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NEW YORK • AUGUST 31, 2004

No matter how often I visit New York, I never tire of looking at the Statue of Liberty.

I can't help but reflect upon the impression she must have made on our weary but hopeful ancestors whose first glimpse of America was that inspiring silhouette.

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."

Although many immigrants could not read the words, the outstretched arm that pierced the heavens was clear affirmation that they had found what they were seeking -- the land of freedom and opportunity.

In return, these immigrants, and those who followed them, made this country stronger through their labor; safer through their sacrifice in defending its shores; and richer through diversity.

Our Party has always represented the interests of all people seeking opportunity.

We are the home of entrepreneurs.

Men and women who want to know the pride of accomplishment. The honor of self-sufficiency.

We meet in New York to reaffirm our commitment to these individuals - whether new to our country or born in the heartland.

That commitment begins with our children.

President Bush introduced and signed into law the No Child Left Behind initiative to raise standards, strengthen accountability, and improve student achievement in every school in America.

It's based on a simple but revolutionary idea: Every child can learn.

And every child deserves our best effort to help them succeed. President Bush has provided the largest education funding increase in history. And, we are already seeing impressive results.

For the first time since Florida started testing students, we are above the national average in reading, at the national average in math, and among the top ten states in writing!

Another way President Bush has fostered the American Dream is through tax relief. Letting people keep more of their own money helps them pay the mortgage. Save for college. Start a business.

When small business owners keep more of their earnings, they are more likely to expand and add jobs. This, in turn, allows others to earn a paycheck and support a family.

Thanks to President Bush's leadership, more people than ever own their home. And, more than half of minorities are now home owners -- the highest level in history.

The President's American Dream Downpayment Act is helping people overcome one of the biggest hurdles to being a homeowner -- finding the money for a downpayment.

Since the President announced his plan in 2002, more than 1.6 million minorities have become homeowners.

Men and women who work hard for decades should not be forced to relinquish the American Dream in retirement.

For those now in or near retirement, President Bush will always uphold the promise of Social Security. But President Bush understands that Social Security needs to be fixed to help make it more secure for our younger workers.

He believes that younger workers should have the opportunity to take some of their Social Security payments and put them into personal accounts that they own and control.

People should be able to build a nest egg that they can draw from during their golden years and pass on to their children and grandchildren.

Guided by Liberty's lamp, our Party and our President will continue to preserve the American Dream for every individual who seeks it.
"I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

"Yo levanto mi lampara al lado de la puerta dorada."

Juntos, debemos abrir la puerta de oportunidad por la reelecion del Presidente George W. Bush!


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