Robert Dole photo

Remarks in Kirtland, Ohio

October 01, 1996

Well, it's a great honor to be on the Lakeland Community College campus, the fourth largest community college in Ohio. And I want to congratulate you for the great job you are doing here.

As you probably know, or maybe you don't know, I have roots in Williams County, Ohio. In fact, I visited there about three weeks ago, visited the grave of my great, great grandfather. My grandfather moved from Ohio to Kansas. So, I consider Ohio one of my home states and I expect to carry every home state in November.

[applause]

I know you're all pretty happy about the Buckeyes' big win over Notre Dame last weekend.

[applause]

I'm happy I won't be here this afternoon because nobody would be here. You're all going to be watching the Indians beat Baltimore.

[applause]

But the governor's invited me back for the World Series sometime in late October. And I'll be here.

[applause]

Steve, I want to thank you for warming the crowd up. Matt, thank you for being here. You see that silver medal? He loaned it to me a couple of times. Yes, right there. There it is.

[applause]

And if anybody gives me any trouble here, he's going to take care of them, right? All right.

[applause]

I believe the American people are just beginning to sort of sit up and take notice of this very important campaign in 1996. They're only now focusing on the real choice in this election, the choice between an old-style liberal big government and a new kind of leadership dedicated to cutting taxes, balancing the budget and trusting the American people.

[applause]

That's the kind of leadership Jack Kemp and I stand for. And that's why we're going to win on November 5. Make no mistake about it.

[applause]

And did I make a good choice in picking Jack Kemp?

CROWD: Yes!

DOLE: All right. He's done a great job in this campaign. He's been in Ohio. He'll be back here again. Right now he's out in California working.

I didn't see my wife, but I understand she was riding a motorbike last night, Bikers for Bob on the Jay Leno show, so I appreciate that, too.

[applause]

DOLE: There are just five weeks left before the election, and then I'll be the president-elect of the United States of America.

[applause]

And we're going to use every day and every opportunity to repeat our message of less government and more growth and leadership worthy or your trust. And I'll be saying that America's families know how to spend their money better than any government bureaucracy. And I'll be saying the America people haven't had a tax cut for 10 years and it's overdue.

[applause]

And I'll be saying that taxes are too high so long as American families spend more on taxes — which you do — than on food, clothing and shelter combined. It's time for a change. It's time for a tax cut.

[applause]

And I'll be saying that this economy is not good enough and not on the right track so long as too many two-earner families, where one spouse works full-time for the family and the other spouse has to work full-time to pay the taxes. That should not happen in America.

If they both want to work, that's fine.

[applause]

It's tough to bring home the bacon when the government lives so high on the hog. You don't have bacon left. They're taking it all.

[applause]

So for Jack Kemp and myself, our tax cut is just the beginning of a move to a flatter, fairer, simpler tax that will end the IRS as we know it — end the IRS as we know it.

[applause]

Now, we won't be satisfied until once again in families across America, both spouses work because they want to work, not because they're forced to work to pay higher taxes. And that's why this election comes down to two distinct visions of government and America's future.

One vision, President Clinton's liberal vision, is of a government by and for the bureaucrats and special interests.

[boos]

The other vision — our vision — is a government of, by and for the American people. That's the key difference and that's the dividing line.

[applause]

Clinton trusts the government, and we trust the people. That's a big, big difference. And we're going to have a little debate coming up on Sunday night. I'm going to show up. And they've been — he is so good, if I show up, I think I win.

[applause]

Because he doesn't care what he says.

[laughter]

He'll say it today and believe it. He'll say something else tomorrow and believe it.

So I wanted to give you today a little consumers' guide to the debates. A guide to promises made and promises broken, so you can have this little score sheet if you're not watching something else more exciting.

[laughter]

Now one thing that he's going to tell us — I'm just certain as I'm standing here — Sunday night, is that he will cut your taxes — targeted cuts he calls them — if he's re-elected.

DOLE: Now, when he was running for president last time he came to Ohio. He made the exact same promise. He called it his middle class tax cut.

In one of his earlier debates in New Hampshire he called the middle class tax cut central to his plan. And months later during the presidential debate he dangled the same middle class tax cut promise before the audience.

