Public Papers - 1992
Remarks to the Community in Wixom, Michigan
The President. Thank you, Wixom. Thank you, Governor Engler. What a great Sunday welcome. Thank you very, very much. May I thank Governor John Engler, your great Governor, and his wife, Michelle, on the train with us here today. May I single out your Mayor, Wayne Glessner, and thank him. Barbara Dobb, you've got a great State representative here, Barbara Dobb, and may I ask you to send Joe Knollenberg to Congress so we can clean the House. For 38 years, 38 years one party has controlled the House. And everyplace I go people are saying, ``Clean House!'' Give us Joe Knollenberg; let's start the job right here in Wixom.
Well, it's great to wake up in this great State of Michigan. You know, this isn't just any campaign stop; it's Oakland County. When we carry Oakland County, we are going to carry the great State of Michigan. When we carry Michigan, we're going to earn 4 more years to renew this country. We've changed the world. Now we must renew America.
You know, the stakes are very high because this election is about your future and the kind of America you want to live in. A few weeks ago in Detroit, I laid out my Agenda for American Renewal, a series of steps to guarantee that in the next century America will be the economic superpower. We will lead by renewing our schools, by freeing small business from taxation, regulation, and yes, these reckless lawsuits and by holding the line on Government spending and by getting your taxes down, not up.
You know, Governor Clinton pretends foreign policy means nothing. But I am proud of my leadership in foreign policy, proud of America's leading role in ridding -- [applause] -- proud of ridding the fear of nuclear war from these young people here today. We have done it; we have changed America.
I hope that my character and I know my experience qualify me to meet the challenges of the nineties. Because in this new economy, the path to prosperity and jobs lies in opening markets and getting ready to compete. Today, American products have a newfound respect all around the world. We have the best workers in the entire world right here in Michigan. Just ask the men and women who make the great Lincoln cars, and they'll tell you our workers never retreat, we always compete. And we always win.
I want to do what's right for America. My opponent will tell America so many different things because he wants to do what's right to win an election. Let me give you just one example of what I mean.
I believe that you can balance the needs of the economy and the environment. Indeed, we have to. Here in Wixom, you've achieved this delicate balance, and you should be commended, you're leading the way. I have worked at the national level to protect the environment. We're cutting acid rain in half. I am proud we've added a million and a half acres of parks and forests so that our kids and grandkids will have space to play and enjoy nature.
Now, Government Clinton's environmental policies in Arkansas can be described in only one word: abysmal. According to the Green Index, Arkansas ranked dead last in the Nation in policies to protect the environment, dead last. That is not good enough for America. You know, I don't want to suggest that the Arkansas rivers are polluted. But you know, Governor Clinton sometimes thinks he can walk on water. Living around the Arkansas water, Arkansas River, he can walk on water. Hey listen, that's the only place the fish light up at night. It's the only place the fish teach their young ones how to jog instead of swim. You talk about pollution; we don't need that for the rest of the United States.
But look, in his zeal to capture his party's nomination he's jumped over to the other extreme. If there's anybody that's interested in the auto industry here, listen to this. He has proposed raising car fuel standards to 40 to 45 miles per gallon by the turn of the century. Now, there is a couple of big problems with that idea. For one, the scientists say it's not possible; you'd have to make cars out of papier mache. For another, these standards would toss 40,000 auto workers out on the unemployment line right here in Michigan. And you and I cannot let that happen to the workers in Michigan. The big labor bosses think they can convince him after the election, Lane Kirkland mentioned that himself, where we're going to let him off the hook until after the election. We cannot go to 45-miles-per-gallon CAFE standards and still have a strong auto industry.
You know, we're cleaning up the air. We're promoting clean burning American fuels. We're not doing it by killing jobs but by creating jobs. I have a good, sound environmental record, but I will not go to the Clinton-Gore extremes and needlessly throw Americans out of work.
This guy's environmental programs are terrible, but there's one thing worse. And I'm talking about his tax-and-spend policy. Governor Clinton wants to do for the national economy what he's done for Arkansas. If you look at his record you'll see that that's not a promise, it is a threat. As Governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton raised and extended the sales tax over and over. He taxed groceries. He taxed mobile homes. He doubled the tax on gasoline. And he even raised the tax on beer. That is the fact, and we don't need that for America.
