THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Des Moines, Iowa) _________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release April 25, 1995 REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT IN ADDRESS TO THE IOWA STATE LEGISLATURE The Senate Chamber State Capital Des Moines, Iowa
7:32 P.M. CDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Governor Branstad, Mr. Chief Justice, and members of the Supreme Court, distinguished Iowa state officials. And former Congressman Neil Smith, my good friend, and Mrs. Smith, thank you for being here. To all of you who are members of the Iowa legislature, House and Senate, Republican and Democrat, it is a great honor for me to be here today.
I feel that I'm back home again. When I met the legislative leadership on the way in and we shared a few words and then they left to come in here, and I was standing around with my crowd, I said, you know, I really miss state government. (Laughter.) I'll say more about why in a moment. (Laughter.)
I'd like to, if I might, recognize one of your members to thank him for agreeing to join my team -- Representative Running will now be the Secretary of Labor's representative. (Applause.) Would you stand up, please. (Applause.) Thank you. (Applause.)
Representative Running is going to be the representative of the Secretary of Labor for region 7 -- Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas. And if you will finish your business here pretty soon, he can actually go to Kansas City and get to work -- (laughter) -- which I would appreciate.
I'm delighted to be back in Iowa. I had a wonderful day here, and it was good to be here when it was dry -- (laughter) -- although a little rain doesn't do any harm.
We had a wonderful meeting today at Iowa State University with which I'm sure all of you are familiar, this National Rural Conference we had, designed to lay the groundwork for a strategy for rural America to include not only the farm bill, but also a rural development strategy and a strategy generally to deal with the problems of rural America -- with the income disparities with the rest of America, the age disparities with the rest of America, and the problems of getting services and maintaining the quality of life in rural America.
I want to thank Governor Branstad for his outstanding presentation and the information he gave us about the efforts being made in Iowa in developing your fiber optic network and developing the health care reform initiatives for rural Iowans and many other areas. I want to thank Senator Harkin for his presentation, particularly involving the development of alternative agricultural products as a way to boost income in rural America. And I want to say a special word of thanks to the people at Iowa State. They did a magnificent job there, and I know you are all very proud of that institution, and you would have been very, very proud of them today, the way they performed.
I'm also just glad to be back here in the setting of state government. You know, Governor Branstad and I were once the youngest governors in America, but time took care of it. (Laughter.) And now that he's been reelected, he will actually serve more years than I did. I ran for a fifth term as governor. We used to have two-year terms, and then we switched to four-year terms. And only one person in the history of our state had ever served more than eight years, and only one person had ever served more than -- two people had served more than two terms, but those were two-year terms -- in the whole history of the state. So I was -- I had served 10 years. I'd served three two-year terms and one four-year term, and I was the attempting to be reelected. And I had a high job approval rating, but people were reluctant to vote for me, because in my state people are very suspicious of too much political power, you know. And I thought I was still pretty young and healthy, but half of them wanted to give me a gold watch, you know, and send me home. (Laughter.)
And I never will forget one day when I was running for my fifth term, I was out at the State Fair doing governor's day at the State Fair, which I always did, and I would just sit there and anybody that wanted to talk to me could up and say whatever was on their mind, which was, for me, a hazardous undertaking from time to time -- (laughter) -- since they invariably would do exactly that. And I stayed there all day long, and I talked about everything under the moon and sun with the people who came up and, long about the end of the day, this elderly fellow in overalls came up to me and he said, Bill, you going to run for governor, again? And I hadn't announced yet. I said, I don't know. If I do, will you vote for me? He said, yes, I always have. I guess I will again. And I said, well, aren't you sick of me after all these years? He said, no, but everybody else I know is. (Laughter.)
But he went on to say -- and that's the point I want to make about state government -- he said, people get tired of it because all you do is nag us. You nag us to modernize the economy, you nag us to improve the schools, you just nag, nag, nag. But he said, I think it's beginning to work. And what I have seen in state after state after state over the last 15 years as we have gone through these wrenching economic and social changes in America and as we face challenge after challenge after challenge, is people able consistently to come together to overcome their differences, to focus on what it will take to build a state and to move forward. And we need more of that in America.
In Iowa, you do embody our best values. People are independent, but committed to one another. They work hard and play by the rules, but they work together. Those of us who come from small towns understand that everybody counts. We don't have a person to waste. And the fact that Iowa has done such a good job in developing all of your people is one of the reasons that you are so strong in every single national indicator of success that I know of. And you should be very, very proud of what, together, you have done. (Applause.)
