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pd29mr04 Telephone Remarks to the South Boston Saint Patrick's Day Breakfast...

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to teach the young men of your teams the difference between right and 
wrong and how to play as a team. Today we honor your coaching career at 
the same time we honor the great Indiana Hoosier soccer team. Welcome.
    These are impressive athletes behind me, but I think if you really 
look beyond the athletics, you'll find some decent and compassionate 
people as well. These athletes, in the

[[Page 450]]

most part, understand they have a responsibility to uphold to the 
communities in which they live. They understand it's one thing to be a 
champ on the field; it's another to be a champ off the field by setting 
the right example for some youngster who is wondering what it means to 
be a champ.
    By sending good messages about right and wrong behavior and by 
volunteering in their community, the USC football team makes a trip to 
the USC Children's Hospital every year to visit patients and to give 
gifts and to sign autographs. You know what they're doing? They're 
bringing some sunshine into somebody's life, is what they're doing. The 
LSU football players visit hospitals, and they teach elementary school 
children how to read. They're taking their talents off the football 
field and putting them in the classroom, so some child in Louisiana has 
a chance to realize a better life. The USC women's volleyball team 
raised money and participated together in the Race for the Cure for 
breast cancer research. They took their athleticism and put it into 
practice to help save somebody's life. The UNC women's soccer team is 
helping to build a Habitat for Humanity house near the campus. They're 
using their God-given talents to make sure somebody has a place to live. 
And finally, the Indiana soccer players volunteer as coaches and mentors 
for youth soccer teams in Bloomington, Indiana.
    All these players have understood it's important to serve something 
greater than yourself in life. They learned to do so by working together 
for a team, and they're learning to do so by making the community in 
which they live a better place for every citizen.
    It is my honor to welcome true champs here to the White House. I 
congratulate you for your hard work. I wish you all the best for the--
whatever the future may hold. God bless you all.

Note: The President spoke at 3:21 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White 
House. In his remarks, he referred to Pete Carroll, head football coach, 
University of Southern California; Nick Saban, head football coach, 
Louisiana State University; Mick Haley, head coach, University of 
Southern California women's volleyball; Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of 
California; Anson Dorrance, head coach, University of North Carolina 
women's soccer; Dean Smith, former head coach, University of North 
Carolina men's basketball; and Jerry Yeagley, former head coach, 
University of Indiana men's soccer.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 450-451]
Monday, March 29, 2004
Volume 40_Number 13
Pages 437	488
Week Ending Friday, March 26, 2004
Remarks on Presenting the Congressional Gold Medal to Dorothy Height

March 24, 2004

    Thank you very much. Mr. Speaker and Leader Frist, distinguished 
Members of Congress, I want to thank the authors of the bill that 
bestowed this high honor, Senator Clinton and Senator Levin and 
Congresswoman Watson. Thank you all for being here to honor such a fine 
    Since the American Revolution, Congress has awarded Gold Medals to 
the heroes of our country. And today we recognize a citizen who has 
helped to extend the promise of our founding to millions. We recognize a 
    I'm so pleased to join with the Congress in honoring this good and 
gracious woman and the great life she has lived. And what a life it's 
been. If you know--in the presence of Dorothy Height, you kind of--she's 
such a calming influence. You realize you're in the presence of grace. 
But you've got to understand what she's done to realize that behind the 
grace, there's a will of steel and absolute determination.
    She's been a leader and a witness to a lot of our great history. 
We've heard a lot of talk about the ``Big Six.'' As Leader Pelosi said--
I think it was Leader Pelosi--``I sure would have liked to have been in 
the room. I would have liked to have seen Dorothy Height interface with 
some of the giants of the civil rights movement.'' The truth of the 
matter is, she was the giant of the civil rights movement. They were 
interfacing with her. [Laughter]
    She was there when they planned the march. She was a few steps away 
from Dr. King's great speech at the Lincoln Memorial. She helped 
integrate the YWCA. She was in the South during the sixties setting up 
freedom schools and voter registration drives. She was in Mississippi 
bringing white and

