GORE: Before I answer that specific question, let me say that we did put an empowerment zone in South Central, Los Angeles. It is in the form of the largest community development financial institution ever created in the United States or in any other country and it is creating jobs in South Central, Los Angeles right now. The Congress passed uh an enterprise zone after the Los Angeles riots five years ago. It was vetoed by the prior administration. Now, to your question. We have a specific plan to create 1 million new jobs in the inner cities of America with tax credits for employers who hire people coming off welfare, 'cause we've passed welfare reform now, we promised to end welfare as we know it. And we are implementing this new legislation. We have moved 1.9 million people off of the welfare rolls and into good jobs in the last four years. Our new plan is to have 1 million more jobs in the inner cities, but that's not all. We are also implementing the plan to put 100,000 community police officers in our cities. We've already got 20,000 out there. We're ahead of our six-year schedule. As a matter of fact, there're 8 here in St. Petersburg, already on the beat, you may run into one of them leaving this auditorium tonight. St. Petersburg is safer because of this urban agenda that we're following. We want the focus to be on millions more jobs, and we're very optimistic that it's gonna happen.
KEMP: Well, we've had four years and there's no enterprise zone. There are empowerment zones, but you have to do what Bill Clinton and Al Gore want you to do. You get a $5,000 tax credit if you hire somebody that's unemployed, but you've already got to have an existing business. The answer is to say, once again, green-line any area in America that has been red-lined for lack of mortgage money, lack of credit and capital. Just say that area qualifies for no Capital Gains Tax, zero, nada. That's what Eleanor Holmes Norton wants to do in the District of Columbia and this administration said to D.C., Drop dead. Drop dead. We don't want to change the legislation that would lower the tax rate in D.C., allow welfare mothers to take a job without any tax on the first 10 percent of her income and no Capital Gain Tax that should be done in every urban area of America that would make capital flow back, and you can't have capitalism, Al, without capital. You may want give a tax credit, but it won't work.
GORE: Well, we have 105 empowerment zones and enterprise communities all across the United States of America, and with all due respect, that's 105 more than there were when we came into the White House. We have been implementing them in a determined way. They are making a difference. You know, that empowerment zone that I mentioned in Detroit is creating jobs not only for Joann Crowder, who feels proud that she's off of welfare now, and we're proud of her. It's creating jobs for hundreds of others, and similar initiatives are working in the other empowerment zones.
LEHRER: Mr. Kemp, you said recently that one of the problems related to this was that all the capital was in the hands of the white people. What did you mean by that?
KEMP: The single greatest problem in our opinion, domestic -- in the domestic economy, is that this tax code, 83 years old, a relic of the Cold War and Hot War, inflation and depression, seven-and-a-half million words long, overtaxes capital, overtaxes working men and women and families. Clearly, the Gordian knot needs to be broken in one fell swoop. Bob Dole and Jack Kemp, as soon as we get through this first step of cutting tax rates across the board, are going to repeal the whole code while Bill Clinton and my friend, Al Gore, defend the status quo. We're going to repeal the seven-and-a-half million words of the U.S.tax code, make it tax income once, not twice, three, four, and if you die, it confiscates your estate. We must have a tax code going into the 21st Century that does not protect the establishment and this tax code does. And by cutting and eliminating the Capital Gains, by cutting and eliminating the Estate Tax, by bringing the top tax rate down to something reasonable, like -- here he goes again -- I think in peacetime, it shouldn't be higher, Bob, and I don't think it should be higher than 25 percent, phased in. But capital would flow out into the economy. We have people getting access to capital. Small businessmen and women, African-American, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, female Americans would be able to start their businesses. Dana Crist of Lancaster said the day the tax bill is passed in Congress, she will open a new factory with 40 or 50 or 60 employees in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He'll call that trickle down. I'll call it Niagara Falls.
GORE: The problem with this version of my Niagara Falls is that Senator Dole and Mr. Kemp would put the economy in a barrel and send it over the falls. [ Laughter ] It is a risky, $550-billion tax scheme that actually raises taxes on 9 million of the hardest working families. Again, Mr. Kemp opposed that and called it unconscionable. Now, it is part of the plan he is supporting. Not only that, though, it would blow a hole in the deficit, it would raise interest rates. That means higher mortgage payments, particularly those with the variable rate mortgages, higher car payments, he would also lead to much deeper cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, education and the environment. It is extremely risky. And as for these harsh words, I don't take them personally. He said much worse about Bob Dole when he said Bob Dole never met a tax that he didn't hike. He wrote about 450 separate provisions in that code. You better check with him before you eliminate it completely. He may be getting royalties.
KEMP: Jim, a $550-billion tax cut, this is something that Al does not want to mention, has to be viewed against the context of a $50-trillion U.S. economy output of goods and services over the next six years. A $550-billion tax cut in a $50-trillion economy over six years is one-and-a-half percent, and the only hole it would blow is a hole in the plans of this administration to try to tinker with the tax code and defend the indefensible. It would blow up the bureaucracy, but you would expand the economy. That's important for America.