I saw some of that American spirit in a very painful way in Oklahoma City this week, and all of you saw it as well. I know you share the grief of the people there. But you must also share the pride of all Americans in seeing the enormity of the effort which is being exerted there, by firemen and police officers, and nurses, by rescue workers, by people who have come from all over America and given up their lives to try to help Oklahoma City and the people there who have suffered so much loss rebuild.
I want to say again what I have tried to say for the last three days to the American people. On this National Day of Service, there is a service we can do to ensure that we build on, and learn from, this experience.
We must always fight for the freedom of speech. The First Amendment, with its freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of worship, is the essence of what it means to be an American. And I dare say every elected official in this room would give his or her life to preserve that right for our children and our grandchildren down to the end of time.
But we have to remember that that freedom has endured in our nation for over 200 years because we practiced it with such responsibility; because we had discipline; because we understood from the Founding Fathers forward that you could not have very, very wide latitude in personal freedom until you also had, or unless you also had, great discipline in the exercise of that freedom.
So while I would defend to the death anyone's right to the broadest freedom of speech, I think we should all remember that words have consequences. And freedom should be exercised with responsibility. And when we think that others are exercising their freedom in an irresponsible way, it is our job to stand up and say that is wrong. We disagree. This is not a matter of partisan politics. It is not a matter of political philosophy. If we see the freedom of expression and speech abused in this country, whether it comes from the right or the left, from the media or from people just speaking on their own, we should stand up and say no, we don't believe in preaching violence; we don't believe in preaching hatred; we don't believe in preaching discord. Words have consequences.
If words did not have consequences, we wouldn't be here today. We're here today because Patrick Henry's words had consequences, because Thomas Jefferson's words had consequences, because Abraham Lincoln's words had consequences. And these words we hear today have consequences -- the good ones and the bad ones, the ones that bring us together, and the ones that drive a wedge through our heart.
We never know in this society today who is out there dealing with all kinds of inner turmoil, vulnerable to being pushed over the edge if all they hear is a relentless clamor of hatred and division. So let us preserve free speech, but let those of us who want to fight to preserve free speech forever in America say, we must be responsible and we will be. (Applause.)
My fellow Americans, I come here tonight, as I went recently to the state legislature in Florida, to discuss the condition of our country, where we're going in the future, and your role in that. We know we are in a new and different world -- the end of the Cold War, a new and less organized world we're living in, but one still not free of threats. We know we have come to the end of an industrial age and we're in an information age, which is less bureaucratic, more open, more dependent on technology, more full of opportunity but still full of its own problems, than the age that most of us were raised in.
We know that we no longer need the same sort of bureaucratic, top-down, service-delivering, rule-making, centralized government in Washington that served us so well during the industrial age, because times have changed. We know that with all the problems we have and all the opportunities we have, we have to think anew about what the responsibilities of our government in Washington should be, what your responsibility should be here at the state level, and through you to the local level, and what should be done more by private citizens on their own with no involvement from the government.
We know now what the central challenge of this time is, and you can see it in Iowa. You could see it today with the testimony we heard at the Rural Conference. We are at a 25-year low in the combined rates of unemployment and inflation. Our economy has produced over 6 million new jobs. But paradoxically, even in Iowa where the unemployment rate has dropped under 3.5 percent, most Americans are working harder today for the same or lower incomes that they were making 10 years ago. And many Americans feel less job security even as the recovery continues.
That is largely a function of the global economic competition, the fact that technology raises productivity at an almost unbelievable rate so fewer and fewer people can do more and more work, and that depresses wages. The fact that unless we raise it in Washington next year, the minimum wage will reach a 40-year low.
There are a lot of these things that are related one to the other. But it is perfectly clear that the economics are changing the face of American society. You can see it in the difference in income in rural America and urban America. You can see it in the difference -- the aging process in rural America as compared with urban America. And if we want to preserve the American Dream, we have got to find a way to solve this riddle.
I was born in the year after World War II at the dawn of the greatest explosion of opportunity in American history and in world history. For 30 years after that, the American people, without regard to their income or region, grew and grew together. That is, each income group over the next 30 years roughly doubled their income, except the poorest 20 percent of us that had an almost 2.5 times increase in their income. So we were growing and growing together.
