|The American Presidency Project|
|• Democratic Party Platforms|
|1964 Democratic Party Platform|
|August 24, 1964|
One Nation, One People
America is One Nation, One People. The welfare, progress, security and survival of each of us reside in the common good—the sharing of responsibilities as well as benefits by all our people.
Democracy in America rests on the confidence that people can be trusted with freedom. It comes from the connection that we will find in freedom a unity of purpose stronger than all our differences.
We have drawn upon that unity when the forces of ignorance, hate, and fear fired an assassin's bullet at the nation's heart, incited violence in our land, and attacked the outposts of freedom around the world.
Because of this unity, those who traffic in fear, hate, falsehood, and violence have failed to undermine our people's deep love of truth and quiet faith in freedom.
Our program for the future is to make the national purpose—the human purpose of us all—fulfill our individual needs.
Accordingly, we offer this platform as a covenant of unity.
We invite all to join us who believe that narrow partisanship takes too small account of the size of our task, the penalties for failure and the boundless rewards to all our people for success.
We offer as the goal of this covenant peace for all nations and freedom for all peoples.
Peace should be the first concern of all governments as it is the prayer of all men.
At the start of the third decade of the nuclear age, the preservation of peace requires the strength to wage war and the wisdom to avoid it. The search for peace requires the utmost intelligence, the clearest vision, and a strong sense of reality.
Because for four years our nation has patiently demonstrated these qualities and persistently used them, the world is closer to peace today than it was in 1960.
In 1960, freedom was on the defensive. The Communists—doubting both our strength and our will to use it—pressed forward in Southeast Asia, Latin America, Central Africa and Berlin.
President Kennedy and Vice President Johnson set out to remove any question of our power or our will. In the Cuban crisis of 1962 the Communist offensive shattered on the rock of President Kennedy's determination—and our ability—to defend the peace.
Two years later, President Johnson responded to another Communist challenge, this time in the Gulf of Tonkin. Once again power exercised with restraint repulsed Communist aggression and strengthened the cause of freedom.
Responsible leadership, unafraid but refusing to take needless risk, has turned the tide in freedom's favor. No nation, old or new, has joined the Communist bloc since Cuba during the preceding Republican Administration. Battered by economic failures, challenged by recent American achievements in space, torn by the Chinese-Russian rift, and faced with American strength and courage—international Communism has lost its unity and momentum.
By the end of 1960, military strategy was being shaped by the dictates of arbitrary budget ceilings instead of the real needs of national security. There were, for example, too few ground and air forces to fight limited war, although such wars were a means to continued Communist expansion.
Since then, and at the lowest possible cost, we have created a balanced, versatile, powerful defense establishment, capable of countering aggression across the entire spectrum of conflict, from nuclear confrontation to guerrilla subversion.
We have increased our intercontinental ballistic missiles and Polaris missiles from fewer than 100 to more than 1,000, more than four times the force of the Soviet Union. We have increased the number of combat ready divisions from 11 to 16.
Until such time as there can be an enforceable treaty providing for inspected and verified disarmament, we must, and we will, maintain our military strength, as the sword and shield of freedom and the guarantor of peace.
Specifically, we must and we will:
Continue the overwhelming supremacy of our Strategic Nuclear Forces.
Strengthen further our forces for discouraging limited wars and fighting subversion.
Maintain the world's largest research and development effort, which has initiated more than 200 new programs since 1961, to ensure continued American leadership in weapons systems and equipment.
Continue the nationwide Civil Defense program as an important part of our national security.
Pursue our examination of the Selective Service program to make certain that it is continued only as long as it is necessary and that we meet our military manpower needs without social or economic injustice.
Attract to the military services the highest caliber of career men and women and make certain they are adequately paid and adequately housed.
Maintain our Cost Reduction Program, to ensure a dollar's worth of defense for every dollar spent, and minimize the disruptive effects of changes in defense spending.
Building the Peace
As citizens of the United States, we are determined that it be the most powerful nation on earth.
As citizens of the world, we insist that this power be exercised with the utmost responsibility.
Control of the use of nuclear weapons must remain solely with the highest elected official in the country—the President of the United States.
Through our policy of never negotiating from fear but never fearing to negotiate, we are slowly but surely approaching the point where effective international agreements providing for inspection and control can begin to lift the crushing burden of armaments off the backs of the people of the world.
In the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, signed now by over 100 nations, we have written our commitment to limitations on the arms race, consistent with our security. Reduced production of nuclear materials for weapons purposes has been announced and nuclear weapons have been barred from outer space.
Already the air we and our children breathe is freer of nuclear contamination.
We are determined to continue all-out efforts through fully-enforceable measures to halt and reverse the arms race and bring to an end the era of nuclear terror.
We will maintain our solemn commitment to the United Nations, with its constituent agencies, working to strengthen it as a more effective instrument for peace, for preventing or resolving international disputes, and for building free nations through economic, technical, and cultural development. We continue to oppose the admission of Red China to the United Nations.
We believe in increased partnership with our friends and associates in the community which spans the North Atlantic. In every possible way we will work to strengthen our ties and increase our cooperation, building always more firmly on the sure foundation of the NATO treaty.
We pledge unflagging devotion to our commitments to freedom from Berlin to South Vietnam. We will:
Help the people of developing nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America raise their standards of living and create conditions in which freedom and independence can flourish.
Place increased priority on private enterprise and development loans as we continue to improve our mutual assistance programs.
Work for the attainment of peace in the Near East as an urgent goal, using our best efforts to prevent a military unbalance, to encourage arms reductions and the use of national resources for internal development and to encourage the re-settlement of Arab refugees in lands where there is room and opportunity. The problems of political adjustment between Israel and the Arab countries can and must be peacefully resolved and the territorial integrity of every nation respected.
Support the partnership of free American Republics in the Alliance for Progress.
Move actively to carry out the Resolution of the Organization of American States to further isolate Castroism and speed the restoration of freedom and responsibility in Cuba.
Support our friends in and around the rim of the Pacific, and encourage a growing understanding among peoples, expansion of cultural exchanges, and strengthening of ties.
Oppose aggression and the use of force or the threat of force against any nation.
Encourage by all peaceful means the growing independence of the captive peoples living under Communism and hasten the day that Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Rumania and the other captive nations will achieve full freedom and self-determination. We deplore Communist oppression of Jews and other minorities.
Encourage expansion of our economic ties with other nations of the world and eliminate unjustifiable tariff and non-tariff barriers, under authority of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. Expand the Peace Corps.
Use even more of our Food for Peace.
The Conquest of Space
In four vigorous years we have moved to the forefront of space exploration. The United States must never again settle for second place in the race for tomorrow's frontiers.
We will continue the rapid development of space technology for peaceful uses.
We will encourage private industry to increase its efforts in space research.
We will continue to ensure that any race in space is won for freedom and for peace.
The Leadership We Offer
The complications and dangers in our restless, constantly changing world require of us consummate understanding and experience. One rash act, one thoughtless decision, one unchecked reaction—and cities could become smoldering ruins and farms parched wasteland.
The leadership we offer has already been tested in the crucible of crisis and challenge. To this Nation and to all the world we reaffirm President Johnson's resolve to "... use every resource at the command of the Government. . . and the people . . . to find the road to peace."
We offer this platform as a guide for that journey.
Freedom and Well Being
There can be full freedom only when all of our people have opportunity for education to the full extent of their ability to learn, followed by the opportunity to employ their learning in the creation of something of value to themselves and to the nation.
Our task is to make the national purpose serve the human purpose: that every person shall have the opportunity to become all that he or she is capable of becoming.
We believe that knowledge is essential to individual freedom and to the conduct of a free society. We believe that education is the surest and most profitable investment a nation can make.
Regardless of family financial status, therefore, education should be open to every boy or girl in America up to the highest level which he or she is able to master.
In an economy which will offer fewer and fewer places for the unskilled, there must be a wide variety of educational opportunities so that every young American, on leaving school, will have acquired the training to take a useful and rewarding place in our society.
It is increasingly clear that more of our educational resources must be directed to pre-school training as well as to junior college, college and post-graduate study.
The demands on the already inadequate sources of state and local revenues place a serious limitation on education. New methods of financial aid must be explored, including the channeling of federally collected revenues to all levels of education, and, to the extent permitted by the Constitution, to all schools. Only in this way can our educational programs achieve excellence throughout the nation, a goal that must be achieved without interfering with local control and direction of education.
In order to insure that all students who can meet the requirements for college entrance can continue their education, we propose an expanded program of public scholarships, guaranteed loans, and work-study grants.
We shall develop the potential of the Armed Forces for training young men who might otherwise be rejected for military service because their work skills are underdeveloped.
The health of the people is important to the strength and purpose of our country and is a proper part of our common concern.
In a nation that lacks neither compassion nor resources, the needless suffering of people who cannot afford adequate medical care is intolerable:
We will continue to fight until we have succeeded in including hospital care for older Americans in the Social Security program, and have insured adequate assistance to those elderly people suffering from mental illness and mental retardation.
We will go forward with research into the causes and cures of disease, accidents, mental illness and mental retardation.
We will further expand our health facilities, especially medical schools, hospitals, and research laboratories.
America's veterans who served their Nation so well must, in turn, be served fairly by a grateful Nation. First-rate hospitals and medical care must be provided veterans with service-connected injuries and disabilities, and their compensation rates must insure an adequate standard of living. The National Service Life Insurance program should be reopened for those who have lost their insurance coverage, and an equitable and just pension system must help meet the need of those disabled veterans and their survivors who require financial assistance.
Democracy of Opportunity
The variety of our people is the source of our strength and ought not to be a cause of disunity or discord. The rights of all our citizens must be protected and all the laws of our land obeyed if America is to he safe for democracy.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 deserves and requires full observance by every American and fair, effective enforcement if there is any default.
Resting upon a national consensus expressed by the overwhelming support of both parties, this new law impairs the rights of no American; it affirms the rights of all Americans. Its purpose is not to divide, but to end division; not to curtail the opportunities of any, but to increase opportunities for all; not to punish, but to promote further our commitment to freedom, the pursuit of justice, and a deeper respect for human dignity.
We reaffirm our belief that lawless disregard for the rights of others is wrong—whether used to deny equal rights or to obtain equal rights.
We cannot and will not tolerate lawlessness. We can and will seek to eliminate its economic and social causes.
True democracy of opportunity will not be served by establishing quotas based on the same false distinctions we seek to erase, nor can the effects of prejudice be neutralized by the expedient of preferential practices.
The immigration laws must be revised to permit families to be reunited, to welcome the persecuted and oppressed, and to eliminate the discriminatory provisions which base admission upon national origins.
We will support legislation to carry forward the progress already made toward full equality of opportunity for women as well as men.
We will strive to eliminate discrimination against older Americans, especially in their employment.
Ending discrimination based on race, age, sex, or national origin demands not only equal opportunity but the opportunity to be equal. We are concerned not only with people's right to be free, but also with their ability to use their freedom. We will:
Carry the War on Poverty forward as a total war against the causes of human want.
Move forward with programs to restore those areas, such as Appalachia, which the Nation's progress has by-passed.
Help the physically handicapped and mentally disadvantaged develop to the full limit of their capabilities.
Enhance the security of older Americans by encouraging private retirement and welfare programs, offering opportunities like those provided for the young under the Economic Opportunities Act of 1964, and expanding decent housing which older citizens can afford.
Assist our Indian people to improve their standard of living and attain self-sufficiency, the privileges of equal citizenship, and full participation in American life.
The Social Security program, initiated and developed under the National leadership of the Democratic Party and in the face of ceaseless partisan opposition, contributes greatly to the strength of the Nation. We must insure that those who have contributed to the system shall share in the steady increase in our standard of living by adjusting benefit levels.
