History records the power of the ideas that brought us here those 7 years ago-ideas like the individual’s right to reach as far and as high as his or her talents will permit; the free market as an engine of economic progress. And as an ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao-tzu, said: “Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish; do not overdo it.”
Well, these ideas were part of a larger notion, a vision, if you will, of America herself—an America not only rich in opportunity for the individual but an America, too, of strong families and vibrant neighborhoods; an America whose divergent but harmonizing communities were a reflection of a deeper community of values: the value of work, of family, of religion, and of the love of freedom that God places in each of us and whose defense He has entrusted in a special way to this nation.”
And let’s begin by discussing how to maintain economic growth by controlling and eventually eliminating the problem of federal deficits. We have had a balanced budget only eight times in the last 57 years. For the first time in 14 years, the federal government spent less in real terms last year than the year before.
We took $73 billion off last year’s deficit compared to the year before. The deficit itself has moved from 6.3 percent of the Gross National Product to only 3.4 percent. And perhaps the most important sign of progress has been the change in our view of deficits.
You know, a few of us can remember when, not too many years ago, those who created the deficits said they would make us prosperous and not to worry about the debt because “we owe it to ourselves.” Well, at last there is agreement that we can’t spend ourselves rich.
Our recent budget agreement, designed to reduce federal deficits by $76 billion over the next two years, builds on this consensus. But this agreement must be adhered to without slipping into the errors of the past — more broken promises and more unchecked spending.
As I indicated in my first State of the Union, what ails us can be simply put: The federal government is too big and it spends too much money.
The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best effort, and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great deeds; to believe that together, with God’s help, we can and will resolve the problems which now confront us.
And, after all, why shouldn’t we believe that? We are Americans. God bless you, and thank you.
I believe that there is a fundamental difference and I think it has been evident with most of the answers Mr. Carter has given tonight. That he seeks the solution to anything as another opportunity for a federal government program. I happen to believe that the federal government has usurped powers and autonomy and authority that belongs back at the state and local level. It has imposed on the individual freedoms of the people. And there are more of these things that could be solved by the people themselves, if they were given a chance.
But taking that one no from the Soviet Union, we then went back into negotiations on their terms. Because Mr. Carter had cancelled the B-1 bomber, delayed the MX, delayed the trident submarine, delayed the cruise missiles, shut down the minute man missile production line. The Soviet Union sat at the table knowing that we had gone forward with unilateral concessions without out any reciprocation from them whatsoever.
I am not talking of scrapping. I am talking of taking the treaty and going back into negotiations. And I would say to the Soviet Union, we will sit and negotiate with you as long as it takes. To not only have legitimate arms negotiation but to have a reduction of these nuclear weapons to the point that neither one of us represents and threat to the other. That is hardly throwing away a treaty and being opposed to arms limitation
I will tell you that I believe with all my heart that our first priority must be world peace. And that use of force is always and only a last resort. When everything else has failed. And then only with regard to our national security.
Meeting this mission for the responsibility of preserving the peace. Which I believe is a irresponsibility peculiar to our country. We cannot shirk our responsibility of leader of the free world because we are the only one who can do it. And therefore the burden of maintaining the peace falls on us. And to maintain that peace requires strength. America has never gotten into a war because we were too strong.
That we have only leased out and begun to explore 2% of our outer continental shelf for oil. There are vast supplies yet to be found. Our government has in the last year or so, taken out of multiple use, millions of acres of public lands. That’s probably 70% of the potential oil in the United States… is probably hidden in those lands. And no one is allowed even to go in to explore, to found out if it’s there. This is particularly true of the recent efforts to shut down part of Alaska.
This nation has been portrayed for too long of time to the people as being energy poor. When it is energy rich. The coal that the president mentioned, yes, we have it. And yet, 1/8 of our total core resources is not being utilized at all, right now. The mines are close down, there are 22,000 miners out of work. Most of this is due to regulations. Which either interfere with the mining of it or prevent the burning of it. With our modern technology, yes we can burn our coal within the limits of the clean air act. I think as technology improves we will be able to do even better with that.