For about the last 15 or 20 years, half of us have been stuck so that our country is growing, but we are growing apart even within the middle class. When you put that beside the fact that we have more and more poor people who are not elderly -- which was the case when I was little, but now are largely young women and their little children, often where there was either no marriage or the marriage is broken up so there is not a stable home and there is not an adequate level of education to ensure an income -- you have increasing poverty and increasing splits within the middle class. That is the fundamental cause, I believe, of a lot of the problems that we face in America and a lot of the anxiety and frustration we see in this country.
Every rich country faces this problem. But in the United States, it is a particular problem -- both because the inequality is greater and because it violates the American Dream. I mean, this is a country where if you work hard and you play by the rules, you obey the law, you raise your children, you do your best to do everything you're supposed to do, you ought to have an opportunity for the free enterprise system to work for you.
And so we face this challenge. I have to tell you that I believe two things: One, the future is far more hopeful than worrisome. If you look at the resources of this country, the assets of this country, and you compare them with any other country in the world, and you image what the world will be like 20 or 30 years from now, you'd have to be strongly bullish on America. You have to believe in our promise.
Secondly, I am convinced we cannot get there unless we develop a new way of talking about these issues, a new political discourse. Unless we move beyond the labeling that so often characterizes, and in fact mischaracterizes, the debate in Washington, D.C.
Now we are having this debate in ways that affect you, so you have to be a part of it, because one of the biggest parts of the debate is, how are we going to keep the American Dream alive? How are we going to keep America, the world's strongest force for freedom and democracy, into the next century, and change the way the government works?
There is broad consensus that the government in Washington should be less bureaucratic, less oriented toward rule-making, smaller, more flexible, that more decisions should be devolved to the state and local government level, and where possible, more decisions should be given to private citizens themselves. There is a broad agreement on that.
The question is, what are the details? What does that mean? What should we do? What should you do? That's what I want to talk to you about. There are clearly some national responsibilities, clearly some that would be better served here at your level.
The main reason I ran for President is, it seemed to me that we were seeing a national government in bipartisan gridlock, where we'd had 12 years in which we exploded the deficit, reduced our investment in people, and undermined our ability to compete and win in the world. And I wanted very badly to end the kind of gridlock we'd had and to see some real concrete action taken to go forward, because of my experience doing what you're doing now.
My basic belief is that the government ought to do more to help people help themselves, to reward responsibility with more opportunity, and not to give anybody opportunity without demanding responsibility. That's basically what I think our job is.
I think we can be less bureaucratic. We have to enhance security at home and abroad. But the most important thing we have to do is to empower people to make the most of their own lives.
Now, we have made a good beginning at that. As I said, we've been able to get the deficit down. You know here in Iowa, because you're a farming state, that we've had the biggest expansion of trade in the last two years we've seen in a generation. We now have a $20 billion surplus in agricultural products for the first time ever -- this means more to me than you -- but we're selling rice to the Japanese, something that my farmers never thought that we'd ever do. We're selling apples in Asia. We are doing our best in Washington -- some of us are --to get the ethanol program up and going. This administration is for it, and I hope you will help us with that. (Applause.)
And we're making modest efforts which ought to be increased to work with the private sector to develop alternative agricultural products. Today I saw corn-based windshield wiper fluid, and something that I think is important, biodegradable, agriculturally-rooted golf tees. (Laughter.) And a lot of other things that I think will be the hallmark of our future. We have only scratched the surface of what we can do to produce products from the land, from our food and fiber, and we must do more.
In education we are beginning to see the outlines of what I hope will be a genuine bipartisan national partnership in education. In the last two years we increased Head Start, we reduced the rules and regulations the federal government imposes on local school systems, but gave them more funds and flexibility to meet national standards of education. We helped states all over the country to develop comprehensive systems of apprenticeships for young people who get out of high school and don't want to go to college, but don't want to be in dead-end jobs.
We are doing more to try to make our job training programs relevant. And we have made literally millions of Americans eligible for lower cost, better repayment college loans under our direct loan program, including over 350,000 students and former students in Iowa -- including all those who are at Iowa State University. Now, if you borrow money under that program, you get it quicker with less paperwork at lower cost, and you can pay it back in one of four different ways based on the income you're going to earn when you get out of college. Believe it or not, it lowers costs to the taxpayers.
