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Public Papers - 1991

Remarks to Mag Instrument Employees in Ontario, California


Well, thank you, Tony and Claire, and thank all of you for the tour we just went on. It's nice to see both Tony and Claire. I saw them a couple of weeks ago back in Washington. The Maglicas are doing a great job. And I also am pleased to see Senator Seymour, one of California's two Senators with us here today, sitting up here with me.

And we brought another person along, but I don't see her -- Pat Saiki over here, who is with me on our way out to Pearl Harbor. And she is the head of the Small Business Administration back in Washington. Pat, welcome.

There was a bit of confusion on the way in today. I arrived at the factory; one of my aides handed me a beer. And I said to them, ``Look, I said I wanted a Maglite.'' [Laughter]

I got to know Tony and Claire during the inauguration, when they sent 40,000 Points of Light, these mini-Maglites that you all make, as symbolic, what we call Points of Light, to demonstrate their faith in the power volunteers have to build a better America. And Mag Instrument represents the spirit of enterprise, the devotion to quality, the principle of hands-on leadership that will carry us into the next American century. Let me tell you why.

Tony Maglica's story, in essence, is the story of the American dream. A tale of opportunity that began in a Los Angeles garage in 1955. And later, in his job shop, he invented a superior quality flashlight for use by police and firemen whose lives might depend on the quality of the light. Let me add, in fact, Mag Instrument showed its ongoing commitment to these heroes with very generous support for the National Law Enforcement Memorial, which we dedicated in October.

Over the last 10 years, your company has led the way for American competitiveness and excellence, growing from that small shop I talked about, to one of the largest flashlight manufacturers in the entire world.

Mag Instrument products are made in America, made with American parts, and they're made by the best. They're made by American workers. And the commitment to American quality, from raw materials to design to production, has put your company, has put Mag Instrument right up at the top. And that's what will put our country right up at the top, too.

Tony is living proof, when the fight is fair, American manufacturers can outproduce, outsell and outcompete any other nation on Earth.

And that's why we're striving hard in the administration to open foreign markets to American goods and services, to continue solid, job-creating export growth. We want companies to follow Mag Instrument's lead in building export business. Their exports comprised over a quarter of their total sales this year. And that's good business, because last year alone total gross exports accounted for virtually all of this Nation's economic growth.

We want to keep inflation low, interest rates down, productivity high so that American business can stay competitive. And to do it we've proposed initiatives to cut senseless Government regulation, to improve education. And Barbara's working very hard in her way on helping people learn to read, improve education, improve job training. And here's one Tony will like: Reform our civil justice system so that employers can stay on the factory floors and out of the courtrooms. And we're going to continue to work on that one, too. I won't tell you the figure Tony told me that he had to spend in protecting patent rights of the products that you all develop here, but it is mind-boggling.

All of this is part of our strategy then for long-term economic growth in this country, particularly as it relates to exports, a strategy I laid out from day one of my Presidency. Since then, frankly, I've called on the Congress to act on our capital gains tax cut to stimulate investment. But more important, it would stimulate job creation all across the State of California. And we need more jobs in the State of California. I've called on Congress to act on our R D tax credit, to create new technologies and new jobs; to act on IRA's, these retirement accounts, you know, for first-time homebuyers. That would stimulate the housing market. And to enact banking reform legislation to make our banks more competitive and to make that capital flow to entrepreneurs like Tony that have created so many jobs right here.

People are hurting. And I hear it from just plain everyday Americans, and the letters I read back in Washington, conversations on the shop floor in places like this and just before this, down in Florida and over in the State of Mississippi.

And while Congress is home for the holidays, I hope that they're getting the message, too. Then, when they come back in January, what I plan to do is to ask them to put politics aside -- it's going to be an election year -- but lay the politics aside just long enough to take some important steps to get this economy on the move again.

And I'm going to hold out my hand, extend it; I promise you that. And that's because I believe we can create more hope for the future. We can build greater prosperity. We can bring the American dream to life for all Americans. You give America the tools, and they'll get the job done. And you give me a Congress I can work with and more businessmen like Tony and Claire here, more companies like this one in America, and we all together will get the job done.

So I really wanted to come by and learn, and I have. I've watched how this all works in there. I've heard the enthusiasm of Tony Maglica. It's contagious. It's an infectious feeling. He says anybody can get this job done, and I believe we can. I am absolutely confident that things are going to be better, and I'm going to keep right on working hard in Washington and then when Congress comes back, to do my part.

Thank you for a very inspiring day. And you might be interested in this. Barbara and I, when we leave here, we go to a lunch downtown, a Kiwanis lunch, and then we're heading out to Pearl Harbor for the commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day, which will be tomorrow -- turning point really in terms of peace and freedom in the world; certainly a memorable time in the history of our great country. But as I conclude, I think it's also a blessing that it looks like, because of the leadership of the United States of America, your kids and our grandkids can grow up in a much more peaceful world. And that's something to say our thanks to God for.

Thank you all and God bless our country.

Note: The President spoke at 11:51 a.m.

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