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Special Event

Al Gore Delivers Remarks in California

Aired October 27, 2000 - 2:42 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: And we now rejoin the Al Gore campaign event. He has just been introduced in Pennsylvania.

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And I am particularly grateful to have the endorsement being announced today of more than 2,750 business leaders from across the United States of America. Thank you very much.

(APPLAUSE)

As you will see, some great legends of American business are among the 2,750 leaders who have endorsed today, and I'm grateful to them. And I want to say to all of the group, working together, we will make the next four years a new age of innovation and investment in America.

ALLEN: We want to also mention that Al Gore, when he begins, speaking about the new economy.

GORE: All week along, all across our country, I have been focusing on the big choice that we face in just 11 days, a choice that is fundamental as prosperity itself. Will we seize this incredible moment of opportunity to extend the prosperity and make sure it enriches all our families, or will we take the future for granted and let this moment slip through our hands?

I believe this is one of the most hopeful and exciting times in all of human history. Thanks to the hard work of the American people, thanks to the vision and dedication of our best entrepreneurs, these past eight years have been a time of remarkable growth and change. We've seen the birth of a whole new economy. Each day, new breakthroughs and technologies are lifting the lives of millions of Americans.

In a world once limited by borders and geography, the only boundaries we face now is the limits of our own imaginations.

Think about how far we've come. When I first served in the Congress, 24 years ago, chips were something you ate, windows were something you washed, and the Internet, well, let's just say it hadn't been invented yet.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

Forty years ago, when the first Xerox machine was developed, it weighed about 650 pounds and cost almost $30,000. And I'm guessing it didn't collate or staple and probably jammed a whole lot more than the newer models, which hardly ever do. Today, you can scan pages of text into your computer with the stylus the size of a ballpoint pen.

When the first computer was invented 50-some-odd years ago, in Pennsylvania incidentally, it took up 1,500 square feet and needed 18,000 radio tubes just to keep running. Today, there is more computer power in this Palm Pilot than there was in the spaceship that took Neil Armstrong to the moon.

Now, with that foundation, imagine the future that we can create together. All right. Internet commerce is the largest virtual shopping mall ever imagined, a multi-hundred billion dollar industry that's open 24/7, 365. Imagine the new jobs and opportunities that will open up in every home and in every neighborhood when Internet commerce becomes a multitrillion-dollar industry in the next four years.

This summer, this past summer, we saw the completion of the human genome, faster than anyone thought possible, largely because of new computing technology. Imagine the diseases that we will be able to conquer and the brand-new industries that we can shape as the human genome merges fields like biotechnology, genetics and information technology.

Right now, our automakers are developing cleaner, better cars that get up to 80 miles on the gallon. And we're excited about that.

(APPLAUSE)

Imagine the potential for growth, imagine how much cleaner our air and water will be when we seize this multihundred-billion-dollar opportunity, and build and sell those cars and new boilers and furnaces and factories all around the world -- that have less pollution, more efficiency, and create lots of good, high-paying, new jobs here at home.

In fact...

(APPLAUSE)

In fact, if we do things right, I sincerely believe our economy can add at least 10 million new high-tech, high-wage jobs over the next decade. If we do things right, we can raise wages and living standards, and lead the entire world in the new technologies of the future.

And so we face a big choice, just 11 days from now. Will we make the right decisions, responsible decisions to unlock the full potential of this new Internet economy and make it work for all of our people?

Of course, the heart of this challenge is innovation and new ideas in the private sector, the engine of economic growth. It depends on cutting-edge research at our finest labs and universities, and giving them the freedom to explore the farthest horizons of knowledge, even when they don't know where that's going to lead them.

But we as a country also have to make a new commitment to the new economy. The new economy can grow at the speed of light if we make the right choices, if we encourage the spark of innovation, and don't turn back to the failed policies of the past.

I need your help to make our self-government in America a constructive partner with the businesses and the working men and women who are fueling this new economy. Government should never be a barrier, and to me, that means four simple principles: First, we need a smaller, smarter government that knows when to get out of the way and is not a drag on economic growth. Second, we have to aggressively support ideas and innovation. So, today, I am announcing a major expansion of the tax credit for research and innovation in the private sector to make good on my most basic promise to the American people in this campaign. For all of the progress we've seen in recent years, you ain't seen nothing yet! The best is the yet to come.