And that wasn't the only promise he made. Some of you may remember the 1992 presidential debate held in East Lansing, Michigan. That's where Bill Clinton stood before the public and declared — and I quote — "I will not raise taxes on the middle class to pay for my programs."

Ha, ha.

He said that not just once, but four times during that debate.

[boos]

Those were the promises he made the last time he debated before a national audience. And you know the story from there.

Did anybody get that tax cut in this audience?

CROWD: No!

DOLE: No, you didn't get that tax cut.

Are you still waiting for it? No, you're not going to wait for it.

Are you going to believe him the next time he promises you a tax cut? No.

CROWD: No!

DOLE: Instead he gave us the biggest tax hike in the history of America. He socked it to the middle class.

[boos]

And 70 percent of the people affected by the tax increase were small businessmen and small businesswomen in Ohio and across the nation.

But it did not end there.

Running for office last time he said he opposed a federal gas tax. But, again, once he made it, it was a cornerstone, a $32 billion gas tax hike — $32 billion not for roads and highways, but to go back in the general fund so he could figure out more ways to spend your money.

And running for office the last time, and he said we're not going to fool with Social Security. But as soon as he took office he raised taxes on Social Security benefits for between four and six million seniors because he said they were rich if they made $34,000 or more.

[boos]

Now, running for office the last time he advocated an $800-per child tax credit. He's making a similar promise this election. But not only has he never submitted the original proposal to Congress, he actually vetoed — as Steve knows — a child credit sent to him by the Republican Congress. Vetoed it.

[boos]

He's a hard man to follow.

But, running for office last time, he promised that — quoting again — "A Clinton-Gore administration would encourage small businesspeople and entrepreneurs."

CROWD: No!

DOLE: Yes. That's what he said.

But once in office, his tax increases fell especially heavy on small business, forcing some into a higher tax bracket than Fortune 500 companies. Their taxes were raised 30 to 40 percent, if you had a Subchapter S corporation, for example.

And, according to one survey, most small businesses in America had to raise prices. They had to postpone expansion or fire at least one employee just to make ends meet, thanks to President Bill Clinton, who promised you one thing and gave you another.

DOLE: He also said I'm a Democrat who believes in cutting wasteful government spending.

[laughter]

Yes. I know that's a tough one to swallow.

[laughter]

But once in office, he proposed the most massive spending boondoggle in the history, including federal dollars for projects like a shopping center in Indiana, a casino in Connecticut — we shouldn't have any casinos — and carousel renovations in Rhode Island.

That's what he did.

And what else did he promise? He would present a five-year plan to balance the budget. Ha, ha. Have you seen that ad? Ten years, eight years, nine years, seven years, six years, five years. He's for all of the above.

[applause]

We're still waiting.

[applause]

We're still waiting.

He said — and he's twice vetoed a balanced budget, making him the only president in history who vetoed a federal budget because he wanted more spending. The only president in history.

And he twisted arms all over Washington to defeat our efforts to add a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Six Democrats who had voted for it or said they were for it voted no after he twisted their arms in the White House.

We lost a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution by one vote in the U.S. Senate.

[boos]

And of course, we all know what he said about welfare. He was going to end it as we know it.

He didn't do a thing for 3 1/2 years. He vetoed it twice. We sent it to him the third time.

He finally signed it but then he said he was going to undo it next year.

Now that's what I call commitment.

[laughter]

He's already hinting he's going to undo it after this election, and Vice President Gore's out there saying the same thing.

So I just want to say, if you're listening to these debates, ask yourself this question — would you buy a used election promise from this man?

CROWD: No.

DOLE: Because this string of broken promises carries with it a real cost to every American family in higher taxes, in stagnant family incomes, and lower wages and more bankruptcies, and greater worker anxiety.

He's proposed 484 new spending initiatives since coming into office. And had they all passed, they would have cost not $2 billion, but $2 trillion.

And had Republicans not said no in Congress, all this spending would have cost the average American family about $4,000 a year for every year that Bill Clinton was in the White House.

Four thousand dollars more in higher taxes, slower growth and smaller family incomes.

