MORNING IN AMERICA vs. MOURNING FOR AMERICA
Frankly, it’s depressing. And Barack Obama is the Great Depressor.
Keeping track of the daily assaults on our freedom by Barack the Hood and his Gang of High-Functioning Henchmen is anything but merry, even if it is necessary. It’s sorta’ like the cop who spends his days rubbing elbows with criminals and low-lifes; he’s got to make sure it doesn’t rub off on him.
I always recommend a dose of Reagan. Just spending a little time with this great man’s thoughts clears away the cobwebs. Even when he’s just cataloging the misfeasance of government, you can sense the patriotism, the optimism and the clarity of purpose there. Unlike this current crowd, who talk about “Hope” and “Change” when all they really mean is more and more government, Reagan put his hope in God and had faith in his fellow Americans.
From his November 13, 1979 speech announcing his quest for the Republican nomination:
To me our country is a living, breathing presence, unimpressed by what others say is impossible, proud of its own success, generous — yes and naïve — sometimes wrong, never mean and always impatient to provide a better life for its people in a framework of a basic fairness and freedom.
There are those in our land today, however, who would have us believe that the United States, like other great civilizations of the past, has reached the zenith of its power; that we are weak and fearful, reduced to bickering with each other and no longer possessed of the will to cope with our problems.
Much of this talk has come from leaders who claim that our problems are too difficult to handle. We are supposed to meekly accept their failures as the most which humanly can be done. They tell us we must learn to live with less, and teach our children that their lives will be less full and prosperous than ours have been; that the America of the coming years will be a place where — because of our past excesses — it will be impossible to dream and make those dreams come true.
I don’t believe that. And I don’t believe you do either. That is why I am seeking the presidency. I cannot and will not stand by and see this great country destroy itself. Our leaders attempt to blame their failures on circumstances beyond their control, on false estimates by unknown, unidentifiable experts who rewrite modern history in an attempt to convince us our high standard of living, the result of thrift and hard work, is somehow selfish extravagance which we must renounce as we join in sharing scarcity. I don’t agree that our nation must resign itself to inevitable decline, yielding its proud position to other hands. I am totally unwilling to see this country fail in its obligation to itself and to the other free peoples of the world.
No problem that we face today can compare with the need to restore the health of the American economy and the strength of the American dollar. Double-digit inflation has robbed you and your family of the ability to plan. It has destroyed the confidence to buy and it threatens the very structure of family life itself as more and more wives are forced to work in order to help meet the ever-increasing cost of living. At the same time, the lack of real growth in the economy has introduced the justifiable fear in the minds of working men and women who are already overextended that soon there will be fewer jobs and no money to pay for even the necessities of life. And tragically, as the cost of living keeps going up, the standard of living which has been our great pride keeps going down.
The people have not created this disaster in our economy; the federal government has. It has overspent, overestimated, and over-regulated. It has failed to deliver services within the revenues it should be allowed to raise from taxes. In the 34 years since the end of World War II, it has spent $448 billion more than it has collected in taxes — $448 billion of printing-press money, which has made every dollar you earn worth less and less. At the same time, the federal government has cynically told us that high taxes on business will in some way “solve” the problem and allow the average taxpayer to pay less. Well, business is not a taxpayer; it is a tax collector. Business has to pass its tax burden on to the customer as part of the cost of doing business. You and I pay taxes imposed on business every time we go to the store. Only people pay taxes, and it is political demagoguery or economic illiteracy to try and tell us otherwise.
The key to restoring the health of the economy lies in cutting taxes. At the same time, we need to get the waste out of federal spending. This does not mean sacrificing essential services, nor do we need to destroy the system of benefits which flow to the poor, elderly, the sick and the handicapped. But the federal government has proven to be the costliest and most inefficient provider of such help we could possibly have.
We must put an end to the arrogance of a federal establishment which accepts no blame for our condition, cannot be relied upon to give us a fair estimate of our situation and utterly refuses to live within its means.
