Urges Tax Relief Aimed at Recovery
White House Rose Garden
Washington, D.C.
October 5, 2001
2:36 P.M. EDT

Good afternoon. I just concluded a meeting with my economic policy team. Secretary O'Neill has been up on the Hill talking to members of Congress and brought back some encouraging news. And that is, the United States Congress is interested in working as quickly as possible to pass an economic stimulus package.

I want to remind the American people that the Congress has been working with us to provide relief. We passed monies for disaster relief, monies to help the people in New York. We passed appropriations to help beef up our security. We passed appropriations to help airlines. Yesterday, I proposed additional expenditures to help workers who have been laid off as a result of the September 11th tragedy. That spending totals about $60 billion.

And in order to stimulate the economy, Congress doesn't need to spend any more money -- what they need to do is to cut taxes. So I propose this: I propose that the United States Congress, as quickly as possible, pass tax relief equal to or a little bit greater than the monies that we have already appropriated.

Tax relief should come in this kind of form. One, that we ought to stimulate demand by cutting -- accelerating the marginal tax cuts that we've passed and I've signed. As well as, there ought to be a provision in the tax relief package to make sure that low- and moderate-income workers get tax relief, as well.

And on the business side, we need to stimulate investment by allowing for enhanced expensing of capital expenditures, and we believe they ought to eliminate alternative minimum tax on corporate America.

This is a package which will dovetail nicely with the marginal cuts and the increased child credit that will kick in next year as well. The American people expect us to act, and here is a way for us to act. We've spent money, and that will have a stimulative effect of some kind.

But to make sure that the economy gets the boost it needs, Congress ought to come together quickly and accept the ideas that I've just laid out. We believe that will be the best way to make sure that America recovers from the terrorist attack of September the 11th.

The terrorists attacked us, but they did not diminish our spirit, nor did they undermine the fundamentals of our economy. And we believe if we act expeditiously, that those fundamentals will kick back in and people will be able to find work again.

I hope you all have a fine weekend. Thank you all very much.

END 2:38 P.M. EDT