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Council of Economic Advisors

Honoring Massachusetts: A Tradition of Leadership
Dr. N. Gregory Mankiw
Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers
January 19, 2005

Thank you. I am delighted to be here.

It is great for me to be here among so many Republicans from Massachusetts, especially Governor Romney, who is of course my governor, and White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, whom I have had the privilege to work with for the past two years.

I know that much of the country think that Massachusetts Republican is an oxymoron--sort of like jumbo shrimp. Some people think that we residents of Massachusetts are all latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New-York-Times-reading liberals. Well, I must admit that I subscribe to the New York Times, have owned a Volvo, sometimes eat sushi, and may be Starbucks' most reliable customer. But that does not stop me from believing in traditional family values, a strong national defense, and the importance of low taxes and limited government to foster economic prosperity.

Tomorrow is a great day for the country. Those of us who have worked for George Bush know that he is a dedicated, resolute leader, a person with a clear vision of where he wants to take the Nation, a person who is willing to face up to big challenges, rather than kicking problems down the road for future presidents. He wants to make sure that when he leaves office, the country is safer and more prosperous than it was when he arrived.

As someone who has worked in the White House for the past two years, I can say that George Bush is also a great boss. He is open to listening to differing points of view. He is kind. And he is funny.

Just before I was sworn in as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, my family had the opportunity to meet the President. My five-year-old son Peter, realizing that the President was my new boss, walked up to him and tugged on the bottom of his suit jacket. Peter looked up at the President and said, "Don't be mean to my daddy." To which the President replied, "As long as the economy improves."

I can report that Peter would not be disappointed--perhaps because the economy has very much improved under the President's policies. But I have a hunch that the President would have been just as nice if things had not turned out as well. His staff shows him devotion and loyalty because we know we are only returning the favor. We all feel that it is a great privilege working for President Bush, and we look forward to four more years of his leadership.