|The American Presidency Project|
|• Democratic Party Platforms|
|Democratic Party Platform of 1980|
|August 11, 1980|
In its third century, America faces great challenges and an uncertain future. The decade that America now enters presents us with decisions as monumental and fundamental as those we faced during the Civil War, during two World Wars, and during the Great Depression. Our current task is different from each of these historic challenges. But in many ways the challenge is the same: to marshall the talents and spirit of the American people, to harness our enormous resources, and to face the future with confidence and hope.
The task now before us is as global as the worldwide energy shortage, and as local as the plight of children in Appalachia. It reaches from the condition of older Eastern cities and the industries of the snowbelt, to the complex new demands of our sunbelt region and the special needs of our Western states. It is as basic as the entitlement of minorities and women to real equality in every aspect of the nation's life. It is as immediate as the refugee crisis in Miami and the natural disaster at Mount St. Helens. It is as futuristic as the exploration of space and the oceans. It is as idealistic as the spirit of liberty which imbues our Constitution. It requires nothing less than a continued dedication to Democratic principles by each element in our society—government, business, labor, and every citizen—to the promise and potential of our nation.
We live in a time when effective policy requires an understanding of the web of competing values and interests which exist in our country. We must combine compassion with self-discipline. We must forego simplistic answers for long-term solutions to our problems.
With the Republican leadership closing its eyes to the realities of our time and running for the Presidency on a program of the easy answer, of the pleasant-sounding political promise, it is time to take a page from Adlai Stevenson's 1952 presidential campaign—it is time "to talk sense to the American people." It is time to talk bluntly and candidly about our problems and our proposed solutions; to face up to our problems and respond to them.
If we fail in this important task...if we fail to lay the issues squarely before the American people, we could well allow the federal government to revert to four years of Republicanism—neglect of the poor and disadvantaged, disdain for working men and women, compassion only for the rich and the privileged, failure to meet the challenges of energy, inflation and unemployment, and a breakdown of the partnership among local, state and federal governments. We as Democrats must not let this happen.
After nearly four years in office, we Democrats have not solved all of America's problems.
Most of these problems we inherited. Eight years of Republican politics left this nation weak, rudderless, unrespected and deeply divided.
As a result of this legacy, despite our progress, inflation still erodes the standard of living of every American.
As a result of this legacy, despite our progress, too many Americans are out of work.
As a result of this legacy, despite our progress, complete equality for all citizens has yet to be achieved.
As a result of this legacy, despite our progress, we still live in a very dangerous world, where competing ideologies and age-old animosities daily threaten the peace.
As a result of this legacy, our nation is still subject to the oil pricing and production decisions of foreign countries.
We will not run from these problems, nor will we fail. The record of the past four years is a testament to what the Democrats can do working together.
Time and time again in these past four years, a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President proved that they were willing to make the tough decisions.
Today, because of that Democratic partnership, we are a stronger nation.
Today, because of that Democratic partnership, we are at peace.
Today, because of that Democratic partnership, we are a more just nation.
Today, because of that Democratic partnership, honor and truth and integrity have been restored to our government and to our political process.
And so this party looks to the future with determination and confidence.
We have been and we shall remain the party of all Americans. We seek solutions that not only meet the needs of the many, but reaffirm our commitment to improve the conditions of the least fortunate in our society.
In this platform we offer programs and solutions that represent our dedication to Democratic principles. They define a spirit as well as a program...a set of beliefs as well as a set of ideas. Time and events may alter their priority or prospects. But nothing will alter the defining spirit and values of thee Democratic Party.
The platform of the Democratic Party is a contract with the people. We believe that accountability for Democratic principles goes hand in hand with dedication to those principles. The Democratic Party is proud of its historic heritage of commitment to the people of America. Fulfilling this platform will permit us to keep faith with that tradition.
Chapter I: The Economy
A Commitment to Economic Fairness
The Democratic Party will take no action whose effect will be a significant increase in unemployment—no fiscal action, no monetary action, no budgetary action—if it is the assessment of either the Council of Economic Advisers or the Congressional Budget Office that such action will cause significantly greater unemployment.
In all of our economic programs, the one overriding principle must be fairness. All Americans must bear a fair share of our economic burdens and reap a fair share of our economic benefits. High interest rates impose an unfair burden—on farmers, small businesses, and younger families buying homes. Recession imposes an unfair burden on those least able to bear it. Democratic economic policy must assure fairness for workers, the elderly, women, the poor, minorities and the majority who are middle income Americans. In 1980, we pledge a truly Democratic economic policy to secure a prosperous economic future.
While the past three and a half years of Democratic leadership have been years of growth for our economy, we now find ourselves in a recession.
The Democratic Party is committed to taking the necessary steps to combat the current recession. However, we cannot abandon our fight against inflation. We must fight both of these problems at the same time; we are committed to do so. We will continue to pursue the fight against inflation in ways not designed or intended to increase unemployment.
Our current economic situation is unique. In 1977, we inherited a severe recession from the Republicans. The Democratic Administration and the Democratic Congress acted quickly to reduce the unacceptably high levels of unemployment and to stimulate the economy. And we succeeded. We recovered from that deep recession and our economy was strengthened and revitalized. As that fight was won, the enormous increases in foreign oil prices—120 percent last year—and declining productivity fueled an inflationary spiral that also had to be fought. The Democrats did that, and inflation has begun to recede. In working to combat these dual problems, significant economic actions have been taken.
