(Photo above: Senator Chuck Grassley introduces President Bush)
President Bush visited Iowa today for the first time since November of 2002 to speek at a conference on rural America. The President touched on some common themes in his 50-minute speech — saying the key to helping Iowa is keeping the economy strong.
He says if we can make the economy strong, rural America will benefit. He says it’s hard to talk about the health of rural America if the economy isn’t growing. He says you can’t have a vision for rural America if the economy is stagnant, because it’s hard to get there. Bush says small businesses are the key for Iowa.
He says true economic vitality that will last beyond and economic spurt is one that recognizes the importance of the entrepreneur, the farmer and the rancher. Bush says making his income tax cuts permanent is one way to help the vitality of small businesses.
He says the uncertainty of the tax code is going to make it difficult for us to move out into the 21st century. He says,”now is not the time to be raising taxes on hardworking people. With this economy getting strong, and growing stronger , we don’t need to raise the tax burden.” Bush also called for making the inheritance, or “death tax” repeal permanent.
He says the death tax is bad for rural America because it is bad for small business owners and farmers. Bush says the death tax was put on the road to extinction, but it’s set to come back to life in 2011. Bush also talked about the war in Iraq. He says Iowa Congressman Tom Latham told him about today’s funeral for Corporal Ben Carman, of Jefferson. Bush’s voice got softer as he talked about Carman’s dad.
He says Carman’s dad said his son knew America was in danger and it was time for guys like him to step up to the plate. Bush called Carman courageous and says Mr. Carman must know that our prayers are with him and other who’ve lost loved ones in Iraq. Bush says ensured Carman’s dad that he is resolved to see the war in Iraq through. Bush says the mission that Carman and the others were on is a “noble and important mission for peace and freedom, and the security of America.” Bush says the country will stay the course in Iraq so Carman and others will not have died in vain. President Bush took a few minutes to meet with Iowa soldiers at the Des Moines airport before leaving aboard Air Force One.