Contents of the PEROT.TXT file
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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.
Another volunteer in Austin, TX
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 let 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 bits,
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
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
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
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
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 go
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 a 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 you 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
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 as 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
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 be 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
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
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 on 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 united 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
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
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
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 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
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 hem to five months. That'll cut the
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
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
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 now 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 every 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
PEROT PETITION COMMITTEE
POINTS OF CONTACT
3/24/92 - 10 a.m.
STATE CONTACT CITY PHONE
Alaska Steve Pearsall Fairbanks 907/479-0656
Alabama Richard Forster Montgomery 205/284-6477
Arizona Walt Peters Phoenix 602/946-7779
Arkansas Eric Thomas Little Rock 501/374-7855
California Your name will be sent to an organizer in
Colorado John Schenk Glenwood 303/945-4715
Connecticut You will be contacted by an organizer in
Delaware Lorne Lemieux Milford 302/422-4451
D.C. Jessica Hamdan Washington DC 202/244-6522
Florida Ed Hubbard Ft. Walton 904/862-9099
Georgia Michael Kramer Atlanta 404/343-9163
Hawaii Corrine Taylor Honolulu 808/538-3402
Idaho Barbara F. Marsh Pocatello 208/232-7751
Illinois Ron Scoma Chicago 708/692-5245
STATE CONTACT CITY PHONE
Indiana Jim Watford Indianapolis 317/898-6573
Wally Howard 317/898-9141
Iowa Ed Goldman Des Moines 515/279-5611
Kansas Jesse Hubbard Kansas City 913/849-3338
Kentucky Charlie Hellebush Louisville 502/456-1751
Louisiana Betty Moore Baton Rouge 504/293-4462
Maine Tom Dunn Waterville 207/872-0587
Maryland Joan Vinson- Annapolis 410/849-5650
Massachu- Connie Irwin Boston 617-266-6492
Michigan 1-800 number will be available Wed., 3/25
Minnesota Jeff Solem St. Paul 612/290-8084
Mississippi James Smith Jackson 800/524-9614
Missouri Kevin Laughlin St. Louis 314/434-1116
Montana Rod Madsen Bozeman 406/587-8550
Nebraska Dean & Carol Olson Omaha 402/493-6463
Allen Dayton Lincoln 402/467-3668
Nevada Scott Hozman Las Vegas 702/798-8721
Tom Johnson Reno 702/323-1641
New Herb Clark Concord 603/228-2478
STATE CONTACT CITY PHONE
New Jersey Tom O'Neill Lawrenceville 609/896-0003
New Mexico Dr. Stephen Vigil Albuquerque 505/255-1700
New York Kurt Keonig New York City 212/730-1202
North Marty Henderson Charlotte 704/541-6900
Carolina Teresa Morris Bloom Raleigh 919/250-0121
North Jim Kisse Bismarck 701/938-4649
Ohio Roger Yane Cleveland 216/526-9130
Ohio Cincinnati 513/474-9381
Oklahoma Pat Clancy Tulsa 918/743-7331
Oregon Whitney Matthews Portland 503/644-4710
Pennsylvania Harold McClain Philadelphia 215/688-4351
Maxwell Narby Emporium 814/486-1014
Rhode Island Number available Wed., 3/25
South Jon Pruett Murrell's 1-800-285-VOTE
South Jack Steinbauer Watertown 605/882-2156
Tennessee Mr. Perot is already on ballot in Tenn. (Still
take caller info.)
San Antonio 512/738-8111
Utah Bob Campbell St. George 801/673-2494
Vermont Patty Sheerin St. Albans 802/524-7502
STATE CONTACT CITY PHONE
Virginia Linwood Walton Richmond 804/262-6318
Jim Parker Virginia Beach 804/340-3000
Washington Larry McCallum Renton 206/621-9860
West Dave Dingess Charleston 1-800/568-3566
Wisconsin Cindy Schutlz Milwaukee 414/242-2639
Wyoming Pete Greiner Casper 307/266-1680