State of the Union Address
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State of the Union Address

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of State of the Union Addresses by Gerald R. Ford (#35 in our series of USPresidential State of the Union Addresses)Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country beforedownloading or redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom ofthis file. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. Youcan also find out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****Title: State of the Union Addresses of Gerald R. FordAuthor: Gerald R. FordRelease Date: February, 2004 [EBook #5044] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file wasfirst posted on April 11, 2002] [Date last updated: December 16, 2004]Edition: 11Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK OF ADDRESSES BY GERALD R. FORD ***This eBook was produced by James Linden.The addresses are separated by three asterisks: ***Dates of ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of State of theUnion Addresses by Gerald R. Ford (#35 in ourseries of US Presidential State of the UnionAddresses)Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Besure to check the copyright laws for your countrybefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen whenviewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do notremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and ByComputers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers!*****
Title: State of the Union Addresses of Gerald R.FordAuthor: Gerald R. FordRelease Date: February, 2004 [EBook #5044][Yes, we are more than one year ahead ofschedule] [This file was first posted on April 11,2002] [Date last updated: December 16, 2004]Edition: 11Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK OF ADDRESSES BY GERALD R. FORD***This eBook was produced by James Linden.The addresses are separated by three asterisks:***Dates of addresses by Gerald R. Ford in thiseBook: January 15, 1975 January 19, 1976January 12, 1977***State of the Union Address
Gerald R. FordJanuary 15, 1975Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of the94th Congress, and distinguished guests:Twenty-six years ago, a freshman Congressman, ayoung fellow with lots of idealism who was out tochange the world, stood before Sam Rayburn inthe well of the House and solemnly swore to thesame oath that all of you took yesterday—anunforgettable experience, and I congratulate youall.Two days later, that same freshman stood at theback of this great Chamber—over there someplace—as President Truman, all charged up by hissingle-handed election victory, reported as theConstitution requires on the state of the Union.When the bipartisan applause stopped, PresidentTruman said, "I am happy to report to this 81stCongress that the state of the Union is good. OurNation is better able than ever before to meet theneeds of the American people, and to give themtheir fair chance in the pursuit of happiness. [It] isforemost among the nations of the world in thesearch for peace."Today, that freshman Member from Michiganstands where Mr. Truman stood, and I must say toyou that the state of the Union is not good:Millions of Americans are out of work.
Recession and inflation are eroding the money ofmillions more.Prices are too high, and sales are too slow.This year's Federal deficit will be about $30 billion;next year's probably $45 billion.The national debt will rise to over $500 billion.Our plant capacity and productivity are notincreasing fast enough.We depend on others for essential energy.Some people question their Government's ability tomake hard decisions and stick with them; theyexpect Washington politics as usual.Yet, what President Truman said on January 5,1949, is even more true in 1975. We are betterable to meet our people's needs. All Americans dohave a fairer chance to pursue happiness. Not onlyare we still the foremost nation in the pursuit ofpeace but today's prospects of attaining it areinfinitely brighter.There were 59 million Americans employed at thestart of 1949; now there are more than 85 millionAmericans who have jobs. In comparable dollars,the average income of the American family hasdoubled during the past 26 years.Now, I want to speak very bluntly. I've got badnews, and I don't expect much, if any, applause.
The American people want action, and it will takeboth the Congress and the President to give themwhat they want. Progress and solutions can beachieved, and they will be achieved.My message today is not intended to address all ofthe complex needs of America. I will send separatemessages making specific recommendations fordomestic legislation, such as the extension ofgeneral revenue sharing and the Voting Rights Act.The moment has come to move in a new direction.We can do this by fashioning a new partnershipbetween the Congress on the one hand, the WhiteHouse on the other, and the people we bothrepresent.Let us mobilize the most powerful and mostcreative industrial nation that ever existed on thisEarth to put all our people to work. The emphasison our economic efforts must now shift frominflation to jobs.To bolster business and industry and to create newjobs, I propose a 1-year tax reduction of $16 billion.Three-quarters would go to individuals and one-quarter to promote business investment.This cash rebate to individuals amounts to 12percent of 1974 tax payments—a total cut of $12billion, with a maximum of $1,000 per return.I call on the Congress to act by April 1. If you do—and I hope you will—the Treasury can send thefirst check for half of the rebate in May and the
