Yesterday, in theHoliday Inn of North Fredericksburg, Virginia. No, really, the Holiday Inn.
What Old George W. Has Got
People say, they’re probably wondering why would — old George W. has got something important to say, why would he bother to come to a place out in the country?
At This Here Rotary Club
People are saying, well, how can we best foster the well being of the community in which we live; what can we do as loving human beings to work with our youth, like you do at this — here at this rotary club.
That If You’re Part Of That
And I hope you have found what others have found, that if you’re part of that helping somebody’s live improve, it improves your own.
I Just Put On The Lights On
They do a fine job of decorating the White House. I just put on the lights on the trees.
First of all, I put forth what some would consider a controversial proposal — that’s in Washington, D.C., at least those in Washington consider it controversial, and that is cutting taxes on people helps the economy.
Increased Job Employment
And so we’ve had a pretty good economic run here in the country: six years of growth; we’ve had 51 straight months of increased job employment, it’s the largest — longest period of uninterrupted job growth in the nation’s history; people are working; productivity is high, in other words, our economy is becoming more productive as a result of the advent of new technologies. And that means people are more likely to get paid more.
There Is Some Negative Things
There are some positive things Congress can do to make sure that the economy continues to grow and people are working and realizing dreams, and there’s some negative things they can do.
The Global War On Articles Continues
But they need to fund these troops, and they don’t need to be putting artificial timetable for withdrawal on the money that we’re asking to make sure the men and women who courageously serve the United States of America have what it takes to do the job they’ve been asked to do.
Those Jet Fumes Go To His Head
If the Congress can’t get the job done — in other words, those jet fumes will start to be moving out pretty soon here, later on this week — if they can’t get the job done, then I’ve got a suggestion for them: just pass a one-year continuing resolution.
What They Got To Do
That’s all they got to do. If they can’t get the job done, like I’m hopeful they will, then all they got to do is just take what’s called a continuing resolution, get the people’s business done that way and go on home. They got to make sure they fund the troops, though, on the way out of town.
What’s Coming Down
There’s another issue that’s coming down I want to bring your attention to — and by the way, the House looks like they’re coming up with a reasonable plan, Eric and Rob.
Aimed At Super-Rich
I don’t know if you ever heard of the alternative minimum tax — this was aimed at super-rich years ago, but the plan wasn’t indexed for inflation and all of a sudden middle class citizens are fixing to be stuck with this bill.
Here’s my attitude on housing: one, the government should never bail out lenders; two, some people bought a house that they shouldn’t have been in the market; three, there are speculators who thought they could get — buy nice, one of these reset mortgages and flip it, make some money — I’m sure none of them are in the chamber, but nevertheless — that’s what happened.
It’s A Sicness
I remember going down to the savings and loan and sitting down with the savings and loan officer and negotiating with the savings and loan officer. Well, this day and age you’re going to use — mortgages have been bundled, so the savings and loan doesn’t own the mortgage anymore, or the bank doesn’t loan [sic] the mortgage anymore, the local lending institute doesn’t loan [sic] the mortgage anymore: it’s owned by some international group, perhaps, or it’s been bundled into an asset. And so there’s hardly anybody to negotiate with. And so some lenders [sic] aren’t sure where to turn.
But it seems like to me it’s in our interests to help people stay in their homes. And we’ve got a couple of ways to do so. One is through the FHA-secure, it’s a way for — Alphonso Jackson and his department, which is HUD, to help creditworthy people renegotiate and stay in their homes.
Refinance Your Money!
We’re not bailing people out — we’re helping them refinance their money, we’re helping them, you know — we’re helping them stay in a part of the American Dream is what we’re doing, and it’s worthwhile to do that.
When It Comes To Refinance And Recourse
And the other is what’s called HOPE NOW, and this is the Treasury Department bringing the private sector together — lenders, investors, mortgage counselors — to help people renegotiate, to help people understand what is possible when it comes to finance and recourse and stay in your house.
Give ‘Em Hell-um, Cerebellum!
And the other issue that they can pass that would really help the homeowner is that when you renegotiate, if you happen to have a mortgage that you’re going to have trouble meeting, you can find somebody to renegotiate with and you do, and part of that loan may be forgiven for tax purpose — you actually have to pay tax.
The Senate Bipartisan Way
So we need to fix the tax code, and the Senate bipartisan way is passing a good piece of legislation.
All Aimed At Level The Playing Field
So I proposed to Congress that we allow families — everybody, regardless of your employment status — to be able to deduct $15,000 off your income taxes, or $7,500 as an individual — all aimed at level the playing field so that an individual market begins to grow.
What You Got To Do
And one of the things that Secretary Leavitt is doing is saying that if you’re interfacing with the federal government, then you got to post your price.
