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H. Ross Perot at the National Press Club

by H. Ross Perot

What follows is a speech Ross Perot gave to the National Press Club in Washington, DC. I apologize for not having the text of the questions and answers, I will try to provide that as well as future speeches and information as it becomes available. Winning a presidential election is never easy, especially as an independent. I can say, however, that in my city (Austin, Texas), we have or will soon have more volunteers than Bush, Clinton and Brown combined. We are all doing everything we can, but that is not enough. You need to read this speech and call your state or local petition office, and get to work. We are planning to win this thing, and when we win in November, we are going to have more people from both parties involved and participating in running the United States than the power brokers ever imagined. This is definitely NOT a protest campaign! Every signature, every vote, and every volunteer counts, so sign a petition if you can, vote in the election, attend rallies and volunteer your skills to change America.

Steve Moraff, Another volunteer in Austin, TX 1992

H. ROSS PEROT: Thank you very much. It's a privilege to be with you again. You all are going to get to punch me around here for the last 30 minutes, so let me open by asking you a question. How many of you ate broccoli today at lunch? That's good. The last thing I read, it cures cancer. I think we ought to all try it. Now, you're going to have to endure my speech , but the Q&A period is fun, so that gives you something to look forward to. There's a reception before this thing, and that's always fun because there's a pattern of questions. I'll sweep those out of the way first. The most frequently asked question is, "Why did the Press Club invite you again?" Well, I don't know, so that's easy. Then this one nice person came up and looked pretty stressed out and said, "Do you still write your own speeches?" Well, that's the bad news. I'm still writing my own speeches, so don't expect too much. One nice lady came up, and she looked really concerned. She said, "Now, will you promise to keep the same ground rules, particularly, the last part?" I said, "Yes, I will." Now, you don't know what she's talking about, but here are my normal ground rules. I don't care whether you agree with me or not. I just come in here to get you stirred up, and then I leave town. Now, that's the last part she wanted to make sure of--that I would leave town. I'll be out of town quick. Normally I have to. Millions of people from all over the world can only dream about coming to America. Just think how many people would leave Russia today to come to our great country. Now, aren't we lucky we're here? We own this country. It belongs to us. That's the central theme of everything I have to say today. We have a history of being first and best. Remember when everybody said we couldn't build the Transcontinental Railroad, that we'd never get it through the Continental Divide and what have you? We built it. Remember when everybody else tried to build the Panama Canal and couldn't build it? We built it. Remember when Thomas Edison, whose teachers thought he was dumb, changed the world? You say, "Wait a minute, didn't he have an NSA grant?" No! He gave the world the electric light, and I hope you never land at night when you come into a huge city and look at that sparkling city down below you that you don't think, "One American did that on his own initiative." Never forget while you're in that airplane that two bicycle repairmen from Dayton, Ohio, taught the world to fly. Never forget there was a Dr. [Samuel Pierport] Langley that had a government grant, but the Wright brothers had to fly. Now, that's the history and the American dream, and that's what we've been. We changed the world with radio and television. We were the first to put a man on the moon. We harnessed nuclear power, and the list of firsts could go on and on. Every person listening to this program, I hope, will take a minute and think. You know, you or I could be dying in the streets of India right now. Or we could be in a little boat off Vietnam dying of thirst. Happy accident of birth or for one reason or another, we're here. This is the place the rest of the world only dreams of coming to. They look up to and respect our great country. We must continue to be an example to the world in everything we do. It is important that we continue to earn this respect. You say, "Well, how important is it that the rest of the world respect us?" I suggest to you it is very important, because as long as the world respects and admires our country and as long as we deal fairly with other nations, there is no more cost-effective deterrent to war. Nobody picks on the strong guy. Few people pick on the strong nice guy. The weak guy is in trouble. It's as old as the history of man. Trust and respect are fragile on a human and a national level. You have to earn it daily. You can lose it in an instant. The real question is, are our actions those that would continue to earn us worldwide respect, particularly on our domestic issues? Let's take a quick glance. We were blessed with a huge land mass and a tiny population. We had an abundance of natural resources. We were a new, growing, free nation that