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pd19mr01 Letter to the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders on Campaign Finance...
<DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page i-ii] Monday, March 19, 2001 Volume 37--Number 11 Pages 431-461 Contents [[Page i]] Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents [[Page ii]] Addresses and Remarks See also Bill Signings; Meetings With Foreign Leaders Florida Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City Arrival--435 Tour of Senior Airman Donnie Bryant's home--436 Youth Activities Center--437 Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce in Panama City--438 Louisiana, remarks in Lafayette--431 New Jersey New Jersey Chamber of Commerce in East Brunswick--447 Tour of the Youth Entertainment Academy in Plainfield--445 Radio address--435 Small-business owners--455 Saint Patrick's Day Reception--453 Shamrock presentation ceremony--453 Bill Signings John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse, remarks--442 Communications to Congress Campaign finance reform legislation, letter--452 Iran, messages on continuation of national emergency--443, 444 Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, letter--444 Interviews With the News Media Exchanges with reporters Plainfield, NJ--445 South Lawn--451 Tyndall Air Force Base, FL--436 Letters and Messages Saint Patrick's Day, message--454 Meetings With Foreign Leaders Ireland, Prime Minister Ahern--453 United Kingdom Northern Ireland Executive Deputy First Minister Mallon--453 First Minister Trimble--453 Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Reid--453 Notices Continuation of Iran Emergency--443 Proclamations National Girl Scout Week--458 Supplementary Materials Acts approved by the President--461 Checklist of White House press releases--460 Digest of other White House announcements--459 Nominations submitted to the Senate--460 Editor's Note: The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is also available on the Internet on the GPO Access service at http:// www.gpo.gov/nara/nara003.html. WEEKLY COMPILATION OF ------------------------------ PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS 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 the authority contained in the Federal Register Act (49 Stat. 500, as amended; 44 U.S.C. Ch. 15), under regulations prescribed by the Administrative Committee of the Federal Register, approved by the President (37 FR 23607; 1 CFR Part 10). Distribution is made only by the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents will be furnished by mail to domestic subscribers for $80.00 per year ($137.00 for mailing first class) and to foreign subscribers for $93.75 per year, payable to the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. The charge for a single copy is $3.00 ($3.75 for foreign mailing). There are no restrictions on the republication of material appearing in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents. [[Page 431]] <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [Page 431-434] Monday, March 19, 2001 Volume 37--Number 11 Pages 431-461 Week Ending Friday, March 16, 2001 Remarks in Lafayette, Louisiana March 9, 2001 The President. Thank you all very much. I'm sure glad I came here to Louisiana. Thank you for coming. I want to thank you all for coming. I want to thank the thousands of people who lined the road on the way in here. I wish the hangar were 10 times bigger, but thank you all so much for being here. First, I want to thank my friend and your Governor, Mike Foster. I appreciate his friendship. One thing you can say about him is, you know where he stands. And I know he stands as my friend, and I appreciate that so very much. I appreciate John Cooksey, the Congressman who is here. I appreciate Susie Terrell, who is here. I want to thank Senator Michot for being here. Ernie Alexander, my friend, is here; I want to thank him. My friend Ernest Johnson, who heads the Louisiana NAACP, is with us today, and I want to thank you, Ernest, for coming. There is one other fellow, a man who stuck his neck out in the course of the campaign. You see, he doesn't happen to have the Republican label by his name. His name is Dan Morrish. He's a Democrat. He put party aside and did what he thought was right for the country. And Dan, I'm honored to have your support. I thank you for your friendship. And it's great to be here. I tell you, it is important for me to make sure I get outside the Nation's Capital on a regular basis. I love people in Louisiana. I like the idea of coming to bring my message to you. I hope by now the people of the country are beginning to realize that we all have adopted a commonsense message. It's a message of the people. It's a message that understands that the most important element of politics are the people of this country, the hard-working Americans who make the country go. I get to propose things in Washington. I don't get to vote on them. I'm not a member of the legislative branch. But the biggest influence in our Government is the people, and I know that. So I'm here today in Lafayette, Louisiana, to explain a commonsense budget. And if you like what you hear, you might decide to maybe e-mail or call some of those who represent you and let them hear from you. If you like the commonsense approach to how we spend your money, it may make sense to pick up the phone or drop a note to people who may not see it our way. That's what politics is all about, as far as I'm concerned; it's the people's will. And I'm here to talk about the people's business. And the people's business is to bring some fiscal sanity to the budgeting process in Washington, DC. It starts with understanding this important principle, that the surplus is not the Government's money; the surplus is the people's money. And so what makes sense? Well, what makes sense is to set priorities. That's what makes sense. Here's some of my priorities. Education is a priority; making sure children learn is a priority. So we increase spending at the Education Department. It's a priority of the country, but in case you might think that I forgot where I came from, I'll