Two tax cuts have been enacted, in 1977 and 1978, reducing taxes on individuals and businesses by an amount equal, this year, to about $40 billion.
While meeting our national security and pressing domestic needs, the Democratic Partnership has restrained the increase in government spending in ways which have steadily reduced the deficit we inherited.
Airline and banking regulatory reforms have been enacted; further regulatory reforms are now under consideration.
In the effort to restrain inflation, a voluntary pay advisory committee has been established with labor, business, and public representatives pursuant to a National Accord.
The first national export policy was developed; export and trade responsibilities were reorganized and strengthened; the Multilateral Trade Negotiations were completed; and the MTN Agreement was approved by the Congress.
To ensure a greater impact for scarce federal dollars, grant and loan programs have been redirected to the areas of greatest need, and the formula programs have been redesigned to target the areas with the most serious problems.
As a result of these economic actions:
Employment—More than 8.5 million new jobs have been added to the work force; about 1 million of those jobs are held by Blacks, and nearly an additional 1 million are held by Hispanics. Gains have been made by all groups—more men, more women, more minorities, and more young people are working than ever before in our history. Despite these gains, current unemployment is too high and must be lowered.
Inflation—A strong anti-inflation program has been initiated and pursued aggressively, to deal both with the short-term inflation problem and with the long-term causes of inflation. The effects of the short-term effort are now evident: inflation is beginning to come down. Although some interest rates remain high, they are falling at record rates. This progress will continue as short-term actions continue to work and long-term initiatives begin to take hold.
Economic Growth—Despite the economic declines of the past few months, for the first three years of the Carter Administration our economy was strong. For the 1977—1979 period:
—Gross National Product increased by 11.8 percent in real terms.
—Real after-tax income per person increased by 10.3 percent.
—Industrial production increased by 14.8 percent.
—Dividends increased by 36 percent.
—Real business fixed investment increased by 22.9 percent.
Energy—Our dependence on foreign off has decreased—in 1977 we imported 8.8 million barrels of oil per day, and our nation is now importing approximately 6.5 million per day, a decline of 26 percent.
Solving Economic Problems
The Democratic Party commits itself to a strong economic program—one that builds on the progress we have made to date, one that corrects the very real problems we face now, one that is responsible, one that offers realistic hope, and one that can unify our Party. Such a Democratic program would contrast dramatically with the simplistic rhetoric and the traditional economic policies of the Republican Party.
Full Employment—We specifically reaffirm our commitment to achieve all the goals of the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act within the currently prescribed dates in the Act, especially those relating to a joint reduction in unemployment and inflation. Full employment is important to the achievement of a rising standard of living, to the pursuit of sound justice, and to the strength and vitality of America.
Anti-Recession Assistance—Immediately, we must undertake a short-term anti-recession program to reverse the tide of deepening recession and rising unemployment. Each percentage point increase in the unemployment rate adds $25 billion to the federal deficit.
A Democratic anti-recession program must recognize that Blacks, Hispanics, other minorities, women and older workers bear the brunt of recession. We pledge a $12 billion anti-recession jobs program, providing at least 800,000 additional jobs, including full funding of the counter-cyclical assistance program for the cities, a major expansion of the youth employment and training program to give young people in our inner cities new hope, expanded training programs for women and displaced homemakers to give these workers a fair chance in the workplace, and new opportunities for the elderly to contribute their talents and skills.
Coupling our need to rehabilitate our railroads with the need to create new job opportunities, we must commit ourselves to a $1 billion railroad renewal program which can employ 20,000 workers.
We must take steps to restore the housing industry, including effective implementation of the Brooke-Cranston program, and the addition of 200,000 new units a year for low and moderate income families.
National Accord—The National Accord with labor must be strengthened and continued. This enhances the unique opportunity afforded by a Democratic Administration for government, labor and business to work together to solve our inflationary and other economic problems.
Tax Reductions—We commit ourselves to targeted tax reductions designed to stimulate production and combat recession as soon as it appears so that tax reductions will not have a disproportionately inflationary effect. We must avoid untargeted tax cuts which would increase inflation. Any tax reduction must, if it is to help solve pressing economic problems, follow certain guiding principles:
—The inflationary impact must be minimized;
—Reductions provided to individuals must be weighted to help low and middle income individuals and families, to improve consumer purchasing power, and to enhance a growing economy while maintaining and strengthening the overall progressive nature of the tax code;
—Productivity, investment, capital formation, as well as incentives, must be encouraged, particularly in distressed areas and industries;
—The effect on our economy must be one which encourages job formation and business growth.
Federal Spending—Spending restraint must be sensitive to those who look to the federal government for aid and assistance, especially to our nation's workers in times of high unemployment. At the same time, as long as inflationary pressures remain strong, fiscal prudence is essential to avoid destroying the progress made to date in reducing the inflation rate.
Fiscal policy must remain a flexible economic tool. We oppose a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget.
Interest Rates—The Democratic Party has historically been committed to policies that result in low interest rates in order to help our nation's workers, small businesses, farmers and homeowners. Therefore, we must continue to pursue a tough anti-inflationary policy which will lead to an across-the-board reduction in interest rates on loans.
