Public Papers - 1992
Remarks to the Community in Holly, Michigan
What a great day. My heavens, beautiful. Thank you, thank you very, very much. What a beautiful day in Holly. My heavens. Thank you, President Regan. Has a nice ring to it. [Laughter] May I salute Governor Engler and Michelle Engler, who have been on this train for us. You've got a great Governor here, a great Governor in this State.
You know, everyplace I go I see people yelling, ``Clean House! Clean House!'' Elect Dick Chrysler now, and help us clean House.
Mayor Regan, I'm told that your full title is the president of the village of Holly. Well, I'm also told you're a Democrat, but you stopped wearing a Clinton button about a week ago, I'm told. I don't know if it's just to be polite, but thank you very much. Keep the Clinton button in the drawer, and come on over to our side. I salute you as the president of this township. And thank you all, every single citizen, for this wonderful, warm welcome. You can't help but feel great about America when you see something like this.
I'm told that this is the last day of your Renaissance Festival. I might ask to borrow some of the knight's armor; it would sure come in handy with Governor Clinton's daily attacks.
Barbara and I are in the middle of a great tour of this heartland of America, 233 miles from Ohio up through Michigan, building up for November 3d. I have spelled out a comprehensive agenda for America's renewal, a comprehensive, integrated, detailed plan so that in the 21st century America will reign as the economic superpower in the entire world.
Governor Clinton and Senator Gore seem to think that foreign affairs is not important, leadership for world peace is not important. Well, let me say this: I am proud of our record in standing up against aggression halfway around the world. I am proud that we put an end to the cold war. I am proud that Poland and the Baltic States are free, and I'm proud of America's role in ridding our children's dreams of the nightmare of nuclear war. That is big progress, dramatic progress. Thank God these kids don't worry about it. We should get credit for having fought hard against, standing true against that Soviet empire, now working with the new and democratic countries around the world. Yes, national security is important. And don't let Governor Clinton and Senator Gore cut into the muscle of our defense. We've got to stay strong.
I believe, having been in business and meeting a payroll, that my experience qualifies me to handle this new economy. Because today, the path to prosperity and jobs lies in opening foreign markets for our products. Because the American worker never retreats, he competes. And we will win.
I also want to see us, and here's one where Governor Clinton completely opposes me, I want to see us reform a legal system that is out of control. Doctors are scared to deliver babies because of lawsuits; some dads are afraid to coach Little League because of crazy lawsuits; people are scared to help a victim in a highway accident along the road because of lawsuits. We've got to put an end to these crazy lawsuits, and I need your help to do it. We've got to sue each other less and care for each other more in this great country of ours.
I've got a very different approach from Governor Clinton when it comes to education and child care. I want to give every parent the right to choose their children's schools, whether it's public, private, or religious. Put the power with the families. I want to fundamentally reform our Government, make it work for you and not the other way around. Governor Clinton says, ``Well, I'm for change,'' but he opposes the single most important change offered this year and that's limiting the terms of the Members of Congress. The time has come to limit those terms.
While I'm trying to find out ways, because I am optimistic about this country, to build up the United States, Governor Clinton insists on cutting America down. Well, I am focusing on the future, and he's engaged in a deliberate campaign of distortion. I think it's a sorry thing when the only way you can win an election is to tell everybody how bad things are. Look, we are the United States of America. We are the best in the entire world. Now let's make things better for the workers here at home.
You know, I'm a little tired of the distortion, so we pulled this train in here this afternoon to blow the whistle on Bill. You know, let's really take a look, after about 11 months of knocking me down, let's take a look at what's happening, if you've got a minute, on Arkansas itself. The first place, I lived next door to them. The people of Arkansas are decent and wonderful and warm people. They deserve a lot better than they've got, I'll tell you. Governor Clinton wants to do for the national economy what he's done for Arkansas. But if you look at his record you'll see that's not a promise, that's a threat. And we don't need it.
Let me tell you why I feel that way. Governor 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. Enough is enough. We do not need that kind of taxation at the Federal level.
Now, Governor Clinton says he's seen the light. In this campaign, he's proposing 0 billion in new taxes, that's not counting taxes that he put on small business for health care, plus at least 0 billion new spending. But don't worry, don't worry about that. He says it's all going to come from the rich guys, the top 2 percent. But the problem is, and here's the real truth on it: To get the money he needs for his plan, the 0 billion he's promised in new taxes, Governor Clinton would have to raise tax rates on every individual with incomes over ,600 a year. That is ,600. These are not people on the ``Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.'' These are good people who work hard every day, and you deserve a break. Do not let him get in there and do that to the American people.
Depending who he's speaking to, every time he turns around he's got a new way to spend your money. But he hasn't said how he's going to pay for all these new programs. He'd literally need hundreds of billions of dollars more. And don't kid yourself. While Governor Clinton is pulling promises out of the sky with one hand, he's pulling the dollars out of your wallet with the other.
