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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 17, 2001
Radio Address by the President to the Nation
The Oval Office
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. For several months, economic indicators have pointed toward a slowdown, and now many Americans are beginning to feel its impact in your lives. The stock market is causing worries; high energy prices are straining family budgets; and some American workers and small business people have been directly affected by layoffs and slowing retail sales.
We have been hearing too much troubling economic news. It is time for the United States Congress to give Americans some good economic news: tax relief for everyone who pays income taxes.
This would be good news for families struggling to pay off debt and to save for the future. It would be good news for small businesses that need customers with money to spend. And it would be good news for our broader economy; good news for economic growth and job creation and consumer confidence.
The House of Representatives has already passed a large part of my tax relief plan. Now it is up to the Senate. It is only common sense to give our economy a boost in a slowdown. Yet tax relief is more than common sense; it is a matter of principle. My tax relief plan is also a tax reform plan. It corrects some of the worst, most unfair abuses in our current tax system. And I would be recommending these changes in any economic circumstance.
On principle, our tax code should reward hard work and overtime by men and women struggling to enter the middle class. Right now they face some of the highest marginal rates in the tax code. So we lower those rates to encourage their dreams.
On principle, our tax code should honor family. That's why we double the per-child tax credit and reduce the marriage penalty.
On principle, no one in America should have to pay more than a third of their paycheck to the federal government. So we reduce tax rates for everyone in every bracket.
On principle, every family, every farmer and small business person should be free to pass on their life's work to those they love. So we abolish the death tax.
These are not Republican principles, or Democratic principles. These are principles that are shared by Americans in both parties, and Americans in no party. This is the reason my tax relief plan has so much momentum. Americans want our tax code to be reasonable and simple and fair. These are goals that unite our country, and these are goals that have shaped my plan.
The Senate should act quickly on my plan for two good reasons: First, tax relief is good news for our economy, which needs some good news. Second, my tax reform plan will treat everyone fairly.
If you agree with me, I hope you'll tell your senator that you agree. Together we can help make our nation more prosperous and our tax system more fair.
Thank you for listening.