We hold firmly to the conviction, long embraced by Democratic Administrations, that the advancing years of life should bring not fear and loneliness, but security, meaning, and satisfaction.
We will encourage further support for the arts, giving people a better chance to use increased leisure and recognizing that the achievements of art are an index of the greatness of a civilization.
We will encourage the advance of science and technology—for its material rewards, and for its contribution to an understanding of the universe and ourselves.
The American free enterprise system is one of the great achievements of the human mind and spirit. It has developed by a combination of the energetic efforts of working men and women, bold private initiative, the profit motive and wise public policy, until it is now the productive marvel of mankind.
In spite of this, at the outset of 1961, America was in the depths of the fourth postwar recession.
Since then, in 42 months of uninterrupted expansion under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, we have achieved the longest and strongest peace-time prosperity in modern history:
Almost four million jobs have been added to the economy—almost 1 1/2 million since last December.
Workers' earnings and corporate profits are at the highest level in history.
Prices have been more stable than in any other industrial nation in the free world.
This did not just happen. It has come about because we have wisely and prudently used our increasing understanding of how the economy works.
It is the national purpose, and our commitment, to continue this expansion of the American economy toward its potential, without a recession, with continued stability, and with an extension of the benefits of this growth and prosperity to those who have not fully shared in them.
This will require continuation of flexible and innovative fiscal, monetary, and debt management policies, recognizing the importance of low interest rates.
We will seek further tax reduction—and in the process we need to remove inequities in our present tax laws. In particular we should carefully review all our excise taxes and eliminate those that are obsolete. Consideration should be given to the development of fiscal policies which would provide revenue sources to hard-pressed state and local governments to assist them with their responsibilities.
Every penny of Federal spending must be accounted for in terms of the strictest economy, efficiency and integrity. We pledge to continue a frugal government, getting a dollar's value for a dollar spent, and a government worthy of the citizen's confidence.
Our goal is a balanced budget in a balanced economy.
Our enviable record of price stability must be maintained—through sound fiscal and monetary policies and the encouragement of responsible private wage and price policies. Stability is essential to protect our citizens—particularly the retired and handicapped—from the ravages of inflation. It is also essential to maintain confidence in the American dollar; this confidence has been restored in the past four years through sound policies.
Radical changes in technology and automation contribute to increased productivity and a higher standard of living. They must not penalize the few while benefiting the many. We maintain that any man or woman displaced by a machine or by technological change should have the opportunity, without penalty, to another job. Our common responsibility is to see that this right is fulfilled.
Full employment is an end in itself and must be insisted upon as a priority objective.
It is the national purpose, and our commitment, that every man or woman who is willing and able to work is entitled to a job and to a fair wage for doing it.
The coverage of the Fair Labor Standards Act must be extended to all workers employed in industries affecting interstate commerce, and the minimum wage level and coverage increased to assure those at the bottom of the economic scale a fairer share in the benefits of an ever-rising standard of American living.
Overtime payment requirements must be increased to assure maximum employment consistent with business efficiency. The matter of the length of work periods should be given continuing consideration.
The unemployment insurance program must be basically revised to meet the needs of the unemployed and of the economy, and to assure that this program meets the standards the nation's experience dictates.
Agricultural and migratory workers must be given legal protection and economic encouragement.
We must develop fully our most precious resource—our manpower. Training and retraining programs must be expanded. A broad-gauge manpower program must be developed which will not only satisfy the needs of the economy but will also give work its maximum meaning in the pattern of human life.
We will stimulate as well as protect small business, the seedbed of free enterprise and a major source of employment in our economy.
The antitrust laws must be vigorously enforced. Our population, which is growing rapidly and becoming increasingly mobile, and our expanding economy are placing greater demands upon our transportation system than ever before. We must have fast, safe, and economic modes of transportation. Each mode should be encouraged to develop in accordance with its maximum utility, available at the lowest cost under the principles of fair competition. A strong and efficient American Flag merchant marine is essential to peace-time commerce and defense emergencies.
The industrial democracy of free, private collective bargaining and the security of American trade unions must be strengthened by repealing Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act. The present inequitable restrictions on the right to organize and to strike and picket peaceably must also be eliminated.
In order to protect the hard earned dollars of American consumers, as well as promote their basic consumer rights, we will make full use of existing authority, and continue to promote efforts on behalf of consumers by industry, voluntary organizations, and state and local governments. Where protection is essential, we will enact legislation to protect the safety of consumers and to provide them with essential information. We will continue to insist that our drugs and medicines are safe and effective, that our food and cosmetics are free from harm, that merchandise is labeled and packaged honestly and that the true cost of credit is disclosed.
It is the national purpose, and our commitment to increase the freedom and effectiveness of the essential private forces and processes in the economy.
The roots of our economy and our life as a people lie deep in the soil of America's farm land. Our policies and programs must continue to recognize the significant role of agricultural and rural life.
To achieve the goals of higher incomes to the farm and ranch, particularly the family-sized farm, lower prices for the consumer, and lower costs to the government, we will continue to carry forward this three-dimensional program.
1. Commodity Programs to strengthen the farm income structure and reach the goal of parity of income in every aspect of American agriculture. We will continue to explore and develop new domestic and foreign markets for the products of our farms and ranches.
2. Consumer Programs including expansion of the Food Stamp Program and the school lunch and other surplus food programs, and acceleration of research into new industrial uses of farm products, in order to assure maximum use of and abundance of wholesome foods at fair prices here and abroad. We will also study new low-cost methods and techniques of food distribution for the benefit of our housewives to better feed their families.
3. Community Programs and agricultural cooperatives to assure rural America decent housing, economic security and full partnership in the building of the great society. We pledge our continued support of the rural telephone program and the Rural Electrification Administration, which are among the great contributions of the Democratic Party to the well-being and comfort of rural America.
The Nation's Natural Resources
America's bountiful supply of natural resources has been one of the major factors in achieving our position of world leadership, in developing the greatest industrial machine in the world's history, and in providing a richer and more complete life for every American. But these resources are not inexhaustible. With our vastly expanding population—an estimated 325 million people by the end of the century—there is an ever-increasing responsibility to use and conserve our resources wisely and prudently if we are to fulfill our obligation to the trust we hold for future generations. Building on the unsurpassed conservation record of the past four years, we shall:
Continue the quickened pace of comprehensive development of river basins in every section of the country, employing multi-purpose projects such as flood control, irrigation and reclamation, power generation, navigation, municipal water supply, fish and wildlife enhancement and recreation, where appropriate to realize the fullest possible benefits.
Provide the people of this nation a balanced outdoor recreation program to add to their health and well-being, including the addition or improved management of national parks, forests, lake shores, seashores and recreation areas.
Preserve for us and our posterity through the means provided by the Wilderness Act of 1964 millions of acres of primitive and wilderness areas, including countless beautiful lakes and streams. Increase our stock of wildlife and fish. Continue and strengthen the dynamic program inaugurated to assure fair treatment for American fishermen and the preservation of fishing rights.
Continue to support balanced land and forest development through intensive forest management on a multiple-use and sustained yield basis, reforestation of burned land, providing public access roads, range improvement, watershed management, concern for small business operations and recreational uses.
Unlock the resources of the sea through a strong oceanography program.
Continue the attack we have launched on the polluted air that envelops our cities and on eliminating the pollution of our rivers and streams.
Intensify our efforts to solve the critical water problems of many sections of this country by desalinization.
Sustain and promote strong, vigorous domestic minerals, metals, petroleum and fuels industries.
Increase the efficient use of electrical power through regional inter-ties and more extensive use of high voltage transmission.
Continue to promote the development of new and improved methods of generating electric power, such as the recent important gains in the field of atomic energy and the Passamaquoddy tidal power project.
Preserve the T.V.A., which has played such an instrumental role in the revitalization of the area it serves and which has been the inspiration for regional development programs throughout the world.
The vitality of our cities is essential to the healthy growth of American civilization. In the next 40 years urban populations will double, the area of city land will double and we will have to construct houses, highways and facilities equal to all those built since this country was first settled.
Now is the time to redouble our efforts, with full cooperation among local, state and federal governments, for these objectives:
The goal of our housing program must be a decent home for every American family.
Special effort must be made in our cities to provide wholesome living for our young people. We must press the fight against narcotics and, through the war against poverty, increase educational and employment opportunities, turning juvenile delinquents into good citizens and tax-users into tax payers.
We will continue to assist broad community and regional development, urban renewal, mass transit, open space and other programs for our metropolitan areas. We will offer such aid without impairing local Administration through unnecessary Federal interference.
Because our cities and suburbs are so important to the welfare of all our people, we believe a department devoted to urban affairs should be added to the President's cabinet.
We, the people, are the government.
The Democratic Party believes, as Thomas Jefferson first stated that "the care of human life and happiness is the first and only legitimate object of good government:"
The government's business is the people's business. Information about public affairs must continue to be freely available to the Congress and to the public.
Every person who participates in the government must be held to a standard of ethics which permits no compromise with the principles of absolute honesty and the maintenance of undivided loyalty to the public interest.
The Congress of the United States should revise its rules and procedures to assure majority rule after reasonable debate and to guarantee that major legislative proposals of the President can be brought to a vote after reasonable consideration in committee.
We support home rule for the District of Columbia. The seat of our government shall be a workshop for democracy, a pilot-plant for freedom, and a place of incomparable beauty.
We also support a constitutional amendment giving the District voting representation in Congress and, pending such action, the enactment of legislation providing for a non-voting delegate from District of Columbia to the House of Representatives.
We support the right of the people of the Virgin Islands to the fullest measure of self-government, including the right to elect their Governor.
The people of Puerto Rico and the people of the United States enjoy a unique relationship that has contributed greatly to the remarkable economic and political development of Puerto Rico. We look forward to the report on that relationship by a commission composed of members from Puerto Rico and the United States, and we are confident that it will contribute to the further enhancement of Puerto Rico and the benefit that flows from the principles of self-determination.
The Democratic Party holds to the belief that government in the United States—local, state and federal—was created in order to serve the people. Each level of government has appropriate powers and each has specific responsibilities. The first responsibility of government at every level is to protect the basic freedoms of the people. No government at any level can properly complain of violation of its power, if it fails to meet its responsibilities.
The federal government exists not to grow larger, but to enlarge the individual potential and achievement of the people.
The federal government exists not to subordinate the states, but to support them.
All of us are Americans. All of us are free men. Ultimately there can be no effective restraint on the powers of government at any level save as Americans exercising their duties as citizens insist upon and maintain free, democratic processes of our constitutional system.
One Nation, One People
On November 22, 1963, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot down in our land.
We honor his memory best—and as he would wish—by devoting ourselves anew to the larger purposes for which he lived.
Of first priority is our renewed commitments to the values and ideals of democracy.
We are firmly pledged to continue the Nation's march towards the goals of equal opportunity and equal treatment for all Americans regardless of race, creed, color or national origin.
We cannot tolerate violence anywhere in our land—north, south, east or west. Resort to lawlessness is anarchy and must be opposed by the Government and all thoughtful citizens.
We must expose, wherever it exists, the advocacy of hatred which creates the clear and present danger of violence.
We condemn extremism, whether from the Right or Left, including the extreme tactics of such organizations as the Communist Party, the Ku Klux Klan and the John Birch Society.
We know what violence and hate can do. We have seen the tragic consequences of misguided zeal and twisted logic.
The time has come now for all of us to understand and respect one another, and to seek the unity of spirit and purpose from which our future greatness will grow—for only as we work together with the object of liberty and justice for all will the peace and freedom of each of us be secured.
These are the principles which command our cause and strengthen our effort as we cross the new frontier and enter upon the great society.