had barely begun to tap its potential. Anytime we exhausted the resources in one area, the call went out: "Go west, young man, go west." Today we are a mature country with a large population. We have occupied the land and creatively tapped our natural resources. We simply cannot continue to spend beyond our means. When you're small and growing, you can bury some of those mistakes, but at this point in time you cannot. And when you have creatively tapped your minerals and natural resources, it is brains and wits time. Never forget that--brains and wits time. Somebody can't understand good Texas talk. We don't like to accept this, but we live in a tiny little world, and we're stuck with international competition. You don't have to like it, but you're stuck with it. Somebody wins and somebody loses, and they don't even give you a red ribbon when you lose in business. We've got to out-think, out-invent and out-produce our international business competitors if we want to maintain the high standard of living that our people have enjoyed until now. Many of our international competitors have an advantage over us at this point. Now, we like to strut around and boast that we're the only remaining superpower. Any time you see anybody strutting and boasting, get nervous. But, now, just watch them. You know, we're the last superpower. Well, you can't be a superpower unless you're an economic superpower, and if you don't believe that, look at Russia, and I rest my case. That's all I've got to say about that. We've got to be economically strong to be a force for good throughout the world. If you question that, think of the finest person you know who gives away millions of dollars each year to good and worthy causes and so on and so forth. Suddenly they're broke. Same instincts, can't do anything, right? You've got to be able to have the ability to help other people. Just the desire is not enough. We had the world's greatest economic engine that lets us do these things. We let it slip away, and with it went a significant part of our tax base. And yet we continue to spend. Our present policies will move us from superpower to Third World status. If you don't believe that, the principal exports in New York harbor are scrap paper and scrap steel going to Japan, and now they want to buy wood chips from Texas to make paper in Japan and sell us paper in Texas. Now, if that happens, I think we maybe ought to start looking for a place to hide. Just think about that--how far those wood chips have to go to come back. You'd think we could make paper right here, right? We can make paper right here. At this point in time, it is absolutely irresponsible for both the White House and Congress not to be linking arms, working together night and day to fix these economic problems. Unfortunately, this city has become a town filled with sound bites, shell games, handlers and media stuntmen, who posture, create images and talk, shoot off Roman candles, but don't ever accomplish anything. If they want to debate that, I'll buy my own television time. We need deeds, not words, in this city. In Churchill's own words, we need "action this day," not talk. Here's where we are. Let's look at where we are. We're $4 trillion in debt. We own another $5 trillion we don't like to talk about. We just kind of keep it down there in the basement. You say, "Well, what are you talking about, Ross?" I'm talking about a $1 trillion unfunded federal pension liability. Any question in your mind we're going to have to cough that up someday? No. The additional debt piled up in 1992--just this one year, the election year--will exceed the total expenditures of the federal government for the first 155 years of our country's existence. See, the man on the street doesn't know what $400 billion is. That kind of clears his head. The interest on the national debt just this one year exceeds the cost to fight and win World War II. Please never forget that paying interest does not buy anything for the American people. The total national debt was only $1 trillion in 1980 when President Reagan took office. It is now $4 trillion. Maybe it is voodoo economics. Whatever it was, we are now in deep voodoo, I'll tell you that!

In 1992, we're going to go in for another $400 billion. You say, "Well, wait a minute. Let's just do some radical things and balance the budget this year. Let's do really strange and weird things, just think about them." Well, I'm going to throw a really stupid one on the table. Let's just shut down the Defense Department. You don't get 400 billion bucks. Well, that one didn't work. Let's just shut down all the public schools nationwide. Sorry, that won't get me $400 billion. Well, what if we just seized all the Social Security money coming in this year and use that to balance the budget? Maybe if everything stays right on track, that would just about do it. Okay, now, let's just go over and take it away from business. Let's confiscate the Fortune 500 companies' profits. I don't have half what I need. Well, that didn't work. Okay, year in and year out we're saying to rich folks. "Let's just tax the rich and fix it." Let's confiscate the Forbes 400 wealth. Doesn't give us nearly what we need, but we solved the problem--we're all blue-collar now, right? But we just took all the wealth, and we don't balance the budget for one year. You