on the Economy and Homeland Defense
Dixie Printing Company
Glen Burnie, Maryland
October 24, 2001
1:42 P.M. EDT
Thank you all very much. Please be seated. Newth, thank you very much. And Ray,
and Susan Blavett, (phonetic) -- thank you for being here, as well. I'm glad
my SBA Director is here -- Hector Barreto is in charge of the Small Business
Association. And, Hector, thank you for coming. I want to thank the employees
of Dixie Printing, and my fellow Americans. (Applause.)
Some might ask why, in the midst of war, I would come to Dixie Printing. They
say, here you are conducting a campaign against terrorists, and you take time
to come to a small business. And the answer is, because we fight in the war
on two fronts. We fight a war at home; and part of the war we fight is to make
sure that our economy continues to grow.
When the terrorists struck our homeland, they thought we would fold. They thought
our economy would crater. That's what they wanted. But they don't understand
America. They don't understand the entrepreneurial spirit of our country. They
don't understand the spirit of the working men and women of America. They don't
understand that small business owners all across our country are saying, we're
not going to allow you to terrorize us. We're going to make sure our -- (applause.)
I am here to report that we're doing well on both fronts. Overseas, our diplomatic
efforts are strong. Nations all across the globe have bound with the United
States to send a clear message that we'll fight terrorism wherever it may exist.
Recently I was in China. I had an interesting meeting, as you can imagine, with
the President of Russia, the head of China, Mexico, Chile -- were all represented.
And to a leader, from all kinds of nations -- some Muslim, some not -- the people
said, we stand with America. We stand with America in our noble goal of finding
the evildoers and bringing them to justice.
As you know, I have asked our military to take an active role in the campaign.
I set out a doctrine to America that said the following: Not only will we hold
terrorists accountable for their activities, we will also hold those accountable,
those nations accountable that harbor them, that hide them, that try to feed
them. And that's exactly what we're doing in Afghanistan.
I gave the Afghan government, the Taliban government, plenty of time to respond
to the demands of the United States. I said, you must hand over the al Qaeda
leadership which hides in your country. I said, you must free those who you
illegally detain in your country. And I said, you must destroy the camps that
have been used to train the terrorists. And they had time to respond, and they
didn't respond positively, and, therefore, they're paying a price.
Our military is conducting a campaign to bring the terrorists to justice, not
to harm the Afghan people. While we are holding the Taliban government accountable,
we're also feeding Afghan people. You need to be proud of the United States
military. It's doing its job. It is slowly, but surely, encircling the terrorists
so that we'll bring them to justice. We're patient. We're firm. We have got
a strategy that is going to work. And make no mistake about it, justice will
be done. (Applause.)
But there is another front in this war, and the front is here at home. It's
something that, obviously, we're not used to in America. We've had oceans which
have protected us over our history. Except for Pearl Harbor, we've never really
been hit before. And yet, on September 11th, this great land came under attack.
And it's still under attack as we speak. Anybody who puts poison in mail is
a terrorist. Anybody who tries to affect the lives of our good citizens is evil.
I'm oftentimes asked by our friends in the press, do I know if there's a direct
connection between what took place on September the 11th and what's happening
today. I have no direct evidence, but there are some links. Both series of actions
are motivated by evil and hate. Both series of actions are meant to disrupt
Americans' way of life. Both series of actions are an attack on our homeland.
And both series of actions will not stand.
It's important for the American people to know our government is doing everything
we can on both fronts of this war. On the home front, we've got an Office of
Homeland Security, the job of which is to organize and coordinate our functions
of government in such a way as to disrupt and find those who would harm our
citizens. We've got thousands of FBI agents scouring the information, asking
questions, following up leads, all aimed to raise the risk of someone who would
harm our citizens.
And, as well, we've responded to every incident that has occurred. Our nation
has responded with bravery and courage. I'm proud of our health officials who
responded so quickly to the incidents that took place. And, unfortunately, we
lost life, and our prayers are with anybody who lose life in America. But I
firmly believe their quick actions saved many lives, as well.
We're learning about terror and evil, and our country is responding forcefully.
The American people have got remarkable spirit and remarkable resolve. We are
strong, we are united, and we are determined to prevail. (Applause.)
One of the effects of the attacks has been on our economy. Make no mistake about
it: September 11th affected economic growth, and our government must respond
in an effective way. And so I'm here to talk about an important part of the
home front security, and that is our economy.
First of all, the bases for economic growth are very strong. The entrepreneurial
spirit is really strong in America. We're the haven for small business opportunity
in our country. I mean, more jobs are created through small business owners
and the entrepreneurs of America than they are through large corporate America.
And so, as we think through how to encourage economic growth, we've got to always
keep in mind the small business and the medium-sized businesses of America.