And we have demanded responsibility. We've taken the loan default costs to the taxpayers from $2.8 billion a year down to $1 billion a year. That is the direction we ought to be going in. (Applause.)
We've worked hard to increase our security at home and abroad. The crime bill, which was passed last year by the Congress after six years of endless debate, provides for 100,000 more police officers on our street. We have already -- over the next five years -- we've already awarded over 17,000 police officers to over half the police departments in America, including 158 communities here in Iowa. It strengthens punishment under federal law.
The three strikes and you're out law in the crime bill is now the law of the land. The first person to be prosecuted under this law was a convicted murderer accused of an armed robbery in Waterloo last November. If he's convicted, he will go to jail for the rest of his life. (Applause.)
The capital punishment provisions of the crime bill will cover the incident in Oklahoma City -- something that is terribly important, in my view, not only to bring justice in this case, but to send a clear signal that the United States does not intend to be dominated and paralyzed by terrorists from at home or abroad -- not now, not ever. We cannot ever tolerate that. (Applause.)
We are also more secure from beyond our borders. For the first time since the dawn of the nuclear age, there are no Russian missiles pointed at America's children. And those nuclear weapons are being destroyed every day. (Applause.)
We have reduced the size of the federal government by more than 100,000. We are taking it down by more than a quarter of a million. We have eliminated or reduced 300 programs. And I have asked Congress to eliminate or consolidate 400 more. We have tried to give more flexibility to states -- several states have gotten broad freedom from federal rules to implement health care reform. And we have now freed 27 states from cumbersome federal rules to try to help them end welfare as we know it.
In the almost two years since Iowa received only the second welfare waiver our administration issued, the number of welfare recipients in Iowa who hold jobs is almost doubled from 18 to 33 percent. You are doing it without punishing children for the mistakes of their parents -- and I want to say more on that later -- but you are doing it. And that is clear evidence that we should give the states the right to pursue welfare reform. They know how to get the job done better than the federal government has done in the past. We should give you all more responsibility for moving people from welfare to work. (Applause.)
Now, here's where you come in, because I want to talk in very short order, one right after the other, about the decisions we still have to make in Washington. Do we still have to cut the federal deficit more? Yes, we do. We've taken it down by $600 billion. The budget, in fact, would be balanced today if it weren't for the interest we have to pay on the debt run up between 1981 and 1992.
But it's still a problem and you need to understand why it's a problem. It's a problem because a lot of people who used to give us money to finance our government deficit and our trade deficit, need their money at home now. That's really what's happening in Japan. They need their money at home now.
We must continue -- we must say to the world, to the financial markets -- we will not cut taxes except in the context of reducing the deficit. America is committed. Both parties are committed. Americans are committed to getting rid of this terrible burden on our future. We must continue to do it.
Now, the question is, how are we going to do that? Should we cut unnecessary spending? Of course, we should. How do you define it? Should there be more power to state and local governments and to the private sector? You bet. But what are the details?
In other words, what we've got to do in Washington now is what you do all the time. We've got to move beyond our rhetoric to reality. And I think it would be helpful for you because we need your voice to be heard. And at least my experience in the Governors Association was, or working in my own legislature was, that on these issues we could get Republicans and Democrats together. So let me go through what we've done, and what's still to be done.
First of all, I agree with this new Congress on three issues that were in the Republican Contract -- and two of them are already law. Number one, Congress should apply to itself all the laws it puts on the private sector. We should know when we make laws in Washington what we're doing to other people by experiencing it ourself. That was a good thing.
Number two, I signed the unfunded mandates legislation to make it harder, but not impossible when it important, but much harder, for Congress to put on you and your taxpayers unfunded mandates from the federal government where we make you pay for something that we in Washington want to do. I strongly support that, and I think all of you do, as well. (Applause.)
The third thing we are doing that we have not finished yet, although both Houses have approved a version of it, is the line-item veto. Almost every governor has it. I don't want to embarrass anybody here, but I don't know how many times I had a legislature say, now, Governor, I'm going to slip this in this bill because I've got to do it, and then you can scratch it out for me. (Laughter.) And it was fine. We did it. (Laughter.) Now if they slip it in a bill, I have to decide what to do or not. I have to decide.
