Over the years, you've been a great partner in helping create a Texas economy that continues to attract employers and create jobs.
This is a great day for Bell Hellicopter, a great day for Fort Worth, and a great day for Texas.
It's wonderful to see everyone here, especially Congresswoman [Kay] Granger.
My congratulations to John Garrison [President and CEO, Bell] and Robert Hastings [Senior VP, Bell] here at Bell, along with [Ft. Worth] Mayor [Betsy] Price, and [Tarrant County] Judge [Glenn] Whitley.
I know everyone involved worked hard to make today possible.
You can plan, you can meet, and you can draw up concept drawings, but until you see that first shovelful of dirt get turned, it's all just an abstract concept.
So this is a huge day for North Texas, and it's my pleasure to be here.
The aerospace and aviation industry in Texas is a vital part of our economy, directly employing hundreds of thousands of Texans, at an average annual income of over $62,000.
For its part, Bell has long been an important and valuable member of the Texas aerospace and aviation community, and we're excited to see you recommit to keeping Texas the home to this dynamic and enduring endeavor.
The truth is, Texas has always been a natural fit for innovative and creative people working at cutting-edge companies like Bell.
From the development of the integrated circuit at Texas Instruments in the 1950s, to the life-saving treatments and technologies being developed at Houston's MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas has been home to high-tech ideas.
While that's true historically, we've taken steps over the past 10 years to enable even more entrepreneurs, and even more innovators, to jump-start their enterprises in the Lone Star State.
We've made a place where entrepreneurs won't be hindered by exorbitant taxes, wrapped up in bureaucratic red tape, or find themselves at the mercy of predatory attorneys, seeking to make steady money off extensive, drawn-out court cases.
We've made a place with a world-class workforce that's capable of fulfilling whatever needs an employer has, whether that's producing a life-saving vaccine, selling a product line, or creating the next generation of private space vehicles.
In short, we've created a fertile environment where innovators are free to create and nurture their ideas, and where government stays out of the way.
That's all part of our business climate, a climate that continues to be the envy of the nation.
But don't take my word for it.
fDi Magazine recently awarded Texas the 2012 Governor Award for being the most successful state in the union at attracting investment, and that publication is far from alone in its praise of the Lone Star State.
Chief Executive Magazine has named Texas the country's "Best State for Business" for the eighth consecutive year, and we're committed to making it nine in a row next year.
Texas has also received the accolades of media outlets like USA Today, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Site Selection Magazine. The secret is simple, we've rooted our economy on sound, fiscally conservative principles.
We don't spend more than we bring in, balancing our budget every biennium, and keeping billions in reserve in our Rainy Day Fund.
We have no, and will have no, state income tax, and we're pressing to make 40,000 small businesses permanently exempt from our state's margin tax.
Earlier this year, I promoted the Texas Budget Compact, a collection of five basic steps our legislature should take to ensure we continue adhering to the bedrock principles that have gotten us where we are today.
They are practice truth-in-budgeting, support a stricter constitutional limit on spending, oppose any new taxes or tax increases, and make the small business tax exemption permanent, preserve our strong Rainy Day Fund, and cut wasteful and redundant government programs and agencies.
At the heart of the Compact is the idea that money does a lot more good in the pockets of individuals than it does in government coffers.
The compact has been designed to keep government honest, as small as possible, and as efficient as it can be in providing essential services like educating our children and caring for our most vulnerable citizens.
By sticking to that formula, we can enable employers and employees alike to keep more of their hard-earned dollars, which translates to a stronger economy, more, and better, jobs, and a greater chance at success for all Texans. Our bedrock conservative principles keep companies like Bell healthy and happy, and keep more and more companies, and individuals, looking to make Texas their new home.
Once again, I congratulate everyone involved in today's success, and look forward to lots more great work coming out of Bell Helicopter.
May God bless you and, through you, may He continue to bless the great state of Texas.