say, "Okay, Ross. Give us the bad news. How much are we going to have to raise personal income taxes to balance the budget this year, an election year?" Watch my lips. You're going to have to double it. You don't think anybody would bring that up, do you?" I doubt it. Okay, you can't do that to the people, so let's just raise them 500 percent, and that dramatically exceeds all corporate profits, so you can't do that. That's how big $400 billion is. Now, I'm not talking about the $4 trillion. I'm just talking about the $400 billion. The tax and budget summit in 1990--this was a study in the White House arrogance as far as I'm concerned. We were told if we agreed to the $166 billion in new taxes, the 1991 deficit would be $63 billion. The following April, we said, "Oops. It's going to be $318 billion. That's a $255 billion mistake. That would get you fired in most soft-headed company in corporate America. Now, there are a lot of reporters here today. I never got the word, and I read the paper. Nobody ever told me that while they were increasing our taxes by $166 billion, they increased federal spending by $304 billion, or $1.83 in new spending for every tax dollar raised. I'm not too smart, but I can figure out that we spent more than we took in, and as far as I'm concerned, we were conned. Who conned us? The people working for us, our elected officials. We were told at the tax and budget summit that the five-year deficit would be $92 billion. Now we're told it'll be a trillion. That's just a $900 billion mistake. The chief financial officer of a publicly owned corporation would be sent to prison if he kept books like our government. We used to have a saying in Texas that maybe they put lunatics in charge of the insane asylum. I don't quite know what the problem is here, but this is an out-of- control financial situation. To me this is like flying a 747 down on the deck at night through the mountains with no engines. It's just a question of which hill you're going to hit. We cannot continue to tolerate this. The average citizen works five months a year just to pay taxes. Forty-two percent of his income goes to taxes. All the personal income taxes collected west of the Mississippi are needed just to pay the interest on the national debt. That's kind of depressing, isn't it? Just think of all those folks working west of the Mississippi not buying anything new--just paying interest on debt. Let's look for the good news. Well, surely all this spending created utopia here in the United States and everything is wonderful and perfect and we've just got to kind of scramble around and clean it up, right? Surely we bought a front row seat, a box seat for the main event. Where do we stand? Let's take a hard look at utopia. We're the largest debtor nation on Earth. We're the most violent, crime-ridden nation in the industrialized world. Millions of innocent people have created their own prisons. They have to put bars on their windows, bars on their doors because we've abandoned their neighborhoods to crime, and you don't have to go 10 minutes from the White House or 10 minutes from the Capitol of the United States to see that. That's inexcusable. We spend over $400 billion a year on education including colleges, yet we rank at the bottom of the industrialized world in terms of academic achievement. We have the largest number of functional illiterates in the industrialized world. We spend, but, see, we've got all these things that don't work for us. We spend a lot on education that doesn't work. We spend more than anybody else on health care, and yet we rank behind 15 nations in life expectancy and 22 other nations in infant mortality. We've got 5 percent of the world's population, 50 percent of the world's cocaine use. Until we get rid of that we're going nowhere. Getting rid of it won't be free. Our system of justice has failed the people. We've got 5 percent of the world's population, two- thirds of the world's lawyers, and the average fellow on the street can't afford one to go to court. Strange. Young lawyers out of law school make more than judges. There's a legal system upside down. Go to London, Paris, Rome and the other cities in Europe that have existed for many centuries. They work. Now, then, go to our cities, which are relatively brand-new. New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Detroit and many other major cities are dirty, run-down, ravaged with drugs, crime and violence. What's wrong with us? Now, let's just start right here in Washington where the president can look out the window at Washington and the Congress can look out the window at Washington. I love this. They are just covered up with security. All the folks that work for us are just covered up with security, right? But the folks that are the bosses of the country, the people, are in high-crime areas and totally exposed. Kind of strange, I think. Maybe it even seems normal here, but it seems odd when you get away from it. We've got the murder capital of the United States here. Fifth- and sixth-graders in this city, 31 percent of them have witnessed a drug deal and 75 percent have witnessed an arrest? Think about it. Is this an alabaster city gleaming undimmed by human tears? That's what the rest of the world thinks we are. That's what we had been. That's what we can be, but that is not what we are today.

