Mike, thank you for that very kind and very generous introduction. It's great to be here with you and Patti. And, of course, always a pleasure to be with -- glad to see today your distinguished Senator, Nancy Kassebaum. What a job she's doing for this State and for the entire country. Your reelection is crucial not just to Kansas, but to the entire Nation. You know, Nancy is part of Kansas' superb Republican team in Washington. Let me salute another part of that team, a man who could not be with us today -- our outstanding Republican leader in the Senate, Bob Dole. As President -- and I mean this from the bottom of a grateful heart -- I could not possibly have a finer leader with whom to work in the United States Senate than Bob Dole. He has been outstanding and superb and supportive. And I wanted to congratulate him in front of his friends from his State, but he's not here, so give him that message. I hope he knows I feel that way anyway.
Jan Meyers, Congresswoman Jan Meyers, is here. I salute her and I know she will continue to represent her Third District with style. And she's been magnificent in Washington. And also, let me put in a plug for two fine candidates who will make an important contribution to the Congress: Scott Morgan and Dick Nicholls. To Harland and Wynn Priddle, thank you for cohosting this luncheon. Also, thanks to Lieutenant Governor Jack Walker and Harold [Howard] Wilkins, my old friend and our Ambassador there in The Netherlands. We're proud of him and the job he's doing for our country in helping one of our important NATO allies in staunch step with us. He's done a great job over there.
I'm pleased -- I heard her announced just before Patti and Mike and I walked in -- to have Jeanie Austin with us today. She is, as you know, the cochairman of the Republican National Committee. And I salute her along with the national committee members from this State: Mary Alice, Jack Ranson, Rochelle Chronister, who's our chairwoman. And it's great to see all of them and John Peterson, who did such a magnificent job of running our campaign here in 1988, as well as Don and Adele Hall. And a special hello to a friend of Mike's, Lacey Cook of Dodge City. This brave young girl won her battle for a liver transplant, and she'll be 3 years old next Tuesday. All Kansans can take pride in the courage evidenced by this wonderful child.
Today, I'm privileged to be back in the very heartland of America -- and to speak on behalf of a friend. He is a Vietnam veteran; he's an environmentalist and a businessman. Most of all, he is a great Governor of a truly great State. Ladies and gentlemen, Governor Mike Hayden.
As you may have read, I had some mishaps on my way here. First, I was fishing with the Canadian Prime Minister on my boat when it broke down. I crunched a rock, I think. But anyway, the next day we went back out, and I got hooked in the ear while fishing with the Prime Minister and my son Jeb. The barb from one of these hooks went all the way through the ear. We refer to our son as Captain Hook now. [Laughter] Talk about adding insult to injury -- after they unhooked me, Jeb tried to throw me back. [Laughter] Luckily, he was dissuaded.
But it's wonderful to be here now, back to work -- discuss how far the last 4 years Mike has come. Mike's compass, Mike Hayden's compass, has helped chart the future -- not just for now but the future of Kansas. It's a compass of integrity, embodying the Kansas of hard work and character. And if I wasn't aware of that, you should have heard Mike telling me about that on the way in from the airport as we saw the citizens lining the street with that warm, warm Kansas welcome. Man of family -- think of Mike's wife, Patti, and the two girls who were out there to greet us at the airport. A compass of what I like to think of as traditional values. And plain common sense -- he keeps things in perspective. It's like Mike -- never a man of failing to say what he thinks -- he tells me: ``It's fine that you're here, Mr. President. But if you really want to help out, bring Barbara.'' [Laughter]
These qualities have endeared Mike to Kansas' good and quiet and decent people. And it's no surprise that ``Kansas Likes Mike.'' And just look at this background: Kansas State graduate; member, then Speaker, of the Kansas House of Representatives. He's living proof of the words spoken by that great Kansan to whom he referred, Dwight Eisenhower. Ike said, ``Our best protection against bigger government in Washington is better government in the States.'' And today we meet to help Mike keep making government better in the State of Kansas. And so, let's reelect him to a second term in the Governor's mansion.
