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pd16se96 Remarks in Fresno, California...

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[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page i-iii]
Monday, September 16, 1996
Volume 32--Number 37
Pages 1675-1748

[[Page i]]

Weekly Compilation of



[[Page ii]]


Addresses and Remarks

    Arizona, Sun City--1722
        Democratic dinner in Beverly Hills--1741
        Rancho Cucamonga--1735
    Colorado, Pueblo--1719
    Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty--1704
    Counter-terrorism initiatives--1683
        Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City--1675
        Reception for Representative Pete Peterson in Panama City--1679
        Kansas City
            Southern Governors' Conference--1698
            Welfare reform--1694
        St. Louis
            Democratic National Committee dinner--1711
    Potomac River, survey of flood damage--1689
    Presidential Medal of Freedom presentation--1687
    Radio address--1682
    White House Conference on Environmental Technology--1718

Bill Signings

    District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1997, statement--1710

Communications to Congress

    Iran, message reporting--1744

Communications to Federal Agencies

    Assistance to families affected by aviation and other transportation 
        disasters, memorandum--1686
    Employees affected by Hurricane Fran and its aftermath, memorandum--
    Promoting excellence and accountability in teaching--1741

Interviews With the News Media

    Exchanges with reporters
        Kansas City, MO--1704
        Oval Office--1683, 1691
        South Lawn--1689

Letters and Messages

    Rosh Hashana, message--1681

Meetings With Foreign Leaders

    Ireland, Prime Minister Bruton--1691
    Israel, Prime Minister Netanyahu--1691


    America Goes Back to School--1693
    National Farm Safety and Health Week--1743

     (Continued on the inside of the back cover.)


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
other Presidential materials released by the White House during the 
preceding week.

The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is published pursuant to
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[[Page iii]]


Statements by the President

    See also Bill Signings
    Arthur Flemming, death--1683
    Counter-terrorism initiatives--1740
    International Association of Machinists and McDonnell Douglas, 
        tentative agreement--1681
    Medicare demonstration of military managed care--1710

Supplementary Materials

    Acts approved by the President--1748
    Checklist of White House press releases--1747
    Digest of other White House announcements--1746
    Nominations submitted to the Senate--1747

[[Page 1675]]

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 1675-1679]
Monday, September 16, 1996
Volume 32--Number 37
Pages 1675-1748
Week Ending Friday, September 13, 1996
Remarks at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama City, Florida

September 6, 1996

    The President. Thank you. Wow! Well, on the way up here Governor 
Chiles told me that--can you hear? We lost our sound. Can you hear me in 
the back? I'll just speak up--there it is. On the way up here Governor 
Chiles told me that as nearly as they could determine, I am the first 
sitting President ever to come to Panama City. Based on what I saw along 
the road coming in and the reception you've given us, I'd say the others 
don't know what they were missing. I'm glad to be here. [Applause] Thank 
    I'd like to thank President McSpadden and all the others here at the 
community college for making me feel so welcome. I'd like to thank these 
excellent young musicians who played for us, called the Optimistics. 
They were great, weren't they? Thank you very much.
    Thank you, Dawn, for the power of your example and for your fine 
introduction, but mostly because you embody what the American dream is 
all about and the role of education in the American dream. I know all of 
you here who are students must have been very proud when Dawn Roberts 
was up here speaking, but I was proud just to be an American, to know 
that we have people like this and that there are opportunities like this 
school has given her to make the most of her own life.
    I'd like to thank all the military people who serve our country who 
live in this area. And I'd like to thank all the people who work for 
Sallie Mae here, who have worked so hard to make college education 
    I want to thank Governor Lawton Chiles for being my friend of many 
years and for what he said today. A lot of people say, ``Well, why are 
you going up there? They never vote for Democrats.'' And I said, ``Well, 
I remember when Lawton Chiles ran for Governor in 1994, and the 
Republicans said it was their year and that people in Florida would 
never reelect him. He kept coming up here and saying that he was going 
to remind everybody that the `he-coon' walked just before the light of 
dawn. And I figured if I came up here, maybe I could find myself a `he-
coon.''' So I'm looking around trying to find one.
    I thought I had personally used every down-home expression known to 
man until he said that. [Laughter] And I'm still learning things from 
Lawton Chiles after all of these years.
    I want to say a special word of thanks and honor to your retiring 
Congressman, Pete Peterson. He has--as all of you know, he has served 
his country magnificently and at great sacrifice to himself and his 
family for a very long time, and I honor him. And I was honored to be 
able to nominate him to be our Nation's first Ambassador to Vietnam 
since the end of the Vietnam war. He will be terrific at it.
    Now, in order for me to see his nomination through, I have to get my 
contract renewed. But if I do, that's a campaign commitment you can put 
in the bank. He will be the next Ambassador to Vietnam.
    Ladies and gentlemen, it's hot in here, and I'm proud you came to 
see me, and most of what I have to say is preaching to the saved; I 
realize that. But I want to emphasize to you why we are here, not in 
Panama City, but why we are here at this community college, because I 
believe America ought to work the way the community colleges in America 
work. I believe they are the ultimate democratic institution, small 
``d'': open to everybody, where everybody has a chance; results 
oriented; flexible, not bureaucratic; working in partnership with the 
private sector; guaranteeing opportunity for everybody who is 
responsible enough to seek it.
    This is the way America ought to work. And this is what I have tried 
to work on for 4 years as President. I was sick and tired of