Now go to Singapore. There's a jewel of a city. When you are there, you're looking at tomorrow. Some of our cities, you leave and you think you've seen yesterday. Okay, who's at fault? You know, the first thing you've got to do in our country is blame somebody, right? Well, go home tonight and look in the mirror. Everybody watching television, go home tonight and look in the mirror. You and I are at fault because we own this country, and there is the problem in a nutshell. We have abdicated our ownership responsibility. As owners of this country, we hold the future of this in the palm of our hands. I ask you now, can we agree that going $4 trillion into debt did not create utopia? We've wasted the money. We've got to pay the $4 trillion back, and we've got to pay the interest. Obviously, throwing money at problems has not created utopia, and yet we continue to do it this year. Today we have a government in gridlock. Nothing happens unless Congress and the White House work together constructively for the benefit of the people. That's the way our founders planned it. That's the way it ought to be. Daily we watch with fascination as Congress and the White House finger-point, shout, fight with one another like children. Recently it's been more like mud wrestling as far as I'm concerned. You know, if you and I don't like one another but we are equals and nothing's going to happen unless we work together, we have no choice. I just think it's ludicrous that we seem fascinated by this as opposed to being so repelled by it that they'd cut it out. I feel as owners of this country if we're going anywhere, you've got to sent them a message. You work for us. We don't work for you. Under the Constitution, you are our servants. Grow up! Work as a team. Serve the people. Solve the problem. Move on to the next one. Build a better country, and stop throwing away money we don't have. We're spending our children's money. Never forget it. On the trend we're on now, it'll be a $12 trillion debt by the year 2000. Now, that's so big nobody can think about it. Let me just put it to you in plain terms. Do you realize that at $12 trillion, you could buy a $120,000 house for every family in this country? We can't afford a $12 trillion debt because the interest alone on a $12 trillion debt would be approximately $1 trillion a year. And guess what the gross receipts in our country are right now. One trillion dollars a year. You'd just be spending it all on interest. It won't work. The primary rule of finance is never finance long- term projects with short-term debt. How many of you know what percent of our debt is due and payable in the next five years? Sixty-eight percent is due and payable in the next five years. Go home tonight and pray that the Japanese, the Germans and the Arabs keep showing up to buy or T-bills. You don't want to put this country in that kind of a situation, and whose fault is it? We all have to go look in the mirror. I ask everybody that's listening and watching this today to think, "Did I know that 68 percent of our national debt is going to turn over in the next five years?" If the answer is no, why not? You own this country. The message to us from both political parties this year--I love the message coming from both parties--is, "Can we buy your votes with your money this year? And, by the way, we'd like to borrow $400 billion of your children's money this year." And, of course, we and our children will have to pay it all back with interest, but that comes later, after the election. Your first reaction is, "How dumb do they think we are?" Well, wait a minute. It's worked for years. Who knows, maybe it'll work again. We need fundamental long-term solutions to these problems, and at this point we're running around Washington with a hypodermic needle loaded with novocaine trying to give everybody quick temporary pain relief just to get past the election. These quick fixes will, with certainty, produce additional long-term damage to our economy. The best analogy I can give you is an old race horse that has a good record. It's got bad knees, but we've got to get one more race out of him. We shoot him up. He runs the race, and that's his last race because we wrecked his knees. This is absolutely irresponsible, particularly if you love your children. If I haven't touched you yet, I'm sure I just touched everybody listening to this speech right now. Look at those little children or the big ones. Are you willing to put this burden on them? Absolutely not. Fixing these fundamentals is far more important than who gets elected. Delaying work for one year is irresponsible. Can I prove that point? Yes. We know in 1984 the president of the United States was formally told by a presidential commission that the savings and loan industry was a mess. It was a $50 billion problem then. Don't you wish it were a $50 billion problem now? We didn't do a thing until the day after the election in 1988. Do you know why? The savings and loan crooks were pouring into this city with money, just taking care of everybody that needed anything. But isn't it interesting, the day after the election we started to fix the problem. By then it was a several-hundred- billion-dollar problem. But the PAC money kept flowing. Any business executive who behaved in this manner would go to jail-- not be fired. Think about it. Why is it that these people who work for us put other people in jail, skate off with the money and keep the party going? No, the folks in Congress and the White House, in my judgment, are not villains on this whole economic situation. They just don't know what to do. Most of them are either lawyers or career politicians. They don't understand business, so they just stand there frozen, worrying about their images, taking polls, bouncing personal checks and raising money from