In using monetary policy to fight inflation, the government should be sensitive to the special needs of areas of our economy most affected by high interest rates. The Federal Reserve shall use the tool of reserve requirements creatively in its effort to fight inflation. The Federal Reserve should also take particular care to make certain that it is aware of the concerns of labor, agriculture, housing, consumers and small business in its decision-making process. Finally, its Open Market Committee should continue to provide regular information to the public about its activities.
Regulatory Reform—Consistent with our basic health, safety, and environmental goals, we must continue to deregulate over-regulated industries and to remove other unnecessary regulatory burdens on state and local governments and on the private sector, particularly those which inhibit competition.
Targeting and Regional Balance—From the time of Franklin Roosevelt, the Democratic Party has dedicated itself to the principle that the federal government has a duty to ensure that all regions, states and localities share in the benefits of national economic prosperity and that none bears more than its share of economic adversity.
Our 1976 platform stated: Even during periods of normal economic growth there are communities and regions of the country—particularly central cities and urban areas—that do not fully participate in national economic prosperity. The Democratic Party has supported national economic policies which have conscientiously sought to aid regions in the nation which have been afflicted with poverty, or newer regions which have needed resources for development. These policies were soundly conceived and have been successful. Today, we have different areas and regions in economic decline and once again face a problem of balanced economic growth. To restore balance, national economic policy should be designed to target federal resources in areas of greatest need.
A Democratic Administration has welcomed and encouraged the sustained growth of the West and Southwest in recent years. Policies now in place ensure that this growth will continue and bring the greatest benefits to the nation as a whole.
At the same time, a Democratic Administration will be committed to the economic growth and prosperity of the other regions of the nation. The era of federal policies directed exclusively to the development of one region or another should be succeeded by government-wide policies designed to bring about balanced and shared growth in all regions.
To restore balance, we must continue to improve the targeting of federal programs in order to maximize their benefit to those most in need. To involve the private sector in solving our economic problems, and to reduce the burden on government, we must leverage federal dollars with funds from the private sector.
Rebuilding American Industry by Increasing Economic Productivity and Competitiveness—The Democratic Party has a long tradition of innovation, foresight, and flexibility in creating policies to solve the nation's most urgent economic needs. We now stand at another watershed in our economic history which demands our Party's full attention, creative powers, resources, and skills. To revive productivity and revitalize our economy, we need a national effort to strengthen the American economy. It must include new tax depreciation rules to stimulate selective capital investment; a simplified tax code to assist business planning; removal of governmental regulations which are unnecessary and stifle business initiative; effective incentives for saving that do not discriminate against low and middle income taxpayers; reform in patent rules and new incentives for research and development, especially by small business; cooperative efforts with labor and management to retool the steel, auto and shipbuilding industries; and strengthened worker training programs to improve job opportunities and working skills.
Encouraging investment, innovation, efficiency and downward pressure on prices also requires new measures to increase competition in our economy. In regulated sectors of our economy, government serves too often to entrench high price levels and stifle competition. Regulations must balance protective benefits against potentially adverse effects on competitiveness. Necessary regulations should be achieved at minimum cost and at reduced burden to industry. In unregulated sectors of the economy, we must increase antitrust enforcement; greatly improve the speed and efficiency of antitrust litigation; and renew efforts to prevent the concentration of economic power—both in specific industries and across the economy as a whole—which operate to stifle growth and to fuel inflation.
United States non-farm exports have risen 50 percent in real terms in the last three years. A Democratic President and a Democratic Congress have recognized and strengthened the export trade functions of the federal government. To create new markets for American products and strengthen the dollar, we must seek out new opportunities for American exports; help establish stable, long-term commercial relationships between nations; offer technical assistance to firms competing in world markets; promote reciprocal trading terms for nations doing business here; and help ensure that America's domestic retooling is consistent with new opportunities in foreign trade.
One of our main goals in this effort will be to enable American industry to compete more effectively with foreign products. We must intensify our efforts to promote American exports and to ensure that our domestic industries and workers are not affected adversely by unfair trade practices, such as dumping. We must make international trade a major focus of our domestic and international policy. We will continue to support the development of trading companies which will compete more effectively in world markets. We must ensure that our efforts to lower tariff barriers are reciprocated by our trading partners. We recognize the superior productivity of American agriculture and the importance of agricultural exports to the balance of trade. We support continuing efforts to promote agricultural exports.
Ensuring Economic Equity
The budget policy that has been put forth by the Democratic Party traditionally has been based on providing adequate federal resources to meet our nation's urgent needs. The current Democratic Partnership has continued that tradition while restraining the growth of the federal budget.
We have increased support for vital domestic programs. We have increased funding for education by 75 percent over the Ford budget. We have increased Head Start by 73 percent, basic skills programs by 233 percent, bilingual education by 113 percent, Native American education by 124 percent, summer jobs by 66 percent. Job Corps by 157 percent, employment and training programs by 115 percent, Medicare by 54 percent, National Health Service Corps by 179 percent, Child Nutrition by 43 percent, and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program by 300 percent.
We have been able to do this, while restraining the growth in federal spending, because the country has had a growing economy; tax cuts have been moderate; waste and fraud have been reduced; and aid has been targeted to those most in need.