An Accounting of Stewardship, 1961—1964
One hundred and twenty-four years ago, in 1840, the Democratic National Convention meeting in Baltimore adopted the first platform in the history of a national political party. The principles stated in that platform are as valid as ever:
"Resolved, That the liberal principles embodied by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, and sanctioned in the Constitution, which makes ours the land of liberty, and the asylum of the oppressed of every nation, have ever been cardinal principles in the democratic faith."
One hundred and twenty years later, in 1960, our nation had grown from 26 to 50 states, our people from 17 million to 179 million.
That year, in Los Angeles, the Democratic National Convention adopted a platform which reflected, in its attention to 38 specific subjects, the volume of unfinished business of the American people which had piled up to the point of national crisis.
The platform declared that as a Party we would put the people's business first, and stated in plain terms how we proposed to get on with it.
Four year have passed, and the time has come for the people to measure our performance against our pledges.
We welcome the comparison; we seek it.
For the record is one of four years of unrelenting effort, and unprecedented achievement—not by a political party, but by a people.
In 1960, we proposed to—
"Recast our military capacity in order to provide forces and weapons of a diversity, balance, and mobility sufficient in quantity and quality to deter both limited and general aggression." Since January 1961, we have achieved:
A 150% increase in the number of nuclear war-heads and a 200% increase in total megatonnage available in the Strategic Alert Forces.
A 60% increase in the tactical nuclear strength in Western Europe.
A 45% increase in the number of combat-ready Army divisions.
A 15,000 man increase in the strength of the Marine Corps.
A 75% increase in airlift capability.
A 100% increase in ship construction to modernize our fleet.
A 44% increase in the number of tactical fighter squadrons.
An 800% increase in the special forces trained to deal with counter-insurgency threats. In 1960, we proposed to create—
"Deterrent military power such that the Soviet and Chinese leaders will have no doubt that an attack on the United States would surely be followed by their own destruction."
Since 1961, we have increased the intercontinental ballistic missiles and Polaris missiles in our arsenal from fewer than 100 to more than 1,000.
Our Strategic Alert Forces now have about 1,100 bombers, including 550 on 15-minute alert, many of which are equipped with decoy missiles and other penetration aids to assure that they will reach their targets.
In 1960, we proposed—
"Continuous modernization of our forces through intensified research and development, including essential programs slowed down, terminated, suspended, or neglected for lack of budgetary support."
Since 1961, we have—
Increased funds for research and development by 50% over the 1957-60 level.
Added 208 major new research and development projects including 77 weapons programs with costs exceeding $10 million each, among which are the SR-71 long-range, manned, supersonic strategic military reconnaissance aircraft, the NIKE-X anti-ballistic missile system, the A7A navy attack aircraft, and the F-111 fighter-bomber and a new main battle tank.
Increased, by more than 1,000%, the funds for the development of counter-insurgency weapons and equipment, from less than $10 million to over $103 million per year.
In 1960, we proposed—
"Balanced conventional military forces which will permit a response graded to the intensity of any threats of aggressive force." Since 1961, we have—
Increased the regular strength of the Army by 100,000 men, and the numbers of combat-ready Army divisions from 11 to 16.
Increased the number of tactical fighter squadrons from 55 to 79 and have substantially increased the procurement of tactical fighters.
Trained over 100,000 officers in counter-insurgency skills necessary to fight guerilla and anti-guerilla warfare, and increased our special forces trained to deal with counter-insurgency by 800%.
Acquired balanced stocks of combat consumables for all our forces so that they can engage in combat for sustained periods of time.
In reconstructing the nation's defense establishment, the Administration has insisted that the services be guided by these three precepts: Buy only what we need.
Buy only at the lowest sound price.
Reduce operating costs through standardization, consolidation, and termination of unnecessary operations.
As a result, our expanded and reconstituted defense force has cost billions of dollars less than it would have cost under previous inefficient and un-businesslike methods of procurement and operation. These savings amounted to more than $1 billion in the fiscal year 1963, and to $2.5 billion in the fiscal year just completed. Furthermore, under the cost reduction program we have established, we will be saving $4.6 billion each year, every year, by Fiscal Year 1968.
We have successfully met the challenges of Berlin and Cuba, and attacks upon our Naval forces on the high seas, thus decreasing the prospect of further such challenges and brightening the outlook for peace.
In 1960, we proposed—
"A national peace agency for disarmament planning and research to muster the scientific ingenuity, coordination, continuity, and seriousness of purpose which are now lacking in our arms control efforts."
In 1961, the United States became the first nation in the world to establish an "agency for peace"—the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
This agency is charged by law with the development of a realistic arms control and disarmament policy to promote national security and provide an impetus towards a world free from the threat of war. Working closely with the senior military leaders of the Department of Defense, the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency has enabled the United States to lead the world in a new, continuous, hard-headed and purposeful discussion, negotiation and planning of disarmament. In 1960, we proposed—
"To develop responsible proposals that will help break the deadlock on arms control."
In the aftermath of the Cuban crisis the United States pressed its advantage to seek a new breakthrough for peace, On June 10, 1963, at American University, President Kennedy called on the Soviet leadership to join in concrete steps to abate the nuclear arms race. After careful negotiations experienced American negotiators reached agreement with the Russians on a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty—an event that will be marked forever in the history of mankind as a first step on the difficult road of arms control.
One hundred and six nations signed or acceded to the treaty.
In the United States it was supported by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and ratified in the Senate by an 80-20 vote.
To insure the effectiveness of our nuclear development program in accord with the momentous Test Ban Treaty, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended, and the Administration has undertaken:
A comprehensive program of underground testing of nuclear explosives.
Maintenance of modern nuclear laboratory facilities.
Preparations to test in the atmosphere if essential to national security, or if the treaty is violated by the Soviet Union.
Continuous improvement of our means for detecting violations and other nuclear activities elsewhere in the world.
In 1960, we proposed—
"To the extent we can secure the adoption of effective arms control agreements, vast resources will be freed for peaceful use."
In January and April 1964, President Johnson announced cutbacks in the production of nuclear materials: twenty percent in plutonium production and forty percent in enriched uranium. When the USSR followed this United States initiative with a similar announcement, the President welcomed the response as giving hope "that the world may yet, one day, live without the fear of war."
Instruments of Foreign Policy
In 1960, we proposed that—
"American foreign policy in all its aspects must be attuned to our world of change.
"We will recruit officials whose experience, humanity and dedication fit them for the task of effectively representing America abroad.
"We will provide a more sensitive and creative direction to our overseas information program."
Since 1961, the Department of State has had its self-respect restored, and has been vitalized by more vigorous recruitment and more intensive training of foreign service officers representing all elements of the American people.
Forty days after taking office President Kennedy established the Peace Corps. The world did not change overnight. Neither will it ever be quite the same again. The foreign minister of one large Asian nation has called the Peace Corps "the most powerful idea in recent times."
One hundred thousand Americans have volunteered for the Peace Corps. Nine thousand have served in a total of 45 countries.
Nearly every country to which volunteers have been sent has asked for more. Two dozen new countries are on the waiting list.
Volunteer organizations on the Peace Corps model are already operating in 12 countries and there has been a great expansion of volunteer service in many others.
An International Secretariat for Volunteer Service is working in 32 economically advanced and developing nations.
The United States Information Agency has been transformed into a powerful, effective and respected weapon of the free world. The new nations of the world have come to know an America that is not afraid to tell the truth about itself—and so can be believed when it tells the truth about Communist imperialism.
In 1960, we said—
"... We shall expand world trade in every responsible way.
"Since all Americans share the benefits of this policy, its costs should not be the burden of a few. We shall support practical measures to case the necessary adjustments of industries and communities which may be unavoidably hurt by increases in imports.
"Our government should press for reduction of foreign barriers on the sale of the products of American industry and agriculture."
This pledge was fulfilled in the Trade Expansion Act of 1962.
The Trade Expansion Act of 1962, gives the President power to negotiate a 50 percent across-the-board cut in tariff barriers to take place over a five-year period.
Exports have expanded over 10 percent—by over $2 billion—since 1961.
Foreign trade now provides jobs for more than 4 million workers.
Negotiations now underway will permit American businessmen and farmers to take advantage of the greatest trading opportunity in history—the rapidly expanding European market.
The Trade Expansion Act provides for worker training and moving allowances, and for loans, tax rebates and technical assistance for businesses if increased imports resulting from concessions granted in trade agreements result in unemployment or loss of business.
Where American agriculture or industrial products have been unfairly treated in order to favor domestic products, prompt and forceful action has been taken to break down such barriers. These efforts have opened new United States export opportunities for fruits and vegetables, and numerous other agricultural and manufactured products to Europe and Japan.
The Long Term Cotton Textile Agreement of 1962 protects the textile and garment industry against disruptive competition from imports of cotton textiles. The Cotton Act of 1964 enables American manufacturers to buy cotton at the world market price, so they can compete in selling their products at home and abroad.
In 1960, we proposed to—
"Adjust our immigration, nationality and refugee policies to eliminate discrimination and to enable members of scattered families abroad to be united with relatives already in our midst.
"The national-origins quota system of limiting immigration contradicts the founding principles of this nation. It is inconsistent with our belief in the rights of men."
The immigration law amendments proposed by the Administration, and now before Congress, by abolishing the national-origin quota system, will eliminate discrimination based upon race and place of birth and will facilitate the reunion of families.
The Cuban Refugee Program begun in 1961 has resettled over 81,000 refugees, who are now self-supporting members of 1,800 American communities. The Chinese Refugee Program, begun in 1962, provides for the admission to the United States of 12,000 Hong Kong refugees from Red China.
The Underdeveloped World
In 1960, we pledged—
"To the non-Communist nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America: We shall create with you working partnerships based on mutual respect and understanding" and "will revamp and refocus the objectives, emphasis and allocation of our foreign assistance programs."
In 1961, the administration created the Agency for International Development, combining the three separate agencies that had handled foreign assistance activities into an orderly and efficient instrument of national policy.
Since 1961, foreign aid has been conducted on a spartan, cost conscious basis, with emphasis on self-help, reform and performance as conditions of American help.
These new policies are showing significant returns.
Since the beginning of the Marshall Plan in 1948, U. S. economic assistance has been begun and ended in 17 countries. In 14 other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, the transition to economic self-support is well under way, and U. S. assistance is now phasing out. In the 1965 AID program, 90 percent of economic assistance will go to just 25 countries.
In 1960, only 41 percent of aid-financed commodities were purchased in America. In 1964, under AID, 85 percent of all aid-financed commodities were U. S. supplied.
The foreign aid appropriation of $8.5 billion for fiscal year 1965 represents the smallest burden on U. S. resources that has been proposed since foreign aid began after World War II.
Since 1961, the United States has insisted that our allies in Europe and Japan must share responsibility in the field of foreign assistance, particularly to their former colonies. They have responded with major programs. Several nations now contribute a larger share of their gross national production to foreign assistance than does the United States.
The Alliance for Progress, launched at the Conference of Punta del Este in Uruguay in 1961, has emerged as the greatest undertaking of social reform and international cooperation in the history of the Western Hemisphere.
The American republics agreed to work together "To make the benefits of economic progress available to all citizens of all economic and social groups through a more equitable distribution of national income, raising more rapidly the income and standard of living of the needier sectors of the population, at the same time that a higher proportion of the national product is devoted to investment."
The results so far:
Major tax reform legislation has been adopted in eight countries.
Agrarian reform legislation has been introduced in twelve countries, and agricultural credit, technical assistance and resettlement projects are going forward in sixteen countries.
Fifteen countries have self-help housing programs, and savings and loan legislation has been adopted by nine countries.
Private or public development banks have been established or are being established in eight countries, providing new sources of capital for the small businessman.
Education budgets have risen by almost 13 percent a year, and five million more children are going to school. U. S. aid has helped build 23,000 schoolrooms.