Take a look at the numbers. Today, more Kansans are working than at any time in our history. Unemployment is the lowest in 11 years. And no wonder ``Kansas Likes Mike.'' Here's more: Think of the increase in net farm income -- up billion since '87. And we realize some farmers are hurting because those wheat prices are down. Four billion dollars since '87 and a .6 billion construction program to modernize the highways. Affection stems from achievements like these. And how did they happen? Not from Washington, DC, doing for Kansas but through Kansans doing for themselves. Not expanding the budget of the bureaucracy; rather, expanding the horizons of Kansans young and old.
And now, you may have heard -- I hope you haven't heard too much about it -- but we have a budget, too, in Washington, DC. And back in June, when the budget talks were at an impasse, I decided that the time had come to put it all on the table, lay it right out there for all to see, whatever it was -- revenues, spending cuts, budget reform. And I did that as an act of good faith. And I believe I've tried hard, and I believe I have kept the faith. And, yes, took some heat, understandably -- I expected that -- through 5 long months of budget talks. But today -- and I really feel strongly about this when I see the young people that are here today and that were out to greet us when we arrived -- time is running out.
And here's a fact: October 1st begins a new fiscal year for the Federal Government, and still no agreement on getting our deficit under control. Another fact: We've got to draw the line on spending -- break free once and for all from the tired old mindset that says for every new problem we must create a new bureaucracy. And the budget I've asked for -- .5 trillion -- is not exactly miserly. It is certainly enough to do the vital work of government. And so I say, Congress, let's get with it.
I pledge again to work with the leaders in Congress on both sides of the aisle to get an agreement that makes real cuts in the deficit now and eliminates the deficit within 5 years. The time for partisanship, in my view, is past; and the time for avoiding the tough decisions is gone. They're not going to do it exactly the way I want, and I understand that. And I can't do it exactly the way one element or another in the Congress wants, and I think they must understand that. But the time is now for decision. And I say let's fix this Federal budget mess once and for all -- get it done.
All of you remember Nancy's dad, another great Kansan, Alf Landon. And perhaps you don't recall how once he said, ``There are some intelligent people in Washington. There are more of them in Kansas.'' Well, Mike Hayden encapsules Kansas' thinking. So, let me briefly talk about how he and you can help meet America's challenges. Challenges at home -- the budget among them; also, challenges abroad.
At home, we begin with education, where Mike has launched a campaign to make Kansas number one in the whole country. And your support can help him convince the Congress to pass our National Educational Excellence Act. And then, comes the environment. Here, too, I need Mike; I need his commitment. I need, Mike, for you to help support me in Washington. Your support can help convince Congress to grant the Environmental Protection Agency cabinet status and pass clean air legislation that I can sign. I want to do that. I think it's important for our country. But we also have to remember the job base in this country. So, we've got to get a bill that the President can sign. And finally, I need Mike to keep Kansas our nation's breadbasket. Look, you produce more wheat than any other State. You know how vital agriculture is to America and to the entire world.
Mike grew up in a farm family. You get strong support coming out of the farm families across this State. And I'm sure he's heard the tale -- old -- most have heard it -- of how a city person bought a chicken farm. A friend was astonished. ``Do you know anything about breeding chickens?'' he asked. ``No,'' said the city person, ``but the chickens do.'' Well, in Kansas, even chickens realize that when it comes to farming, Washington does not know best, Kansans do. So, I ask you to back a new farm bill that emphasizes market-oriented policies. Bob Dole understands this; Nancy Kassebaum understands it; Jan Meyers understands it. Our new farm bill must be even-handed and level-headed, enhancing America's competitiveness. I know winter wheat goes in the ground this month, and I hear from Mike of your concerns about the wheat market, and I understand that. We must help lower interest rates and the deficit while increasing choice for farmers and consumers.
We also need to get the most from the grain agreement that President Gorbachev and I signed at our recent summit, a deal calling for at least 50 million metric tons of grain to be purchased by the Soviets in the next 5 years. Our ongoing Uruguay round of negotiations can continue this movement toward cooperation and free trade. Here's one more way to keep agriculture strong. I ask you to support our capital gains tax cut proposal which will create new investment. And I will again call on the United States Congress to take action on this proposal now.