International events have required increased defense spending. The Soviet challenge cannot be ignored. We have had to reverse the steady decline in defense spending that occurred under the Republican Administration. A Democratic Administration and a Democratic Congress have done this; real defense spending has increased, in part through the elimination of waste and the emphasis on increased efficiency.
In the eight years preceding the first Carter budget, real federal spending had been growing at an average rate of 3 percent each year. By contrast, between FY 1978 and 1981, real federal spending will have declined at an average annual rate of 0.6 percent.
The federal budget has not been and must not be permitted to be an inflationary nor a recessionary force in our economy, but it also must not be permitted to ignore pressing human needs.
We support the discipline of attempting to live within the limits of our anticipated revenues. Government must set the example of fiscal responsibility for all our citizens who are helping in the fight against inflation. Spending discipline allows us to concentrate our resources to meet our most pressing human needs.
We as Democrats will continue our policy of opposing drastic cuts in social programs which impose unfair burdens on the poor and the aged, on women, on children and on minorities. We have always opposed and will continue to oppose imposition of ever greater burdens on the poor, who can least afford them.
We also recommit ourselves to operating our government more efficiently, and concentrating our efforts on eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in government programs to make our tax dollars go further.
The Democratic Administration has worked with Congress to take actions which protect our nation's workers from declining incomes, unsafe working conditions, and threats to their basic rights. The Democratic Party will not pursue a policy of high interest rates and unemployment as the means to fight inflation. We will take no action whose effect will be a significant increase in unemployment, no fiscal action, no monetary action, no budgetary action. The Democratic Party remains committed to policies that will not produce high interest rates or high unemployment.
But much more needs to be done to protect our nation's workers. The Democratic Party has a long and proud tradition in this area and we must pledge to continue our efforts over the next four years.
Over a generation ago this nation established a labor policy whose purpose is to encourage the practice and procedure of collective bargaining and the fight of workers to organize to obtain this goal. The Democratic Party is committed to extending the benefit of this policy to all workers and to removing the barriers to its administration.
In the future the Democratic Party will concentrate on the following areas.
Our labor laws should be reformed to permit better administration and enforcement, and particularly to prevent the inordinate delays and outright defiance by some employers of our labor laws. We can no longer tolerate the fact that certain employers are willing to bear the cost of sanctions which are in our current laws in order to violate the rights of those attempting to organize.
OSHA protections should be properly administered, with the concern of the worker being the highest priority; legislative or administrative efforts to weaken OSHA's basic worker protection responsibilities are unacceptable. OSHA has significantly reduced workplace accidents and fatalities. We will not limit its scope for any reason, including the size of business, since all workers face significant workplace dangers. The Democratic Party strongly opposes and urges all actions to defeat legislation which weakens OSHA's critical protections.
Hatch Act reforms should be enacted to give federal workers their basic First Amendment rights. We must protect federal workers from interruptions in their pay due to delays in the federal appropriations process and must seek ways to assure the comparability of pay scales between the federal and private sectors.
We support the fight of public employees and agricultural workers to organize and bargain collectively. We urge the adoption of appropriate federal legislation to ensure this goal.
Legislation must be enacted to allow building trades workers the same peaceful picketing rights currently afforded industrial workers.
All fair labor standards acts, such as the minimum wage and Davis-Bacon protections, must continue to be effectively enforced against employers seeking to circumvent their worker protections.
Section 14-b of the Taft-Hartley Act should be repealed.
Special assistance should be made available for unemployed workers in a distressed industry, such as the automobile, steel, and shipbuilding industries.
We must improve and strengthen our trade adjustment assistance programs.
We support federal legislation designed to give protection and human rights to those workers affected by plant closings.
Just as we must protect workers in their workplace, so must we protect them when they are disabled by accidents or sicknesses resulting from their work. The Democratic Party supports federal legislation to assure adequate minimum benefit levels to those who are unemployed, including expansion of coverage to all wage and salary workers and extended benefits for the long-term unemployed. It must not artificially disregard those who have already been unemployed for a long time.
We will continue to oppose a sub-minimum wage for youth and other workers and to support increases in the minimum wage so as to ensure an adequate income for all workers.
The prosperity of small business is an important national priority. Over half of the major innovations in the past twenty years have come from firms with less than 1,000 employees, and technological innovation has accounted for nearly half of America's economic growth. Small firms have a cost-per-scientist or engineer half that of larger firms. Ninety-six percent of the six million jobs created in the private sector between 1968 and 1976 came from small businesses—primarily firms in business less than four years, employing less than 20 workers. In contrast, the biggest 500 manufacturing companies—accounting for 80 percent of national output—employed precisely the same number of workers in 1968 as they did in 1976.
Of course, larger firms may offer other economic benefits to society, but the contribution of small business is vital and unique, and no overall program for economic recovery will succeed unless it relies heavily on small businesses. For this reason, the Democratic Party commits itself to the first comprehensive program for small business in American history. That program will include the following measures.
A prompt review and response for the recommendations of the White House Conference on Small Business.
Legislation to transfer from the SBA to the Farmers Home Administration responsibility for providing loans to farmers in financial need.
Allocation of a fair percentage of federal research funds to small business.
