Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Reagan On Jobs Creation

Excerpts from a Reagan Speech addressing “JOBs”. Not one word about “class warfare”.
Remarks at the Annual Meeting of the National Alliance of Business

October 5, 1981
“Many people today are economically trapped in welfare. They'd like nothing better than to be out in the work-a-day world with the rest of us. Independence and self-sufficiency is what they want. They aren't lazy or unwilling to work, they just don't know how to free themselves from that welfare security blanket.”
“After we undertook our welfare reforms in California, I received a letter from a woman with several children who had been on Aid to [Families With] Dependent Children. She wrote that she had become so dependent on the welfare check that she even turned down offers of marriage. She just could not give up that security blanket that it represented. But she said that she'd always known that it couldn't go on, couldn't last forever. So when our reforms began, she just assumed that the time had come and that somehow she would be off welfare. So she took her children and the $600 she had saved from her, as she put it, so-called ``poverty,'' and went to Alaska, where she had relatives. And she was writing the letter now not to complain about our reforms, but to tell me that she had a good job and that working now had given her a great deal of self-respect, for which she thanked me, and then one line that I'll never forget. She said, ``It sure beats daytime television.''
“Our economic program is designed for the very purpose of creating jobs. As I said on Labor Day, let us make our goal in this program very clear -- jobs, jobs, jobs, and more jobs. And what is more, our program will reduce inflation so the wages from these jobs will not decrease in earning power.
Part of that economic package also includes budget cuts. Now, some of these cuts will pinch, which upsets those who believe the less fortunate deserve more than the basic subsistence which the governmental safety net programs provide. Well, the fact is, I agree. More can be done; more should be done. But doing more doesn't mean to simply spend more. The size of the Federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern.”
“Economic problems or not, isn't it time to take a fresh look at the way we provide social services? Not just because they cost so much and waste so much, but because too many of them just don't work? Even if the Federal Government had all the money it wished to spend on social programs, would we still want to spend it the way we have in the past?”
“In all my years as Governor, and now as President, I have never found an agency, a program, a piece of legislation, or a budget that was adequate to meet the total needs of human beings. Something is missing from such an equation. I believe that something is private initiative and community involvement -- the kind the NAB exemplifies.”
“There is a legitimate role for government, but we musn't forget: Before the idea got around that government was the principal vehicle of social change, it was understood that the real source of our progress as a people was the private sector. The private sector still offers creative, less expensive, and more efficient alternatives to solving our social problems. Now, we're not advocating private initiatives and voluntary activities as a halfhearted replacement for budget cuts. We advocate them because they're right in their own regard. They're a part of what we can proudly call ``the American personality.''
The role of voluntarism and individual initiative has been misunderstood. Federal loan guarantees will not be restored by charity alone, nor will we replace the Department of Health and Human Services. Voluntarism is a means of delivering social services more effectively and of preserving our individual freedoms. John F. Kennedy knew this when he said, ``. . . only by doing the work ourselves, by giving generously out of our own pockets, can we hope in the long run to maintain the authority of the people over the state, to insure that the people remain the master; the state, the servant. Every time that we try to lift a problem from our own shoulders, and shift that problem to the hands of the government, to the same extent we are sacrificing the liberties of our people.''
“There are hardheaded, no-nonsense measures by which the private sector can meet those needs of society that the government has not, can not, or will never be able to fill. Volunteer activities and philanthropy play a role, as well as economic incentives and investment opportunities. To be certain, we're talking about America's deep spirit of generosity. But we're also talking about a ``buck for business'' if it helps to solve our social ills.
With the same energy that Franklin Roosevelt sought government solutions to problems, we will seek private solutions. The challenge before us is to find ways once again to unleash the independent spirit of the people and their communities. That energy will accomplish far, far more than government programs ever could. What federalism is to the public sector, voluntarism and private initiative are to the private sector. This country is bursting with ideas and creativity, but a government run by central decree has no way to respond.”

Thank you, and God bless you.
Note: The President spoke at 10:35 a.m. at the Sheraton Washington Hotel

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Reagan. "A time for Choosing"

A Time for Choosing
Given as a stump speech, at speaking engagements, and on a memorable night in 1964 in support of Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign. This version is from that broadcast.


I am going to talk of controversial things. I make no apology for this.

It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self government."

This idea -- that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power -- is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream--the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, "The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits."

The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing.

Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, "What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power." But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.

Yet any time you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell us we're always "against," never "for" anything.

We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem. However, we are against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments....

We are for aiding our allies by sharing our material blessings with nations which share our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world.

We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him.... But we cannot have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure....

Have we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional proportionate taxation? . . . Today in our country the tax collector's share is 37 cents of every dollar earned. Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp.

Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last.

If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what's at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation.

They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits--not animals." And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.