foreign lobbyists as the economy deteriorates. You're here and I'm not, but when I'm here in the halls of Congress, I just find it fascinating who's wandering up and down the halls of Congress and what their mission is. Never forget the United States government is the world's largest and most complex business. Anybody want to disagree with that thought? Can you think of any more complex business? Now, for a moment let's assume you own the country, a hundred percent. With that thought in mind, ask yourself which of these candidates for president you would let run your business. You say, "Well, that's too big a problem." Fine. But maybe it's just a normal medium-sized business. Let's say it makes $100 million revenue. Which of the current presidential candidates would you let run your medium-sized business that you own personally? When you own the business, you really think about that sort of thing. You own this country! For some reason we disconnect and don't think in terms of who can make it work. Here are a few basics--things we've got to do. We're deeply in debt, we're spending beyond our means. We've got to protect the job base. "Why do you come to that, Ross?" That's where the taxes come from. People who are not working don't pay taxes. With our $4 trillion debt, we need all the taxes we can get. You can't sit back and let the job base deteriorate. When you lay off a worker, never forget--you had a taxpayer, right? Now you've got a welfare user. Do you understand that his welfare check will be bigger than his tax deduction used to be? It's a double hit, and it's more than a double hit. We need a growing job base to produce a growing tax base. We need taxpayers, not tax users. We need strong growing companies to keep America at work, and it's got to be our highest priority. There is no place to run, no place to hide, you've got to make the words "made in the U.S.A." the world's standard for excellence once again. Otherwise people won't buy our products. If you wonder about that, just go home and look a your television and your consumer electronics tonight. Look at the car you're driving. We've got to make "made in the U.S.A." the world's standard of excellence. We can help at the government level by ceasing the adversarial practices with business and by not getting our pockets picked at international trade negotiations. I hope you'll bring that up in the Q&A because, boy, oh, boy, is that a sad event! In our country, there is an adversarial relationship between government and business. In our international competitors who are winning, there is an intelligent supportive relationship between government and business. We'd better study it, we'd better copy it, we'd better improve it. Our educational system has to be the finest in the world. We know what needs to be done. Let's stop reading to children in school. Let's stop having two-day summits for governors that don't amount to anything, and let's get down to blocking and tackling and fixing it now because you won't have the benefits for 15 to 20 years. Every day is precious, and we just talk about it. We've got to have strategic plans industry by industry. There are industries we've got to keep in this country, and we're losing them right and left. We've got to target them. They will create millions of jobs. We've got to make sure that we're first and best. In Japan, that's called MITI (Ministry of International Trade and Industry). Study it, analyze it, improve on it, instead of trying to dismantle our companies. In Washington, the principal contribution to American industry is to try to break its legs every day. Anybody that's a businessman will tell you that. People in Washington do not know how to do this. Take a page out of FDR's book. Bring up people who do, pay them a dollar a year, pay them nothing. Have them figure it out, get it done. Right now our government will not accept that kind of outside assistance. Until you change that, you won't have the people up here you need. We think 10 minutes ahead. Japan thinks 10 years ahead. I suggest we start thinking 15 years ahead and ace them. Our current tax system is like an old inner tube with a thousand patches. I suggest we throw it out and start with a blank sheet of paper. Set the criteria. Number one, it must be fair. Number one, a), it's got to raise the revenues. Number 2, it should be paperless for most Americans. This is nothing more interesting than running several different computer models, building a consensus with the American people and marching forward from there with a new tax system that works. Philosophically I'm for free fair trade. We don't have free fair trade. The White House is all excited about the new trade agreement with Mexico. This agreement will move the highest paid blue-collar jobs in the U.S. to Mexico. This is going to create serious damage to our tax base during this critical period. We have got to manufacture here and not there to keep our tax base intact. I hope we'll talk about that in Q&A. We've got to have an intelligent energy policy. We've known that since the '70's. Nobody wants to touch it. We'd better get started. We're divided by racial strife. I just hate this! Look, we're not Japan where everybody's the same race, same religion, same background, same philosophy. We're a melting pot, right? Okay, we ought to love one another. That takes care of most of us. Then for the guys who can't quite cross that bridge, we ought to get along with one another, because divided teams lose and united teams win. Now, I am sick and tired of watching both political parties try to divide our country during the campaign. We need to unite as a team. Now, then, finally you've got a few hard- core haters. My advice to them is just pretty simple and blunt. Nobody's going to leave this country. Nobody's going anywhere. We're