Protection of small and independent businesses against takeover by giant conglomerates.
Continued efforts to end federal regulations which reinforce barriers to entry by new and small firms and which thereby entrench the dominance of market leaders.
A review of regulations and requirements which impose unnecessary burdens upon smaller firms. Results should provide relief for smaller firms which now pay $12.7 billion a year to fill 850 million pages of government paperwork. We will adopt regulatory requirements to meet the needs of smaller firms, where such action will not interfere with the objectives of the regulation.
A Democratic Congress and a Democratic Administration have worked together to increase opportunities for minority businesses, which have suffered from inadequate capitalization. Enormous progress has been made in the last four years.
Federal procurement from minority-owned firms has increased by nearly two and a half times.
Federal deposits in minority-owned banks have already doubled.
Minority ownership of radio and television stations has increased by 65 percent.
Almost 15 percent of the funds spent under the Local Public Works Act went to minority-owned firms.
The Section 8(a) program operated by the Small Business Administration has been reformed and strengthened.
The Democratic Party pledges itself to advance minority businesses, including Black, Hispanic, Asian/ Pacific Americans, Native Americans and other minorities to:
—Increase the overall level of support and the overall level of federal procurement so that minority groups will receive additional benefits and opportunities.
—Triple the 1980 level of federal procurement from minority-owned firms as we have tripled the 1977 levels in the past three years.
—Increase substantially the targeting of Small Business Administration loans to minority-owned businesses.
—Increase ownership of small businesses by minorities, especially in those areas which have traditionally been dosed to minorities, such as communications and newspapers.
—Expand management, technical, and training assistance for minority firms, and strengthen minority capital development under the SBA's Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Company (MESBIC) program.
—Establish a Minority Business Development Agency in the Department of Commerce under statutory mandate.
—Implement vigorously all set-aside provisions for minority businesses.
Women in Business
The Democrats have exercised effective leadership in the field of support to women-owned businesses. A national policy was developed to support women's business enterprises, and SBA created the first program to help women entrepreneurs, President Carter has issued an Executive Order creating a national women's business enterprise policy and prescribing arrangements for developing, coordinating, and implementing a national program for women's business enterprise.
Support of this program must be expanded through effective implementation of the Executive Order to ensure an equitable distribution of government prime and subcontracts to women business owners. Cabinet Secretaries and agency heads, working with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, must monitor realistic goals established for the award of government business and financial support to women-owned businesses.
As the key office within the federal government for these programs, the Office of Women's Business Enterprise in SBA must be strengthened through adequate staffing and funding, and should receive continued emphasis by key White House and Office of Management and Budget personnel.
Women and The Economy
We pledge to secure the rights of working women, homemakers, minority women and elderly women to a fair share of our economy. A sound economy in the next four years is of vital importance to women, who are often at the bottom of the economic ladder. But if our economy is to be truly fair, additional steps are required to address the inequities that women now face.
Special attention must be paid to the employment needs of women. Today, women who can find work earn, on average, only fifty-nine cents for every dollar earned by men.
The Democratic Party, therefore, commits itself to strong steps to close the wage gap between men and women, to expand child care opportunities for families with working parents, to end the tax discrimination that penalizes married working couples, and to ensure that women can retire in dignity.
We will strictly enforce existing anti-discrimination laws with respect to hiring, pay and promotions. We will adopt a full employment policy, with increased possibilities for part-time work Vocational programs for young women in our high schools and colleges will be equalized and expanded. Fields traditionally reserved for men...from construction to engineering...must be opened to women, a goal which must be promoted through government incentives and federally sponsored training programs.
Perhaps most important, the Democratic Party is committed to the principle of equal pay for work of comparable value. Through new job classification studies by the Department of Labor, job reclassification by the Office of Personnel Management and new legislation from Congress if necessary, we will ensure that women in both the public and private sectors are not only paid equally for work which is identical to that performed by men, but are also paid equally for work which is of comparable value to that performed by men.
The Democratic Party must lead the way in ensuring that women and minorities are afforded real equality in the work force, neither displacing the other. As the nation's single largest employer, the hiring and promotion practices of the federal government must set an example. Every branch of government will be mandated not only to hire qualified women and minorities, but also affirmatively to seek out able minorities and women within the government for training and promotion. Opportunities for part-time work will be expanded and pay equalized to reflect the value of the work which is done.
Economic Inequities Facing Minorities
We must expand jobs and job training including apprenticeship training programs for those who have special problems—groups such as the young, veterans, older workers, minorities, those with limited fluency in English, and the handicapped. The Democratic Party pledges that anyone who wants to learn the skills necessary to secure a job will be able to do so.
We also must improve the quality of the programs designed to help the structurally unemployed. We must give trainees a better sense of what work will be like, assure a higher level of training, and undertake greater efforts to place people in jobs and help them adjust to the world of work. We should explore several methods for making such improvements, including performance funding. More money should go to those training programs which prove most successful. Particular emphasis should be given to training programs run by community-based organizations which have a superior record of success.
Where public agencies have trouble reaching those who seem unemployable, and where the training they provide is not effective we should assist business to provide that training. We should ensure that business is not paid merely for hiring those that would be hired anyway, and that federal subsidies are truly training subsidies and not disguised wage subsidies.
