LET ME just say a word or two to give you some thoughts if you are doing telephoning or if you are meeting people and trying to be helpful. What we have tried to do in the 19 months that I have been President is to restore a balance in the Federal Government so that you get a better balance between the taxpayers on the one hand and the people who are beneficiaries from taxpayers on another. We have been trying to get a better balance between the role of the Federal Government and the responsibility in the role of the State governments and local units of government.
As Governor Knowles1 knows, there was a period of time, over a period of some 20 years, when the Federal Government grabbed everything, and the net result was there was a corresponding loss in responsibility and decisionmaking at the State and local level. I have faith in your local government; I have faith in your people that are at the State level--they are certainly a lot more qualified to decide the problems in Wisconsin than somebody sitting on the banks of the Potomac.
We are all disturbed about the crime problem. I think there has been an overemphasis in the last 10 or 15 years on not being too harsh on the criminal. I believe that we have got to put the emphasis on the rights of the victim. We have got to look after the victims of crime and prevent crime from being undertaken.
1 Gov. Warren P. Knowles of Wisconsin 1964-71, chairman of the Wisconsin President Ford Committee.
And so this balance has to be restored. I think we have to restore better balance between domestic programs on the one hand and what we invest in our national security on the other.
So, we have tried to do this. We have made a lot of headway. We have taken ourselves to a great extent out of the worst recession in 40 years. If we just keep cool, don't succumb to all these quick-fix, panic propositions, we are going to end up with the healthiest, strongest, most equitable economy in the history of the United States.
Then, we have to make absolutely certain and positive that we are unsurpassed militarily, that we maintain our superiority in the productivity of our industry, the productivity of our agriculture, the superiority of our science and technology. When we put it all together, the United States is number one, far ahead of everybody else. And our responsibility, mine and 215 million other Americans, is to maintain that strength so that we can make it easier and better for all of us at home and to protect our national security from outside forces.
We have the strength agriculturally, industrially, commercially, scientifically. But the one thing that is even more important than anything else--I happen to believe as I travel around the world, on occasion traveling one country to another, that the great strength of America is its moral and spiritual leadership. We can't lose it because that is what ties everything together.
Thank you for your help. We are going to work with you, and I can't thank you enough.