understand that the people who can run the schools best in Louisiana are not people in Washington, DC, but the folks of Louisiana. So we're spending a little more at the Federal level, but we're going to work with Congress to pass power out of Washington to empower the local folks, to empower parents and teachers to make the right decision for the children of the great State of Louisiana. The people's health is a priority. Today I talked about expanding a number of community health centers around America to make sure that the poor are able to get primary care. I also want to make it crystal clear in the budget I submitted to the Congress that we have doubled Medicare spending over a 10-year period of time, that we're going to make the commitment that we have made [[Page 432]] to the elderly. It not only requires more spending, which we will do; it also requires an attitude of reform that says we'll trust seniors to make choices for themselves--seniors--to match their needs with a variety of programs, all of which include prescription drugs. And I want to praise one of your Senators from Louisiana. John Breaux and I are going to work on this issue. We will spend a lot of time making sure that Medicare is properly reformed so that the promise we have made to our seniors will be a promise that will be kept. There's a lot of talk about Social Security, as there should be. The message to the Congress is loud and clear: We're not going to spend payroll taxes on anything other than Social Security; we're not going to take the money aimed for Social Security and spend it on anything else. There's money in my budget to make sure that we're able to keep the peace by making sure we pay our military folks a good wage. There's money in the budget for priorities. As a matter of fact, we increased what's called the discretionary spending by 4 percent. That's greater than the rate of inflation. But it's not enough for some in Washington, because, you see, they're used to spending a lot of money up there. The last session, they spent your money to the tune of 8 percent. It's like they had a bidding contest to see who could get out of town. Those days are over with. We will set priorities and fund them. But we'll be wise about how we spend your money. We don't want the Federal Government exploding in growth. We want the Federal Government to be lean and efficient and focused with your money. And that's exactly what's going to happen with new leadership in Washington. There's a lot of discussion about paying down debt. I want to remind you, there are two types of debt--there are a lot of types of debt--but there are two types of debt that I worry about. One is debt at the national level. And under the plan I submitted to the Congress, we pay down $2 trillion in national debt over 10 years--$2 trillion. It's the biggest amount of debt repayment ever. There's also consumer debt, the credit card debt that burdens many of the working families in America. Yes, we talk about national debt, and we're paying a lot down. But you're fixing to hear me tell you, part of the remedy for people who have got a lot of credit card debt is to make sure people get some of their own money back. We have met priorities. We grew the budget at a reasonable rate, not this fantastic rate that exploded during the last session. We pay down debt. We protected Social Security. We have also set aside one trillion over 10 years for contingencies. Who knows what will happen. And so, we put one trillion aside. That makes sense. That's common sense to do that, it seems like, to me. We may need money for our farmers. And I'm going to tell you something about agriculture in America. It is an incredibly important part of our economy. Who knows what we'll need money for. So we set aside money to do so but, guess what? There's still money left over. The fundamental question is: What do we do with that money? The fundamental question that I want Congress to hear from you about is, what to do with the money? Do we increase the size and scope of the Federal Government? Audience members. No-o-o! The President. Or do we trust you with your own money? Audience members. Yes! The President. There's a lot of discussion about how to get tax relief. I worry about what's called targeted tax cuts. I worry about people sitting around Washington saying, ``You're targeted in, but oh, by the way, you're targeted out.'' It seems like, to me, the fairest way to handle the people's money is to say that everybody who pays taxes ought to get relief. The Federal Government ought not to try to play favorites. It's likely people in Louisiana may not be considered a favorite. You will be, as far as this President is concerned. So the plan that was passed out of the House--and John, thank you for your support--is fair. It reduces all rates on everybody that pays taxes, and it simplifies the code. It drops the bottom rate from 15 percent to 10 percent. It increases the child credit from $500 to $1,000 per child. And [[Page 433]] let me explain to you why. Let me explain to you why this Tax Code we have is unfair. One of the things that the people must stand for is fairness in life. If you're a single mother in the State of Louisiana trying to raise two children, and you're making 20-something thousand dollars a year, under the code that's written today, for every dollar you earn above $22,000, you pay a higher marginal rate on that dollar than someone who is successful. You pay nearly 50 percent on that dollar, and that's not right. And that's not what America is all about. Now, this country stands for rewarding hard work, not penalizing it. And we must understand and--when we find people working the hardest job in America, which is the single moms in this country, and they're struggling to get ahead, we ought to have a Tax Code that welcomes hard work and says, ``You can access the middle class, and you can realize your dreams.'' This plan that passed the House yesterday makes this code imminently more fair. It also reduces the top rate. And oh, I know there's a lot of discussion about that, dropping the top rate, but let me tell you why.
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