A major effort must be undertaken to address youth employment. Half the unemployed are under twenty-five. Teenage inner city unemployment is at disastrous levels of 50 percent or higher. The problem is one of both employment and employability—a lack of jobs and a lack of skills.
We need new combinations of work experience and training for young people, new links between schools and the workplace, new ways to reach out to those who are out of school and out of work, but who have special need for skill development and job experience.
Since the first administration of Franklin Roosevelt, the Democratic Party has stood as the Party which championed consumer rights. It is our tradition to support and enact policies which guarantee that the consumer is sovereign in the market place. It is our history to institute necessary government programs to protect the health, safety and economic well-being of the American consumer. And it is our way of governing to ensure that consumers have full opportunity to participate in the decision-making processes of government.
Working together, the Democratic Administration and Congress have maintained that tradition. Prominent consumer advocates have been appointed to key government positions. A new National Consumer Cooperative Bank has been created, and a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has been enacted. Each federal agency has been directed to establish procedures so that consumer needs and interests are adequately considered and addressed on a continual basis. The basic consumer protection authorities of the Federal Trade Commission have been preserved.
Over the next four years, we must continue to guarantee and enhance the basic consumer rights to safety, to information, to choice and to a fair hearing.
Government must continue its efforts to create a strong independent voice to ensure that the consumer's interest is considered in government proceedings. We pledge continued support for an independent consumer protection agency to protect the rights and interests of consumers. Until one is created, we must ensure that each department and agency of the government has established and adequately funded a consumer program which complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12160. Each agency must provide ample opportunity for public involvement in its proceedings and should strive to adopt a program to provide funds for consumers and small businesses to participate in those proceedings.
We must continue our support of basic health, safety, environmental and consumer protection regulatory programs and must undertake the following new initiatives to provide additional basic protections to consumers:
—Comprehensive review of food safety and drug statutes, with particular emphasis on food labeling which discloses product ingredients.
—Requirements for full warranties for new automobiles.
—Class action reform to remove unnecessarily burdensome and expensive procedures.
—Reform of requirements for legal standing to seek judicial redress.
—Protection for consumers against dangerous products, including standards for automobile safety, clothing flammability, new drugs and chemicals, and food and children's products.
—Vigorous enforcement of truth-in-lending, anti-redlining, and fair credit reporting laws.
—Curtailment of abuses in sale of credit life insurance.
While consumer regulatory programs are necessary to achieve social goals, we recognize that an effective competition policy frees the market place from regulation. Therefore, we support vigorous enforcement and strengthening of the antitrust laws. Legislation should be enacted to overturn the Illinois Brick case and allow consumers who are injured as a result of a violation of the antitrust laws to seek redress, whether or not they have dealt directly with the violator.
We are committed to ensuring that America's poor do not suffer from lack of food. To this end, we support continued funding of the Food Stamp Program and expansion of the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program.
We support the efforts of the National Consumer Cooperative Bank to assist grass roots consumer organizations to undertake self-help programs.
We support a nationwide program of consumer education to enable citizens to fully understand their rights in the market place, to be informed of the opportunities for participation in government decision-making, and to be equipped to make intelligent, rational consumer decisions.
America must commit itself to a free, open and competitive economy. We pledge vigorous antitrust enforcement in those areas of the economy which are not regulated by government and in those which are, we pledge an agency-by-agency review to prevent regulation from frustrating competition.
To accomplish these goals, we must:
—Enact the Illinois Brick legislation.
—Permit consumers and other interested parties to seek enforcement of consent decrees issued in antitrust cases brought by government.
— Prevent anti-competitive pricing by firms in concentrated industries, and combat price signalling and other forms of anti-competitive conduct which do not fall into the current legal categories of either monopoly or collusion.
—Control conglomerate mergers, when such mergers undermine important economic, social and political values without offsetting economic benefits.
—Reform antitrust procedures to speed up cases and deter dilatory conduct by any party.
—Provide strong support for antitrust enforcement by the federal enforcement agencies.
—Provide technical and financial support for the antitrust enforcement efforts of the state attorneys-general and other state antitrust agencies.
—Develop a "single stop" clearance procedure to allow exporters to determine whether specific export agreements are permissible under the antitrust law.
Chapter II: Government and Human Needs
The Democratic Party has properly been known as the Party of the people. We Democrats believe in making government responsive to the needs of the people...making it work for the people. We do not claim that government has all the answers to our problems, but we do believe that government has a legitimate role to play in searching for those answers and in applying those answers.
The Democratic Party has a proud record of responding to the human needs of our citizens. After eight years of Republican government and systematic Republican efforts to dismantle all of the hard-won New Frontier and Great Society social programs, the Garter Administration and the Democratic Congress have resurrected, preserved and strengthened those programs which have proven effective.
In the areas of health care, housing, education, welfare and social services, civil rights, and care for the disabled, elderly and veterans, a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress have put the federal government back in the business of serving our people.
Our progress has been significant, and in many areas unprecedented. In 1980, the people must decide whether our country will continue that progress, or whether we will allow the federal government to revert to four years of Republicanism—which means neglect of the poor and disadvantaged, disdain for working men and women, and compassion only for the rich and the privileged.
We will not allow this to happen. We pledge to build on the Democratic record of the past four years—to continue the process we have begun.
