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pd29mr04 Telephone Remarks to the South Boston Saint Patrick's Day Breakfast...
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. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [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 American. 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 hero. 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 lot. 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 leader. 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 all. 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. Capitol. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [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 relief. 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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