President Ronald Reagan Visits Des Moines - Evening Coverage; Ronald Reagan
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The following program is a public affairs special report. The Iowa public.
Broadcasting Network. In a single stroke we will be accomplishing the realignment that was in cumbersome administration and spiraling cost at the federal level while we ensure these programs will be more responsive to both the people they're meant to help. And the people who pay for it.
Two weeks ago in his State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress. The president announced a bold plan to give the states control of major federal programs.
Yesterday he arrived in Des Moines Iowa to sell a rebroadcast of President Ronald Reagan's address to the Iowa legislature given earlier today. Here is Dean board.
This morning the president of the United States delivered the first pitch in a sales effort to promote his new federalism programs and to rally support for his economic policies. Here is his speech as it was delivered at 10:00 this morning to a joint session of the Iowa legislature in Des Moines.
And now it's my privilege to introduce the senior governor in the United States of America and the gentleman who will introduce the president the United States our own governor Robert Ray. Thank you.
You make me feel like the present the United States. Let me tell you that there is not much time for all of the niceties because this is being carried on live television but truly it's a pleasure that I have to introduce our guest today. Mr. President on behalf of everyone in this chamber and the nearly three million good Iowans I welcome you to this special joint convention to our state capitol and to our home. Iowa also a place that you spent a number of years and it was your home. And as we say once an Iowan always an island. I was a state with good reason to be very proud of many first. And today we're proud that you have come here to talk to us. And this your first appearance in a series of speeches that you will be making to other legislatures and legislatures around the country. You will find people here who want to listen and who want to work with you. We want you to succeed. And if you succeed we as a people will succeed. Mr. President in your first year in office you have helped us to appreciate again some of the values which have made America so great. You have encouraged to volunteer as you have promoted patriotism and by word and yes deed you have reminded us that America is still a place where there is heroism. You are somebody we're very proud of. We consider you a friend. And so now ladies and gentlemen it's my privilege and my pleasure to introduce you to the president of the United States. To a. Ah.
Thank you. Live television.
Well Governor Ray I thank you very much. We've known each other a long time and I appreciate more than I could say you were warm words of welcome and your warm welcome here this morning. It's good to be here with you today. But I must tell you that my real mission in the morning is that WHL radio. Some years back as you may know I recreated ballgames on the air based on reports that came by telegraph. I would now that I'm here like to recreate the Rose Bowl game and this time around if you know. We don't win. When I knew the Hawkeyes back in their 30s they were struggling to get out of one of those low spots that come every once in a while to a school and a team coach Hayden Fry and quarterback gordie Bohannan. The rest of that team rode the comeback trail all the way to the Rose Bowl. Well our country today is at a turning point. We've lived too long by the maxims of past decades lost in a jungle of government bureaucracy tangled in its web of programs and regulations and almost all of those government initiatives were intended to relieve suffering in force justice or preserve an environment threatened by pollution. But for each ounce of blessing a pound of freedom was quietly stolen. And all in truth the federal government with federal government big taxing and big spending doesn't work never has worked and never will.
Those who cling to the policies of yesterday who offer us only retreat would condemn us and our children to decades more of economic decay decades in which our days of greatness would be just a dim memory. I've come here to talk about moving forward. It will take spirit courage and strength for the long haul. But we must do it. I'm not here to promise miracles but I believe we can promise progress. So I have come to Des Moines to consult with you to seek your counsel and your support as together we take the high road to national recovery and renewal. We share the trust of elected office you for your state for the country and the people who sent me. And I have come to cement again the bond of partnership too many have forgotten. Together we must go forward to ensure a decent standard of living for all Americans. But we must also protect for the next generation this fragile state of freedom so rare in the world and in the history of man. I think we've taken the right first steps. We've begun to rebuild America's defenses which had been left in Dangerous Decline. We've made clear our commitment to peace and stability in the world and our willingness to participate in strategic arms reduction. But we also have made clear that we will not look the other way as aggressors usurp the rights of independent people or watch idly while they foment revolutions to impose the rule of tyrants. We will not turn our backs on those who seek to gain or secure their liberty. And we will not back down from our duty to keep America strong enough to remain both free and at peace. At home we've begun our campaign to return our economy and government to our people. Our program for economic recovery and our proposal to restore the partnership between state local and federal government are born from the same philosophy. They spring from an abiding faith in the American people and in our ability to govern ourselves. Forty years of uncontrolled government growth and mismanagement 40 years of removing the American economy from the hands of the American people have resulted in the painful recession that grips us today. In four short months our programs have begun to restore incentive to cut away strangling regulations and for the first time in decades make significant gains against the budget monster.
