(Following is an edited version of remarks made by Pres Bush at US Coast Guard Integrated Support Command, Port of Miami, Miami, Florida on July 31.)
Thanks for the warm welcome on a warm day. I’m proud to be here in this really dynamic city.
Miami is a strong and vibrant city, and because your economy is strong and vibrant, you’ve helped this state’s economy grow and you’ve helped the country grow. I want to spend some time talking about the economy and how we can keep our economy strong. No better place to do that than here in the Port of Miami. I’m proud to be with those who work in the port. I’m particularly proud to be with those who wear the uniform of the United States of America. Thanks for serving.
It’s an honor to be here at the largest container port in Florida and one of the most important ports in our nation. From these docks, ships loaded with cargo deliver products all around the world carrying that label “Made in the USA.” The Port of Miami is shipping what the world wants to buy.
The Port of Miami not only enables us to ship products all over the world, which encourages job creation, people working here getting those products moving around the world, but it’s also a place where tourists come to travel the world on some great cruise ships, which means that chefs and grocers need to be hired to prepare food for the people on the ships; or accountants and travel agents handle the bookings; or hotel workers to house the passengers before the ships depart.
One reason south Florida’s economy is doing well is because of the importance of this port. But it’s just not the port that is helping the people in south Florida. Do you realize that over the past three years, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area has created more than 200,000 new jobs? The unemployment rate in this area is down to 3.2%. It’s amazing economic vitality in this part of the world, and I congratulate the entrepreneurs.
Today I met with some entrepreneurs. I met a guy named Nelson Gonzalez. I want to tell you about Nelson’s story. It is an American story. It’s a story about two people who had a dream, and 10 years ago they sat in Nelson’s garage talking about how to create a business. And they had $10,000 in capital to start their business. And so they decided to build high-performance custom-designed personal computers. That was their dream. First year, the revenues were $87,000, like they started getting moving. Last year, the revenue was $192 million. They went from two people sitting in a garage to employing 750 people.
So here’s the spirit behind Nelson’s dream. He said, “Losing was not in our vocabulary. We overcame a lot of things, we really didn’t sit on our laurels, and we always looked at what we can improve.” See, one of the jobs of government is to put policy in place that encourages the entrepreneurial spirit to flourish. We want more people owning their businesses. We want more dreamers working hard to accomplish their dreams. And when they do, more people find work.
One of the reasons why the national unemployment rate is at 4.6% is because the entrepreneurial spirit is strong in America. And we intend to keep it that way. And one of the ways to make sure entrepreneurs like Nelson and others are able to realize dreams is to keep the taxes low.
There’s a great temptation in Washington to say, we can spend your money better than you can, see. But when you start talking about raising taxes, you’re talking about taking money from entrepreneurs and small business owners. Good policy is policy that says, we want to strengthen the small business sector in America. We want the entrepreneurial spirit to flourish. And one of the ways to do so is to make the tax cuts we pass a permanent part of the tax code.
And here’s another way that we can help the entrepreneurial spirit flourish and help make sure south Florida remains a vibrant part of our national economy, and tha