A Latin American school lunch program is feeding 10 million children at least one good meal every day, and the program will reach 12 million by the end of the year.
The Alliance for Progress has immeasurably strengthened the collective will of the nations of the Western Hemisphere to resist the massive efforts of Communist subversion that conquered Cuba in 1959 and then headed for the mainland. In 1960, we urged—
"... Continued economic assistance to Israel and the Arab peoples to help them raise their living standards.
"We pledge our best efforts for peace in the Middle East by seeking to prevent an arms race while guarding against the dangers of a military imbalance resulting from Soviet arms shipments."
In the period since that pledge was made the New East has come closer to peace and stability than at any time since World War II.
Economic and technical assistance to Israel and Arab nations continues at a high level, although with more and more emphasis on loans as against grants. The United States is determined to help bring the revolution in the technology of desalinization to the aid of the desert regions of this area.
The Atlantic Community
In 1960, we said—
"To our friends and associates in the Atlantic Community: We propose a broader partnership that goes beyond our common fears to recognize the depth and sweep of our common political, economic, and cultural interests."
In 1961, the United States ratified the conventions creating the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a body made up of ourselves, Canada and 18 European States which carries forward on a permanent basis the detailed cooperation and mutual assistance that began with the Marshall Plan.
Since 1961, we have progressed in the building of mutual confidence, unity, and strength. NATO has frequently been used for consultation on foreign policy issues. Strong Atlantic unity emerged in response to Soviet threats in Berlin and in Cuba. Current trade negotiations reflect the value of the Trade Expansion Act and the utility of arrangements for economic cooperation. NATO military forces are stronger in both nuclear and conventional weapons.
The United States has actively supported the proposal to create a multilateral, mix-manned, seaborne nuclear missile force which could give all NATO countries a direct share in NATO's nuclear deterrent without proliferating the number of independent, national nuclear forces.
The Communist World
In 1960, we said—
"To the rulers of the Communist World: We confidently accept your challenge to competition in every field of human effort.
"We believe your Communist ideology to be sterile, unsound, and doomed to failure . . .
"... We are prepared to negotiate with you whenever and wherever there is a realistic possibility of progress without sacrifice of principle.
"But we will use all the will, power, resources, and energy at our command to resist the further encroachment of Communism on freedom—whether at Berlin, Formosa or new points of pressure as yet undisclosed."
Following the launching of Sputnik in 1957, the Soviet Union began a world-wide offensive. Russian achievements in space were hailed as the forerunners of triumph on earth.
Now, seven years later, the Communist influence has failed in its efforts to win Africa. Of the 31 African nations formed since World War II, not one has chosen Communism.
Khrushchev had to back down on his threat to sign a peace treaty with East Germany. Access to West Berlin remains free.
In Latin America, the Alliance for Progress has begun to reduce the poverty and distress on which Communism breeds.
In Japan, where anti-American riots in 1960 prevented a visit from the President, relations with the United States have been markedly improved.
In the United Nations the integrity of the office of Secretary General was preserved despite the Soviet attack on it through the Troika proposal.
When Red China attacked India, the U. S. promptly came to India's aid with modern infantry supplies and equipment.
On the battlefield of the Cold War one engagement after another has been fought and won.
Frustrated in its plans to nibble away at country after country, the Soviet Union conceived a bold stroke designed to reverse the trend against it. With extreme stealth Soviet intermediate range and medium range offensive missiles were brought into Cuba in 1962.
Shortly after the missiles arrived in Cuba, and before any of them became operational, they were discovered and photographed by U. S. reconnaissance flights.
The U. S. response was carefully planned and prepared, and calmly, deliberately, but effectively executed. On October 22, President Kennedy called on the Soviet Union to dismantle and remove the weapons from Cuba. He ordered a strict quarantine on Cuba enforced by the U. S. Navy.
The Organization of American States acted swiftly and decisively by a unanimous vote of 20 to 0 to authorize strong measures, including the use of force, to ensure that the missiles were withdrawn from Cuba and not re-introduced.
At the end of a tense week Khrushchev caved in before this demonstration of Western power and determination. Soviet ships, closely observed by U. S. pilots, loaded all the missiles and headed back to Russia. U. S. firmness also compelled withdrawal of the IL-28 bombers.
A turning point of the Cold War had been reached.
The record of world events in the past year reflects the vigor and successes of U. S. policy:
Berlin, October-November 1963. Communist efforts to interfere with free Western access to Berlin were successfully rebuffed.
Venezuela, March 1964. Despite the threats and terror tactics of Castro-inspired agitators, over 90 percent of the people voted in the election that chose President Leoni to succeed Romulo Betancourt—the first democratic succession in that office in Venezuela in Venezuela's history.
Panama, 1964. Patient negotiation achieved a resumption of diplomatic relations, which had been severed after the riots in January; President Johnson achieved a dignified and an honorable solution of the crisis.
Vietnam, August 1964. Faced with sudden unprovoked attacks by Communist PT boats on American destroyers on the high sea, President Johnson ordered a sharp immediate retaliation on the hostile vessels and their supporting facilities.
Speaking on that occasion, the President said: "Aggression—deliberate, willful and systematic aggression has unmasked its face to the world. The world remembers—the world must never forget—that aggression unchallenged is aggression unleashed.
"We of the United States have not forgotten.
"That is why we have answered this aggression with action."
Cuba, 1961-1964. Cuba and Castro have been virtually isolated in the Hemisphere.
Only 2 out of 20 OAS countries maintain diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Cuban trade with the Free World has dropped sharply from the 1958 level.
Free world shipping to Cuba has fallen sharply. Isolation of Cuba by air has tightened greatly.
Hundreds of thousands of Cubans have left the island or have indicated their desire to come to the United States.
The Castro regime has been suspended from participation in the OAS.
The Cuban economy is deteriorating: the standard of living is 20 percent below pre-Castro levels, with many items rationed; industrial output is stagnant; sugar production is at the lowest level since the 1940's.
The United Nations
In 1960, we pledged—
"To our fellow members of the United Nations: we shall strengthen our commitments in this, our great continuing institution for conciliation and the growth of a world community."
Over the past four years the Administration has fulfilled this pledge as one of the central purposes of foreign policy.
During that time the United States has supported—and frequently led—efforts within the United Nations.
—to strengthen its capacity as peacekeeper and peacemaker—with the result that the UN remained on guard on armistice lines in Korea, Kashmir and the Middle East; preserved peace in the Congo, West New Guinea and Cyprus; provided a forum for the U. S. during crises in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Tonkin; began to develop a flexible call-up system for emergency peace-keeping forces; and moved toward a revival of the Security Council as the primary organ for peace and security without loss of the residual powers of the General Assembly.
—to discover and exploit areas of common interest for the reduction of world dangers and world tensions—with the result that the orbiting of weapons of mass destruction has been banned and legal principles adopted for the use of outer space; projects of scientific cooperation in meteorology, oceanography, Antarctic exploration and peaceful uses of atomic energy, have been promoted; and the search for further moves toward arms control have been pursued to supplement the limited test ban treaty.
—to further the work of the United Nations in improving the lot of mankind—with the result that the Decade of Development has been launched; the World Food Program undertaken; aid to children extended; projects to promote economic and social progress in the developing world have been expanded; and the impact of technology and world trade upon development has been explored.
—to maintain the integrity of the organization—its Charter and its Secretariat—with the result that the Troika proposal was defeated; the functions of the Secretary-General have been kept intact; the authority of the General Assembly to levy assessments for peacekeeping has been sustained despite attempted financial vetoes by Communist and other members.
In fulfilling its pledge to the United Nations, the Administration has helped to strengthen peace, to promote progress, and to find areas of international agreement and cooperation.
In 1960, we said—
"The new Democratic Administration will confidently proceed to unshackle American enterprise and to free American labor, industrial leadership, and capital, to create an abundance that will outstrip any other system.
"We Democrats believe that our economy can and must grow at an average rate of 5 percent annually, almost twice as fast as our average annual rate since 1953. We pledge ourselves to policies that will achieve this goal without inflation."
In January 1961, the nation was at the bottom of the fourth recession of the postwar period—the third in the eight-year period, 1953-60. More men and women were out of work than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930's. In February 1961, the unemployment rate was 6.8 percent, with a total of 5,705,000 unemployed.
Today we are in the midst of the longest peace-time expansion in our history, during the past 42 months of unbroken economic expansion:
Our economic growth rate has risen now to over 5 percent—twice the average rate for the 1953-60 period.
3,900,000 jobs have been added to the economy, and the unemployment rate was down in July 1964 to 4.9 percent.
The Gross National Product has risen by $120 billion in less than four years! No nation in peace-time history has ever added so much to its wealth in so short a time.
The average manufacturing worker's weekly earnings rose from $89 in January 1961, to $103 in July 1964—an increase of over 15 percent.
Industrial production has increased 28 percent; average operating rates in manufacturing have risen from 78 percent of capacity to 87 percent.
Profits after taxes have increased 62 percent—from an annual rate of $19.2 billion in early 1961 to an estimated $31.2 billion in early 1964.
Total private investment has increased by 43 percent—from an annual rate of $61 billion in early 1961 to $87 billion in the spring of 1964.
There are a million and a half more Americans at work today than there were a year ago.
Our present prosperity was brought about by the enterprise of American business, the skills of the American work force, and by wise public policies.
The provision in the Revenue Act of 1962 for a credit for new investment in machinery and equipment, and the liberalization of depreciation allowance by administrative ruling, resulted in a reduction of $2.5 billion in business taxes.
The Revenue Act of 1964 cut individual income taxes by more than $9 billion, increasing consumer purchasing power by that amount; and corporate taxes were cut another $2.5 billion, with the effect of increasing investment incentives. Overall individual Federal income taxes were cut an average of 19 percent; taxpayers earning $3,000 or less received an average 40 percent cut.
The Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1961 provided $800 million to 2.8 million jobless workers who had exhausted their benefits.
The Area Redevelopment Act of 1961 has meant a $227 million Federal investment in economically hard-hit areas, creating 110,000 new jobs in private enterprise.
The Accelerated Public Works Act of 1962 added $900 million for urgently needed State and local government construction projects.
An End to Tight Money
In 1960, we proposed—
"As the first step in speeding economic growth, a Democratic president will put an end to the present high interest, tight money policy.
"This policy has failed in its stated purpose—to keep prices down. It has given us two recessions within five years, bankrupted many of our farmers, produced a record number of business failures, and added billions of dollars in unnecessary higher interest charges to government budgets and the cost of living."
Since 1961, we have maintained the free flow of credit so vital to industry, home buyers, and State and local governments.
Immediately, in February 1961, the Federal Housing Agency interest rate was cut from 5 3/4% percent to 5 1/2 percent. It is now down to 5 1/4 percent.
Today's home buyer will pay about $1,700 less for FHA-insured financing of a 3O-year $15,000 home mortgage than he would have had he taken the mortgage in 1960.
Today after 42 months of expansion, conventional home mortgage rates are lower than they were in January 1961, in the midst of a recession. So are borrowing costs for our States and municipalities, and for long-term corporate issues.
Short-term interest rates have been brought into reasonable balance with interest rates abroad, reducing or eliminating incentives to place short-term funds abroad and thus reducing gold outflow.
We have prudently lengthened the average maturity of the Federal debt, in contrast to the steady shortening that characterized the 1950's.
Control of Inflation
In 1960, we asserted—
"The American consumer has a right to fair prices. We are determined to secure that right.
"A fair share of the gains from increasing productivity in many industries should be passed on to the consumer through price reductions."
Today, after 42 months of economic expansion, wholesale prices are lower than they were in January 1961, in the midst of a recession! The Wholesale Price Index was 101.0 in January 1961; in July 1964, it is 100.4.