stuck with one another, so let's get back up into category two. Let's get along with one another, form a united team and stop wasting all this energy on racial strife. We will not have a winning team, if we do all these other things, if we left that unattended. You say, "All right, Ross. Which one of the presidential candidates can fix this?" Solomon can't fix this--the wisest man that ever lived. You know why? Because we have to fix it. You cannot just go vote in November, send some poor devil up there and go home. You're going to have to get in the ring, stay in the ring and act like you own this country. Our founders created a government that come from us. Please listen carefully to this. We now have a government that comes at us. The process has reversed itself. That's why you have to get in the ring. You must never leave the ring again. Once millions of good decent citizens assume this ownership role, anything is possible. If you had problems of this magnitude in your business, you'd grab control. You, the people, must take control of this great country. And since we, the people, own this country, here are just a few unsolicited ideas. Number one, you got to be fully informed. How can you become fully informed? Not with sound bites. We've got to have, using television, an electronic town hall where we explain each of these issues we're talking about today in great detail to you, and with the current technology we have today, you can respond by congressional district and send a laser-like signal to every congressman in Washington about what you want as a way of clearing their heads. You just ride around the special interests. You say, "Even those dudes from Asia that are spending $400 million a year in this country?" Yes. They're going to listen to you because you own the country if you act like owners. The American people will then understand the problems and the alternative solutions. With this knowledge you can make sound decisions. Then you can respond, and Congress will know. If you say, "Well, generally, what are you talking about, Ross?" you saw the CBS program after the State of the Union. You can do that sort of thing now. You can do that sort of thing much refined now, and when interactive television comes, you can do it right on the bull's eye. We've got to stop deficit spending immediately. We've got to replace Gramm-Rudman with a real bill that cuts out all tricks, loopholes and improper accounting procedures. You've got to take away Congress's right to raise taxes. Now, there's a radical idea. You say, "Well, that means a constitutional amendment." Fine. Now, you say, "Why am I doing it?" These boys are drinking to much, that's why. You've got to take the bottle away from them for a while at least. Now, if they need more money, just put it on the ballot and let the owners of the country sign off. The board of directors and the stockholders of a company would want to. Well, that would be controversial, but that's why I put it on there. You know, step one is stop the bleeding. Step two is make sure you don't just tax and spend, tax and spend, tax and spend. Now, then, here's one. From now on, if they want a raise, put it on the ballot. That's all federal employees. You own this country. You know, any publicly owned company, you can't give yourself a raise. I think the Congress would be a lot more comfortable with that. Congress, White House, the whole bunch-- if they want a raise, just put it on the ballot. If we think they're doing a good job, we'll give it to them. Give the president the line-item veto to get rid of porkbarrel and waste. Now, I say that for three reasons. Number one, we ought to do it. Number two, I'd like to see what he does with it. And number three, I'd like him to stop whining about it. Now, just put it on there, and then go from there. Now, finally, Congress absolutely must not exempt itself from the laws it imposes on us. You know all about that. This includes, but not limited to the Disability Act, the Equal Opportunity Act, the Occupational Safety Act, etc. Cut the retirement plan. It's two to three times as good as the one we have for ourselves. It's unrealistic for the servants of the people to have a better retirement plan than the people. Restructure the whole system--I can summarize what I've tried to say--where citizens come to Washington to serve us, not to cash in. Require all members of Congress and the president to turn in excess funds from each campaign. Some guys have war chests now of up to $13 million, $15 million. A non-incumbent doesn't have a chance. The founders of this country would be shocked to know that. Stop cashing in on public service. Pass a law. On this, if I could have one wish before I turn out the lights, this is it: Former federal officials--elected, appointed and career officials- -cannot serve as lobbyists for domestic interests for five years after they leave office and they cannot lobby for foreign countries, companies or individuals for ten years, and there are criminal penalties if you do. Now, these boys come up here--and I'm not talking about elected necessarily--the appointed guys on the staff, stay a few years, cash in, make 30,000 bucks in a month and are on the campaign staffs. What can be more obscene than that? These are lobbyists for foreign countries. You don't come to Washington to cash in; you come to serve the people. Pass a law making it a criminal offense for a foreign companies or individuals to influence U.S. laws or policies with money. Here's one I am particularly interested in. Pass a law that no former president, vice president, cabinet officer, CIA director, Federal Reserve chairman, Senate majority leader, speaker of the House and others you may want to put on the list can ever lobby for either foreign or domestic interests, accept gratuities