March 23, 2001

President Bush Addresses

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

President Bush spoke before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on Monday, March 19th covering a range of topics such as his proposed budget, Social Security and Medicare. Below are excerpts from his speech outlining the ways in which he believes his proposed tax cuts will benefit Hispanic business owners. He also confirmed his commitment to free trade with Mexico.

THE PRESIDENT: I don't think enough people in our country pay attention to the role of the small business person, the incredible impact the Hispanic small business person has on the country. I remember campaigning in California and Hector [Barreto] said, you know, you've got an amazing statistic — there are thousands of Hispanic-owned small businesses in our state.

And I said, oh, really, by thousands, what do you mean? He said, would you believe 600,000? And I said, I do. Because this is what America is all about, the idea of somebody having a dream. It doesn't matter what your background is, where you're from. If you work hard and dream big, you can realize your dream.

And that's what good public policy is all about, too. It firmly recognizes that the role of government is not to create wealth, but an environment in which the entrepreneurial spirit can flourish.

I want to confirm our commitment to free trade in this administration. I believe free trade is an incredibly important part of making sure the environment is hospitable to the formation of small businesses. And trade with Mexico is an integral part of making sure that our hemisphere is safe, secure and prosperous.

I had a chance to reiterate that face to face with Vicente Fox, who is — he's going to provide good, strong leadership for Mexico. And I told him that a strong Mexico is in our nations' best interests — in our nations' best interests that Mexico be prosperous and vibrant. And the best way to do so is for there to be free and fair trade between our countries.

Our hemisphere, by the way, is not going to be an after thought for this administration. It's one of the most important parts of our foreign policy, will be to promote prosperity and peace and freedom throughout this hemisphere. And so part of making sure the environment is hospitable to a capital formation and the entrepreneurial spirit is trade. A lot of times in the rhetoric, people forget the facts. And the facts are that thousands of small businesses — Hispanically-owned or otherwise — pay taxes at the highest marginal rate, because most small businesses are not incorporated, they're sole proprietorships, or they're sub-chapter S's. And they're subject to the 39.6 percent income
tax rate.

And so when you hear us talking about dropping the top rate from 39.6 to 33 percent, I hope Americans understand the positive effect this will have on the small business communities.

It is the message that I hope Congress joins me on in saying we understand how small businesses grow, and they grow by being able to have more cash flow to reinvest in their own business. The small business person is an integral part of new employment in America. But more importantly, the small business owner represents the great dreams of Americans. And the role of government is to create an environment that encourages Hispanic-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, anybody kind of owned businesses.

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