While we recognize the need for fiscal restraint—and have proposed specific steps toward that goal—we pledge as Democrats that for the sole and primary purpose of fiscal restraint alone, we will not support reductions in the funding of any program whose purpose is to serve the basic human needs of the most needy in our society—programs such as unemployment, income maintenance, food stamps, and efforts to enhance the educational, nutritional or health needs of children.
The Carter Administration and the Congress have worked closely together to improve the health care provided to all Americans. In many vital areas, there has been clear progress.
The United States spent over $200 billion for health care in 1979. Despite these high expenditures and although we possess some of the finest hospitals and health professionals in the world, millions of Americans have little or no access to health care services. Incredibly, costs are predicted to soar to $400 billion by 1984, without improvement in either access to care or coverage of costs. Health care costs already consume ten cents of every dollar spent for goods and services.
The answer to runaway medical costs is not, as Republicans propose, to pour money into a wasteful and inefficient system. The answer is not to cut back on benefits for the elderly and eligibility for the poor. The answer is to enact a comprehensive, universal national health insurance plan.
To meet the goals of a program that will control costs and provide health coverage to every American, the Democratic Party pledges to seek a national health insurance program with the following features:
—Universal coverage, without regard to place of employment, sex, age, marital status, or any other factor;
—Comprehensive medical benefits, including preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, health maintenance and rehabilitation services, and complete coverage of the costs of catastrophic illness or injury;
—Aggressive cost containment provisions along with provisions to strengthen competitive forces in the market place;
—Enhancement of the quality of care;
—An end to the widespread use of exclusions that disadvantage women and that charge proportionately higher premiums to women;
—Reform of the health care system, including encouragement of health maintenance organizations and other alternative delivery systems;
—Building on the private health care delivery sector and preservation of the physician-patient relationship;
—Provision for maximum individual choice of physician, other provider, and insurer;
—Maintenance of the private insurance industry with appropriate public regulation;
—Significant administrative and organizational roles for state and local government in setting policy and in resource planning;
—Redistribution of services to ensure access to health care in underserved areas;
—Improvement of non-institutional health services so that elderly, disabled, and other patients may remain in their homes and out of institutions; and
Child Health Assurance Program—We must continue to emphasize preventive health care for all citizens. As part of this commitment, we call for the enactment of legislation during the 96th Congress to expand the current Medicaid program and make an additional 5 million low-income children eligible for Medicaid benefits and an additional 200,000 low-income pregnant women eligible for prenatal and postnatal care.
Mental Health Systems Act—We must enact legislation to help the mentally ill, based on the recommendations of the President's Commission on Mental Health. The legislation should focus on deinstitutionalization of the chronically mentally ill, increased program flexibility at the local level, prevention, and the development of community-based mental health services. It is imperative that there be ongoing federal funding for the community-based mental health centers established under the 1963 Mental Health Act and that sufficient federal funding be provided for adequate staffing. We also endorse increased federal funding for ongoing training of mental health personnel in public facilities.
In the 1980s we must move beyond these existing health care initiatives and tackle other problems as well.
Long-Term Care—We must develop a new policy on long-term care for our elderly and disabled populations that controls the cost explosion and at the same time provides more humane care. We must establish alternatives to the present provisions for long-term care, including adequate support systems and physical and occupational therapy in the home arid the community, to make it unnecessary to institutionalize people who could lead productive lives at home.
We must support legislation to expand home health care services under Medicare and other health programs. Visits from doctors, nurses and other health personnel are a cost-effective and necessary program for the elderly who often cannot travel to medical facilities. Without home health services, many elderly citizens would be forced to give up their homes and shift their lives to institutions.
Multilingual Needs—We must support the utilization of bilingual interpreters in English-Spanish and other appropriate languages at federal and state-supported health care facilities. In addition, we support broader, more comprehensive health care for migrants.
Health Care Personnel—This nation must maintain an adequate supply of health professionals and personnel. Particular emphasis should be given to programs which educate nurses and other health professionals and related personnel, especially for the traditionally underserved rural and inner city areas.
The rising cost of education in health fields bars many who wish to enter these fields from doing so. In order to expand representation in the health professions of traditionally underrepresented groups, we support programs of financial assistance such as capitation grants. These programs must increase the presence of men and minorities in nursing, and must be targeted toward women and minorities in other health professions.
Minority and Women Health Care Professionals—We recognize the need for a significant increase in the number of minority and women health care professionals. We are committed to placing greater emphasis on enrollment and retention of minorities and women in medical schools and related health education professional programs.
We are also committed to placing a greater emphasis on medical research and services to meet the needs of minorities, women and children.
Reproductive Rights—We fully recognize the religious and ethical concerns which many Americans have about abortion. We also recognize the belief of many Americans that a woman has a right to choose whether and when to have a child.
The Democratic Party supports the 1973 Supreme Court decision on abortion rights as the law of the land and opposes any constitutional amendment to restrict or overturn that decision.
Furthermore, we pledge to support the right to be free of environmental and worksite hazards to reproductive health of women and men.
We further pledge to work for programs to improve the health and safety of pregnancy and childbirth, including adequate prenatal care, family planning, counseling, and services with special care to the needs of the poor, the isolated, the rural, and the young.