And what do you know. Inflation has dropped to single digits for the first time in three years. But it's not low enough. Interest rates are below their once dizzying heights and yet they're not low enough. Our tax and budget cuts were the largest in history but they only reduced the rate of increase in taxing and spending. We must hold firm to our tax cuts and reduce the budget even more. We have much to do before we'll see the light. But I think we're at last and at least approaching the bend in the tunnel. Deficit it is true still loom large in our forecast. But they should not overshadow the incentive and drive that is already building in our people. Our people are beginning to save again. There has been an increase in the savings rate since the fiscal year began and our programs began in October. The private savings pool could grow as much as two hundred and fifty billion dollars by 1984. This will bring needed growth to our economy and ease the strain on the money supply. In addition yesterday we submitted to the Congress a budget schedule that will reduce the federal deficit every year. Our deficit will be trending downward. I'd like to pause here a moment and clear up a couple of things about the budget proposal we sent to Congress yesterday. So if the reporters would pick up their pencils and the TV correspondents would turn on the cameras. I have an announcement. There will be no general budget cut this year and there was no budget cut last year. What we did and what we are doing is reducing the rate of growth in federal spending. What we're doing is bringing old fashioned discipline to the budget even before the budget came out. You could hear the sound of knees jerking all over Washington and need jerk reactions and instant analyses were as hasty as they were incorrect. Despite all the talk there is a deafening silence on alternatives from these two pronouncements. You would know that under our proposed spending for the elderly will set a new record of two hundred ten billion dollars more than double the amount as recently as one thousand seventy eight. You wouldn't know to hear them that 19 million people will still get food stamps and over 95 million meals a day. One out of every seven will still be subsidized. That Head Start the National Institute of Health. Minority Business assistance and two traditionally black colleges and other major programs will not be reduced from our 1982 request and suddenly people who previously believed the deficit was something you tried to increase were bemoaning the fact that we had one. They didn't tell you that this year's budget marks the lowest annual budget growth in 14 years. They didn't tell you this deficit is actually smaller in proportion to gross national product than in the last recession recovery cycle of one thousand seventy five seventy eight. Or that the deficit will decline in future years. Yes the deficit is too big. But I'm not about to use a magic pencil and merely create a balanced budget or a lower deficit on paper as has been done in the past. The budget we propose is a line drawn in the dirt. Those who are serious about reducing the deficit will cross it and work with us on our proposal or their alternative. Those who are not sincere in their concern about the deficit will stay on the other side and simply continue that the Actrix the American people are tired of the Actrix they want action. And let me tell you they know the difference. Our first commitment was to secure America's freedom. We are as I said rebuilding our defenses. Our second commitment was to restore America's economy. We have in place the first installments of a solid program for economic recovery. We turn now to our next commitment pairing the unmanageable size of the federal bureaucracy returning government to the government removing the possibility of solving problems where they occur. Forcing Americans to accept the dictates of a swollen bureaucracy in Washington instead of dealing with their neighbors in city hall of the state house has to be one of the most serious mistakes of this century. The federal government has become involved in such traditionally local concerns as fire protection police pensions welfare and pothole repair. In the last 20 years the volume of grants in aid has virtually exploded. For example in 1960 total federal involvement in fire pollution or protection I should say amounted to a cooperative agreement between the Forest Service and state agencies. Today every federal department except State and Defense and at least 11 other agencies have their fingers in the fire related activities of state and local governments. And the taxpayer gets burned. Divisions of responsibility have blurred beyond recognition. The intentions of big government were good but the result has been overwhelming inefficiency waste and the kind of regulation that ends all hope of finding local answers to local needs. The willingness of the federal government to inject itself in matters more properly considered by city or county councils school boards or state legislatures has resulted in a confused citizenry unsure of who to turn to. Unaware of who to blame when things go wrong. We have to face facts. As one mayor recently put it Big Government has led to an unstable economy. Low productivity and high unemployment. The American people want to change. America needs a change. And we intend to provide.
