My friends, recently on of my top advisers said that our nation has become one of whiners if they are struggling in these economic times. Make no mistake, if you are struggling to pay your mortgage, with your gas bills, or pay for bills you are NOT whining. My friends, let me give you some straight talk, economic times are tough and there is plenty to be nervous about. If you are struggling, you are not just a whiner.
That said, my friends, my opponent will make it seem as though what we are facing now is unprecedented. He makes it seem as though we are facing economic challenges we have never faced before. Of course, our country has faced all sorts of challenges much greater than the ones we face today and each and every time we haven't merely survived but we have thrived. Back in the 1930's our unemployment reached 20%. When Ronald Reagan took over in office, he was greeted with unemployment and inflation both in double digits. In the 1880's our economy was slowing so much that prices were actually dropping precipitously. Even the current President inherited an economy in the aftermath of a stock market bubble that popped and then faced the worst attack on domestic soil on nine months into his term.
Each and every challenge, must more difficult than our current challenge, our country has has not only met each challenge but thrived in the face of them.
My friends, my opponents would like to spend the rest of the campaign trying to assign blame for economic predicament. He wants all of you to believe that tax cuts implemented four years ago are responsible for economic problems we have today. Furthermore, he would like everyone to believe because I believe in making the tax cuts implemented by President Bush that I am his clone. My friends, while I have great respect for the current President, let me say equivocally that tax cuts are NOT something that President Bush invented. In fact, tax cuts have been the bedrock of sound economic policy of Presidents on both sides of the aisle. Republican Ronald Reagan and Democrat John F. Kennedy each made tax cuts the centerpiece of their economic policy. Economic policies that lead to economic growth.
My opponent would like to give some groups tax cuts while raising taxes on others. Furthermore, if, like me, you are in favor of across the board tax cuts, he claims those tax cuts are for the "rich". Of course, my friends, my tax policy is not for the rich only. I just believe they deserve to keep as much of their money as the rest of us. I know this much, my friends. Those of you that now make 35,000, 50,000, and 75,000 would like one day to make 100,000. When you do, you still want to keep as much of your money as possible.
My friends, we are not merely in a time of great economic upheavel. We are in the middle of a struggle for the economic soul of our nation. My opponent would like to use this time of economic struggle to dramatically altar the manner in which our economy operates. He wants to use this time of economic vulnerability to implement a policy of more government spending, control and regulations. His plan to create jobs means more government spending. His plan to fix health care involves centralized socialized medicine. His plan to resolve the crisis in mortgages is more government rules and regulations. My opponent believes that the answer to all problems, economic and otherwise, is more government.
On the other hand, I believe that Ronald Reagan was right when he said that
the nine most terrifying words are I'm from the government and I'm here to help
I believe the answer to this time of economic struggle is the same one as we have had for every previous economic struggle. I believe that we need to let our innovative entrepeneurs drive our economy. Unlike my opponent, I believe that our economy thrives when the private not public sector leads. That is the way that we have thrived through every struggle, and it's the way we will thrive through this one my friends.
To begin with, that's why I pledge to make the tax cuts President Bush implemented in 2001-2003 permanent. If we want our entrepeneurs to invest back into the economy, we need to give them the certainty that their tax rates will stay the same. Now, back in 2003, I opposed the very same tax cuts I now want to make permanent. I firmly believed then and now that those tax cuts were irresponsible because they weren't combined spending cuts. That's because tax cuts with no spending cuts are more irresponsible than no tax cuts at all.
My friends, spending cuts aren't merely fiscally responsible. They also decrease the size of government and make government more efficient. Unlike my opponent, I believe the best way to thrive through this and every economic upheavel is to let the entrepeneurs lead and keep government out of the way.
So, my friends, we face a choice. We can choose the path of my opponent. It is a path of more government, more spending, and more regulations. Or we can choose my path...it is a path of less taxes, less government, and more freedom. I spent my initial time here in Washington as a foot soldier in the Reagan revolution. He took the country from a period of significantly greater economic struggle and he did by decreasing taxes, government and increasing freedom. I intend to carry out the same to bring us out of this one.