Thursday, December 16, 2004

President Bush's Remarks On Our Economy

President Bush brought up some of the problems he personally witnessed in America, as well as some he heard about, that he intends to work on addressing during these next four years with Congress’ help.

  1. Update the tax code so it’s user-friendly.
  2. Make the health care system more consumer-friendly.
  3. Reform our legal systems.
  4. Democrats & Republicans working together to strengthen America in her national issues rather than working against each other and blaming the other when things go wrong.
He went on to elaborate on each of these issues.

He talked about how lawsuit-happy our society has become and as a result, small businesses are hurting from the financial burdens a tort can bring. Internationally, this puts our country at a disadvantage when competing with other industrialized nations because excess litigation “creates fear and uncertainty for people in the business community.” He then gave an example about how one woman’s American dream turned into “an American legal nightmare” as a result of a lawsuit.
All Hilda asked for is a fair system. And the system right now isn’t fair in this case and we’ve got to do something about it. We’ve got to do something about it to make sure we’re competitive, we’ve got to do something about it to make sure that there’s not excessive costs, and we’ve got to do something about it to make sure people like Hilda don’t get hurt by a system that was designed to protect people, not hurt people.”
He then touched on how medical liability reform would “help control the rising costs of health care.” Most uninsured Americans are working for small businesses that cannot afford to provide insurance for their employees.
I believe small businesses should be allowed to join together to pool risk so they can negotiate for health care contracts just like big companies are able to.
Regarding medical costs, he said we need to do the following things together:
One is expand health savings accounts. Two, promote association health care plans. Congress needs to allow small businesses to pool risk. Three, pass medical liability reform. Four, continue to expand information technology throughout the health care system. Five, move – move generic drugs faster to the market. In all we do – in all we do to reform health care, we’ve got to make sure the decisions are made by doctors and patients, not by bureaucrats in our nation’s capital. (Applause.)
He talked about:
  • getting rid of the death tax forever;
  • being tough when it comes to federal spending;
  • making sure the paperwork that is never read is eliminated so businesses can focus on job creation;
  • appointing a citizens panel to study the tax code & recommend ways to simplify it;
  • working on the education system to prepare our citizens for the jobs of the future;
  • reforming the No Child Left Behind act by holding a standard of accountability through a system of measuring to determine how well the schools are doing locally, nationally, and internationally;
  • allowing access to our community college system for every young person;
  • ownership of Social Security retirement accounts.
These challenges I’ve just discussed are important challenges. They are big agenda items, but they should be. I mean, why think little when it comes to making sure America is still the center of excellence in the world? (Applause.)

There’s always got to be a proper role between government and the economy. The role of government is not to create wealth; the role of government is to create an environment in which the entrepreneurial spirit is strong and vibrant. (Applause.)
The Los Angeles Times has the story: Bush’s Closing Remarks at Economy Summit.

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