« VorigeDoorgaan »
the formal meetings of this Assembly and the informal discussions in the Delegates Lounge over here. And I remember something more-something beyond the frantic pace and sometimes frustrating experiences of daily life here. The heartbeat of the United Nations: the quiet conviction that we could make the world more peaceful, more free. What we sought then-all of us-now lies within our reach.
I ask each of you here in this hall: Can we not bring a unity of purpose to the United Nations? Can we not make this new world of freedom the common destiny we seek? I believe we can. I know we must.
My solemn wish today is that here among the United Nations that spirit will take hold, and that all men and all nations will make freedom's moment their own. Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the work of the United Nations. Thank you very much.
Note: The President spoke at 11:45 a.m. in the General Assembly Hall at the United Nations in New York City.
Appointment of Robert J. Portman as
The President today announced the appointment of Robert J. Portman as Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs. He would succeed Gordon Wheeler.
Since 1989 Mr. Portman has served as Associate Counsel to the President. Prior to this he served as an attorney in the law firm of Graydon, Head and Ritchey in Cincinnati, OH, 1986-1989; and an attorney with the law firm of Patton, Boggs and Blow in Washington, DC, 1984–1986. In addition, he has served as public affairs officer and research associate on the Congressional/Presidential Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy in Washington, DC, 1979-1981, and he has worked for Representative Bill Gradison (R-OH).
Mr. Portman graduated from Dartmouth College (B.A., 1979) and the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 1984). He was
born December 19, 1955, in Cincinnati, OH. Mr. Portman is married and resides in Alexandria, VA.
Appointment of Constance B. Harriman as a Member of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission September 25, 1989
The President today announced his intention to appoint Constance Bastine Harriman as a Commissioner of the United States Section of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. She would succeed Becky Norton Dunlop.
Since 1989 Ms. Harriman has served as Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife, and Parks at the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC. Prior to this she served as an associate for litigation with the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, DC, 1987-1989; Associate Solicitor for Energy and Resources at the Department of the Interior, 1986-1987; Special Assistant to the Solicitor at the Department of the Interior, 1985-1986; associate with the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton, 1980–1985; and an attorney advisor at the Department of Justice in the Office of Legal Policy, 1982.
Ms. Harriman graduated from Stanford University (B.A., 1970; M.A., 1973) and the University of California, Los Angeles (J.D., 1980). She resides in Bethesda, MD.
Nomination of Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., To Be a Member of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, and Designation as Chairman September 26, 1989
The President today announced his intention to nominate Edwin G. Foulke, Jr., to be a member of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission for the term expiring April 27, 1995. He would succeed Elliot Ross Buckley. Upon confirmation he will be designated Chairman.
Since 1985 Mr. Foulke has served as an attorney with the law firm of Constangy, Brooks and Smith in Columbia, SC. Prior to this, he served as an attorney with the law firm of Rainey, Britton, Gibbes and Clarkson in Greenville, SC, 1983-1985; and attorney with the law firm of Thompson, Mann and Hutson in Greenville, SC, 1978-1983.
Mr. Foulke graduated from North Carolina State University (B.A., 1974) and Loyola University School of Law (J.D., 1978). He was born October 30, 1952, in Sellersville, PA. He resides in Columbia, SC.
Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters During a Meeting With Small Business Leaders September 26, 1989
The President. As we meet with these small business owners and representatives of small business owners, it gives me an opportunity to make another appeal for the capital gains differential. It is not, as these folks know, a tax break for the rich; it is a job-creating tax measure that will put more Americans to work. And so, I think we have to stand up to the understandable political rhetoric on the other side, rhetoric that we heard all last year and are now hearing once again, and fight for this principle that will be good for the American people.
And when I look back at some of the statistics, that in 1987 over 14 million people reported capital gain and 70 percent of the tax returns with long-term gains had incomes of less than $50,000. So, this argument that we hear from the political opponents that this is a tax break for the rich, they simply are wrong about it. The American people had a chance to hear this debate in last year's political process and now I'm trying to follow through and do what I said I would do. It's a tough fight, but I obviously would welcome all of your support, which I hope I have.
Q. You certainly have ours.
The President. But in fairness now, we can take a quick question and then I'll have to go to work here.
Q. What do you think the outcome is going to be at this point? They're going to vote the rule today.
The President. I don't know, but it's close, very close. I think some had predicted it would never get this far, given the political breakdown up there. But I'm confident that we do have a strong bipartisan support and I'm hopeful that we will prevail.
