently, tax law permits small firms to write off as expenses up to $25,000 worth of equipment, [[Page 37]] like computers or machinery that they need. I'm asking the Congress to raise that limit to $75,000 and index that number for inflation. This change, together with the faster rate reductions, will benefit more than 23 million small-business owners. My view is this economy can thrive only if our small businesses thrive. And we will provide them every incentive to grow and create more jobs. A third challenge facing our country is the need to help unemployed workers and prepare them for the new jobs of a growing economy. The unemployment rate today is 6 percent. That's low for an economy coming out of recession. It's higher than it should be, and the unemployment rate is projected to rise even further in the short run. This hardship is concentrated in certain regions and in certain industries. Manufacturing jobs have declined for 28 months in a row. You know what I'm talking about here in the Midwest. You're showing signs of recovery here; yet many people here and across this country are still looking for work. A woman in Arkansas tells a typical story. She talked about the fact that her husband was laid off from his job at a local steel mill. And both she and the husband have been looking for a job for quite a while. Here's what she said: ``There's just nothing for me to find. We're trying to save up what little money we have and move to another community and look for jobs there.'' Got to be worried about those kind of stories here in America. As we encourage long-term growth, we will not forget the men and women who are struggling today. Close to 70,000 workers each week exhaust their unemployment benefits, and we have an obligation to help our fellow citizens. So I'm asking this new Congress to extend unemployment benefits that expired on December the 28th. And the benefits Congress approves should be retroactive, like the Fitzgerald bill, so that people who lost their benefits last month can receive their benefits in full. Helping America's unemployed workers should be a first order of business in the new Congress, and it looks like it's going to be. We must be more creative when we help those who have the hardest time finding work. To encourage innovation and more choices and to help those who are out of work find the dignity of a new job, today I'm unveiling a new approach to helping unemployed Americans through Personal Reemployment Accounts. Under this new program, Americans who face the greatest difficulties in finding work will receive up to $3,000 to use in their job search. They will have great flexibility in how they use that money. A person with a Reemployment Account will be able to decide whether to use the funds for job training or child care or transportation or even to cover the costs of relocating to another city for a new job. If the job is obtained quickly--within 13 weeks--the worker will be able to keep the cash balance as a ``reemployment bonus.'' As we see new economic growth, we will need well-trained workers to fill new jobs. So I'm going to ask the Congress to provide $3.6 billion to the States to pay for the Reemployment Accounts, enough money to help more than a million unemployed men and women across America. In order to strengthen this economy in the future, we must help these Americans today. The jobs-and-growth proposals I've outlined today are a focused plan to encourage consumer spending, to promote small-business growth, to boost confidence in our markets, and to give critical help to unemployed citizens. Overall, this growth package will reduce the tax burden of Americans by $98 billion this year and $670 billion over the next decade. I proposed a bold plan because the need for this plan is urgent, and I urge the Congress to act swiftly and pass this bill. Our Nation has seen 2 years of serious and steady challenges. The recession and the decline in the stock market slowed earnings and cut into tax revenues and created a budget deficit. And in this time of war, I can assure you this Government is spending what is necessary to win the war. But the Congress must also understand this: The American people deserve and expect spending discipline in Washington, DC. With spending discipline and with pro-growth policies, we will expand the economy and help bring down this deficit. This growth-and-jobs package is essential in the short run; it's an immediate boost to the economy. And these proposals will help stimulate investment and put more people [[Page 38]] back to work, is what we want to have happen. They are essential for the long run, as well, to lay the groundwork for future growth and future prosperity. That growth will bring the added benefit of higher revenues for the Government, revenues that will keep tax rates low while fulfilling key obligations and protecting programs such as Medicare and Social Security. We're meeting the challenges to America. We're strengthening our economy, and we're taking a battle to our enemies. And we're not going to leave our work half-finished. In the months ahead, we'll confront every threat to the safety and security of the American people. We'll press on to turn our recovery into lasting growth and opportunity that reaches every corner of America. By the courage and by the enterprise of the American people, this great Nation will prosper, and there's no doubt in my mind this great Nation will prevail. May God bless you all, and may God bless America. Note: The President spoke at 12:07 p.m. in the Sheraton Chicago Ballroom at the Sheraton Chicago. In his remarks, he referred to Michael H. Moskow, president and chief executive officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago, and his wife, Maggie; Governor-elect Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois; and President Saddam Hussein of Iraq. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of these remarks. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 38] Pages 27-58 Week Ending Friday, January 10, 2003 Memorandum on Determination Pursuant to Section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962, as Amended January 7, 2003 Presidential Determination No. 2003-09 Memorandum for the Secretary of State Subject: Determination Pursuant to Section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962, as Amended Pursuant to section (2)(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962, as amended, 22 U.S.C. 2601(c)(1), I hereby determine that it is important to the national interest that up to $11 million be made available from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund to address unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs arising from the crises in Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia, and from the return of refugees to Sierra Leone and Angola. These funds may be used, as appropriate, to provide contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations. You are authorized and directed to inform the appropriate committees of the Congress of this determination and the obligation of funds under this authority, and to arrange for the publication of this memorandum in the Federal Register. George W. Bush [Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 8:45 a.m., January 10, 2003] Note: This memorandum was published in the Federal Register on January 13. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 38] Pages 27-58 Week Ending Friday, January 10, 2003 Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Transmitting Requests for Budget Amendments January 7, 2003 Dear Mr. Speaker: I ask the Congress to consider the enclosed requests for Fiscal Year 2003 budget amendments for the Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, the Interior, Labor, and the Treasury; the Corps of Engineers; as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. The details of these requests are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. I concur with his comments and observations. Sincerely, George W. Bush <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 38-39] Pages 27-58 Week Ending Friday, January 10, 2003 Letter to Congressional Leaders Transmitting a Report on Cyprus January 7, 2003 Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. Chairman:) In accordance with section 620C(c) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, [[Page 39]] I am providing a report prepared by my Administration on progress toward a negotiated solution of the Cyprus question covering the period October 1, 2002, through November 30, 2002. The previous submission covered events from August 1, 2002, through September 30, 2002. Particularly significant during this period was U.N. Secretary-General Annan's submission on November 11 to Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash of a proposed basis for a Cyprus agreement. As in past reporting periods, U.S. officials provided diplomatic support to the process, including Secretary of State Powell, National Security Advisor Rice, Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas G. Weston, and Ambassador to Cyprus Michael Klosson. The United States remains committed to the U.N. effort to find a just and lasting settlement to the Cyprus problem. Sincerely, George W. Bush Note: Letters were sent to J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Richard G. Lugar, chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. An original was not available for verification of the content of this letter. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 39-43] Pages 27-58 Week Ending Friday, January 10, 2003 Remarks on the Anniversary of the No Child Left Behind Act January 8, 2003 The President. Thank you all. Thanks for coming. Thank you. It's one of the few jobs in America where you get introduced by your wife on a regular basis--[laughter]--in your home. [Laughter] And we're glad you're here. This is a--you're one of our first guests we've had since the new year. And this is an appropriate gathering because Laura and I share a deep passion to make sure every child gets educated in America. We want to thank you for coming. And this is an interesting day. It marks the anniversary of an incredibly important legislative accomplishment. It was a year ago that I signed the No Child Left Behind Education Act. It was the most meaningful education reform probably ever. I wish all the Democrats and Republicans who helped us on that bill
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