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Radio Address to the Nation on the Economy

February 22, 1992

Today I want to talk to you about getting our economy moving. I know there's a lot of debate about how to create jobs and build economic strength, but in the end it all boils down to common sense. To strengthen an economy, you encourage investment. You support industries that pull nations out of recessions. You encourage success.

In my State of the Union Address, I proposed a short-term economic plan that does these things. I challenged Congress to set aside partisan politics for just a few weeks and pass my plan by March 20.

Unfortunately, Democratic leaders refused to submit my plan for a quick, clean vote. They chose politics over duty. They huddled behind closed doors and played games with the Tax Code. They put out one plan one day, another plan the next. Finally, they settled on a scheme that makes no economic sense.

Their proposal won't help homebuyers. Their proposal will increase the deficit. It borrows $30 billion to pay for a tiny temporary tax cut. For each person in the average family of four, it hands out about a quarter a day, but only for 2 years. This turns out to be a very costly quarter. After the temporary cut expires, Americans would shoulder the burden of a huge permanent tax increase. In other words, these congressional leaders want to give you 2 years of pocket change in exchange for a lifetime of higher taxes. And that is a very bad deal for us and for our children who must pay the bill.

And now my plan: My plan will create jobs. The real estate incentives alone will generate 415,000 new jobs this year. My plan offers the hope of homeownership to first-time homebuyers. Some people have begun buying homes already, expecting Congress to pass a plan that encourages real estate investment, my plan. Congress shouldn't let those people down.

My plan will not increase the deficit. It makes some tough choices on Federal spending because I refuse to mortgage our children's future for short-term political gain. My plan will not raise tax rates. I want to raise the child deduction on Federal income taxes by $500, and I want Congress to pass this permanent, long-term, profamily tax cut this year.

Put the plans side by side, and here's the bottom line: My plan works; theirs doesn't.

So today, join me in telling Congress: Stop fooling around with our future. Tell them to pass my plan now. If politicians hem and haw and offer up excuses, remind them your job is more important than any politician's job. Our recovery will get a huge boost the moment Congress passes my plan. But I need your help.

Thank you. And may God bless you and the United States of America.

Note: This address was recorded on February 21 in the Oval Office at the White House and was broadcast at 9 a.m. on February 22.

George Bush, Radio Address to the Nation on the Economy Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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