WMU News

President Bush campaigns at WMU for tax cut

March 27, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Speaking today (March 27) at Western Michigan University, President George W. Bush urged quick action on tax relief and a commitment to long-term tax reduction.

The president spoke before a live audience of approximately 1,300 at the WMU Student Recreation Center. Thousands more watched the president's remarks on television in Miller Auditorium and various locations across campus. Live coverage of the president's visit and speech at WMU was carried by two area television stations and nationally by CNN cable news.

President Bush opened his remarks by acknowledging Governor John Engler and several other state officials who were present. He also acknowledged WMU President Elson Floyd, who served as master of ceremonies for the luncheon program.

"It's great to be here with Dr. Floyd," said Bush. "I got to know Dr. Floyd last summer. I was impressed by him then. I am doubly impressed by him now. He does a fabulous job for this important institution."

In his remarks, President Bush said that all indicators point to a worsening economy. He said that immediate tax relief is needed.

He noted that the Dow Jones industrial average, Standard and Poors, and NASDAQ all peaked 12 months ago or earlier. Since it peaked in January 2000, the Dow Jones has lost 20 percent of its value. Standard and Poors is down more than 25 percent in value since it peaked in March 2000, and the NASDAQ exchange has lost more than one-half of its value, said the president.

Bush also said that unemployment is growing and noted that Michigan is especially hard hit. According to the president, during the past 12 months, unemployment has risen faster in Michigan than in any other state.

The luncheon was sponsored by the Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce and by Southwest Michigan First, and the Chamber of Commerce handled ticketing for the event. All available tickets were distributed within a few hours of when they became available, more than five days before the president's visit.

About 200 WMU students, faculty and staff attended President Bush's presentation as special guests of President Floyd and sat in a special section above the main luncheon floor. Those receiving invitations from President Floyd worked for several days to prepare for the Bush visit and included students and staff from catering services, the recreation center, physical plant, university relations and the president's office.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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