Q. Are you suggesting you might get both the capital gains tax cut and an IRA [individual retirement account] cut both?
The President. I don't see how we can do that. I have to have some final-I have to be the final arbiter, I think, on the overall budget. And that is unacceptable to me as President.
Q. Did you get everything you wanted from Mr. Shevardnadze today at the Soviet-or at the United Nations on chemical weapons?
The President. Well, you never get everything you want, but I'm very pleased with the way things are going. The reaction from the Soviets to our proposals yesterday has been positive. And so now the goal is to get moving and try to work out these agreements. But we got some good common ground, Terry [Terry Hunt, Associated Press], that I don't think we had before the Foreign Minister came here. I know he's accurately reflecting Mr. Gorbachev's view. Education Summit
Q. Mr. President, this being the eve of your education summit, do you care to make a comment on what you hope to gain of substance at the 2-day meeting? How you expect to improve America's schools?
The President. Well, I think that we're going to come together with the Governors on major objectives for this country in terms of education-something that's never been done before. And I know what my agenda is and what I believe in. But I'm going down there to listen and to work with the Governors, not try to impose an agenda from here. But I want to see us come up with some suggestions that will dramatically change things.
I was just reminded by a group of business leaders that on a per capita basis we spend far more than Germany or far more
than Japan, and yet we're not achieving the way they are. So we've got to see what it is that we're doing wrong, how can we be more accountable. And it's in those areas of goals-national goals, but coming up through the Governors, that I think we can make a real contribution here.
Q. How would goals make a difference? If you did have goals, how would that make a difference in the classroom?
The President. Well, if we all agree on them, if we can get the Nation to agree on them, then the President can push from here. But the beauty of having the Governors is they're the ones that are on the cutting edge. And we want them to go back actively engaged in working for excellence. And besides that, I think there will be an interesting exchange of ideas-one Governor saying to another, "Here's what's worked in my State." And to the degree the Federal Government does have a role in many of these educational programs, we will be listening intently and our people will be saying what we think works and what doesn't. It's a good way to do it. It's a good way to have it, at this Governor's level.
One more capital gains question?
Q. Dick Darman [Director, Office of Management and Budget] said yesterday that the Democrats want to shut down the government rather than-in order to force you to raise taxes, rather than go along with this capital gains. Are you willing to see an extensive sequestration and a
The President. I don't want that, but I'm not ruling out anything. I mean, we know what the law is and the President has to abide by the law. But if they would go forward and do what we've suggested, why, we could avoid sequestration. But I'm not ruling it out. Can't rule it out. It's the law of the land. And I've got certain convictions. I was elected to do certain things and I'm going to keep on trying to do them. And a President has to use the tools at his disposal to accomplish the ends for which he was elected. And I plan to do exactly that.
Note: The President spoke at 2:07 p.m. in the Oval Office at the White House.
Message to the Congress Transmitting
To the Congress of the United States:
I am pleased to submit for your consideration and enactment the "Comprehensive Campaign Finance Reform Act of 1989." This legislative proposal would implement. the reforms I announced earlier this summer. It represents comprehensive campaign finance reform legislation designed to reduce substantially the power of special economic interests while enhancing the role of individuals and political parties. The proposal also restores competition to congressional elections by reducing the advantages of incumbency.
I look forward to working with the Congress on those critical issues.
The White House, September 26, 1989.
White House Fact Sheet on the Comprehensive Campaign Finance Reform Act of 1989
September 26, 1989
Today the President transmitted to Concomprehensive campaign finance reform legislation designed to lessen the power of special economic interests and restore competition to American congressional elections. This legislative proposal implements the reforms already announced by the President.
While curtailing the influence of special economic interests, the proposal enhances the roles of individuals and the political parties in the electoral process. It is also designed to reform a system which has led to a "permanent Congress." In the 1980's, House incumbents have had a 97.7 percent reelection rate and Senate incumbents an 85 percent reelection rate. Below is an outline of the major proposals:
• Elimination of political action committees (PAC's) supported by corporations, unions, or trade associations, and a pro
hibition on any such entities paying for the overhead or administrative costs of any independent PAC.
• Reforms to address the problem of the "permanent Congress" by reducing the unwarranted advantages of incumbency. Specifically, the proposal would prohibit the personal use of excess campaign funds, drastically reduce congressional franked mailings, ban the rollover of campaign funds from one election cycle to the next, and legislate fair neutral criteria for the redistricting that will follow the 1990 census.