[[Page 451]]

black women together. She was in Birmingham in 1963 comforting the 
mothers of that city. Condi Rice was there at the time. She's told me 
the story about what it was like. It would have taken a presence like 
Dorothy Height to instill hope and calm and confidence during that very 
troubled time. She helped create the Black Family Reunion. She's done a 
    She's a woman of enormous accomplishment. She's a friend of First 
Ladies like Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Rodham Clinton. She's known 
every President since Dwight David Eisenhower. She's told every 
President what she thinks since Dwight David Eisenhower. [Laughter]
    I find it really interesting that Dorothy Height has always stressed 
the importance of institutions closest to us, our families, our 
churches, and our neighborhoods. She understands that those institutions 
are important in shaping the character of an individual and, therefore, 
the character of the Nation.
    In her recently published memoir, Dr. Height wrote, ``It is in the 
neighborhood and communities where the world begins. That is where 
children grow and families are developed, where people exercise their 
power to change their lives.'' Incredibly wise words from a strong 
    Few Americans have done more than Dorothy Height to help their 
fellow citizens discover and exercise their own life-changing power. 
Dorothy has always remembered what her mother told her when she was a 
girl of 8 in 1920. She recalls, ``My mother, always so gentle and so 
firm, put her arms around me. She said, `You're a nice girl, Dorothy. 
You're a smart girl. And there are many things you can do.' '' Mom was 
right. There was a lot of things she could do, and she did them, and 
America is a better place for it.
    We're proud of you, Dorothy. We're honored to be in your presence. 
You're about to receive a Gold Medal, but perhaps the best medal we can 
give as a society is to continue to work for equality and justice for 
    It's now my honor to join Speaker Hastert and Senator Stevens, the 
Senate--the President pro tem of the Senate, in presenting this high 
award, this important award, to a great American.
    May God bless you.

Note: The President spoke at 2:02 p.m. in the Rotunda at the U.S. 

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 451-459]
Monday, March 29, 2004
Volume 40_Number 13
Pages 437	488
Week Ending Friday, March 26, 2004
Remarks to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

March 24, 2004

    Thank you all. Thank you for that warm welcome. Sientese, por favor. 
Bienvenidos. I'm so glad you're here. Thanks for having me. [Laughter] I 
love to be in the presence of entrepreneurs, people who are willing to 
dream and to work to realize their dreams, which is really what America 
has been, is, and should be all about.
    I appreciate the fact that it's the entrepreneurs here in America 
that take the risks and create the new jobs, do the hard work that's 
helping our economy go forward. You see, by pursuing your own dreams 
you're making the American Dream possible for more. You're helping to 
make sure that others can realize the potential of our country. Every 
day you show faith in what we stand for in America, and I'm here to tell 
you, the country is grateful to you. And I want to thank you for what 
you do.
    What I want to do is talk about, today, the challenges facing our 
economy and how to put good policies in place to unleash the 
entrepreneurial spirit of America--that's what we're really here to talk 
about--and talk about the need for--to make sure we've got a small-
business sector that is vibrant, strong, growing, confident, optimistic 
about the future. And there are some things Government can do. 
Government can't create wealth, but it can create an environment in 
which the entrepreneurial spirit can flourish. And that's what I'm here 
to talk about today.
    I want to thank Hector--he's the Small Business Administration 
head--for joining me. I had the honor of meeting Hector, Sr., right 
before we came out here. Hector and I are lucky. We've both got good 
dads. [Laughter] So, Hector Barreto, Sr., I appreciate you here. He's 
the co-founder of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
    I appreciate my friend John Snow, who is the Secretary of Treasury. 
Mr. Secretary, thanks for coming to share some thoughts.

[[Page 452]]

