GOP lawmaker: Dick Clark should be remembered as model of free enterprise

House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-Calif.) said Wednesday evening that famed TV producer and American Bandstand host Dick Clark, who died Wednesday at the age of 82, should also be remembered as an inspirational participant in the free-enterprise system.

Dreier came to the House floor just a few hours after Clark's death was reported, and said an ongoing Republican speech about the need to foster small businesses reminded him of the discussions he had with Clark over the years about taxes and free enterprise.

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"I just want to say that as I listen to your discussion, I was reminded of how he regularly said everyone should pay their fair share of taxes," Dreier said of Clark. "He said that not too long ago to me.

"I said I appreciate that, because he knew he was paying my salary," Dreier said, adding that he had dinner with Clark just two weeks ago.

"He was a believer in the free-enterprise system, he was a believer in encouraging individual initiative and opportunity on a regular basis," Dreier said. "You guys are here talking about the need for tax fairness and the imperative to ensure that we encourage more people like Dick Clark. I think it's important for us to remember the wonderful life that this man had."

Dreier added that when Clark had a stroke in 2004, he continued to inspire people by continuing to appear on his "Rockin' New Year's Eve" program.

"That kind of fighting spirit is exactly what the small businessman and woman who are at this hour still working [need]," he said. "The imperative to make sure that everyone pays their taxes ... is something that I think he should be remembered for, along with all of the great, great accomplishments that he had."