October 19, 2000
MARGARET WARNER: Now, two more in our ongoing series of stump speeches by the leading Presidential candidates. First, Governor George W. Bush, speaking this morning in Fraser, Michigan.
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH: Our new economy was not created in a Senate subcommittee or by a vice Presidential commission. ( Laughter ) It came out of places like Michael Dell's car; it's coming right now out of some garage with a modem plugged in a wall. This is not to say government doesn't have a place in our new economy. It can take the side of innovation, creating an environment where entrepreneurs can flourish. It can help all to share in the opportunity that innovation brings. It's been our goal in the state of Texas. Some people, when they think of my state, think first of cattle and cotton and oil. But we're equally strong in computers and communications and electronics. Last week, a Nobel Prize was awarded to a man named Jack Kilby: A reminder that it was a Texan who gave us the integrated circuit in the 1950s, a remarkable creation that became the building block of the information age. It was an amazing achievement, unrivaled in the annals of technology-- until 1986, when a Senator from Tennessee alone in his office invented the Internet. ( Applause )
Today Texas is on the technology frontier. Our state is now the first in the nation in high tech export growth. We're second in high-tech jobs and third in venture capital Investment, and we enjoy the third lowest per capita tax burden in the nation. We're attracting young ambitious workers from across America. Over the last four years, thousands of people have moved from other states to share in this prosperity, making Texas the fastest-growing state in the nation. Our new economy is sustained and expanded by innovation, so we will not only extend the tax credit for research and development, we will make it permanent. Our new economy is worldwide and depends on free trade, which creates countless well-paid jobs here at home. So we'll work with friends overseas to make the Internet a tariff and duty-free zone all across the globe. Even in times of prosperity high taxes can limit our potential and slow the creation of good jobs, so we'll reduce income tax rates for all taxpayers, including our entrepreneurs. ( Applause )
The attitude of Washington toward the new economy is often very different. It is an attitude of command and control. And let me share an example. One Washington-based writer warns, and I quote, "new technology should not be embraced too eagerly." And he goes on to propose an international governmental program, essentially a new economy overseer, to decide which technologies are good and which are bad. We should take this seriously because it comes from a book called "Earth in the Balance" ( Applause ) -- written by the Vice President of the United States.
My opponent also thinks our prosperity should have a purpose-- just send him the money in Washington and he'll decide what's best. ( Applause ) He believes in targeted tax cuts, he believes in targeted tax cuts -- but under his vision 50 million Americans receive no tax relief. As he said in his own words, he'll decide who the right people are; who gets tax relief. That's not my vision of government nor yours. There's no right people or wrong people in America. Everybody in America's a right person as far as I'm concerned. (applause)
MARGARET WARNER: Now, Vice President Gore, he spoke this afternoon at Columbia University in New York.
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE: I want to be very clear about the big choice in this election. I want to be sure prosperity is shared by everybody with tax cuts to the middle class -- for the biggest hopes our families. Have like college, retirement savings and health care. Governor Bush wants to squander that surplus with a tax cut for the very wealthy -- giving more than 40% of the benefits to just 1% of America's families. More importantly, I have a plan to extend prosperity by balancing the budget every year, protecting Social Security and Medicare and investing in our priorities. Governor Bush's plan gambles with our prosperity. Draining Social Security, delaying debt reduction and fueling higher interest rates.
One of the biggest differences between our two plans is on the fundamental issue of fiscal discipline. As President I'll balance the budget every year and pay down our national debt every year. That's the way to keep interest rates down, keep prosperity growing and make sure it works for middle class families. We have already made the federal government the smallest it has been since President Kennedy's administration. You'd better believe that the era of big government is over, but the era of smaller, smarter government is just about to begin. Under my plan, within eight years government spending will be the smallest share of national income in 50 years. That's good for our families and good for America's businesses. If we pay down the debt and keep interest rates low, then the private sector does not have to compete with the federal government for investment capital. Now, Governor Bush has very different priorities. Instead of under spending the surplus, he over spends it. He starts with a $1.6 trillion tax cut that gives too much to too few at the expense of too many. Then he adds about a half a trillion dollars in new spending; then he privatizes Social Security, which would cost another trillion dollars.
The choice couldn't be clearer. These aren't personal differences. I'm not questioning Governor Bush's heart; I'm questioning his priorities. And we know them not only from his policies and proposals: we know them also from his record in Texas. Last year, when there was a huge budget surplus in Texas, the biggest in their history, when there was a chance to really do something to improve children's health in Texas or provide a prescription drug coverage for seniors, Governor Bush instead pushed through a $1.7 billion tax cut id for partly by under funding children's health care. In fact, he made a tax break for the oil industry the very first bill he signed that year. He labeled it an emergency. The fact that 1.4 million children in Texas do not have health insurance was not as an emergency. And as a result, Texas has sunk to be last in the nation, 50th out of 50 in health coverage for families today; in this extraordinary time of prosperity, America cannot afford to squander our opportunity to keep prosperity going. We can't afford to go back to an economy that makes it harder to raise a family or run a business. All this and more is at stake on November 7. And I say to you today, it is something worth fighting for. Prosperity itself is on the ballot. (Applause )