Public Papers

Remarks to the Bush-Quayle Independent Business Coalition in Greensboro, North Carolina


Let me just, at the outset, thank Miller Hicks and Pat Harrison for serving as the cochairmen on our Independent Business Coalition. And also to Jack Laughery who -- I'm not sure the statistics anymore qualify him as what we say is a small-business man or small-business person because of the success he's had. But he does know what it means to start a business from scratch and to fight the excesses of regulation and taxes. And of course, I'm just delighted to see everyone else here, small-business men and women who are supporting me. And Pat, thanks for the very kind words.

In a few minutes I'm going to outline in some considerable detail some new initiatives, coupled with the ones we've already made, that I think will spur small-business investment in this country. And I think it is fitting to stand here with people who represent the very backbone of the American economy, people who know what it's like to meet a payroll, build an inventory, sell a product, and most of all, create jobs.

I can tell you this, that of all the experiences in my life, starting a business and working for a living and meeting a payroll and fighting with the regulators trained me for this job better than any other facet of my career. Half of my adult life in the private sector, the other half, adult life, half of it also in the public sector. And I think that's a good qualification for President, to have met a payroll. You all have done that. And in just a few minutes, as I say, I'm going to spell out an agenda that will encourage entrepreneurial capitalism -- entrepreneur, a big name for risk-taking, starting something -- a coherent agenda for sharpening our competitive edge as a nation so that we can win.

As I'll say inside -- and I don't want to give you both barrels in here -- but Germany and Japan tax capital at one percent and zero. And we've got it way up there. They say this is a tax break for the rich -- my eye. It stimulates investment and business creation, and it is very, very important. So it's much more than that one item in the Tax Code, too, and I'll talk more about that later.

It's about helping small businesses hire new workers and increase productivity, which is vital if we're going to compete. And I'm confident we can compete. It's about freeing up the businesses from redtape and the excesses of regulation. And it's about helping people provide for their workers, but doing it -- I'm talking about health care, training -- but doing it in a way that just doesn't break the back of the small business that's struggling anyway and make them lay off workers in order to accommodate some Federal mandate from Washington, DC. That's about helping more people in the sum realize the American dream.

So what I'm doing is asking people to compare our agenda versus Governor Clinton's agenda. He relies heavily -- and this is not a charge I can't back up -- on Federal mandates, dictating from Washington how leave should be handled or how health care should be handled, and we don't need that. Our proposals are not that; they are structuring the tax system so as we can encourage the creation and success of more small businesses. He relies an awful lot on what I think would result in terrible redtape, and we don't. And most importantly, his plans tax jobs. And I think ours create jobs.

We've been through a tough time in this country. As you can see from recent events in the world, actually, the American economy is doing better than most of the global economy. So they can lower all the blame they want on me, but what I'm trying to do is guarantee that the recovery, which is coming and, frankly, working in some places, will not be set back by more Government control and Government answers. That's a big difference. And that's what will come out on these debates.

So, thank you again for this warm endorsement. Thank you for what you're doing to create jobs and, through that, helping men and women in this country as well as demonstrating what true capitalism really means, true risk-taking really means. I'm proud to be here, back in this State. Now, we're going to go in and spell out in some detail a plan that I hope captures the imaginations of small-business men and women all across this country. We're with you, and now I want to demonstrate it as cohesively and as forcefully as I possibly can.

Thank you all for being with us.

Note: The President spoke at 9:25 a.m. in the Biltmore Room of the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center. In his remarks, he referred to Jack Laughery, chairman and chief executive officer, Hardee's Food Systems.