[[Page 1676]]

seeing Washington politics dominated by hot air, negative charges, and I 
sought to bring an end to the politics of ``who's to blame'' and to 
substitute for that ``what are we going to do to make America a better 
    I think it's plain that America is on the right track to the 21st 
century. We got some more information today: Last month our economy 
created another 250,000 jobs; our unemployment rate--as a nation our 
unemployment rate dropped to 5.1 percent, the lowest in 7\1/2\ years; 
wages are going up again for the first time in a decade. We have record 
numbers of new small businesses, record numbers of American exports all 
over the world. Our auto production is number one again in the world for 
the first time since the 1970's; home ownership at a 15-year high.
    The minimum wage will go into effect, the increase, in October, and 
it will raise wages for 10 million of the hardest-working working people 
in this country. I think that's a good thing. Twenty-five million 
Americans, including some of you in this audience, I'll bet, will be 
helped by the passage of the Kennedy-Kassebaum health care reform bill, 
which says to Americans, ``You cannot lose your health insurance or be 
denied it if you change jobs or just because someone in your family has 
been sick.'' That's what insurance is for.
    For the first time since before the Civil War, in the 1840's, we 
have reduced the Government's enormous budget deficit in all 4 years, a 
total of 60 percent, for the first time in well over 100 years. We can 
be proud of that. We are moving in the right direction. We're on the 
right track.
    There are 1.8 million fewer people on welfare than there were the 
day I took the oath of office. Child support collections are up 40 
percent and up 48 percent in Florida. Thank you, Governor, and thank 
you, Florida; you're doing a good job.
    We have worked hard to make sure that America would be the strongest 
force for peace and freedom and prosperity in the world. We have 
undertaken what anyone would say is the most successful restructuring of 
military forces in history. We have maintained the capabilities, the 
readiness, the qualitative edge of our Armed Forces. You heard Governor 
Chiles say it, but I want to say it again: I'm glad that the F-22's are 
going to be headquartered here, and I know you will do a good job of 
helping to maintain America's defense.
    But we still have more to do if we're going to build a bridge to the 
21st century that everybody can walk across. We've got to keep economic 
growth going, which means we have to balance the budget without unfair 
cuts in education, in environmental protection, in research and 
technology, in Medicare and Medicaid. We've got to go forward together, 
investing in the things that will make us stronger. We have to give the 
right kind of tax cuts to America's families. They ought to be focused 
on raising children, on education, on emergency needs like health care, 
on buying that first home. And we ought to pay for our tax cuts and not 
have to cut Medicare, Medicaid, or education, the environment more.
    And we ought not to let that deficit go up. Last year, before they 
changed their position, our friends in the Republican Party put out one 
piece of paper that I agree with. They said, ``If we get off this plan 
to balance the budget and we send a signal that we don't care about it 
anymore, interest rates will go up 2 percent.'' Now, people always tell 
me, ``Don't ever talk about balancing the budget. When the economy is 
good, people get bored by it. They only care about it when the economy 
is bad.'' You should care about it. If interest rates go up 2 percent 
because the Government is borrowing money when you're trying to borrow 
it, that means 2 percent on a home mortgage, on a car payment, on a 
credit card payment. Even more important than that, it means 2 percent 
for every business person that wants to borrow money to start a new 
business, to expand a business, to become more productive so that more 
people can be hired and more can get a raise. We've got to keep working 
to balance the budget in the right way to grow the economy.
    We passed a welfare reform bill that says to everybody on welfare 
now, ``We'll take care of your children with health care, with 
nutrition, with child care. But if you're able-bodied, you have to go to 
work.'' We've got to make sure there's work to do for those

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