The Consumer Price Index, which measures the price of goods and services families purchase, has been brought back to stability, averaging now less than 1.3% increase per year—as compared, for example, with an increase rate about three times this large in the European common market countries.
Since January 1961, the increase in average after-tax family income has been twice the increase in prices.
The Administration has established guideposts for price and wage movements alike, based primarily on productivity developments, and designed to protect the economy against inflation.
In the single year, 1960, the overall balance of payments deficit reached $3.9 billion, and we lost $1.7 billion in gold. Now for 1964, the prospective balance of payments deficit has been cut to $2 billion, and the gold outflow has ceased.
In 1960, we reaffirmed our—
"support of full employment as a paramount objective of national policy."
In July 1964, total employment in the United States rose to the historic peak of 72,400,000 jobs. This represents an increase of 3,900,000 jobs in 42 months.
In the past twelve months, total civilian employment has increased by 1,600,000 jobs, and nonfarm employment by 1,700,000. Most of this job expansion has occurred in the past eight months.
In July 1964, the jobless total was one-half million below a year ago, and was at its lowest July level since 1959.
In July, 1964, the overall unemployment rate was 4.9%—compared with 6.5% in January 1961; and the jobless rate for men who are heads of families was down to 2.7%.
There have been more than a million full-time jobs added to the private profit sector of the economy in the past 12 months. This is the largest increase in any one-year period in the past decade.
We have brought ourselves now within reach of the full employment objective.
Aid to Depressed Areas
In 1960, we recognized that—
"General economic measures will not alone solve the problems of localities which suffer some special disadvantage. To bring prosperity to these depressed areas and to enable them to make their full contribution to the national welfare, specially directed action is needed."
The Area Redevelopment Administration was created in 1961 to help depressed areas organize their human and material resources for economic growth. Since its establishment, the ARA has:
Approved 512 financial assistance projects involving a Federal investment of $243.5 million.
Created, in partnership with local government, private workers and other investors, 118,000 new jobs in private enterprise,
Provided retraining programs, with tuition and subsistence, for 37,327 jobless workers, equipping them with new skills to fill available jobs in their areas.
In 1961, Congress authorized $900 million for the Accelerated Public Works Program to speed construction of urgently needed public facilities and increase employment in areas which had failed to recover from previous recessions.
Between October 1962, when the first appropriations were made available, and April 1, 1964, 7,762 projects, involving an estimated 2,500,000 man-months of employment, were approved.
In early 1961, there were 101 major areas in the United States in which unemployment was 6 percent or more, discounting seasonal or temporary factors. By July 1964, this number had been cut two-thirds, to a total of 35.
The concept of "depressed areas" has been broadened in these 3 1/2 years to include clear recognition of the inequity and waste of poverty wherever it exists, and in the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 the nation has declared, in historic terms, a War on Poverty.
Title I of the Economic Opportunity Act creates the Job Corps, Work-Training programs, and Work-Study programs to provide useful work for about 400,000 young men and women. Job Corps volunteers will receive work and vocational training, part of which will involve conservation work in rural areas. The Work-Training, or Neighborhood Youth Corps program, is open to young persons living at home, including those who need jobs in order to remain in school. The Work-Study programs will enable youth from poor families to earn enough income to enable them to attend college.
Title II of the Act authorized $340 million for the Community Action programs to stimulate urban and rural communities to mobilize their resources to combat poverty through programs designed especially to meet local needs.
Title III provides for special programs to combat poverty in rural areas, including loans up to $1,500 for low income farmers, and loans up to $2,500 for families, to finance non-agricultural enterprises which will enable such families to supplement their incomes. This section of the law provides funds for housing, sanitation education, and day care of children of migrant farm workers.
Title IV of the Act provides for loans up to $25,000 for small businesses to create jobs for the long-term unemployed.
Title V of the Act provides constructive work experience and other needed training to persons who are unable to support or care for themselves or their families.
The Report of the President's Appalachian Regional Commission, submitted to President Johnson in April 1964, proposed a wide-ranging development program. The Appalachian Redevelopment Act, now before Congress, provides for more than $1.1 billion investment in needed basic facilities in the area, together with a regional organization to help generate the full development potential of the human and material resources of this mountain area.
Registration and regulation of migrant labor crew chiefs has been provided to require that crew chiefs or labor brokers, who act on behalf of domestic migrant labor and operate across state lines, shall be registered, show financial responsibility, and meet certain requirements as to moral character and honest dealing with their clients.
Discrimination in Employment
In 1960, we insisted that—
"The right to a job requires action to break down artificial and arbitrary barriers to employment based on age, race, sex, religion, or national origin."
The great Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the strongest and most important law against discrimination in employment in the history of the United States.
It states unequivocally that "It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer . . . an employment agency . . . or a labor organization" to discriminate against any person because of his or her "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin."
On March 6, 1961, President Kennedy issued an Executive Order establishing the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity to combat racial discrimination in the employment policies of Government agencies and private firms holding Government contracts. Then-Vice President Johnson, in his capacity as Chairman of the new Committee, assumed personal direction of this program.
As a consequence of the enforcement of the Executive Order, not only has discrimination been eliminated in the Federal Government, but strong affirmative measures have been taken to extend meaningful equality of opportunity to compete for Federal employment to all citizens.
The private employers of 8,076,422 men and women, and trade unions with 12,500,000 members, have signed public agreements establishing non-discriminatory practices.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 guarantees equal pay to women doing the same work as men, by requiring employers who are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act to pay equal wages for equal work, regardless of the sex of their workers.
Executive Order 11141, issued by President Johnson on February 12, 1964, establishes for the first time in history a public policy that "contractors and subcontractors engaged in the performance of Federal contracts shall not, in connection with the employment, advancement, or discharge of their employees, or in connection with the terms, conditions, or privileges of their employment, discriminate against persons because of their age..."
In 1960, we pledged—
"an affirmative labor policy which will encourage free collective bargaining through the growth and development of free and responsible unions."
These have been good years for labor-management relations. Time lost from strikes is at the lowest point in history.
The President's Advisory Committee on Labor-Management Policy, made up of distinguished leaders of business and trade unions, has spoken out consistently in favor of creative and constructive solutions to common problems.
Executive Order 10988, issued by President Kennedy on January 17, 1962, extended the rights of union recognition to Federal employees—a goal which some employee organizations had been trying to reach for three quarters of a century.
In the spring of 1964, under President Johnson's personal leadership, the five-year-old railroad dispute that would have resulted in a critical nation-wide strike, was at last ended—by free collective bargaining. A cause many thought lost was won; industrial self-government was saved from a disastrous setback.
Planning for Automation
In 1960, we proposed to—
"provide the government leadership necessary to insure that the blessings of automation do not become burdens of widespread unemployment. For the young and the technologically displaced workers, we will provide the opportunity for training and retraining that equips them for jobs to be filled."
The Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962 provides for the training or retraining of unemployed or underemployed people, particularly those threatened or displaced by technological advances. The 1963 amendments to the Act emphasize the problem of youth employment.
In the two years of the administration of this program, training projects for 240,471 persons have been approved, and more than 54,000 persons have completed their training.
Under the Manpower Development and Training Act an active manpower policy is being developed to keep the nation ahead of the problems of automation.
Congress has now enacted, in August 1964, legislation creating a National Commission on Technology, Automation and Economic Progress to undertake a searching inquiry into the problems created by automation, and means by which they can be prevented or solved.
In its own activities, the Federal Government has taken full account of human considerations in instituting technological developments.
In 1960, we pledged—
"To raise the minimum wage to $1.25 an hour and to extend coverage to several million workers not now covered."
The Fair Labor Standards Act Amendments of 1961 raised the minimum wage to $1.25 over a three-year period, and extended the coverage of the Act to 3.6 million additional workers.
The Administration has proposed further amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act, which are now before the Congress, and which would extend minimum wage coverage to near three quarters of a million workers in laundry, and dry cleaning establishments. Overtime coverage would be extended to an additional 2.6 million workers.
It has proposed a Fringe Benefit amendment to the Bacon-Davis law to provide that the cost of fringe benefits should be included in the definition of "prevailing wage" under the Bacon-Davis law, so that wage rates required in government construction contracts will be in accord with prevailing practice.
In 1960, we said—
"In every way we will seek to help the men, women, and children whose livelihood comes from the soil to achieve better housing, education, and decent earnings and working conditions."
This is the record:
Total net farm income in 1961-63 averaged nearly a billion dollars a year higher than in 1960.
Total net income per farm was 18 percent higher in 1963 than in 1960.
Farm purchasing power, or gross farm income, rose from $37.9 billion in 1960 to nearly $42 billion in 1963.
Percent of family income spent for food today has declined. In 1960, 20 percent of disposable family income was spent for food. This has now been reduced to less than 19 percent.
Grain surpluses have been brought down to manageable levels; wheat surpluses this year will be the lowest since 1958, and feed grains have been reduced from 80 to 70 million tons.
Reduction of wheat and feed grain surpluses from their 1960 levels to present levels has resulted in an accumulated savings of about a quarter of a billion dollars in storage, transportation, interest and other costs.
Total farm exports have increased 35 percent in 4 years, and have reached a record high in fiscal 1964 of $6.1 billion.
Credit resources administered by the Farmers Home Administration are up 141 percent over 1960, and are averaging now $687 million a year.
Commodity programs to strengthen the farm income structure and reach the goal of parity of income in every aspect of American agriculture. We also cite the parity program providing American cotton to American factories and processes at the same price at which they are exported.
The Rural Areas Development program has helped create an estimated 125,000 new jobs, and more than 12,000 projects in the process of approval will provide new employment for as many as 200,000 persons.
Participation in the Agricultural Conservation Program has increased 20 percent since 1960.
More than 20,000 farmers have received technical help to develop recreation as an income-making "crop" on land which had been producing surpluses.
Over 600 rural Communities have been aided in providing modern water services.
During the winter of 1964, a special lunch program was instituted for 315 schools and 12,000 children in rural areas where families have extremely low incomes.
Since January 1, 1961, $1.1 billion in electric loans has been made by the Rural Electrification Administration, to rural electric cooperatives, or some $350 million more than in the previous 3 1/2 years. Improved service, as a result, has meant customer savings of $7.5 million a year.
American farmers, in 1964, have protected crop investments totaling $500.5 million with Federal All-Risk Crop Insurance—more than double the amount of insurance in force three years ago, and an all-time record.
Soil and water conservation activities in the past 3 1/2 years have shown a constant upward trend in their contributions to the physical, social and economic welfare of rural areas.
289 new small upstream watershed projects were authorized.
8,000 local soil and water conservation districts have updated their long-range programs to reflect the broadened concepts of economic development.
The Great Plains Conservation Program has been extended for 10 years and 36 counties have been added to the program.
In June 1964, Congress authorized the creation of a National Commission on Food Marketing to investigate the operation of the food industry from producer to consumer.
On January 24, 1961, President Kennedy established by executive order, the Food for Peace program to utilize America's agricultural abundance "to promote the interests of peace . . . and to play an important role in helping to provide a more adequate diet for peoples all around the world."
In the last 3 1/2 years, over $5 billion worth of surplus farm commodities went overseas under Public Law 480 programs. This is one and one-half billion dollars more than during the previous 3 1/2 years.
In 1960, we pledged—
"Action to aid small business in obtaining credit and equity capital at reasonable rates.
"Protection of the public against the growth of monopoly.
"A more equitable share of government contracts to small and independent business."
Through liberalizing amendments to the Small Business Investment Act in 1961 and 1964, and special tax considerations, the investment of equity capital and long term loan funds in small businesses has been greatly accelerated by privately owned and operated small business investment companies licensed under that Act. Moreover, since January 1961, over 21,000 small businesses have obtained SBA business loans, totalling over $1.14 billion, as a result of liberalized and simplified procedures.