We have proposed the broad outlines of a plan to restore the accountability now missing in our bloated government. We want to consult with you and your colleagues around the country to develop the details that will make it work. Our initial program includes the transfer to the states of more than 40 federal programs in the areas of education development and social services. And we want to send back the tax sources to pay for them as well. But the centerpiece of the proposal is the almost dollar for dollar swap of two of the largest areas of welfare the federal government would take over Medicaid in exchange for state assumption of Aid to Families with Dependent Children and food stamps since Medicaid is growing at a much faster rate than those other programs the federal government would assume the heavier burden.
We also have proposed a transition period of eight years and establishment of a grassroots trust fund to ease the return of programs and tax bases. And these are the areas we want to discuss with you. Certainly law enforcement and civil rights programs dealing with the handicapped and minorities should remain at the federal level. But we want to re-establish with you a clear and workable philosophy to divide the functions of government. Let us not confuse the ideals that launched the last 40 years of centralization with the failed realities. It is produced. Let us recognize the good that has come from our past efforts but also understand that we have come into a new day and must change the way we view government and government role in our rapidly changing society. Governor Thomas Kaine of New Jersey in his inaugural address last month said we must turn to ourselves to draw upon the diversity of our people and tap the strength inherent in that diversity. We cannot view this need to change with resignation rather it must be viewed as a challenge to our ingenuity our dedication and our imagination and quote. Well here in Iowa you have a strong two party system. Your governor Bob Ray has provided strong leadership and your congressional delegation led by Senators Robert Jefferson and Chuck Grassley serve you and our country well. Innovation and reform of been the hallmarks of this legislature you're reapportionment plan has been called a model for the country. You've made significant advances against waste and fraud and have a trouble with the tradition of top quality public education. Yet there are pundits in Washington who consider the state house to be the backwater of American politics. They don't trust you to run your own affairs. They don't trust you to show compassion to your needy or justice to your disadvantaged. Just a few weeks ago someone in a key leadership position in the U.S. House of Representatives one of the people who for decades has presided over the dissolution of our national economy and system of government said he would be in no hurry to transfer the authority and resources that belong to you back to your control. He said he knew of a dozen states right now that would shirk their responsibilities. He didn't happen to name those dozen states. It makes you wonder which states are not American enough for him. Well I'm sure the people in the state houses around this country would like to know. First the elitist who fought the tax cuts saying the American people could not be trusted with an increased share of their own earnings. Now they say the people we elect the state and local office can't be trusted to run state and local affairs. Well then who can we trust. A handful of individuals with a strong case of Potomac fever. The very individuals who got us into this mess to begin with. A recent Gallup poll says today Americans by nearly two to one trust state governments more than the federal government to remain free of corruption and administer programs efficiently. Washington D.C. has no corner on compassion or wisdom on morality. If we do nothing else in this administration we are going to convince that city that the power and the money and the responsibility of this country begin and end with the people and not in some Puzzle Palace on the Potomac.
Come would have us believe that today's world is too complex and our needs too large to be managed by self-rule. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself then who among us has the capacity to govern the rest of us. It's been said that if we lose this way of ours this thing we call freedom. History will record with the greatest astonishment that those who have the most to lose did the least to prevent its happening. That must not be said of us. I've told you I'm confident our economic recovery program will succeed. That is not wishful thinking. Our plan is based on simple logic. We have deficits because government spends more than it takes in. We've had only one balanced budget in the last 20 years. Today's interest on the trillion dollar debt is greater than the total budget in Eisenhower's day.