LEHRER: Mr. Vice President, what about Mr. Kemp's point that he's made a couple of times that what we need is to throw away the current -- the present tax code and write a whole new tax system. Do you agree with that?
GORE: We've passed the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. We have fought for new provisions that now make it possible to file over the telephone. We are fighting for tax reforms across-the-board, and most importantly, we have a plan on the table right now to cut taxes on middle income families with several specific provisions. We already cut taxes on 15 million working families in this county, with an average of about $1,000 in tax relief to those making $25,000 a year or less. And for the last two years, we have had middle-income tax cuts on the table in the Congress and they would not -- they weren't accepted by Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich, because they said they would not pass them without cutting deeply into Medicare, Medicaid, education and the environment. We are determined to move forward during these next four years, with the tax cuts that president Bill Clinton has proposed. Here they are again: A $1500 tax credit for tuition, a $10,000 tax deduction so that no family pays taxes on the money for college tuition, capital gains eliminated for the sale of a home, a tax break for first-time home buyers and for health care expenses and a $500 child tax credit.
KEMP: You only get a tax cut in the Clinton administration if you do exactly what Al Gore and Bill Clinton want you to do. That's not America. When John F. Kennedy cut tax rates, the economy grew, unemployment went down and we balanced the budget, and revenues went up. Indeed, the Secretary of Treasury under John F. Kennedy and the Deputy Secretary of Treasury under John F. Kennedy endorsed Bob Dole's plan to cut rates, cut the Capital Gains Tax, balance the budget, provide a $500 tax credit, and, clearly, the plan should be to lift the economy, to get more revenues. Medicare will be saved because it will be put into a commission where both Bill Clinton and Bob Dole recognize it has to be studied by the same people that would study -- or did study, I should say, the Social Security System and saved it in 1983 and '84. Look, we can bring down government -- the growth of government spending, but we have to grow the economy. And Bob Dole and Jack Kemp's opinion, we should aim at doubling the side of the American economy under the next 15 years. Under their policies, it will take 30 to 40 years. That's not acceptable.
GORE: The chairman of their national campaign steering committee, Senator D'Amato, said that Bob Dole would have to cut into Medicare in order to pay for this proposal, but that he would wait until after the election to do it. The proposal to cut Medicare that Senator Dole pushed before, and shut down the government to try to enact, would have already raised by $268, the fees paid by the average couple now on Medicare. He tried to double the deductibles and give people less in return. We have a balanced budget plan that protects Medicare and gives tax cuts.
LEHRER: Mr. Kemp, is it really possible to balance the budget without reforming drastically the entitlements programs, including Social Security and Medicare?
KEMP: Before I answer that, Jim, let me just say it is disgraceful, the campaign being waged to scare the American senior citizens, in this state and my home state of, well, New York and California, about Medicare.
GORE: One other one in there, isn't there?
KEMP: about Medicare Yeah, Maryland now. The amount of money being spent to try to mislead the American people is demagoguery, and only in the Clinton White House and in Al Gore's mind could an increase in spending per capita on a senior citizen from $4l00 in 1996 to $7200 over the next five years be considered a cut. Does anybody think that Bob Dole, who almost gave his life for his country, who has served in the Senate, who helped save Social Security, crawled out of a fox hole on Riva Ridge in Northern Italy in 1945 to save a wounded radioman? Does anybody think in this country that he could possibly want to move our country ahead and leave anybody behind? Of course, we can balance the budget. Of course, we have to hold down the growth in entitlement spending. But clearly, you cannot balance the budget, Jim, without growing this economy. It's only growing at about two-and-a-half percent. We should double the rate of growth and double the size of American economy. This means more jobs, more wealth, more income and more capital, particularly for our nation's poor and those left behind.
GORE: Mr. Lehrer, our balanced budget plan extends the Medicare Trust Fund ten years into the future. A commission is fine, but a commission would not do any good if we adopted this risky $550-billion tax scheme. The word "scary" has been used. A couple of days ago I went with Governor Lawton Chiles, who was here, to Sarasota to the Friendship Senior Center. I talked with a woman there named Dorothy Wornell and she said, "You know, we may not be as sophisticated as some of those people in Washington, but we can add and subtract." Here are the numbers she's adding and subtracting. Bob Dole's plan would have already imposed an extra $268 on the average Medicare receiving couple, and his plan would have doubled deductibles. It would have cost an extra $1,700 over the lifetime of his plan and eliminated nursing home standards and guarantees of nursing home care for seniors. Bill Clinton prevented it from happening. We will never allow that to happen.