Now he hasn't been quite so flexible with other parts of his agenda. He stubbornly tried to launch the government take care of the finest health care system in the world. Don't forget what he tried to do because he'll try it again. They've already indicated they'll try it again.

Fifty new bureaucracies, 17 new taxes, $1.5 trillion in new spending.

He has persistently supported the trial lawyers and their frivolous law suits, while opposing reform of our legal system. He has kept faith with the national teachers union leaders and opposed giving parents more control over their children's education.

[boos]

DOLE: But let me say, he makes promises that are liberal, and promises that are conservative. But the only promises he keeps are his liberal promises, because he is a liberal.

[applause]

He is a liberal.

[applause]

And I said this was a consumer guide.

Now, here for all the debate watchers is sort of a report on Bill Clinton. Buyer beware.

[applause]

What you see is not what you get. Number one, real cost is way over the list price. Number two, high maintenance costs will shoot up unexpectedly.

This politician veers uncontrolled to the left except in the face of oncoming elections when he rolls to the right. This is Bill Clinton.

[applause]

And that's why, on November 5, the American people are going to demand a factory recall of Bill Clinton and his liberal policies.

[applause]

And they're going to send me and Jack Kemp to take over. And we're going to take over.

[applause]

We believe we're on the threshold of a breathtaking future, if we will trust the American people. And let me just talk about two minutes more.

Our plan, which is a 15 percent across-the-board tax cut, a $500 per child tax credit for children under 18. We're going to cut the capital gains rate in half to create more jobs and more opportunities in ever business in Ohio.

[applause]

And we're going to eliminate the capital gains tax for virtually all American homeowners. When you sell your house, you don't pay any capital gains.

[applause]

And we're going to repeal Bill Clinton's tax hike on senior citizens.

[applause]

And if you work all your life, if your father and mother and the whole family works all their lives and somebody passes on, you shouldn't have to sell half the property to pay the estate tax.

We're going to provide estate tax relief.

[applause]

And we're going to expand what we call individual retirement accounts so you can save more of your money tax-free.

[applause]

And we're going to have what we term as opportunity scholarships so parents can choose better schools for their children, particularly low-income parents, and low-middle-income parents.

[applause]

And here in Cleveland, because of your great governor, you're leading the way in giving scholarships to low income families so they can attend the school that's best for them, public, private or religious. And that's the way it's going to be.

[applause]

Nobody's child should have to go to a bad school in America.

DOLE: Nobody's child. Every family should have the same right as the president of the United States to send his child to the school of his choice.

I don't fault him for that. But Mr. President, give low income families and low middle income families the same choice. It's all based on one simple principle. It's your money. It's not my money. It's not his money. It's your money.

[applause]

And you shouldn't have to apologize for wanting to keep more of what you earn. The government should apologize for taking too much of it in the first place. That's where the apology should come.

[applause]

Now, I hope everybody here — maybe you haven't got a brochure, but I found one. I'm going to point it out up here. It says exactly what this tax cut means for you and your family. If you have a brochure — if not, you'll get one on the way out. It's the same chart that's right behind me.

Let's just look across here. Let's say you make $30,000 and you have three children. You're not going to pay taxes at all. You get 100 percent tax cut.

[applause]

If you have two children and make $30,000 you're going to get an 86 percent tax cut. That's what this is all about. It's for families, for children, for families. We want to help American families.

If you have two children, you're going to save a lot of money. Look at the tax, one child — if you have no children you get a little less, but you still get the 15 percent cut.

So, let me tell you, this is important. And I know there is a lot of doubt. I know after Bill Clinton made all those promises and then raised your taxes some don't believe this will happen. Well, let me tell you that I keep my word.

[applause]

And I wouldn't be offering a tax cut if I couldn't get it done.

[applause]

I know that some of these tax cuts don't sound like a lot of money to people. But these are Main Street, these are not Wall Street numbers.

Families with children can use the extra money. Families with $30,000 and one child, they'll save $827. That's a couple — that's three or four months day care. It's a couple of mortgage payments, a down payment, whatever. Maybe you even take a vacation.

Why shouldn't you take a vacation instead of Hazel O'Leary? Hazel O'Leary flies all around the world.