So we're reducing the size and cost of government to bring the annual increase in cost to less than the increased taxes in tax revenues now increasing taxes is not an answer. We doubled taxes between 1076 in 1981 and had the biggest string of deficits in our history. Besides that taxes reduced our ability as individuals to save. Today we're the last of the seven top industrial nations in saving and investment our industrial plant machinery averages 17 years in age in Japan the average is just 10 years. So we're reducing the tax rate. Government regulations have cost the American economy an estimated 100 billion dollars a year. We're reducing the number of regulations the federal government has a great cost in attempting to perform tasks that are not its proper function. So we're restoring the 10th Amendment to the Constitution which says the federal government will do only those things called for in the Constitution and all others shall remain with the states or with the people.
I don't believe that our destiny is to watch this unique experiment in government slip from disrepair into decay. But if we remember that freedom rest and always will on the individual and individual integrity and individual effort and individual courage and in an individual faith in God then we will have met the challenge of our generation and brought our great nation safely through our turning point in history. I look to you today and in the coming weeks for guidance as we think in a new framework for partnership in government. I ask you to join me as we move forward into a new and more prosperous era for America and for all of our people. I promise you there will be no winners and no losers among the states. I promise you that it will be a fair trade and that the federal government will continue to maintain its responsibility for those things that the Constitution has imposed upon it. But we will in turn have faith in your compassion and in your gut good judgment and in your sense of responsibility to those people that you represent here in this great state. Thank you very much.
Setting presidential visits in perspective is always a difficult task. For some brief observation though the president's speech with her knowledge through Pulitzer Prize winner John McCormack columnist now for the Paris newspapers and shed brand all who's the host of Public Television's nationally distributed market to market program who were with us for the live broadcast this morning in the president's speech.
John what struck you as significant about the presidential visit and the speech ordaining upright and began by talking football in the basketball season reminding I why did last the ghost Bowl and I want to think about it in t Double-A and in a way that describes the development of the speech as a whole it did not mention unemployment or any of those other immediate concerns. I wonder what that worrying much more about than some fellows topical Bavarian called new federalism or his stern defense of his economic program.
Was that a concern of yours.
Well I would say first that the governor Ray indicated what I think polls tell us that a majority of Midwesterners would like to see federalism succeed. I think the president very eloquently defended his program saying that there had been cuts in the budget. There is savings by people. We do have a reduction in inflation. And I think that he was most eloquent and most convincing when he left the context of the advance speech and defended his budget as well as the things that he has accomplished. And I do think there's been too much made of that one budget figure and that is it really counts on what people are saving and where they're investing is more important in that figure. Now I think we have to look at why did all the social programs go to Washington. The states were neither inclined nor had the revenue to support the social programs deemed necessary. I think we have some underneath answered questions Has that changed. The president left with some other and other unanswered questions. How is it going to really work when you come down to the revenue. We recall a year and a half ago he promised that we could cut spending we could cut taxes we could raise military and sametime balance the budget. We learn that that's not quite true. So I think that there are many who are saying we need some more answers than what we heard though it was eloquently presented in the overall context. Did he come to the right place to say all that John.
I don't have a thanks how I think most or most of what he wants to accomplish has got to be accomplished and God in Washington before the Congress.
I would say that it was appropriate coming here because he wanted a media event and he had it set where it was his hometown setting it was in a smaller state presumably in terms of the population and it in effect said to people around the nation that he was aiming for a national audience is this is grassroots This is understandable. And he alluded to that in a way by saying there are those who say that I'm not in the right place that you fellows here don't have any power at all you're the backwater of politics and I think he was sort of urging that to take up the challenge but he did miss the opportunity to speak to rural America and not just farmers because we still have a 22 percent of the labor force is rural America affected by.
I think he missed that opportunity last coming back I have nothing more add except a light like cash. OK. Yes thank you John and Chet.
Well look for there at the president's visit and its implications on I will press Sunday evening at 5:00 for John McCormack in chat round off. I'm Dean Borg. Good night.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
- Ronald Reagan
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- Chicago: “President Ronald Reagan Visits Des Moines - Evening Coverage; Ronald Reagan,” 1982-00-00, Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 22, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_37-94vhj07f.
- MLA: “President Ronald Reagan Visits Des Moines - Evening Coverage; Ronald Reagan.” 1982-00-00. Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 22, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_37-94vhj07f>.
- APA: President Ronald Reagan Visits Des Moines - Evening Coverage; Ronald Reagan. Boston, MA: Iowa Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_37-94vhj07f