second by September.The other one-fourth of the cut, about $4 billion,will go to business, including farms, to promoteexpansion and to create more jobs. The 1-yearreduction for businesses would be in the form of aliberalized investment tax credit increasing the rateto 12 percent for all businesses.This tax cut does not include the more fundamentalreforms needed in our tax system. But it points usin the right direction—allowing taxpayers ratherthan the Government to spend their pay.Cutting taxes now is essential if we are to turn theeconomy around. A tax cut offers the best hope ofcreating more jobs. Unfortunately, it will increasethe size of the budget deficit. Therefore, it is moreimportant than ever that we take steps to controlthe growth of Federal expenditures.Part of our trouble is that we have been self-indulgent. For decades, we have been votingever-increasing levels of Government benefits,and now the bill has come due. We have beenadding so many new programs that the sizeand the growth of the Federal budget has takenon a life of its own.One characteristic of these programs is that theircost increases automatically every year becausethe number of people eligible for most of thebenefits increases every year. When these
programs are enacted, there is no dollar amountset. No one knows what they will cost. All we knowis that whatever they cost last year, they will costmore next year.It is a question of simple arithmetic. Unless wecheck the excessive growth of Federalexpenditures or impose on ourselves matchingincreases in taxes, we will continue to run hugeinflationary deficits in the Federal budget.If we project the current built-in momentum ofFederal spending through the next 15 years, State,Federal, and local government expenditures couldeasily comprise half of our gross national product.This compares with less than a third in 1975.I have just concluded the process of preparing thebudget submissions for fiscal year 1976. In thatbudget, I will propose legislation to restrain thegrowth of a number of existing programs. I havealso concluded that no new spending programscan be initiated this year, except for energy.Further, I will not hesitate to veto any newspending programs adopted by the Congress.As an additional step toward putting the FederalGovernment's house in order, I recommend a 5-percent limit on Federal pay increases in 1975. Inall Government programs tied to the ConsumerPrice Index—including social security, civil serviceand military retirement pay, and food stamps—Ialso propose a 1-year maximum increase of 5percent.
None of these recommended ceiling limitations,over which Congress has final authority, are easyto propose, because in most cases they involveanticipated payments to many, many deservingpeople. Nonetheless, it must be done. I mustemphasize that I am not asking to eliminate, toreduce, to freeze these payments. I am merelyrecommending that we slow down the rate at whichthese payments increase and these programsgrow.Only a reduction in the growth of spending cankeep Federal borrowing down and reduce thedamage to the private sector from high interestrates. Only a reduction in spending can make itpossible for the Federal Reserve System to avoidan inflationary growth in the money supply andthus restore balance to our economy. A majorreduction in the growth of Federal spending canhelp dispel the uncertainty that so many feel aboutour economy and put us on the way to curing oureconomic ills.If we don't act to slow down the rate of increase inFederal spending, the United States Treasury willbe legally obligated to spend more than $360 billionin fiscal year 1976, even if no new programs areenacted. These are not matters of conjecture orprediction, but again, a matter of simple arithmetic.The size of these numbers and their implicationsfor our everyday life and the health of oureconomic system are shocking.I submitted to the last Congress a list of budget
deferrals and rescissions. There will be more cutsrecommended in the budget that I will submit. Evenso, the level of outlays for fiscal year 1976 is stillmuch, much too high. Not only is it too high for thisyear but the decisions we make now will inevitablyhave a major and growing impact on expenditurelevels in future years. I think this is a veryfundamental issue that we, the Congress and I,must jointly solve.Economic disruptions we and others areexperiencing stem in part from the fact that theworld price of petroleum has quadrupled in the lastyear. But in all honesty, we cannot put all of theblame on the oil-exporting nations. We, the UnitedStates, are not blameless. Our growingdependence upon foreign sources has been addingto our vulnerability for years and years, and we didnothing to prepare ourselves for such an event asthe embargo of 1973.During the 1960's, this country had a surpluscapacity of crude oil which we were able to makeavailable to our trading partners whenever therewas a disruption of supply. This surplus capacityenabled us to influence both supplies and prices ofcrude oil throughout the world. Our excesscapacity neutralized any effort at establishing aneffective cartel, and thus the rest of the world wasassured of adequate supplies of oil at reasonableprices.By 1970, our surplus capacity had vanished, andas a consequence, the latent power of the oil cartel
could emerge in full force. Europe and Japan, bothheavily dependent on imported oil, now struggle tokeep their economies in balance. Even the UnitedStates, our country, which is far more self-sufficient than most other industrial countries, hasbeen .put under serious pressure.I am proposing a program which will begin torestore our country's surplus capacity in totalenergy. In this way, we will be able to assureourselves reliable and adequate energy and helpfoster a new world energy stability for other majorconsuming nations.But this Nation and, in fact, the world must face theprospect of energy difficulties between now and1985. This program will impose burdens on all ofus with the aim of reducing our consumption ofenergy and increasing our production. Greatattention has been paid to the considerations offairness, and I can assure you that the burdens willnot fall more harshly on those less able to bearthem.I am recommending a plan to make us invulnerableto cutoffs of foreign oil. It will require sacrifices, butit—and this is most important—it will work.I have set the following national energy goals toassure that our future is as secure and asproductive as our past:First, we must reduce oil imports by 1 millionbarrels per day by the end of this year and by 2million barrels per day by the end of 1977.