When the farmers in Iowa desperately needed the restoration of the tax deduction for health insurance, the 25 percent tax deduction that self-employed farmers and others get for health insurance, there was a provision of that bill I didn't like very much. I had to decide, am I going to give this back to 3.3 million self-employed Americans and their families, to lower the cost of health care by tax day, or not? But when we have the line-item veto, it won't be that way. And we need it.
Here are the hard ones. Number one, the farm bill. Should be reduce farm supports? Yes, we should, as required by GATT. I worked hard to get the Europeans to the table in agriculture in this trade agreement. A lot of you understand that. The deal was, they would reduce their subsidies more than we would reduce ours, so we would at least move toward some parity, so that our farmers would get a fair break for a change. Now some say, let's just get rid of all these farm support programs.
Well, if we do it now, we give our competitors the advantage we worked for eight years to take away. We put family farms more at risk. Now if anybody's got better ideas about what should be in the Farm Bill, that's fine. If anybody's got a better idea about how to save the family farmers, let's do it. If anybody has new ideas about what should be put in for rural development, fine. But let us do no harm. Let us not labor under the illusion that having fought so hard to have a competitive agricultural playing field throughout the world, having achieved a $20 billion surplus in agriculture, we can turn and walk away from the farmers of the country in the name of cutting spending. That is not the way to cut the federal deficit. (Applause.)
I'll give you another example. Some believe that we should flat fund the school lunch program. And then there's a big argument in Washington, is it a cut or not. Let me tell you something, all these block grants are designed not only to give you more flexibility, but to save the federal government money. Now it may be a good deal, or it may not. You have to decide. But when we wanted to cut the Agriculture Department budget -- we're closing nearly 1,200 offices, we're reducing employment by 13,000, we eliminated 14 divisions in the Department of Agriculture -- my own view is, that is better than putting an arbitrary cap on the school lunch program, which will be terribly unfair to the number -- to the numerous school districts in this country that have increasing burdens from low income children. There are a lot of kids in this country -- a lot of kids -- the only decent meal they get every day is the meal they get at school. This program works. If it's not broke, we shouldn't fix it. So I don't agree with that. But you have to decide.
Welfare reform. I've already said, we have now given more welfare reform waivers to states to get out from under the federal government than were given in the last 12 years put together. In two years, we've given more than 12 years. I am for you figuring out how you want to run you welfare system and move people from welfare to work. I am for that.
But here are the questions. Number one, should we have cumbersome federal rules that say you have to penalize teenage girls who give birth to children and cut them off? I don't think so. We should never punish children for the mistakes of their parents. And these children who become parents prematurely, we should say, you made a mistake, you shouldn't do that -- no child should do that. But what we're going to do is to impose responsibilities on you for the future, to make you a responsible parent, a responsible student, a responsible worker. That's what your program does. Why should the federal government tell you that you have to punish children, when what you really want to do is move people from welfare to work so that more people are good parents and good workers. You should decide that. We do not need to be giving you lectures about how you have to punish the kids of this country. We need a welfare bill that is tough on work and compassionate toward children -- not a welfare bill that is weak on work and tough on children. I feel that that should be a bipartisan principle that all of us should be able to embrace. (Applause.)
Now, the second issue in welfare reform is whether we should give you a block grant. Instead of having the welfare being an individual entitlement to every poor person on welfare, should we just give you whatever money we gave you last year or over the last three years and let you spend it however you want? There are two issues here that I ask you to think about, not only from your perspective, but from the perspective of every other state.
In Florida, the Republicans in legislature I spoke with were not for this. And here's why. The whole purpose of the block grant is twofold. One is, we give you more flexibility. The second is, we say in return for more flexibility, you ought to be able to do the job for less money, so we won't increase the money you're getting over the next five years, which means we'll get to save money and lower the deficit. If it works for everybody concerned it's a good deal.
But what are the states -- there are two problems with a block grant in this area, and I want you to help me work through it, because I am for more flexibility for the states. I would give every state every waiver that I have given to any state. I want you to decide what to do with this. I want you to be out there creating innovative ways to break the cycle of welfare dependency.
But there are two problems with this. Number one, if you have a state with a very large number of children eligible for public assistance and they're growing rapidly, it's very hard to devise any formula that keeps you from getting hurt in the block grants over a five-year period. And some states have rapidly growing populations -- Florida, Texas, probably California.