The Federal Trade Commission has stepped up its activities to promote free and fair competition in business, and to safeguard the consuming public against both monopolistic and deceptive practices.
The reorganized Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice has directed special emphasis to price fixing, particularly on consumer products, by large companies who distribute through small companies. These include eye glasses, salad oil, flour, cosmetics, swimsuits, bread, milk, and even sneakers.
Since January 1961, some 166,000 government contracts, worth $6.2 billion have been set aside for small business. In the preceding 3 1/2 years there were 77,838 contracts set aside, with a worth of $2.9 billion.
In 1960 we proposed—
"To make possible the building of 2,000,000 homes a year in wholesome neighborhoods, the home building industry should be aided by special mortgage assistance, with low interest rates, long-term mortgage periods and reduced down payments.
"There will still be need for a substantial low- rent public housing program authorizing as many units as local communities require and are prepared to build."
The Housing Act of 1961 provides many of the necessary new and improved tools for providing housing for low and moderate income families, and for housing for the elderly.
For the 3 1/2 year period ending June 30, 1964, some 5.3 million new units of public and private housing have been built at a cost of approximately $65 billion. The construction rate has risen above 1.5 million units a year, with an annual output of over $20 billion, and we are moving close now to the goal of 2 million a year.
Since January 1961, nearly 400 local housing authorities have been formed to provide housing for low income families. More than 100,000 new units have been approved for construction, at an annual rate about three times that of 1960.
The annual rate of grant assistance for Urban Renewal has risen from $262 million per year (1956 through 1961 ) to a rate of better than $630 million during the past 12 months.
in the past 3 1/2 years, more than 750 new urban renewal transactions have been approved, equal to nearly 90 percent of the number approved for the entire period from 1949 to 1960.
Cities with community urban renewal programs jumped from a cumulative total of seven in December 1960 to 118 by mid-1964.
To house families whose income is not quite low enough to qualify for public housing, a new rental housing program providing a "below market" interest rate (currently 3 7/8%) insured by FHA, has been made available. Mortgage purchase funds have been allocated for about 78,000 such rental units.
Reflecting the fuller recognition of the special equities and needs of older people:
FHA mortgage insurance written on housing projects for the elderly since 1961 has provided more than 3 times as many units as were being provided prior to that time.
Low rent public housing under Federal assistance is being provided senior citizens at an annual rate more than twice that for 1960.
Direct loan authorizations for housing for the elderly increased from $50 million in 1961 to $275 million in 1963.
Maximum loan amounts have been increased to 100% of development cost.
The Housing Act of 1961 expanded and strengthened the Federal program in this area.
The Senior Citizens Housing Act of 1962 moved us another long step forward.
Applications for the provision of nursing homes increased from 80 in January 1961 to more than 580 by the middle of 1964, involving more than 50,000 beds for community nursing homes.
Assistance has been given for more than 1,000 college housing projects including housing for more than 290,000 students and faculty, plus dining halls and other school facilities.
The 1963 Executive Order on Equal Opportunity in Housing assures that the benefits of Federal housing programs and assistance are available without discrimination as to race, color, creed or national origin.
In 1960, we proposed to—
"Provide medical care benefits for the aged as part of the time-tested social security system.
"Step up medical research on the major killers and crippling diseases.
"Expand and improve the Hill-Burton hospital construction program.
"Federal aid for construction, expanding and modernizing schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing and public health.
"Greatly increased federal support for psychiatric research and training and community mental health programs."
More health legislation has been enacted during the past 8 1/2 years than during any other period in American history.
The Community Health Services and Facilities Act of 1961 has made possible 149 projects for testing and demonstrating new or improved services in nursing homes, home care services, central information and referral centers; and providing additional personnel to serve the chronically ill and aged. It has also provided additional federal funds for the construction of nursing homes.
The Hill-Burton Amendments of 1964, extend the program of Federal grants for construction of hospitals, public health centers, long-term facilities, rehabilitation facilities and diagnostic or treatment centers for five additional years. For the first time provision is made for the modernization and renovation of hospitals and health facilities. Funds for the construction of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are substantially increased.
The Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Construction Act of 1963, authorized grants of $150,000,000 to States for constructing community Mental Health Centers, which emphasize the new approach to the care of the mentally ill, centered on care and treatment in the patients' home communities. Thirty-six States have already budgeted more than 75% of their share of Federal funds for planning these new systems.
The Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Amendments of 1963, along with the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Construction Act of 1963, authorized a broad program to prevent, treat, and ameliorate mental retardation. The program provides States and communities needed research, manpower developments, and facilities for health, education rehabilitation, and vocational services to the retarded.
As part of the Federal Government's program to employ the mentally retarded in suitable Federal jobs, the State rehabilitation agencies are certifying persons as qualified for specific suitable Federal jobs. A rising number of placements already made in Federal installations over the country constitutes an encouraging start.
The current need for another 200,000 qualified teachers for the estimated 6 million handicapped children of school age, has been recognized in legislation authorizing grants in aid for the training of professional personnel.
Other legislation provides funds for training teachers of the deaf.
A 1962 amendment to the Public Health Act authorizes a new program of project grants to help meet critical health needs of domestic migratory workers and their families through establishment of family health service clinics.
Forty-nine projects in 24 States have received grants to assist an estimated 300,000 migrant workers.
One out of every ten migrant laborers is estimated to have received some health services through these projects.
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, authorized in 1962, is now supporting research and training in eight major areas.
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences, also authorized in 1962, gives recognition to the significance of research training in the sciences basic to medicine. Two thousand research projects are currently being supported.
A $2 million Radiological Health Grant Program was established in 1962 to provide matching grants to assist States in assuming responsibility for adequate radiation control and protection. During Fiscal Year 1964, forty-nine States and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands participated.
After two years of scientific evaluation of research and findings, the Report of the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health was released in January 1964, calling attention to the health hazards of smoking. An information clearinghouse and a public education program directed toward preventing young people from acquiring the smoking habit are being developed.
A Program for the Aging
In 1960, we proposed to—
"End the neglect of our older citizens. They deserve lives of usefulness, dignity, independence, and participation. We shall assure them not only health care, but employment for those who want to work, decent housing, and recreation."
The Social Security Act Amendments of 1961 broadened benefits to 5.3 million persons, increased minimum benefits for retired workers from $33 to $40 per month, permitted men as well as women to begin collecting reduced benefits at age 62.
The Social Security program now provides $1.3 billion in benefits each month to 19.5 million persons. One out of every ten Americans receives a Social Security check every month.
The Welfare and Pension Plans Disclosure Act Amendments of 1962 put "enforcement teeth" into this measure, protecting workers' assets in pension programs.
The Housing Act of 1961 increased the scope of Federal housing aids for the elderly by raising from $50 million to $125 million the authorization for low-interest-rate direct loans. In 1962, this was raised further to $225 million and in 1963 to $275 million.
Insurance written by the Federal Housing Administration for mortgage insurance for the elderly since 1961 provides three times as many units as during the preceding Administration.
Low rent public housing under Federal assistance has been provided senior citizens at an annual rate more than twice that for 1960.
The Community Health Services and Facilities Act of 1961 raised the ceiling on appropriations for the construction of nursing homes under the Hill-Burton legislation from $10 million to $20 million; and authorized $10 million per year for a 5-year program of special project grants for the development of new or improved methods of providing health services outside the hospital for the chronically ill or aged.
Executive Order 11114, issued by President Johnson on February 12, 1964, establishes for the first time the policy of non-discrimination in employment based on age by Federal contractors.
In 1960, we proposed to—
"Permit workers who are totally and permanently disabled to retire at any age, removing the arbitrary requirement that the worker be 50 years of age.
"Amend the law so that after six months of total disability, a worker will be eligible for disability benefits, with restorative services to enable the worker to return to work.
"Continued support of legislation for the rehabilitation of physically handicapped persons and improvement of employment opportunities for them.
"Persons in need who are inadequately protected by social insurance are cared for by the states and local communities under public assistance programs. The Federal Government, which now shares the cost of aid to some of these, should share in all, and benefits should be made available without regard to residence.
"Uniform minimum standards throughout the nation for coverage, duration, and amount of unemployment insurance benefits.
"Legislation which will guarantee to women equality of rights under the law, including equal pay for equal work.
"The Child Welfare Program and other services already established under the Social Security Act should be expanded. Federal leadership is required in the nationwide campaign to prevent and control juvenile delinquency.
"A federal bureau of inter-group relations to help solve problems of discrimination in housing, education, employment and community opportunities in general. The bureau would assist in the solution of problems arising from the resettlement of immigrants and migrants within our own country, and in resolving religious, social and other tensions where they arise."
The 1961 Public Assistance Amendments, extended aid for the first time to families with dependent children in which the parent is unemployed. Currently, 18 States have adopted this program. Aid is being provided to about 75,000 families with nearly 280,000 children.
The food stamp program is providing improved purchasing powers and a better diet for families and persons receiving general assistance.
The 1962 Public Welfare amendments provide the authority and financial resources for a new approach to the problems of prolonged dependency and some of the special needs of children.
Under these enactments and related provisions: 49 States have now qualified for increased Federal financial aid to provide help to families with economic and social problems, and to assist families dependent on public assistance back to economic independence.
9 pilot projects have been initiated to help children stay in school.
41 demonstration projects have been designed to improve public assistance operations and to find ways of helping low-income families and individuals to become independent.
18,000 unemployed fathers in needy families are currently on community work and training projects.
Three million children are now covered by the program of aid to families with dependent children; and under the 1962 amendments these children receive, in addition to financial assistance, other needed help toward normal growth and development.
46 States now have approved plans for day care services.
Grants for research and demonstrations in child welfare were first awarded in 1962, and 62 projects have since been approved.
Starting for the first time in 1963, grants for training child welfare workers have been made to 58 institutions of higher learning.
Approximately 453,000 older persons received medical assistance under the Kerr-Mills program in fiscal year 1964.
The Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1961 provided 13 additional weeks of benefits to the long-term unemployed. 2.8 million jobless workers received $800 million in assistance.
The Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Control Act of 1961 made possible the establishment of training centers at 12 universities. By the end of fiscal year 1964, the program will have reached 12,500 trainees for work in delinquency prevention and control.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the work of the President's Commission on the Status of Women, which reported to the President that same year, were events of historic importance in the struggle for equal opportunity and full partnership for women. The inclusion of women in the employment provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes equality in employment at long last the law of the land.
Title X of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 establishes a Community Relations Service "to provide assistance to communities and persons therein in resolving disputes, disagreements, or difficulties relating to discriminatory practices based on race, color, or national origin..."
In 1960, we pledged—
"We believe that America can meet its educational obligations only with generous federal financial support, within the traditional framework of local control. The assistance will take the form of federal grants to States for educational purposes they deem most pressing, including classroom construction and teachers' salaries. It will include aid for the construction of academic facilities as well as dormitories at colleges and universities.
"We pledge further federal support for all phases of vocational education for youth and adults; for libraries and adult education; for realizing the potential of educational television; and for exchange of students and teachers with other nations.
"As part of a broader concern for young people we recommend establishment of a Youth Conservation Corps, to give underprivileged young people a rewarding experience in a healthful environment."
The Higher Education Facilities Act of 1963 provides $1.2 billion for college construction over a three-year period. Over 2,000 institutions are eligible to benefit from its provisions in helping them meet current enrollment increases of 350,000 students each year.
The Health Professions Educational Assistance Act of 1963 will increase the number of professional health personnel through construction grants for health teaching facilities, and through low-interest student loans to assist up to 10,000 students of medicine, dentistry, or osteopathy to pay for their high-cost education.