• A strengthening of political parties by increasing the amounts they can spend on behalf of congressional candidates. This source of funds would permit legislators to spend less time fundraising, would ensure that challengers have greater resources with which to challenge incumbents, and would further limit the role of special economic interests in elections.
Middle-income Americans who invest wisely, farmers selling off a piece of the family farm, the elderly widow who is living off the assets she and her husband struggled to accumulate, the couple who planned ahead and saved so their children could go to college, the small business entrepreneur who sank his savings in an idea he alone believed would work-these are not wealthy Americans. Over 70 percent of the taxpayers who report capital gains have other income less than $50,000.
In this intensely competitive world, almost all major industrial nations tax capital gains lightly or not at all. This is important to the American factory worker whose job may be on the line unless his company can bring down its capital costs.
Reestablishing a capital gains differential, which was part of our tax laws for over six decades, provides the needed incentives for those willing to take a risk on new products and research that are the result of American ingenuity.
Reducing the capital gains tax means Americans who have capital gains at some time in their lives-about half of our population-will be able to keep more of their savings to invest for the future.
You will be offered an alternative to the Jenkins-Archer capital gains proposal. No matter how you dress it up, that alternative is a tax increase-plain and simple. That's no alternative, and my response will be equally plain and simple-veto.
The timing for this vote is excellent. The Nation is enjoying its 82nd consecutive month of economic expansion—the longest in peacetime history. Support for a capital gains differential is a vote to continue that prosperity, and I ask for your support when the Jenkins-Archer proposal comes to a
Note: Identical letters were sent to each Member of the House of Representatives.
Remarks at the Annual Meeting of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group September 27, 1989
Thank you all very much. Thank you. And thanks especially to my good friend, our Secretary of the Treasury, Nick Brady. And thank you, Nick, for your outstanding economic leadership.
Chairman Lee and President Conable, Mr. Camdessus. It really is a pleasure for me to be here and to welcome you all to Washington, DC. And it's a special privilege for me to be here in the company of my old friend, former Congressman, now President Barber Conable. We in the United States are keenly aware of these annual gatherings, the importance of them-you drive the work of all of us in maintaining a strong international economic and financial system.
And this is my first opportunity to speak to you as President of the United States. But I've followed the activities of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank throughout my years of public service. And I have visited many of your homelands, and seen firsthand the problems created by inadequate growth and development, problems that your two distinguished institutions are working hard to solve.
We've witnessed a dramatic shift over the past few years in the debate over how to achieve sustained growth and development. All across the world, there's been an almost simultaneous rediscovery of the power created when individuals are given the freedom to act in their own best interests. True, we're here today mainly to discuss economic freedom. But make no mistake. In the end, both economic freedom and political freedom are essential and inseparable companions on the road to national prosperity. The jury is no longer out. Look at the two economic systems and see who has prospered and who has struggled. Let's put an end to this economic experiment. Because history has decided.
It is not climate, natural resources, or cultural traditions that make the difference. I said it in my own inaugural address: "We know what works: Freedom works. We know how to secure a more just and pros
perous life for man on Earth: through free markets, free speech, free elections, and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state."
In Latin America, in Africa, Mexico, courageous leaders are turning away from state control of their economies. Economic restructuring and deregulation are opening the door to private initiative. And already they're seeing results. Even more stunning is the transformation in thinking in the Communist countries-in both the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe. During my recent travels in Poland and Hungary, I was impressed by the people, but also impressed by the almost universal acceptance of the free market as the best hope-indeed, the only hope-for reversing the economic fortunes of these two proud countries. And we will welcome the efforts of the Soviet Union to liberalize and decentralize their economy. I have said many times-and I want to repeat it here today-that I want to see perestroika succeed. A more open and humane Soviet Union can only be in the best interest of the West. And as we see the evidence of that reform, we can match it with steps of our own.
The rediscovery of these basic truths in the East has been matched by a recommitment to them in the West. Today the members of the European Community are dedicated to eliminating internal barriers to economic activity by the end of 1992. And Europe's leaders assure me that this will not be at the cost of new external barriers to trade with the EC. The Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto, has helped us understand a worldwide economic phenomenon. By walking the streets of Lima, not analyzing official statistics, he found that the poor of Latin America-who have never read Jefferson or Adam Smith-ran their affairs democratically, outside the formal economy, organizing their private, parallel economy in a free and unregulated manner. De Soto's great contribution has been to point out what, in retrospect, may seem obvious: People everywhere want the same things. And when left alone by government, people everywhere organize their lives in remarkably similar ways. De Soto's prescription offers a clear and promising alternative to economic stagnation in Latin