Number two, a total block grant relieves the state of any responsibility to put up the match that is now required for you to participate in the program. Now, you may say, well, we would do that anyway. We have a tradition in Iowa of taking care of our own. But what if you lived in a state with a booming population growth, with wildly competing demands for dollars? And what about when the next recession comes? Keep in mind, we're making all these decisions today in the second year in which every state economy is growing. That has not happened in a very long time.
Will that really be fair? How do you know that there won't be insurmountable pressure in some states just to say, well, we can't take care of these children anymore; we've got to give the money to our school teachers; we've got to give the money to our road program; we've got to give the money to economic development; we've got environmental problems. So I ask you to think about those things. We can find a way to let you control the welfare system and move people from welfare to work, but there are two substantive problems with the block grant program that I want to see overcome before I sign off on it, because there is a national responsibility to care for the children of the country, to make sure a minimal standard of care is given. (Applause.) Thank you. (Applause.)
In the crime bill, there is a proposal to take what we did last time, which was to divide the money between police, prisons and prevention, and basically give you a block grant in prevention, and instead create two separate block grants, one for prisons and one for police and prevention, in which you would reduce the amount of money for police and prevention and increase the amount of money for prisons, but you could only get it if you decided -- a mandate, but a funded one -- if you decided to make all people who committed serious crimes serve 85 percent of their sentences.
So Washington is telling you how you have to sentence people but offering you money to build prisons. The practical impact means that a lot of that money won't be taken care of, and we will reduce the amount of money we're spending for police and for prevention programs. I think that's a mistake.
I'm more than happy for you to have block grants for prevention programs. You know more about what keeps kids out of jail and off the streets and from committing crime in Des Moines or Cedar Rapids or Ames or anyplace else than I would ever know. But we do know that the violent crime rate has tripled in the last 30 years, and the number of police on our street has only gone up by 10 percent. And we know there is city, after city, after city in America where the crime rate has gone down a lot, a lot when police have been put on the street in community policing roles.
So I say, let's keep the 100,000 police program. It is totally nonbureaucratic. Small towns in Iowa can get it by filling out a one-page, eight-question form. There is no hassle. And we should do this because we know it works. There is a national interest in safer streets, and it's all paid for by reducing the federal bureaucracy. So my view is, keep the 100,000 police, give the states flexibility on prevention. And I hope that you will agree with that. That, at any rate, is my strong feeling.
Lastly, let me say on education, I simply don't believe that we should be cutting education to reduce the deficit or pay for tax cuts. (Applause.) I don't believe that. I just don't believe that. (Applause.)
So my view -- my view on this is that the way to save money is to give every university in the country and every college in the country the right to do what Iowa State has done -- go to the direct loan program, cut out the middle man, lower the cost of loans, save the taxpayer money.
I am strongly opposed to charging the students interest on their student loans while they're in college. That will add 18 to 20 percent to the cost of education for a lot of our young people. We'll have fewer people going to school. We want more people going to school. I think that is a mistake.
I believe if we're going to have a tax cut, it should be targeted to middle class people and to educational needs. I believe strongly we should do two things more than anything else. Number one, give more people the advantage of an IRA, which they can put money into and save and then withdraw to pay for education or health care costs, purchase of a first-time home, or care of an elderly parent tax-free. Number two, allow the deduction of the cost of education after high school to all American middle-class families. (Applause.) Now, that, I think, will make a difference. (Applause.)
This is very important for you because, remember, we have a smaller total tax cut, if we target it to the middle class, we can have deficit reduction without cutting education. We can have deficit reduction without having severe cuts in Medicare. Governor Branstad said today, one of our biggest problems is the unfairness of the distribution of Medicare funds. You are right. It's not fair to rural America. But there's a lot more coming, and more than you need to have if we have an excessive tax cut that is not targeted to education and to the middle class.
So that, in brief, is the laundry list of the new federalism -- the things you need to decide on. I do not believe these issues I have spoken with you about have a partisan tinge in Des Moines. They need not have one in Washington.
But I invite you, go back home -- this is being televised tonight -- go back home and talk to the people you represent, and ask them what they want you to say to your members of Congress about what we do in Washington; what you do in Des Moines; what we do in our private lives; what should be spent to reduce the deficit; what should be spent on a tax cut; what should be in a block grant; and where should we stand up and say we've got to protect the children of the country. These are great and exciting issues.
Believe me, if we make the right decisions -- if we make the right decisions, the 21st century will still be the American century.
Thank you all, and God bless you. (Applause.)
END8:10 P.M. CDT