DOLE ON WELFARE REFORM
JULY 11, 1996
Bob Dole, speaking yesterday to the workers of a home improvement wholesaler in Manchester, New Hampshire.
SEN. BOB DOLE, Republican Presidential Candidate: (Yesterday, Manchester, New Hampshire) We've seen this company grow to more than a thousand employees in thirty-five years, thirty-six years, and I think that's an indication of what happens when people come together and you find good jobs and good opportunities in the private sector. So I'm very, also very impressed with the way that the governors been trying and the legislature has been trying in New Hampshire to have some welfare reform. And I say this not because we don't care about people who must receive benefits but because we do care about people. We care about their dignity. We care about their self-esteem, and I believe and Governor Merrill believes and I think most every governor across America regardless of politics believes that we're better off to send this program, take it out of the federal bureaucracy, send it back to the states.
We can save, we're told, billions and billions and billions of dollars and still do a better job for those who must have assistance and give the state of New Hampshire the flexibility you need in New Hampshire to make decisions not to go hat in hand to Washington trying to get a waiver, trying to get something else. If Governor Merrill has an idea that'll work in this state, then he ought to be able to implement it without going to Washington, D.C.
It's your tax money. Keep that in mind. It's your tax money that's being wasted. So we share the same philosophy when it comes to sending power back to the states. In fact, just for whatever purpose, the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, which has been around a long time, makes a very good point. The 10th Amendment says, it's only 28 words in length, that unless the Constitution of the United States gives the power to the federal government, or unless it denies that power to the states, it belongs to the states and to the people. And we believe and I believe a great majority of Americans believe we ought to send the power back to the states, back to the governors, back to the legislatures because our founding fathers were concerned about this all powerful central government in Washington. And we want to make certain that in my administration power will come back to New Hampshire, back to the people. You will make the decisions, and not the bureaucrats who aren't accountable to anybody. We're accountable. City councilors are accountable, legislators are accountable, members of Congress are accountable, and that's the beauty of sending the power back to the states.
We've had a President who's vetoed welfare reform twice and still he's running TV ads saying we ought to have welfare reform. The President doesn't have any real strong views on anything. And if you're for it, he's for it. If you're against it, he's against it. So I would hope to bring leadership to the White House, straight talk to the White House, and the American people can make a decision. So finally let me say this: I don't know how many months it took--the governor could tell me--for Washington to come back with an answer as far as waivers for New Hampshire are concerned, and they still haven't been done. So it all comes back to philosophy. It also all comes back to jobs and opportunities and keeping inflation down, lowering the capital gains rate to create more jobs and more opportunities for more people that you know, and I know in New Hampshire the unemployment rate is very low, but in some states it's still very high. I do know that because of inflation, we have wage stagnation. Wages have not increased. They have not kept up in this administration. And we will have an economic plan that will make that happen. We want to make certain that more of the tax money that now goes to Washington ends up in your paycheck, not in some federal program that you don't care about and not anybody cares about, that doesn't do a lot of good. So we're going to reorder priorities in America to make certain that more of it ends up in the worker's paychecks. And it's all about power back to the people, back to the states, and back primarily because we trust the states, we trust the people, and I will send welfare reform and welfare and Medicaid and other programs back to the states for that purpose. And again I would say to everybody here, I appreciate--I'm running for President as you may know--somebody asked me how it felt coming back to New Hampshire. I said, well, the temperature is a lot better. I said when I left the last time, I know why they call this the granite state, it's so hard to crack. And I tried a couple of times to crack it in the primary but I finished second, but on November 5, I'm going to finish first. I will finally crack the granite in the granite state come November 5, 1996--
--particularly with your help. (applause) Thank you very much and thank you for letting us interrupt your jobs this afternoon, and I would say again, this election is about America. It's about leadership. It's about our future. It's about your children. It's about your job. It's about aggressive trade policies. It's about all the things that people are concerned about. It is about lower taxes. It is about less regulation. It is about less interference from the federal government. And if I know New Hampshire--and I've been coming up here for a long, long time, and I believe I know New Hampshire, that is precisely what most people in New Hampshire, regardless of their party affiliation, are looking for--more freedom--live free or die, as I recall--that's the slogan. And we believe we can translate it this way--less government, less regulation, less taxes, and again more back in your paycheck. And we will provide that leadership, and we will make it happen. And I believe that America will be much better off, and I think our best days are still ahead as we go into the next century. Thank you very much and God bless America. (applause)