(APPLAUSE)

We're going to do much better.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, a third, we have to invest in education and training to make good on our basic purpose in this campaign: to equip all of our children for the future and ensure that prosperity enriches all our families, not just the few.

(APPLAUSE)

And fourth, in order to seize the full promise of the Internet age, we have to avoid the pitfalls: for example, by protecting the fundamental rights and privacy of families and businesses online. Your personal information, like your medical information, and your financial information, should remain private. Now...

(APPLAUSE)

... we've got to take some steps to ensure that. Let me take each of these points in turn. I know government didn't create all of these new jobs in the new economy. The American people did. But our businesses could never have created all of these jobs if we still had the sky-high deficits, soaring interest rates and quadrupled national debt that, only a few years ago, was crowding businesses out of capital markets.

And I say to you today: For the good of our families and our economy, we are not going to be dragged back to run away spending and massive tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. We are not going back. We tried that. Been there, done that. Still paying the bill. Never again will we allow the inability of leaders to make tough decisions to result in an anchor of dead-weight debt tied around America's neck.

Instead, we are going to free up the potential of the American people in this Internet economy. So I will devote the single, largest share of the surplus to debt reduction, shrinking government to the smallest share of the economy in 50 years, to keep interest rates low and investment rates high. As president, I will not add to the number of people doing work for the federal government, not by even one position.

And I have a simple approach to the Internet economy: Government should keep its hands off: no burdensome regulations, no new tariffs on Internet transmissions, and a moratorium on taxes on the Internet. The Internet economy is like the goose that's laying silicon eggs. Let's make sure that it stays healthy and well-fed with a steady diet of new discoveries and new ideas.

Today, I am proposing an expansion of tax credits for research and experimentation to the largest level ever, an idea championed by Joe Lieberman in the United States Senate. Let's make the tax credit for research permanent for the first time, so businesses can count on long-term health as they invest and explore, not just go a year or at a time into the future. Let's expand it to high-tech start-ups, since they're at the frontier of our new prosperity.

And let's encourage older-core industries to increase their research. In Detroit, car manufacturers have trimmed hundreds of pounds from the weight of an average car by using lighter materials and smarter engineering. That kind of new thinking can revolutionize every industry. And we ought to reward it. At the same time, we have to realize that much of the most basic, undirected research -- that is research that simply follows ideas wherever they lead -- has always been done with government support.

And that's the kind of research that has often produced unexpected, dramatic new breakthroughs that turned out to have dramatic commercial implications, even though the people who found these new breakthroughs weren't looking for a new idea with the commercial purpose in mind. So we need to finance basic research. And that's why I am proposing today that we double federal research in information technology in the next five years, and double all medical research in the next seven years.

If we make the right decisions...

(APPLAUSE)

If we make the right decisions, if we balance our budget and don't give away the store in massive tax cuts that we can't afford, then we can make these targeted investments, even as we have middle- class tax cuts, and even as we completely eliminate our national debt. But all that innovation will only yield maximum results if companies can fill the good new jobs that are opening up.

We have got to make education our number-one national priority to empower our people, to give them the knowledge, the learning, the skills, the training. And after all, when we talk about making these investments, not only with new resources, but also new ideas, new reforms, new accountability, we should compare that to the cost of a second-class education.

If you want to know the cost of a second-class education, talk to the business leaders who are now sometimes forced to turn down major new contracts because they simply cannot find enough skilled people to do the work. If you want to know the cost of a second-class education, talk to the hard-working Americans who are hungering to able to fill those good news jobs. They see them in the want-ads. But the description of the job contains...

(CROSSTALK)

ALLEN: ... and outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania -- Pennsylvania an important state to both candidates -- and Al Gore talking about how he would keep the country moving in this new economy. And I believe we have heard from everybody during CNN TODAY: Mr. Gore, Mr. Bush, and even President Clinton. And they're saying...

WATERS: All the top political people today. And Mr. Gore is losing his voice. I can imagine what it will be like in the next 11 days.

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