The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
November 25, 2002

Message to the Congress of the United States

This report documents the state of small business at the end of the 20th century. Small businesses have always been the backbone of our economy. They perennially account for most innovation and job creation. Small businesses have sustained the economy when it is robust and growing as well as in weaker times when small businesses have put the economy back on the track to long-term growth.

We must work together to give small businesses an environment in which they can thrive. Small businesses are disproportionately affected by Government regulations and paperwork, and I am committed to reducing this burden. We should regulate only where there is a real need, fully justified through rigorous cost-benefit analysis and clear legal authority. And when Government must regulate, it must adopt commonsense approaches. Regulations work best when agencies anticipate and analyze the effects of their proposals on small firms. Rules need to reflect the ability of small businesses to comply.

Another barrier to unleashing the full potential of small business is our tax code. I am committed to reducing taxes for all Americans -- especially small businesses. We must eliminate permanently the estate tax, which so often has spelled the death of the business and the jobs of its employees after the death of its founder. Our tax code should encourage investment in small businesses, and particularly in new and growing businesses. Because the innovations that drive tomorrow's economy come from entrepreneurial small businesses today, we must help them enter the marketplace, not impede them before they get there. Above all, small businesses need a tax code that is understandable and stable. Fairness, simplicity, transparency, and accountability should be our goals, and I am committed to this end.

Small business embodies so much of what America is all about. Self-reliance, hard work, innovation, the courage to take risks for future growth: these are values that have served our Nation well since its very beginning. They are values to be passed on from generation to generation. We must ensure that our small businesses continue to thrive and prosper, not just for their own sakes, but for all of us.

November 19, 2002.

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