KEMP: Jim, Medicare is too important to senior citizens around this country to play the type of politics that is being played on this issue. It is losing $8 billion as we stand here tonight. By the President's own trustees of Medicare, three members of which serve in his cabinet, it will be losing $23 billion a year by 1998. Something must be done. Bob Dole is -- has suggested a commission, but, clearly, you cannot save Medicare, Social Security, or any program for the social welfare net of American people, under which they should not be allowed to fall, unless we grow this economy at least twice the rate it is growing today. That is the issue, not scaring people in America.
LEHRER: Mr. Vice President, Mr. Kemp has accused you of demagoguery.
GORE: Well, as I said before, he used much harsher language when he talked about Bob Dole. He said that Bob Dole's solution for every single problem was to increase taxes. He said just two years ago that the Bob Dole tax increase of 1982 was the largest tax increase in the history of the world, but let's get to the point. Medicare has been adjusted 23 times since it was created in 1965. Bob Dole, incidentally, just bragged this year that he was one of only 12 people who voted against the creation of Medicare in the first place. I don't think he's -- he didn't believe in it then, and the plan that he promoted last year would have certainly been devastating to Medicare. Again, don't take my word for it. The American Hospital Association said it could have closed 700 hospitals. The Catholic Health Association, the AARP, and many other groups who pay careful attention to Medicare said that the Dole/Gingrich plan on Medicare would have led to deep cuts, possibly set up a two-tiered system, and would have ended the kind of Medicare system that we have. Our plan extends Medicare ten years into the future. We will always protect Medicare within the context of a balanced budget plan.
KEMP: Folks, they have no plan. They have absolutely no plan. The President himself suggested that the reduction in the growth of Medicare over the next five or six years ought to be held to 6 percent under the Republican plan, irrespective of the numbers, it will grow at 7 or even more percent, but that is beside the point. What has to be discussed is how we, as a nation, are going to create the size of average economy, create a national wealth that would at least double this 6 or 7 trillion economy. We would have $6 trillion in 15 years extra wealth for the American people. Another trillion dollars of revenue, with which to save Medicare and Social Security. And you can't do it with a tax code and a regulatory code and people suing each other with frivolous suits, as this administration is allowing to happen. That has to change, and it will under Bob Dole and Jack Kemp.
GORE: I think Mr. Kemp has unintentionally made a mistake in saying that President Clinton called for reduction of -- to 6 percent or whatever you said. I believe you were referring to the Money magazine interview, and the publisher of Money magazine just sent Mr. Kemp a letter two days ago asking him to please stop inaccurately citing Money magazine. It is not what the President said. It is not the President's position. Let me make clear what his position is. We will save Medicare. We will stop efforts to hurt Medicare, and we'll do it within a balanced budget plan.
LEHRER: Mr. Kemp, what, if anything, would a Dole/Kemp administration do to change the current legal status of abortion in this country?
KEMP: I will answer the question, but for the record, I would like to release the letter to our friends in the press of the letter I got from Money magazine, suggesting that Bill Clinton wanted and did lower the cost of living allowance for senior citizens as a way of reducing Social Security. Putting that aside, the -- we recognize there's no consensus in America. This country is split between those who call themselves pro-choice, and I'm sure, very sincerely, and those of us who call ourselves pro-life, this is a very emotional issue. I'm sure it is for a woman. It certainly is for those of us like my wife and myself who have three adopted grandchildren. We thank God every night of our life that a young woman was given a choice, was given the opportunity to choose life. This country should not be torn asunder over this debate, it has to be carried out with civility and respect, and Bob and I believe it can be. But we should recognize that every human life is precious and there should be all of the protection that we can give for an unborn human being. And to think that in this country, for every three births, there is one abortion. But even worse than that, as ugly as that might be -- and I know it's a tragedy to many people both on the pro-choice and pro-life position -- we have a President who vetoed a congressional ban on the ugly and gruesome practice of snatching life away from a child just moments before he or she enters the world. That is unacceptable.
LEHRER: Mr. Vice President?
GORE: President Clinton has made it clear that he will sign legislation outlawing procedures such as this if there is a -- an exception to protect the health of the mother where serious health consequences, such as the inability to have any further children, are involved and her doctor advises her so. What is really at stake here is whether or not women will have the right to choose. The platform on which Mr. Kemp and Senator Dole are running pledges a constitutional amendment to take away a woman's right to choose and to have the government come in and order that woman to do what the government says, no matter what the circumstances. Mr. Kemp has voted 47 out of 47 times to have such an amendment and to restrict this completely, no matter what the circumstances, even where rape and incest is involved. We will never allow a woman's right to choose to be taken away.
KEMP: There is no consensus. A constitutional amendment would not pass. We must use persuasion, not intimidation. Bob Dole and Jack Kemp will try to remind the American people of what a tremendous asset our children are and why there should be protection for innocent human life, including that of the unborn. But to think that this administration vetoed the one chance they had to ban that practice without working with people in the Congress who would have loved to have had the opportunity to stop that gruesome practice is just unacceptable to the American people. And Bob Dole would never have vetoed that ban on partial-birth abortions in the third trimester of a woman's pregnancy.
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