or fees, or cash in any way on their service. They came to serve us, not to cash in. You say, "What if they write a book?" Give the money to charity. Okay, eliminate PACs. Make our elected officials responsive to the people. Eliminate all possibilities of special interests giving large sums of money to candidates. Leave no loopholes. Limit political contributions to $1,000. No large gifts. Shorten the time for campaigns. Cut them to five months. That'll cut the costs. Now, here's a weird one. Why do we have elections on Tuesday? A working fellow can't get there. Let's have elections on Saturday and Sunday. Why can't we leave the polls open two days? If anybody has a good reason, call me collect. You know, I would like for everybody to vote. I would like for everybody to really know the issues, not to be sound-bitten to death, and then go vote. Make it easy for people to vote. It's really fun when you get interested in it. The Seventh Day Adventist says, "Can't go on this day." Well, if you do Saturday and Sunday, you can kind of handle everybody. You know, Baptists can vote on Saturday. Folks who go to church on Saturday can vote on Sunday. It just all works out. No exit polls. A criminal offense if anybody prints exit polls. And no data from East Coast polling booths until the last booth closes in Hawaii so that you don't influence the election. Now we're getting things a little bit straightened out. You say, "Ross, this is kind of basic, simple stuff." Well, let's start with basics. Make adequate television time available for all candidates so the incumbent doesn't have an advantage. Get rid of all the freebies. These are things that just look bad. You know, you got the free haircuts, the big gymnasiums. One electrician stopped me one day and said, "Why don't these boys join a health club? It's hard times." You know, we're talking about all this fancy stuff--free prescription drugs, parking places and so forth. Get rid of the 1,200 airplanes worth $2 billion that are used to fly our servants around like royalty. Keep an airplane for the president if you want to. Downsize it to a Gulfstream. The Cold War is over! Now let me just lay it out for you. It costs the taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars every time the vice president goes to play golf the way we fly him now. Here's my advice. Let him, let everybody else that's up here go to the airport, get in line, lose their luggage, eat a bad meal and get a taste of real life! No, I don't want to leave anybody out, so if somebody needs to go to the dentist, just tell him to catch the bus. Okay, now, slash the White House staff, the cabinet staffs, the congressional staffs. If I've learned anything in my business career, nothing happens at headquarters. All the action's in the field. In summary, we own this country. Government should come from us. It now comes at us with a propaganda machine in Washington that Hitler's propaganda chief Goebbels would have just envied. We've got to put the country back in control of the owners. In plain Texas talk, it's time to take out the trash and clean out the barn or it's going to be too late. We've got a choice. We can wait until the clock stops ticking and it'll take us two decades to fix it or we can move now. It's our choice. I make no bones about it, and I think I speak for most everybody here. I love this country, and I love the people in this country. And I love the principles this country was founded on, and I am sick and tired of seeing those principles violated. My comments today are dedicated to millions of folks who don't get to speak at a place like this, but I think I share their views. As I look at our country today, I can't help thinking of General Motors in the mid-'80s. There was plenty of time and money to fix it all, and they waited and waited and waited and waited. Now they're losing $500 million a month. They're permanently downsizing. This is our greatest corporation. I started with IBM. Nobody could have ever convinced me that IBM would have had to downsize, and yet they are. Time is not our friend. It's unconscionable not to move now. The American dream can survive, but it'll only survive if we're willing to accept responsibility that goes with this country. Go home tonight. Think about the history of this country. Think about the problems we have today. They're nothing compared to those that the people had at the time of the Revolution. And if you say, "Gee, I can't just get caught up in all this," we're not asking the average citizen to do anything except know the issues and be alert and let his congressman know and the White House know what he wants. Contrast that--I'm just going to give you one man who signed the Declaration of Independence, John Hart. He was driven from his wife's bedside by the English as she was dying. Their 13 children had to flee for their lives. He had to live in the fields and the forests and caves until the end of the war. He returned home after war to find his wife dead, his farm and his house destroyed, and his 13 children had disappeared. A few weeks later he died from exhaustion and a broken heart. Now, that's what people did to give us this country. And won't we do the little simple things we have to do to make it what it can be? Think about the sacrifices your parents made for you. Did they love you more than you love your children? Of course not. Okay, then let's start making some sacrifices to leave our children a better country. We can do it. Let's leave them a country where they can dream great dreams as we did and have those dreams come true. If we will do that, then without any question we can be a shining beacon to the rest of the world whose best days are in the future. It's a privilege to be with you.

Thank you.

 
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