The Vocational Education Act of 1963 authorizes a $956 million increase in Federal support for vocational education over the next five fiscal years —1964 through 1968. It is estimated that 7,000,000 students will be enrolled in vocational education in 1968, an increase of about 3,000,000 over present annual enrollment.
Legislation approved in 1963, which increased authorization for loans to needy students for college education, will mean that in the coming school year approximately 280,000 students will be borrowing about $142 million from the loan funds to help pay for their higher education, as compared with 115,450 students borrowing $50,152,000 in 1960.
In the last three fiscal years, there have been grants of $153.1 million in Federal funds to the States for purchases of equipment and materials, and remodeling classrooms to strengthen instruction in science, mathematics, and modern foreign languages.
A $32 million program of grants to help establish non-commercial educational television stations was approved in 1962. Thirty-seven grants have been approved, totaling $6.1 million—18 for new stations and 19 for expansion.
The Library Services and Construction Act of 1964 broadened Federal aid to cover urban as well as rural areas, and to provide construction grants in addition to other library services. The new legislation increased the authorization for Federal aid to develop libraries from $7.5 million to the present level of $25 million and included a new program of assistance for public library construction, with an appropriation for Fiscal Year 1965 of $30 million.
The Youth Conservation Corps envisioned by the 1960 proposal is provided for under Title I of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
In 1960, we said—
"A thin layer of earth, a few inches of rain, and a blanket of air makes human life possible on our planet."
"Sound public policy must assure that these essential resources will be available to provide the good life for our children and future generations."
After the 1960 election President Kennedy and President Johnson implemented this platform by a whole series of new conservation policies and programs, some of which emanated from the first White House Conference on Conservation called by any President since the 1908 conference called by President Theodore Roosevelt.
During this Administration two historic conservation measures were enacted. These were:
The Wilderness Bill and the Land and Water Conservation Fund Bill which will together do more to help conserve outdoor America than any legislation passed in a generation.
In addition to this landmark legislation new emphasis has been placed on science as the modern midwife of conservation, and new impetus has been given across the board in the conservation of natural resources.
Twenty-one new major water resources projects have been authorized or started in the West;
A high-water mark has been achieved in the annual level of national investment in water resource projects;
The saline water conversion effort has been quadrupled, and should achieve a dramatic cost-breakthrough during the next Administration.
Ending 16 years of argument, a bold plan was developed under President Johnson's personal leadership to interconnect the electric power systems of the Pacific Northwest and the Southwest, thus providing benefits for power users in 11 Western States; under this plan, construction will soon begin on the first direct current long-distance lines in the United States, stretching all the way from the Columbia River to Los Angeles—and a new era of public and private power cooperation will commence.
Federal hydroelectric generating capacity has been increased by 2,600,000 kilowatts, and 5,150,000 kilowatts of non-Federal capacity has been licensed by the Federal Power Commission.
3,350 miles of vital transmission lines have been added to Federal systems and about 25,000 miles of new transmission lines have also been built by non-Federal power systems.
The FPC has conducted a National Power Survey to encourage both public and private power companies to join in power pools which are bringing lower cost electricity to consumers throughout the nation.
The world's largest atomic electric power plant (at Hanford, Washington) was funded and will soon be generating as much power as two Bonneville dams.
Federal REA loans have made it possible to open up the lignite coal fields of the Dakotas, and to exploit the coal fields of Western Colorado.
In addition, the Congress authorized the Delaware Basin Compact to permit the multi-purpose development of that river, and the Senate ratified the Columbia River Treaty which enables the joint U.S.-Canadian development of the full potential of that great river to begin later this year.
The Congress created three superb new national seashores at Cape Cod (Massachusetts), Padre Island (Texas) and Point Reyes (California).
Pioneering a new park concept, Ozark Rivers National Riverways (Missouri) was established as the first river preservation national park in the Nation, and 12 other major new additions to the Park System were recommended for action by future Congresses.
A Bureau of Outdoor Recreation was created. As a vital part of the war on poverty, during the next year, 20 thousand young Americans will set to work in conservation camps across the land tackling the big backlog of work in the land and water areas owned by all of the people.
Research helped coal production surge upward, and there were initiated a series of action steps (including activation of the huge Rifle, Colorado, research center) which will lead to the orderly development of the vast oil shale resources of the Colorado plateau.
Enactment of the Wetlands Bill of 1961 made it possible to create more new Waterfowl Refuges (27) than during any previous four-year period in our history.
The Clean Air Act of 1963 is already providing the first full-scale attack on the air pollution problems that blight living conditions in so many of our cities.
Enactment of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1961 launched the first massive attack on this conservation problem which has already resulted in 1,300 municipal waste treatment plans and the approval of projects that have improved the water quality in 18,000 miles of streams that provide water for 22 million people.
Cities and Their Suburbs
In 1960, we declared—
"A new Democratic administration will expand Federal programs to aid urban communities to clear their slums, dispose of their sewage, educate their children, transport suburban commuters to and from their jobs, and combat juvenile delinquency."
The Housing Act of 1961 marked the beginning of a new era of Federal commitment to the problems of a nation in which three-fourths of the population has come to live in urban areas.
Under that Act, funds available for urban planning grants were increased by $55 million and a new $50 million Federal grant program to assist localities in the acquisition of permanent open space land to be used as parks and playgrounds was established.
The Housing Act of 1961 and the Area Redevelopment Act of 1961 authorized public facilities loans of $600 million.
The Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Control Act of 1961 launched a broad attack on youth problems by financing demonstration projects, training personnel in delinquency work, and providing technical assistance for community youth programs.
In 1960, we pledged—
"Federal aid for comprehensive metropolitan
transportation programs, including bus and rail mass transit, commuter railroads as well as highway programs and construction of civil airports."
The Housing Act of 1961 launched the first efforts to help metropolitan and other urban areas solve their mass transportation problems; 75 million in loans and demonstration grants were provided to States and localities to construct and improve mass transportation systems.
The Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 establishes a new long-range program for this purpose and authorizes $375 million in Federal grants, over 3 years, for capital construction and improvement which local transit systems cannot otherwise finance.
In 1960, we observed—
"Over the past seven years we have watched the steady weakening of the Nation's transportation system, and we noted the need for a national transportation policy.'"
The National Transportation policy was enunciated in the first Presidential message ever to be sent to the Congress dealing solely with transportation.
The Highway Act of 1961 resolved the lagging problem of financing the 41,000 mile interstate highway program, and the finished construction rate has almost doubled.
The Federal Maritime Commission has been established as an independent agency to guard against prejudice or discrimination harmful to the growth of U. S. World Trade.
The Maritime Administration, U. S. Department of Commerce, was set up to give its full attention to promoting a vigorous policy of strengthening and modernizing our merchant fleet. Seventy big modern cargo and cargo-passenger ships have been added to the U.S. merchant fleet. The Savannah, the world's first nuclear-powered merchant ship, is now on her first foreign voyage.
The far-reaching decision has been made that the United States will design and build a supersonic air transport plane—and thereby maintain our leadership position in international aviation. Congress has provided $60 million for the development of detailed designs. Twenty airlines already have placed orders.
On August 13, President Johnson signed a new highway bill to provide better primary and secondary highways on a 50/50 basis with the states. In addition, it will support needed efforts to improve forest highways, public land roads and national park roads.
In 1960, we declared—
"We will recognize the special role of our Federal Government in support of basic and applied research," mentioning in particular Space, Atomic Energy, and Oceanography.
Since 1961, the United States has pressed vigorously forward with a 10-year, $35-billion national space program for clear leadership in space exploration, space use, and all important aspects of space science and technology.
Already this program has enabled the United States to challenge the early Soviet challenge in space booster power and to effectively counter the Soviet bid for recognition as the world's leading nation in science and technology.
In the years 1961-1964, the United States has Successfully flown the Saturn I rocket, putting into orbit the heaviest payloads of the space age to date.
Moved rapidly forward with much more powerful launch vehicles, the Saturn IB and the Saturn V. The Saturn IB, scheduled to fly in 1966, will be able to orbit a payload of 16 tons; and Saturn V, scheduled to fly in 1967 or 1968, will be able to orbit 120 tons or send 45 tons to the moon or 35 tons to Mars or Venus.
Mastered the difficult technology of using liquid hydrogen as a space rocket fuel in the Centaur upper stage rocket and the Saturn I second stage—assuring American leadership in space science and manned space flight in this decade.
Successfully completed six manned space flights in Project Mercury, acquiring 54 hours of space flight experience.
Successfully flight-tested the two-man Gemini spacecraft and Titan II space rocket so that manned Gemini flights can begin late in 1964 or early in 1965.
Developed the three-man Apollo spacecraft which will be able to spend up to two months in earth orbit, operate out to a quarter of a million miles from earth, and land our first astronaut-explorers on the moon.
Taken all actions to conduct a series of manned space flights in the Gemini and Apollo programs which will give the United States some 5,000 man-hours of flight experience in earth orbit, develop U. S. capabilities for rendezvous and joining of spacecraft in orbit, and prove out man's ability to perform valuable missions during long stays in space.
Made man's first close-up observations of another planet during the highly successful Mariner II fly-by of Venus.
Obtained the first close-up pictures of the moon, taken and relayed to earth by Ranger VII.
Initiated an ambitious long-range program for scientific investigations in space utilizing large, versatile spacecraft called Orbiting Observatories for geophysical, solar and stellar studies.
Operated the world's first weather satellites (Tiros).
Set up, under the Communications Satellite Act of 1962, the Communications Satellite Corporation, which is well on the way to establishing a global satellite communications system to provide reliable, low-cost telephone, telegraph, and television services to all parts of the world.
In short, the United States has matched rapid progress in manned space flight with a balanced program for scientific investigations in space, practical uses of space, and advanced research and technological pioneering to assure that the new challenges of space in the next decade can also be met, and U. S. leadership maintained.
The number of civilian nuclear power plants has increased from 3 to 14 since January 1961; and now the advent of economic nuclear power provides utilities a wider choice of competitive power sources in many sections of the country.
The world's largest nuclear power reactor, the Atomic Energy Commission's Production Reactor near Richland, Washington, achieved a controlled, self-sustained nuclear reaction on December 31, 1963.
The first deep-sea anchored, automatic weather station powered by nuclear energy has gone into unattended operation in the Gulf of Mexico, and the first lighthouse powered by nuclear energy flashes now in Chesapeake Bay.
Nuclear energy was extended to space for the first time in 1961. Compact nuclear generators supplied part of the power for instruments in two satellites, and in 1963 provided all of the power needs of two other satellites.
Vigorous support has been given to basic research in atomic energy. The world's highest energy accelerator, the AGS, has come into productive operation.
For the first time in history the United States is building a fleet expressly designed for oceanographic research. Since 1961, 29 ships have been completed or are currently under construction. Shoreside facilities and training programs have been established as part of a major government-wide effort, begun in 1961, to capture the enormous potential rewards of research in this area which until now have been almost as remote and inaccessible as space itself.
"We shall reform the processes of government in all branches—executive, legislative, and judicial. We will clean out corruption and conflicts of interest, and improve government services."
This Administration has brought the personnel, morale, ethics, and performance of the Federal service to a point of high excellence. To accomplish this transformation it made improvements in a broad range of activities affecting the operation of the government.
The conflict of interest laws were strengthened by the first major revision in a century. The comprehensive new law eliminates ambiguities and inconsistencies in existing laws, and increases the range of government matters in which conflict of interest is prohibited. In addition, President Kennedy issued an Executive Order which established more rigid standards of conduct for Federal officials and employees.
The regulatory agencies were made more effective by reorganization programs and by the appointment of highly-qualified officials, dedicated to protecting the public interest.
The Department of Justice has cracked down effectively on organized crime under new anti-racketeering statutes, has uncovered and prosecuted important foreign spies, and has made progress toward more effective procedures for protecting the rights of poor defendants to bail and counsel.