Secondly, our tax structure has been improved. In other words, we're giving
people more of their own money back. And that's an important part of economic
growth. We just finished distributing about $40 billion in rebate checks. Maybe
some of you have received a $600 or $300 check. (Applause.) That's part of encouraging
growth. And, by the way, those tax cuts that have just begun will continue next
year, and the year after that, as well. (Applause.)
And we've acted confidently and quickly to spend money necessary to help the
country recover from the attacks. We spent money on helping rebuild New York
City and the Pentagon. We have spent money to stabilize our airline industry,
which was the industry most directly affected by the attacks of September the
11th. We've spent money to take care of workers who have lost jobs, and that's
necessary and that's important.
And we've taken enough money -- spending money to make sure we defend our country
and accomplish our mission overseas. That spending has amounted to about $60
billion, above and beyond our budget. That money will help with job creation
and will help our economy grow. It's necessary to spend that kind of money in
a time of emergency, and we're in times of emergency.
But I strongly believe it's time to balance this amount of spending with additional
tax relief. My judgment, we've provided a lot of money in the short run, and
in order to encourage and stimulate our economy, we ought to offset that money
with additional tax relief -- and I want to describe some of what that means.
First, we need to accelerate the tax relief that is already going to happen.
In other words, instead of waiting for next year's tax relief to happen, let's
put it into this year, to bolster consumer spending. We want you to have more
money to spend, particularly as we head into the Christmas season. We want our
consumers feeling confident.
One way to feel confident is for the people to know there's a strong homeland
security initiative and strategy, that our country is doing everything we can
to succeed. And there's nothing like boosting confidence than a little extra
money in the pocket, too. (Applause.)
I also believe we ought to have rebates for low- and moderate-income workers,
people who might have filed an income tax return, but didn't get any rebate
last time. Those good folks have been particularly hard-hit as a result of September
the 11th. And that ought to be a part of our consumer confidence package.
And then there's the business side, and I want you to know that we've thought
very carefully about how to stimulate economic vitality and growth. And it's
a package that will help small business America. It's a package that will do
two things: One, encourage more investment, immediate investment in plant and
equipment, and, therefore, one that will help small businesses not only retain
their work force, but, hopefully, expand their work forces.
And, therefore, we need to reform the corporate income tax to get rid of the
alternative minimum tax, which so severely affects small businesses like Dixie.
(Applause.) As well, we need to allow businesses to deduct more of the cost
of new investments immediately. We need to say to the Dixie Printings of America,
if you invest in equipment now, you're rewarded for that investment. To me,
that makes common sense. It's a good way to make sure that we enhance the employment
opportunities of America.
The terrorists wanted our economy to stop. It hasn't. They wanted to diminish
the spirit of America. It didn't. They thought the government wouldn't be able
to react. The government is going to react with an economic stimulus package
that is good for workers. The House is getting ready to vote on that package.
I urge them to pass it. And then I urge the Senate to act quickly to make sure
that the American people understand that at this part of our homeland defense,
our country and the Congress is united. (Applause.)
You know, I said early on that through my tears I see opportunity. And I believe
my faith teaches that out of evil can come good. And there's been a lot of good
that has come out of this terrible situation. By the way, there's a spirit of
cooperation in Washington that is very positive. We've got Republicans and Democrats
talking to each other. (Laughter.) That's good. It's very important during this
time in our history that we in Washington, D.C. show that we can work together.
I don't know if you know this or not, but I'm now having a weekly breakfast
with the leaders of the House and the Senate, both Republicans and Democrats.
And I can report that there is no party that has got a lock on patriotism. The
Democrats, just like Republicans, want to win this war. And we're talking about
how to best solve the problems with which we're confronted.
But there's also a lot of other good, too. We've got moms and dads reassessing
values, recognizing there are things that are so precious in life, like their
children and their marriage and their family, and their church and their synagogue
and their mosque. Values are strong in America. Those who struck our country
didn't realize -- didn't realize because they're so evil and so dark and so
negative, they couldn't realize that there's going to be such good that comes
out of what took place in America.
We're resolved. We are strong. We're determined. We're patient. And this nation
is going to do whatever it takes. You see, my attitude is, is that how the Dixie
Printings behave, and how the workers behave here, and how the citizens of Maryland
behave are incredibly important. How you respond to these attacks are incredibly
important, not only to help win the war today, but to set the example for future
generations of Americans.
It's important that we win today, place that flag of freedom squarely in the
world. Because this is the first battle of the 21st century, and it's a battle
we must win -- we have no choice -- for our children and our grandchildren.
And it means that the country is going to have to do what it takes.
And I'm here to report, we are. We are going to do it. (Applause.)
So I want to thank you for giving me a chance to drop in to say hello. I am
so honored to be the President of this great nation -- and I mean, great. What
a fabulous land we have. And the reason why is because we've got such fabulous
Thank you for letting me come by. God bless. (Applause.)