So far I've discussed a little about how we can keep America proud at home. So, let me close by talking about what we can do to serve the principles we hold dear abroad. I refer to the issue, of course, that's central to our minds and hearts, the crisis in the Persian Gulf. As you know, the events are still unfolding. Hard choices remain. But of this we are certain: When some ask, where does America stand, our answer is, America stands where it always has -- against aggression. And America will not be intimidated.
You know, 5 weeks ago, these beliefs prompted me to take action in the Middle East toward restoring the sovereignty of Kuwait and deterring those who threaten -- who threaten friendly countries and the vital interests of America. Those objectives are unchanged today, and they will remain unchanged. And we will not stand by while one country devours another unthreatening country. We will stand firm against the aggression now condemned around the entire world.
Our cause may not be easy, but it will always be right. So, we will do whatever it takes to help our men and women restore peace and, thus, complete their mission. We're doing this with the cooperation of the United Nations -- 22 countries involved in the Persian Gulf effort -- 22. I'm proud that a substantial majority of Arab nations support our efforts. Saddam Hussein is trying to make it America against the Arabs -- couldn't be more untrue. It is the rest of the world, including most of the Arabs, against Saddam Hussein -- most standing with us against this brutal aggression. The world is united for stability and security, and we will remain united. In that spirit, I look forward to Sunday's meeting with President Gorbachev in Helsinki.
When he and I met last June, I mentioned the hope then that we could meet more frequently. The better we understand each other, the closer, I believe, that we can work. The past year has seen new levels of cooperation between our two nations. The Persian Gulf shows what this cooperation can achieve. So, on Sunday, President Gorbachev and I will talk of the Gulf crisis and other regional issues as well -- arms control issues, a wide array of issues. I also hope to also discuss the progress of Soviet reform. And I will continue to press for a prompt resolution of a START treaty. This meeting can further expand cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union.
Yet to complete our Persian Gulf mission will also require what Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell called ``the finest peacetime military in the history of America.'' As long as I am President, that military will remain purposeful and proud. They are the finest young kids that have ever served the United States Government.
Today, those finest soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines that any nation could have are showing how the best way to keep the peace is to keep America militarily strong. Here are just a handful of examples, all now on active duty in Saudi Arabia with the Air National Guard's 190th Air Refueling Group from Topeka's Forbes Field. Sergeant Johnnie Keller is a graduate of Osage City High School, who last March joined the Guard. Today, he's standing shoulder to shoulder for what is right and good with colleagues like Theresa Boyd of Lawrence, a jet engine mechanic and 11-year Guard veteran, and technical sergeant Bill Hortenstine, a Highland Park grad who helps maintain these KC - 135 tankers that refuel planes all the way on their way over to faraway Saudi Arabia.
These Kansans reflect the true caliber of America and the vital essence of our mission, a mission embodied by a short note received by Lieutenant Colonel Don Fowler in the Saudi Arabian control center. And the note came from a Kuwaiti refugee who didn't speak English well, but whose words had a simple eloquence: a capital ``I'' and then a small heart and the letters ``USA.'' And the letters ``USA'' aren't merely part of the alphabet. They stand for something called freedom and justice -- qualities that Kansans have upheld for decades. And they express the belief that America could not be the land of the free if it were not the home of the brave -- a belief that Kansans are courageously defending right now on the sands and the waters offshore of Saudi Arabia.
For more than half a century, generations have marveled at a movie -- wonderful movie -- set here in Kansas. And ask anyone from Warsaw to Wichita; they know what Dorothy said: ``There's no place like home.'' And there is nothing I want more than for our American servicemen and women to come home -- and they will -- and once we've completed a mission that does right by America and does right by the entire world. Abroad, let us raise the flag of peace and justice. And at home, let's show that Kansas does like Mike. On November 6th, ours is the chance to show what we think of the past 4 great years. And let's seize it -- and by reelecting Mike Hayden Governor, help make the next 4 years the greatest in Kansas' history.
Thank you for this wonderful reception. And may God bless the United States of America and those fine men and women serving her today. Thank you all very much.
Note: The President spoke at 11:56 a.m. in Landon Arena at the Kansas ExpoCentre. In his remarks, he referred to Donald J. Hall, chairman of Hallmark Cards, Inc. Following his remarks, the President traveled to Tallahassee, FL.