The 10th article of the Bill of Rights is explicit in pointing out that the federal government should do only those things specifically called for in the Constitution. All others shall remain with the states or the people. We haven’t been observing that 10th article of late. The federal government has taken on functions it was never intended to perform and which it does not perform well. There should be a planned, orderly transfer of such functions to states and communities and a transfer with them of the sources of taxation to pay for them.
I cannot and will not stand by while inflation and joblessness destroy the dignity of our people.
Our country was built on cheap energy. Today, energy is not cheap and we face the prospect that some forms of energy may soon not be available at all.
Not one straight answer nor any realistic hope of relief has come from the present administration in almost three years of federal treatment of the problem. As gas lines grew, the administration again panicked and now has proposed to put the country on a wartime footing; but for this “war” there is no victory in sight. And, as always, when the federal bureaucracy fails, all it can suggest is more of the same. This time it’s another bureau to untangle the mess by the ones we already have.
First we must decide that “less” is not enough. Next, we must remove government obstacles to energy production. And we must make use of those technological advantages we still possess.
The answer, obvious to anyone except those in the administration it seems, is more domestic production of oil and gas. In years to come solar energy may provide much of the answer but for the next two or three decades we must do such things as master the chemistry of coal. Putting the market system to work for these objectives is an essential first step for their achievement. Additional multi-billion-dollar federal bureaus and programs are not the answer.
We can expect to be tested in ways calculated to try our patience, to confound our resolve and to erode our belief in ourselves. Though we should leave no initiative untried in our pursuit of peace, we must be clear voiced in our resolve to resist any unpeaceful act wherever it may occur. Negotiation with the Soviet Union must never become appeasement.
But too often in recent times we have just drifted along with events, responding as if we thought of ourselves as a nation in decline. To our allies we seem to appear to be a nation unable to make decisions in its own interests, let alone in the common interest. Since the Second World War we have spent large amounts of money and much of our time protecting and defending freedom all over the world. We must continue this, for if we do not accept the responsibilities of leadership, who will? And if no one will, how will we survive?
The 1970s have taught us the foolhardiness of not having a long-range diplomatic strategy of our own. The world has become a place where, in order to survive, our country needs more than just allies — it needs real friends. Yet, in recent times we often seem not to have recognized who our friends are. This must change. It is now time to take stock of our own house and to re-supply its strength.
In recent months leaders in our government have told us that, we, the people, have lost confidence in ourselves; that we must regain our spirit and our will to achieve our national goals. Well, it is true there is a lack of confidence, an unease with things the way they are. But the confidence we have lost is confidence in our government’s policies. Our unease can almost be called bewilderment at how our defense strength has deteriorated. The great productivity of our industry is now surpassed by virtually all the major nations who compete with us for world markets. And, our currency is no longer the stable measure of value it once was.
But there remains the greatness of our people, our capacity for dreaming up fantastic deeds and bringing them off to the surprise of an unbelieving world. When Washington’s men were freezing at Valley Forge, Tom Paine told his fellow Americans: “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.” We still have that power.
We — today’s living Americans — have in our lifetime fought harder, paid a higher price for freedom and done more to advance the dignity of man than any people who have ever lived on this Earth. The citizens of this great nation want leadership, yes, but not a “man on a white horse” demanding obedience to his commands. They want someone who believes they can “begin the world over again.” A leader who will unleash their great strength and remove the roadblocks government has put in their way. I want to do that more than anything I’ve ever wanted. And it’s something that I believe with God’s help I can do.
I believe this nation hungers for a spiritual revival; hungers to once again see honor placed above political expediency; to see government once again the protector of our liberties, not the distributor of gifts and privilege. Government should uphold and not undermine those institutions which are custodians of the very values upon which civilization is founded — religion, education and, above all, family. Government cannot be clergyman, teacher and patriot. It is our servant, beholden to us.
I believe that you and I together can keep this rendezvous with destiny.
Thank you and good night.