Listen to this newspaper, don't take my word for it, listen to this newspaper from his own front yard in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the Pine Bluff Commercial. Here's what it said: ``If Congress followed the example that Bill Clinton set as Governor of Arkansas, it would pass a program that hit the middle class the hardest.'' And I am not going to let him win. I am not going to let him do that to the United States of America.
We figured this out coming up here. Let me give you an example. Say you've got a good job earning 38,000 bucks a year in taxable income. Governor Clinton would have you give another ,700 to the tax man. And I say you ought to be able to use that to pay for your kids' education, to meet the mortgage on the house, to put into the savings, not send it back to the IRS.
Now, when I point out what Governor Clinton really stands for, he says, ``Hey, forget my record. Forget the facts.'' But he says, ``I'm a different kind of Democrat.'' But what's different about him? George McGovern, he worked for him. Jimmy Carter, he voted for him. Michael Dukakis, he nominated him. And he didn't forget about Walter Mondale, he borrowed the tax increase from him. He's not different in the way we want difference and change in this country.
Now just think about his teaming up with those Democrats on Capitol Hill. It gives me ulcers just thinking about it. We would have a rubber-check Congress and a rubber-stamp President. And remember the last time this country had that. The ``misery index,'' unemployment and inflation, was at 20 percent. And now we've beat it back to 10. We don't need to go back to the ``misery index'' days of Democratic control of both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
I need this change in Congress. The only defense I've had to help the taxpayer is vetoing 33 bills in the United States Congress, standing up for fiscal discipline. I'll tell you what though: You give me that line-item veto; Congress can't do it, then watch us get the job done.
I just ask you to think how Governor Clinton and the Congress together will treat the middle-income taxpayers: the same way as the Michigan offense treated the Houston Cougars yesterday. Michigan pounced on the Cougars; Clinton's going to pounce on your wallet. Watch it. Guard it.
I say forget his plans to spend more and tax more. You deserve to keep your hard-earned dollars, and you can invest them better than any Government bureaucrat. When it comes to the Presidency, we simply cannot afford to take a risk. The Government is ready, the economy is ready. We're moving now with inflation down and interest down. We're moving towards a better recovery. But we must not set it back by more spending and more taxes.
I've proposed and will insist on, with these new Members of Congress, a responsible Government but a smaller Government; a Government that serves the people, and not the other way around; a Government that understands that the real strength of America is right here in places like Holly, Michigan. It is not back in Washington, DC.
As Barbara and I take this train across the middle of this beautiful heartland of America, we see some wonderful sights, the smiling faces of kids out there. But we hear the voices of concern. And keep in mind that the entire world has been in a global recession. It's not just the United States that's had difficulties. Not one single one of those economies in Europe would be unhappy to trade with us. They all envy us, every single one. But now we're ready to move. And the very nations that have adopted the strategy that Governor Clinton proposes, those nations of Europe are enduring higher unemployment and hardship than we are.
I believe this economy is ready now. America will lead the way. But not if we take the risk of adopting the failed strategies that are being rejected in Europe and that have failed the socialist country in Eastern Europe. Not if we take the risk of socking the middle-class taxpayer again. Not again. And I say to America, we will not risk our future by adopting the failed policies of the past.
You know, our world is filled with opportunity. You wouldn't get it from the press; you darn sure won't get it out of Clinton and Gore. But we are great and we are strong, and we have a marvelous opportunity now with a better education system, a better child care system. I'm fighting for health care reform. I'm fighting to back up these police officers here who are trying to help us bring peace and tranquility to our neighborhoods, frustrated at every turn by the liberal Democrats. We are going to get a new crowd in Congress, and we are going to move this country forward.
You know, Governor Clinton talks about -- this guy kills me. When you come across this country in a train -- he talks about this country being something less than Germany and a little more than Sri Lanka. He ought to open his eyes. We are the most respected country on the face of the Earth, and I'm glad I've had a part in helping restore that respect for America.
So here's the difference: I stand for freedom, freedom from big Government, freedom from the arrogance of the bureaucrat, freedom from the long arm of the tax man. And I stand for these things because they are the way we can build a safer and more secure America, and so that you can fulfill your dreams.
There's a lot of debate out there these days. But let me say this: I am proud that I served this military and our country in wartime. I am proud I served my Nation. I am proud that I brought change, peaceful change for democracy and freedom around the world. I am fighting hard to get this economy on the move, and I need your help. And don't let the other side tear down the greatest country on the fact of the Earth.
Thank you all. And may God bless you on this beautiful day. And I happen to think we've got the best First Lady in the entire world, too. Thank you all. What a wonderful welcome. Turn it around. Show them. Thank you very much. What a great day. What a welcome. Thank you all. Hi, kids.
Note: The President spoke at 1:15 p.m. on the observation deck of the Spirit of America train. In his remarks, he referred to Ardath Regan, president of Holly.