Thank you very, very much, Halsey, Congressman Pete McCloskey, Congress. man Al Bell, Congressman Mineta, Ev Younger, Mayor Hayes, Paul Mariani, Ron James, and, of course, my old and very dear friend, Dave Packard, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:
I have always enjoyed the company of Americans who are working to bring more jobs and greater prosperity to our country, and that's why I am especially pleased and very happy to be with you here in San Jose today.
One of my greatest responsibilities as President has been the task of revitalizing our economy. In meeting that challenge, I place full confidence in the ability of our free enterprise system, and you have shown that that kind of faith is fully justified here in San Jose. On your own, with your own enterprise, your own initiative, you have established an international business park that is expected to create millions and millions of dollars in new revenue for this area and provide as many as 12,000 jobs in the forthcoming years.
The new Foreign Trade Zone within the park will also strengthen our participation in the international market. And I wish you the very, very best of luck with your international park, as well as your trade zone. I congratulate wholeheartedly the members of the Chamber of Commerce on your new office building, and thank you all for making my job a little bit easier.
Your economic future looks very bright in a city with all this talent and all this energy. I see optimism actually spreading all over our country.
It was not always so, as you will find if you refresh your memories. Just 21 months ago America's prosperity and economic strength were seriously threatened by a chilling combination of recession as well as inflation. Some of America's leading economists and politicians thought it best, for example, to impose wage and price controls to deal with the economic difficulties that we were experiencing. Others insisted that we spend massive amounts of Federal dollars to stimulate the economy.
Despite the danger, of course, of feeding an always dangerous inflation, I decided the way to real recovery and enduring prosperity in America was not through government quick fixes. We have tried those in the past. We know they haven't worked and we knew they wouldn't work in 1975 or 1976.
I had faith that America would work its way out of its economic difficulties rather than trying to spend its way out of its difficulties. I proposed, and the Congress accepted, a major tax cut for individuals and tax incentives for business expansion and job production so that we could get the great American free enterprise system working at full speed.
We also began a comprehensive effort to restore the confidence of the American people in themselves, in their government, and in their own future. This effort was absolutely essential to restoring the economic confidence of the consumer--of course, a very key element in the progress we had to make.
These policies, as we look back, have been very, very successful. America today is in the midst of a strong and surging economic recovery, and we should be very proud of that progress.
The real gross national product rose during the first quarter--January, February, March of this year--at an annual rate of 8½ percent--far, far above the most optimistic predictions. In dollars and cents, that means the value of America's output of goods and services rose at an annual rate of almost $200 billion.
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