Remarks at a Forum for
State Government Officials and Business Leaders in
you very much. You know, Governor, I have to tell you that, with regard to your
favorite President, I learned a little anecdote about him when I moved into the
White House. You know, the Oval Office is not a part of the actual White House
-- or the beginning; there is now a thing called the West Wing that is
connected to the White House and has all the offices and places for the staff
of the President and so forth. But once upon a time, and back in
I don't suppose I should tell this a little out of school -- you know our Armed Services is now -- in view of our last speaker here, I would like to point out now you do not just say gentlemen to them; you say men and women -- because they're there. And this summer on a day that was in excess of 100 degrees and about 100-percent moisture in the air, there was a great military ceremony for a certain occasion down there. And the military -- the marines in this case -- were all in full dress uniform, parading. Seven collapsed from the heat -- all male. [Laughter]
it's a pleasure to be in the district of Congressman Jim Courter
and in the State of
But now after listening to all of you, I appreciate it, but I'd like to respond with a few words of my own. And if I may, I'd like to speak as well to the audience that is here today. Don't worry, I'll keep it short. The last thing in the world I want to do is to hold up a whole workday at companies as remarkable as this one and those that you panelists represent. And by the way, Jim Burke, you're chairman of Johnson and Johnson, and Daria Finn, you're president of Finishing Touches -- with the two of you here today, who's minding the store? [Laughter]
you know, back before I got my present job, I worked on a television program
called GE Theater, General Electric Theater, and I would spend between 12 and
16 weeks every year traveling the country, visiting the workers in GE plants.
And I have to confess that when I took that job I had a view of business that
was fashionable in some circles in those days -- an unflattering view. But when
I visited the plants and met the employees face-to-face, I learned something. I
learned that I was seeing then, as I've seen here today, the real source of
this nation's economic growth and productivity -- not government or
is it happening? Well, in October the American economic expansion is in its
59th straight month. Fifty-nine months -- that will make this the longest
peacetime economic expansion on record. Inflation and interest rates are down.
Productivity is up.
the Europeans talk of what they call the American miracle. Well, if anybody
wants to see miracles, they should be here today. You of Somerset Technologies
have worked together as a team to increase your sales by more than $10 million
since 1948 , and while too many people see nothing but trade barriers
when they look at
it's my duty to tell you that this miracle -- all you've worked so hard to
accomplish, all that
I will not sign any bill that will hurt the American worker. With your support, I will insist that Congress go the positive route, opening markets, not shutting them down. But your support, and the support of all working Americans, will be crucial. So, to the panelists and those in the audience: I hope I can count on all of you.
We've also got to keep Federal spending down and stop those who would raise your taxes to pay for Federal extravagance. Congress has to hold to the spending limits under the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings bill. It's important to put permanent reforms in place, reforms that will ensure economic growth even after our administration leaves office. With the line-item veto and the balanced budget amendment, we can give the American people an Economic Bill of Rights so that congressional taxing and spending can never again endanger our livelihoods. So, together, let's make sure that economic miracles never cease. Let's ensure the Nation's right to a free economy, an economy of growth and opportunity for you, your children, and your children's children.
know, I can't stop without telling you about a little habit I've picked up now.
I've got a new hobby. I have been collecting stories that can be told -- or are
being told by the people in that other great power that depends totally on
government and has nothing to do with free enterprise: the
But that's enough from me. And I tell you honestly, that is a story being told by the Soviets among themselves. So, it shows they've got a sense of humor, but they've also got a pretty good idea of what their system is all about.
But I do thank all of you. God bless all of you. And it's been a real treat to be here with you.
Note: The President
spoke at in the main building at