I appreciate your wisdom. He's a smart guy. [Laughter] He knows what I 
know, that it's best not to be thinking about economic theory; it's best 
to be thinking how to unleash the great creativity of the American 
people. It's the best economic policy there is.
    I appreciate so very much J.R. Gonzales, the chairman and acting 
president of the U.S. Chamber. I want to thank Tina Cordova, the vice 
chair, for having me here. I see my friend Massey Villarreal. He's an 
old friend from Texas. I don't know if there's any Texanos here. 
[Applause] Yes. Tell them hello back home. [Laughter] Tell them I 
remember where I came from, and I'm not going to change because of polls 
and focus groups. I'm going to take the--I'm bringing the principles 
that I was raised with here. I'm going to stand on principle. I'm going 
to work as hard as I can for the American people, and I'm not going to 
change what I believe just because some are trying to change me.
    And one of the things I believe is this country is a great country. 
That's what I believe. I believe it is a great country for a lot of 
reasons. You know what I believe? I believe it's a great country because 
if you're willing to work for a dream, you can own your own business. To 
me, that's great, when somebody can start with little and end up with a 
lot, and that's what we've got to encourage here in this country.
    I want to remind you that we have reason to be optimistic about the 
economy, particularly when you realize what we have been through as a 
nation. Beginning in 2001, the economy headed into a recession. The 
definition of a recession, of course, is three quarters of negative 
growth. So in the first three quarters of 2001, we were going backwards. 
That made it hard. I'm sure many of you remember the period. If you're a 
small-business owner, it's difficult to survive in a recession. If 
you're a worker, there's a lot of uncertainty during a recession.
    The stock market, by the way, had begun its decline in March of 
2000, and that affects a lot of people. It affects people's confidence 
when they see their savings begin to dwindle.
    As well--we began to recover, by the way, and then we got attacked. 
And the attack did a couple of things. Obviously, it changed how one 
must conduct foreign policy. In other words, we have to deal with 
threats early, before they materialize. Oceans no longer protect us like 
we used to think. And therefore, when we see a threat, we have to deal 
with it. But the other way it affected us, it hurt our economy. Make no 
mistake about it, we lost nearly a million jobs as a result of the 
attack. But we began to recover from that. We're a strong country. We 
said loud and clear to the enemy, ``You can't intimidate us. We refuse 
to quit. We're determined to move forward as a nation.''
    And then we found out that some of--corporate citizens or U.S. 
citizens who happen to be in corporate America didn't tell the truth, 
and that hurt our confidence. See, the system counts on people being 
honest and open, particularly when it comes to cashflow numbers and 
earnings per share. And the dishonesty of some in corporate America cost 
people their jobs and cost a lot of savings, but we acted. We passed 
tough reforms. As you can see on your TV screens, wrongdoers are being 
held to account. The message is, we're not going to tolerate dishonesty 
in the boardrooms of America.
    And then we overcame a significant hurdle as well. I just told you 
we had to deal with threats before they materialize. I made a tough but 
correct decision to join with the rest of the world--or the United 
Nations Security Council, and say, ``Disarm, Saddam Hussein. For the 
sake of world security and world peace, you disarm. We've told you to do 
so for 12 years, and you haven't. Now you have one final chance to do 
so.'' And he wouldn't, of course, and so we led a coalition to remove 
Saddam Hussein. He was in defiance, and now he's in jail. And by the 
way, the world is better off for it, and America is more secure.
    But that decision affected our economy. The decisionmaking process 
affected the economy. Remember turning on your TV screen and seeing 
``March to War.'' That's an incredibly negative thought. And in the 
world of finance and job creation, it's important to be hopeful and 
optimistic. People are more likely to invest if they're hopeful and 
optimistic about the future. And when you're looking on your TV screens 
and you see

[[Page 453]]

``March to War,'' it made it difficult for people to see a better 
future. Now we're marching to peace. The march to war is over, and the 
march to peace has begun, and the world is becoming more peaceful.
    My point to you is that we faced a lot of challenges in a brief 
period of time. In 3 years, we've overcome a lot because of the strength 
and the character of the American people and the strength of the 
entrepreneurial spirit. Think about where we are today. Inflation is 
low. Interest rates are low. That's helpful, by the way, if you're a 
businessowner. Mortgage rates are low. Homeownership is at the highest 
rate ever. That's what we want. If we want people--we want people--more 
people to own their own business. We also want people to own their own 
home. It's part of the American experience, and it's happening here.
    Manufacturing activity is on the rise. The unemployment rate today 
is lower than the average rate in the seventies, eighties, and nineties. 
Thanks to our productive workers--and we're very productive--and to the 
visionary business leaders, small and large, the United States is the 
fastest growing major industrialized economy in the world.
    We have overcome a lot because of the strength of our country. And 
members of the Hispanic Chamber are playing an essential part in the 
progress, so I'm here to thank you for that. According to the most 
recent data, Hispanic-owned companies employ about 1.4 million Americans 
and carry a payroll of nearly $30 billion. Our economy is stronger and 
society is better because Hispanic-owned businesses are thriving all 
across the country.
    One of the main reasons why the recession that I described to you is 
the shortest in modern history is because we acted with tax relief. And 
I want to describe to you why I felt it was so strong to promote tax 
relief here in Washington. First, if an American has more of their own 
money in their pocket, they're more likely to demand a good or a 
service. And in our marketplace, when somebody demands a good or a 
service, somebody is going to produce the good or a service. And when 
somebody produces that good or a service, somebody is more likely to 
keep a job or find work. That's the economic theory behind the tax 
    But there's really more to it than that. When you reduce taxes on 
everybody who pays individual income taxes, the way many small 
businesses are structured in America, you're really helping the small-
business sector. If you're a sole proprietorship or a Subchapter S 
corporation, you pay tax at the individual income-tax rate, and 
therefore, when you're cutting income taxes on the individual, you're 
really cutting taxes on small businesses. And when a small business gets 
tax relief, it means they've got more money in their company treasury in 
which to invest and/or expand. That's what tax relief does.

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