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Bush Speaks to Farm Organization

Aired November 28, 2001 - 13:39   ET

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


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to leave the Pentagon briefing for just a moment to go to President Bush speaking to a Farm Journal Corporation convention.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are united. And we will not relent until we make sure that those who believe they can harm our government and our friends are brought to justice, whether it be in Afghanistan or any other place they hide.

(APPLAUSE)

I said, when this war first started, that the farther away we get from September the 11th, the more likely it is people will forget that there are evil ones in the world who want to destroy our country and what we stand for. And that may be the case amongst some, but that's not what I've seen in America.

This nation has resolved to do whatever it takes in whatever theater is necessary to make sure that civilization itself remains in tact, to make sure that our children and our grandchildren can grow up in a world that is free and peaceful. It is the calling of our time, and it's a calling that we accept, and we're going to win. I view this as a fight between good and evil, and good will always prevail.

We also have difficulties here on the home front because of our economic situation. Statistics recently show that, shortly after I was sworn in as president, our economy was slow and had been slowing for a while. I made the case, and fortunately Congress listened, that a slow economy required immediate action when it came to tax relief, and they delivered. What's an important part of making sure that we generate growth is to let people keep more of their hard-earned money so they can spend it and not the government.

And at the same time, in order to address an economic slowdown, we brought sorely needed fiscal discipline to Washington, D.C., that we fought for and got a budget that was realistic, that didn't grow way beyond the means of our government. And by the end of the summer, the economy was beginning to stabilize yet, the terrorist attack of September 11 -- no question -- dealt our economy a serious blow.

So while we fight our enemies in states that harbor terrorism and while we defend our homeland and our airways, we must take further action to strengthen our economy. Americans know their economy was targeted by terror, and they're asking us to fight back, and we must,

These are incredibly tough times for some of our fellow Americans. Some have lost their jobs, some have had their hours curtailed, many have seen their savings shrink, and small businesses are struggling just to stay in business.

We're facing tough times, but if we act quickly, I'm confident we can grow our economy.

On our October the 5th, seven weeks ago, I asked Congress to send me an economic stimulus package, and I outlined the principles that should guide the plan.

First, any plan must help displaced workers. Any plan must recognize that folks have been severely hurt by the attack on September the 11th, and we must help them.

Secondly, the plan should speed up the individual income tax cuts Congress approved last May. The sooner rates come down, the faster our economy will rise.

The plan should provide tax relief for low and moderate income workers to help them through these tough times. The plan should allow companies and entrepreneurs to deduct the cost of new investments more quickly, to encourage businesses to grow and to create job opportunities for Americans.

And the plan should reform the corporate income tax, to do away with the alternative minimum tax, a tax that pushes tax rates up at exactly the moment when corporate America's profits are going down.

The House of Representatives acted on a stimulus bill, but it seems to be stuck in the Senate. It is important for the Senate not to look for ways to spend new money, but to look for ways to create new jobs.

And so I asked the Senate leadership to work out their differences and pass an economic stimulus plan, so they can get it in conference and get a bill to my desk as quickly as possible. The American people expect it, and I expect it.

(APPLAUSE)

This country is waiting for action, and in the time that we've been waiting, more than 415,000 workers have lost their jobs.

Further delay could put more Americans and more families at risk. So let's move. Let's get the job done.

I also want to improve our homeland security and our economy by having a national energy plan. I want to thank the Farm Journal Forum for emphasizing the importance of ethanol and biofuels. These fuels are gentle on the environment.

They are fuels that can be renewed year after year, and fuels that can expand our farm economy. WOODRUFF: All right.

BUSH: These fuels are made right here in America.

WOODRUFF: President Bush speaking about his economic stimulus plan to the Farm Journal Corporation convention here in Washington.

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