[applause]

So I hope every newspaper in America and every TV station will print this and broadcast this chart. There it is. It doesn't take a rocket scientist.

As Gary Becker, a Noble prize winner from Chicago University said, this is Economics 101. This is easy. It's giving more resources to families and less to bureaucracy. It's about giving more resources to business and create more jobs and opportunities, and give less to the regulators who stifle business in the first place.

[applause]

And it's about trusting the American people to know best how to spend their own hard earned money rather than targeting them with one more string-attached government program that never really materializes.

DOLE: And most importantly it's about keeping faith with the people in this audience and the people all across from me, and saying what you mean, and then delivering on that promise. Not saying one thing to get elected and then doing something totally different.

I don't do those things. I've spent a lifetime keeping my word.

[applause]

So that's what this campaign's all about.

I know that in politics, as in life, your word and the peoples' trust is the most important thing there is. One hundred eminent economists, as I've said, and four Nobel prize winners have signed off on this. They're not involved in politics.

They said this is a good plan. It creates growth. It creates opportunities. It gives people a chance, opportunities they haven't had for a long time.

Now Bill Clinton says he's unalterably opposed. Just what you expect from an unalterably committed liberal. That's his problem. He's too liberal.

You're too liberal, Mr. President. Give the money back to the people. Dust off the 10th Amendment that Governor Voinovich talked about. What does it say?

It says that unless the federal Constitution gives the power to the federal government or denies it to the states, it belongs to the states and to the people. And you are the people.

[applause]

Here it is.

This has been around over 200 years. Our Founding Fathers were concerned about this concentration of power in the federal government. This is Article X of the Bill of Rights. It's not out of the Republican National Committee handbook. It's in the Constitution.

It's time we start implementing this provision to give power back to the states, as we did with welfare — Republicans — as we'll do with Medicaid, as we did with mandates and we're going to do with job training programs.

Send the money back to Governor Voinovich and the legislature and let them decide how it ought to be spent.

[applause]

So this is my pledge and this is my promise. I'm going to do this for the American family, American workers, and people who have been left out by this administration.

And, oh, he'll talk about the economy. He won't tell you it's the worst growth in a century. That bankruptcies have reached record highs. That credit card debt has gone way up.

There are dozens of reasons why we need economic growth. And that's the reason we need a tax cut. President Kennedy understood it.

Ronald Reagan understood it. And Bob Dole understands it and we're going to get it done in 1997.

[applause]

So, let me ask Bill and Peggy Stanton to come up here. Bill's an old friend of mine. And all the other Republican candidates — I know there are a number of them that Governor Voinovich talked about.

DOLE: We've got county commissioner Bob Gardner's out there. Mike Tusher. Hey, Bill. There's Bill and Peggy right there.

UNKNOWN: No. He's right here.

DOLE: Oh, here.

[applause]

DOLE: Come on up. I want to bring everybody up. Want you to see these outstanding candidates we have in the Republican Party.

[applause]

Look at the great record of Governor Voinovich.

Hasn't he done a great job.

[applause]

CROWD NOISE

DOLE: Let me just say, finally, there's a little book out called Trusting the People. It talks — it's all about our economic plan. It's all about trusting you.

Now if we only trusted the government, we wouldn't have this. It would be called "Trusting the Government." That'll be Bill Clinton's book. "Trusting the Government."

Ours is "Trusting the People." It explains in detail — because our plan is not just a tax cut. It's a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. It's a balanced budget amendment — or a balanced budget by the year 2002.

It's regulatory reform that cost the average family about $7,000 a year.

It's ending all these frivolous lawsuits and putting a cap on punitive damages, because you know how the trial lawyers are. When I fell off that stage out in California, the first call I got was from a trial lawyer.

[applause]

DOLE: You know, he said, "I think we got a case here." I said, "No, no. We don't have a case here."

So, it's also about sending all the job training and vocational ed money back to states like Ohio where Governor Voinovich will do a great job along with the legislature in getting it back to the right places.

This is about the future of America. It's about you. It's about your business, about your family. It's about your children. It's about your grandchildren.

And together we're going to do it.

Thank you very much.

[applause]

God bless America.

[applause]

Robert Dole, Remarks in Kirtland, Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/285495

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