Federal Employee Organizations, many of which have existed for over half a century, were at last extended formal recognition under Executive Order 10988, issued by President Kennedy.
The Federal Pay Raise Act of 1964 updated the pay structure for Federal employees on a basis of equal salary rates for comparable levels of work in private industry. Completing the reforms initiated in the Act of 1962, it provided for long-needed increases in salary for top level Government administrators upon whom major responsibility for program results must rest. In President Johnson's words, this law established a basis for a standard of "brilliance" and "excellence" in the Federal Government.
In 1960, we urged action—
"To improve Congressional procedures so that majority rule prevails."
In 1961, the House Rules Committee was enlarged from 12 to 15 members, making it more representative of the views of the majority, and thereby enabling much important legislation to be reported to the floor for a vote by the entire House membership.
In 1964, for the first time in history, the Senate voted to limit debate on a civil rights measure, thus permitting the Civil Rights Act to come to a vote, and thereby to be enacted.
In 1960, we proposed—
"Effective Government representation and protection" for consumers.
In 1962, President Kennedy became the first Chief Executive to send a message to Congress on consumer matters.
This Executive action was closely followed by the creation of a Consumer Advisory Council.
In 1964, President Johnson appointed the first Special Assistant to the President for Consumer Affairs, and created a new President's Committee on Consumer Interests.
The Kefauver-Harris Drug Amendments of 1962 were the most far-reaching improvements in the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act since 1938. Under these amendments:
Effective legal tools were provided to insure greater safety in connection with the manufacture, distribution and use of drugs.
Vital safeguards were added for drug research and manufacture.
Interstate distribution of new drugs for testing was barred until an adequate plan of investigation was made available to the Food and Drug Administration.
Domestic drug manufacturing establishments will now be required to register annually and be inspected by the FDA at least once a year.
The Administration has vigorously supported Truth-in-Lending, Truth-in-Packaging, and Truth-in-Securities bills.
The titles of these bills explain their objectives. Together, they form a triple armor of protection: for buyers of packaged goods, from prevailing deceptive practices; for borrowers of money, from hidden and unscrupulous interest and carrying charges; and for investors in securities from unfair practices threatening to vital savings. The first two bills are still awaiting Congressional action; the third is now a law.
The upward spiral in the price of natural gas which took place in the decade of the 1950's has been halted by vigorous regulatory action of the Federal Power Commission and the nation's 36 million consumers of natural gas have benefited from rate reductions and refunds in excess of $600 million. Natural gas moving largely in interstate pipelines now supplies almost a third of the nation's energy requirements. Regulation to insure its availability in ample supply and at reasonable prices is an important consumer protection function which is now being effectively discharged.
In 1960, we proposed—
"Adequate compensation for those with service-connected disabilities," and "pensions adequate for a full and dignified life for disabled and distressed veterans and for needy survivors of deceased veterans."
Since 1961, we have achieved:
Increased disability payments for veterans with service-connected disabilities. In the first year alone, this increase provided veterans with additional payments of about $98 million.
An increase of about 10 percent a month in the compensation for widows, children, and parents of veterans who died of service-connected disabilities.
An increase from $112 to $150 a month in the dependency and indemnity compensation payable to widows of veterans who died of service-connected disabilities.
Increased compensation benefits to veterans disabled by blindness, deafness, and kidney disorders, and increased benefits to widows and orphans of veterans whose deaths were service-connected.
In 1960, we endorsed—
"Expanded programs of vocational rehabilitation for disabled veterans, and education for orphans of servicemen."
Since 1961, vocational rehabilitation and training has enabled thousands of GI's to choose occupations and acquire valuable training. For the first time, veterans with peacetime service-connected disabilities have been afforded vocational rehabilitation training. In addition, vocational rehabilitation was extended to blinded World War II and Korean conflict veterans, and war orphans' educational assistance was extended in behalf of certain reservists called to active duty.
In 1960, we stated—
"The quality of medical care furnished to the disabled veterans has deteriorated .... We shall work for all increased availability of facilities for all veterans in need and we shall move with particular urgency to fulfill the need for expanded domiciliary and nursing-home facilities."
Since 1961, we have—
Approved the construction of new, modern hospitals, a number of which are being built near medical schools to improve veterans' care and research.
Added more full-time doctors to the VA staff, bringing it to an all-time high of nearly 5,000.
Provided hospital and medical care, including out-patient treatment, to peacetime ex-servicemen for service-connected disabilities on the same basis furnished war veterans.
Stepped up medical research programs, which have made outstanding contributions to American medicine.
In 1960, we pledged—
"We shall continue the veterans home loan guarantee and direct loan programs and education benefits patterned after the GI Bill of Rights."
Since 1961, legislation has extended veterans home loans for both World War II and Korean conflict veterans. The GI Bill of Rights for Korean veterans was also extended for the benefit of certain reservists called to active duty.
Despite this considerably increased activity, the Veterans Administration has reduced its operating costs.
In 1960, we pledged—
"Prompt adoption of a program to assist Indian tribes in the full development of their human and natural resources and to advance the health, education and economic well-being of Indian citizens while preserving their cultural heritage."
In these 3 1/2 years:
New classrooms have been provided for more than 7,000 Indian children; summer educational programs have been expanded tenfold so they now serve more than 20,000 students; and a special institute to train artistically gifted Indian youth has been established.
Indian enrollment in vocational training programs has been doubled.
For the first time in history, Federal low-rent housing programs have been launched on Indian reservations, and more than 3,100 new housing units have now been authorized.
Industrial plants offering employment opportunities for thousands of Indians are being opened on Indian reservations.
Accelerated Public Works projects on 89 reservations in 21 States have provided nearly 30,000 man-months of employment.
The Vocational Education Act and the Adult Indian Vocational Training Act have been amended to provide improved training for Indians.
In 1960, we observed—
"The arts flourish where there is freedom and where individual initiative and imagination are encouraged."
No single quality of the new Administration was more immediately evident to the Nation and the world than the recognition it gave to American artists.
President Kennedy early created an advisory commission to assist in the growth and development of the arts, and the Administration secured amendments to the Educational and Cultural Exchange Act to improve the quality and effectiveness of the international educational and cultural exchange programs. This past year, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was established to stimulate widespread interest in the arts.
On Washington's Birthday 1963, President Kennedy, by Executive Order, created a new Presidential Medal of Freedom as the highest civil honor conferred by the President in peace time upon persons who have made distinctive contributions to the security and national interest of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural activities. Henceforth, those men and women selected by the President for the Medal will be announced annually on the Fourth of July and will be presented with medals at an appropriate White House ceremony.
In his address to the University of Michigan in May 1964, President Johnson proposed that we begin to build the Great Society first of all in the cities of America, restoring the beauty and dignity which urban centers have lost.
That same month the President's Council on Pennsylvania Avenue presented to him a sweeping proposal for the reconstruction of the center of the City of Washington. The proposal has been hailed as "a blueprint for glory . . . a realistic and far-seeing redevelopment scheme that may be Washington's last chance to save its 'Avenue of Presidents.'"
In 1960, we reaffirmed—
"Our dedication to the Bill of Rights. Freedom and civil liberties, far from being incompatible with security, are vital to our national strength."
The era of fear and suspicion brought on by accusations, true and false, of subversive activities and security risks has passed. The good sense of the American people, and the overwhelming loyalty of our citizenry have combined to restore balance and calm to security activities, without in any way diminishing the scope or effectiveness of those activities.
The Administration has jealously guarded the right of each American to protect his good name. Except in those instances where the national security is overriding, confrontation of the accuser is now required in all loyalty hearings. Individuals whose loyalty is being questioned must also be notified of the charges in sufficient time for them to prepare their defense.
The Criminal Justice Act of 1964, now before the President for signature, will for the first time in history ensure that poor defendants in criminal cases will have competent legal counsel in defending themselves in Federal courts.
In 1960, we promised—
"We shall end the gross waste in Federal expenditures which needlessly raises the budgets of many Government agencies."
Since 1961, we have moved boldly and directly to eliminate waste and duplication wherever it occurs.
For example, the Department of Defense has embarked on a far-reaching program to realize savings through improvements in its efficiency and management. This program has already produced savings of more than $1 billion in Fiscal Year 1963 and $2.5 billion in the Fiscal Year just completed. By 1964, it is expected that the program will produce yearly savings of over $4 billion.
At the close of the past Fiscal Year Federal employment had been reduced by 22,000 over the total one year earlier. The 1965 budget calls for lower expenditures than in the preceding year—only the second time such a feat has been accomplished in the past 10 years. In 1960, we pledged—
"We shall collect the billions in taxes which are owed to the Federal Government but are not now collected."
To handle additional work in income tax collection, 3,971 new employees were added to the Internal Revenue Service by the Congress in fiscal 1961; 2,817 new positions were added in fiscal 1963; and about 1,000 more in fiscal 1964. The additional revenue which these employees will produce will far exceed the cost of their employment.
In 1960, we pledged—
"We shall close the loopholes in the tax laws by which certain privileged groups legally escape their fair share of taxation."
The Revenue Acts of 1962 and 1964 eliminated more loopholes than all the revenue legislation from 1941 to 1962 combined. They raised $1.7 billion annually in new revenue, nine times the sum raised in this manner during the 1953-60 period. These bills sharply limited expense account abuses, special preferences to U. S. firms and individuals operating abroad, escapes from taxation through personal holding companies and many other unjustified advantages.
In 1960, we pledged—
"We shall... seek to create an affirmative new atmosphere in which to deal with racial divisions and inequalities which threaten both the integrity of our democratic faith and the proposition on which our Nation was founded—that all men are created equal."
That pledge was made from the deepest moral conviction.
It was carried out on the same basis.
From the establishment of the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, under the chairmanship of the then Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, on March 6, 1961 to this moment, the efforts of the Administration to provide full and equal civil rights for all Americans have never relaxed.
The high point of achievement in this effort was reached with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the greatest civil rights measure in the history of the American people.
This landmark of our Democracy bars discrimination in the use of public accommodations, in employment, and in the administering of Federally-assisted programs. It makes available effective procedures for assuring the right to vote in Federal elections, directs Federal technical and financial assistance to local public school systems in desegregation, and strengthens the Civil Rights Commission. This comprehensive legislation resolves many of the festering conflicts which had been a source of irritating uncertainty, and smoothes the way for favorable resolution of these problems.
We have also insisted upon non-discrimination in apprenticeship, and have made free, unsegregated access a condition for Federal financial assistance to public libraries, programs for training of teachers of the handicapped, counseling, guidance and foreign language institutes, adult civil defense classes, and manpower development and training programs.
In supporting construction of Hill-Burton hospitals, mental retardation and community health facilities, we have required non-discrimination in admission and provision of services and granting of staff privileges.
We have been equally firm in opposing any policy of quotas or "discrimination in reverse," and all other arbitrary or irrelevant distinctions in American life.
This, then, is the accounting of our stewardship. The 1960 platform was not directed to any one sector or group of Americans with particular interests.
It proclaimed, rather, the Rights of Man.
The platform asserted the essential fact of that moment in our history—that the next administration to take office would face as never before the "responsibility and opportunity to call forth the greatness of the American people."
That responsibility was met; that opportunity was seized, The years since have been times of towering achievement.
We are proud to have been a part of this history. The task of leadership is to lead, and that has been our purpose. But the achievements of the nation over this period outreach the contribution of any party; they are the work of the American people.
In the 1,000 days of John F. Kennedy, in the eventful and culminating months of Lyndon B. Johnson, there has been born a new American greatness.
Let us continue.
|Citation: Democratic Party Platforms: "1964 Democratic Party Platform", August 24, 1964. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=29603.|
© 1999-2011 - Gerhard Peters - The American Presidency Project