Getting People To Providers
So we’re now getting people to providers to not only post a price, but also we’re developing a qualitative index, so that people are able to compare price and quality.
What There Needs To Be Expanded
Third, there needs to be products like health savings accounts expanded.
The Dollars Inside Your Plan Are Earning Tax-Free
And the inability to carry a good health care plan with you — a plan that you own, a plan which the dollars inside your plan are e
arning tax-free — creates frustrations for people.
A Medical Electronics Record
My dream is for all of us to have a medical electronics record within a decade.
So I proposed a bill that would encourage — most oil is consumed through automobile usage.
Is There A Hog Grower In The House?
If you’re a hog grower, which I suspect there’s not too many around here, but you’re a little concerned about the use of ethanol with corn as its base, because the price of corn is high.
What Refineries Is
Now, refineries is a different issue.
And it’s just — anyway, it’s — there are some who — I don’t know why they wouldn’t be for something as commonsensical as that.
Against It Before He Was For It
That’s why I’m against raising the gasoline tax. In other words — we need to raise the gasoline tax. It comes up about every year in Congress. I’m against it for precisely that reason, and — is somebody for it over there? I said, the federal gasoline tax. Mr. Speaker, I wasn’t talking about the state gasoline tax.
There Is Some Storm Clouds
Having said that, this economy is pretty good. There are some — there’s definitely some storm clouds and concerns, but the underpinning is good, and we’ll work our way through this period.
There Is Some Issues
There’s just some fundamental questions that we’re going to have to make on issues like health care.
The Private Medicine
We want the great innovation and the private medicine to flourish.
The Helath Care Rising
So my only caution is, is that people see the health care rising — I hope they don’t leap to what sounds like a simple solution that would lead to a long-term problem for the country.
Above It All
Q You may have noticed that transportation is an issue for us in this area, and —
THE PRESIDENT: Actually, the helicopter didn’t get stuck in any traffic.
Q I was wondering —
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. What’s a traffic jam?
Everybody Gets Them A Special Project
And so it’s the largest committee and then everybody gets them a special project, and then the bill moves, and then the funding formulas kick in.
Not What The Presidents Job Is To Do
That’s just not a — that’s not what the President’s job is to do.
There Is Other Things
There’s a lot of mass transit money spent; there’s other things that the money is spent on.
Well, if your automobiles are going to get less [sic] miles per gallon, then you’re going to have to figure out — and you need additional highways, you have to figure out a way to raise the money; and the user fee is a good way to do it.
Other Other Words
And if you happen to go to a user fee system, one of the interesting things that are being used is differential pricing. In other words, you pay a different price depending upon the day you drive; in other words, a market-oriented system.
Citizen Of The Bubble
Q My question is, I have three children in the school system here, and I’m very concerned about their well-being, living in this country — and you’ve done a wonderful job of protecting our nation. But I’m concerned about the nations like Iraq, who now have nuclear weapons —
THE PRESIDENT: Iran.
Q Iran and Iraq both.
THE PRESIDENT: Not Iraq.
Is They’re Active
So two of the three components in order to become a power, nuclear power with a weapons system, is they’re active.
If Somebody Had Them A Weapons Program
If somebody had them a weapons program, what’s to say they couldn’t start it up tomorrow?
The Path What That They’re Headed
And if they do, there’s a way forward for them that is different from the way that — the path they’re headed down now.
It Is The Decisions
It’s the decisions that your government has made that is making it more difficult for you to put food on the table, making it more difficult for your family to realize their dreams.
The Walter Reed Deal
Now, as you read, the Walter Reed deal — that was a bureaucratic foul-up.
Look Them In Our Eyes
But you need to know, sir, that I am absolutely convinced I can look the parents of — and loved ones of the troops in our eyes and say, your kid is going to get fabulous health care — and they deserve it.
You Got You Some
So you can envision if you can start using wood chips — you got you some wood around here, and all of a sudden it becomes a viable source of input into an ethanol plant.
It’s an interesting — we have to look at, and I believe the reason why is because — since corn is now the main source of ethanol, that’s where you’re going to get your corn.
He Put The 20-10 Initiative
But hopefully this research and development in a relatively quick period will come up with a different alternative sources for ethanol — and I think it will, I really do, otherwise I wouldn’t have put the 20-10 initiative.
That Is Economies Of Scale
Again, that’s economies of scale, economies of spreading risk, which to me is a rational plan.
There Is Grounds
I think it’s very important — before people start griping about the health care system here — and of course there’s always grounds for complaint — just to compare it with other systems around the world.
Still A Mistake
Early on in my presidency, somebody asked me about the stock market, and I thought I was a financial genius, and it was a mistake.