Now, Governor Clinton says he's seen the light. He's promised 0 billion in new taxes plus at least 0 billion in new spending. But don't worry, he says, it will all come from the rich, that's the top 2 percent, people who make over 0,000, he says. Well, here's the truth. To get to 0 billion, even with his other plans, Governor Clinton would have to raise the tax rates on every individual with over ,600 a year in taxable income. That is a fact, and we cannot let him do that to the United States. People making ,000, those aren't people hanging out on the Riviera. That's not the ``Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous.'' These are good people who work hard all day, and they deserve a break.
Every time the guy opens his mouth he promises a new program. But he hasn't said how he'll pay for them. He'll need hundreds of billions of dollars more beyond the tax increases he's already proposed. Where's he going to get the money? Right out of your pockets.
Audience members. Boo-o-o!
The President. Now, let me read you a quote from a paper right in his own backyard. This isn't Detroit, this is Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the Pine Bluff Commercial. They said, and I quote, ``If Congress followed the example Bill Clinton set as Governor of Arkansas, it would pass a program that hit the middle class the hardest.'' And that is a quote from the people who know Bill Clinton best. So if the past is any guide, Governor Clinton will go to where the money is, and he'll take it from the middle class. Let's not let him do that to the hard-working people of America.
For 11 months he's been mistalking about my record, misdirecting it, misstating it. I've just started in the last couple of days because the American people need to know this. Think about what the Clinton tax plan will do right here in Wixom. Let's say you've got a good job at the Lincoln plant. Say you get 38,000 bucks a year in taxable income. Governor Clinton would have you give another ,700 to the tax man. And I say you could better use that money for your kids' education or paying a mortgage on a house.
In Detroit I unveiled our plan. There's a fundamental issue in this election. We both have presented our plans for America. He wants to pay for it by raising taxes. I want to pay for mine by reigning in Government spending. I want you to help me reign in the big spenders, let you keep a little more of what you earn.
I propose that every taxpayer have a chance to make a little check on his tax return to cut Government debt and force the Congress to cut spending. If we do that, the Congress will have to listen to the people. It's a good idea, and the Democrats hate it. If the Congress won't cut the spending, let the people do it. The people have more power if we make our representatives more accountable. And so I say this: It is time to limit the terms of the Members of Congress. Give Government back to the people, term limits.
Here is the bottom line. The Clinton taxes are wrong for the middle class. The big Government philosophy is wrong for the White House and for your house. Any way you cut it, Bill Clinton is wrong to be President of the United States of America.
I offer a responsible Government; a changed Congress; a smaller Government; a Government that serves people, not the other way around; a Government that understands the real strength of America is right here, right here. It's not all in DC; it's right here in Wixom, Michigan. That's where the power is. Give the power back to the people.
The entire world has been in a global recession. You hear Bill Clinton talk about it, it's everything's my fault. Fine, I'll take my share of the blame. But look around Europe. Look at Canada. The entire world has had tough economic time. And the very nations that have adopted the strategy Governor Clinton proposes, the nations of Europe, are enduring higher unemployment and worse hardship than we are. I believe the world economy is poised to get moving again, and America would lead the way. We must have a United States that will take the lead but not if we take the risk of adopting the failed strategies that are being rejected in Europe, not if we take the risk by going back to the failed policies of big Government, and not if we take the risk of socking it to the middle class with higher taxes.
Let me just say a word. Governor Clinton would have us believe that world affairs and national security mean nothing. I am proud that I led this country to stand up against aggression in Desert Storm. I'm proud of the men and women here.
Governor Clinton can only get elected by tearing down America. He talks about America being less than Germany and a little more than Sri Lanka. Open your eyes, Governor Clinton. We are the most respected nation on the face of the Earth.
As we stood for freedom abroad, we stand for freedom at home, freedom from big Government, freedom from the arrogance of the bureaucrat, freedom from the bosses who tell everybody what to do, freedom from the long arm of the tax man.
Today, I know the people of Wixom are marking this visit by signing the names on a wall, a wall that will be preserved for history. And I am flattered by this action. But I ask you to come build something much, much larger: to renew our Nation, to make it a better place for the young people here today, to strengthen the American family in every way we possibly can, to make it a safer and more secure America for us and for all those who will come after.
We are blessed with the greatest, freest, most wonderful country on the face of the Earth. Help me move it forward; give me 4 more years, and let's change America for the best.
Thank you, and may God bless you all. Thank you very much.
Audience members. Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
Note: The President spoke at 11:35 a.m. on the observation deck of the Spirit of America train. In his remarks, he referred to Lane Kirkland, president, AFL - CIO.