Financially Distressed Public Hospitals—Frequently, the only sources of medical care for much of the inner city population is the public general hospital. The ever-increasing costs of providing high quality hospital services and the lack of insurance coverage for many of the patients served have jeopardized the financial stability of these institutions. Immediate support is required for financially distressed public hospitals that provide a major community service in urban and rural areas.
In underserved areas where public hospitals have already been closed because of financial difficulty, we must explore methods for returning the needed hospitals to active service.
We must develop financial stability for these hospitals. Our approach should stress system reforms to assure that more primary medical care is provided in free-standing community centers, while the hospital is used for referral services and hospitalization.
Medicaid Reimbursement—The Democratic Party supports programs to make the Medicaid reimbursement formulae more equitable.
Unnecessary Prescriptions—We must reduce unnecessary prescribing of drugs and guarantee the quality and safety of products that reach the market through improved approval procedures.
Alcoholism and drug abuse are unique illnesses which not only impair the health of those who abuse those products, but impose costs on society as a whole—in production losses, in crimes to supply habits, and in fatalities on the highway.
The Democratic Partnership has worked to reduce the serious national problem of substance abuse, and progress has been made.
As a result, in part, of a major adolescent drug abuse prevention campaign, levels of drug abuse among adolescents have begun to decline. However, as long as abuse still exists, we consider it a major problem requiring our attention.
Because of a coordinated, concerted attack on drug trafficking, heroin availability in the U.S. over the past four years has decreased by 44 percent; heroin-related injuries have declined by 50 percent.
Progress made since 1977 must be continued.
We must continue to focus on preventing substance abuse in the early years of adolescence by working with grassroots organizations and parent groups throughout the country.
Special efforts must be made to strengthen prevention and rehabilitation resources in the major urban areas that are so acutely affected by drug and alcohol abuse problems because of the cumulative effect of joblessness, poor housing conditions and other factors.
We must provide adequate funding for alcohol and drug abuse research and treatment centers designed to meet the special needs of women, and end the currently widespread discrimination, based on sex, age, race, and ethnicity, in alcohol and drug abuse programs.
We must treat addiction as a health problem and seek flexibility in administering Medicare and Medicaid for substance abuse treatment, especially alcohol and drug services.
We must reduce the availability of heroin and other illicit narcotics in this country and in the source countries.
We must conduct investigations leading to the prosecution and conviction of drug traffickers and to the forfeiture of financial and other assets acquired by their organizations.
In other sections of this platform (for example, health and the extensive section on Social Security), we have listed programs and commitments for improving the status of older Americans. As a Party, we are aware of the demographic and biomedical developments that call for a high priority approach to the issues of retirement, work, and income maintenance for the growing number of older citizens.
The Democratic Party stands for the achievement and maintenance of the quality of life for Americans in their later years. We speak for our future selves, as well as for the elderly of today.
There has been substantial progress, but much remains to be done. Too many senior citizens (especially among minority groups) live close to or below the poverty line, in isolated conditions, and without access to needed services.
The Democratic Party pledges to continue to improve the policies and programs which ensure a high quality of life for older Americans. This includes the following measures.
All Americans, regardless of age, must be afforded an opportunity to participate in the mainstream of society, and in activities at local and national levels, as useful citizens. The 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the milestone amendments to that Act in 1978, are concrete examples of this principle. So are programs such as senior centers, nutrition services, and home attendants, as well as those programs under ACTION, the Administration on Aging, and the Community Services Administration.
Such programs have helped to diminish the conditions of dependency, isolation, and unnecessary institutionalization. We propose to continue and expand these programs to reach underserved areas and all segments of the elderly.
The Democratic Party is proud of the passage of legislation to protect and improve private pensions through the Employees Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), as well as current proposals to extend such protection to larger numbers of workers. No worker, after long years of employment, should lose his or her pension rights because of mobility, poor management, or economic reasons,
Other priorities include working with the private sector to assure maintenance and expansion of employer-employee pension systems and continuing support of the federal-state partnership in SSI (Supplemental Security Income) for the least fortunate.
A comprehensive program of long-term care services is a goal of the Democratic Party. The fastest growing segment of our population is the "very old" and the "frail elderly." The Democratic Party will continue to be concerned with the provision of services for these groups, increasingly composed of women without access to family care. This will include home attendant care, day centers, and quality institutional care for those elderly with functional disabilities who cannot rely on non-institutional alternatives.
For many older citizens, continuing participation in the mainstream means continuing employment, or a return to the labor force as a result of widowhood or the "empty nest." In addition to increasing employment opportunities by raising the allowable mandatory retirement age, we must continue existing, and create new, programs for the retention and re-entry of adult and older Americans in our labor force, including the private and community service sectors.
The Democratic Party will encourage the development of services by the public and private sectors to provide meals-on-wheels for those who need them; senior day centers; friendly visiting services; and similar supportive, educational-recreational, and outreach services.
We pledge to make the elderly secure in the necessities of life. The Democratic Party pledges that it will seek to increase the number of meals served under Title III of the Older Americans Act until it covers at least a quarter of all older people at or near the poverty level while at least maintaining current services for those who are not in poverty. The Democratic Party will seek expanded funding provided for the Section 202 housing program for the elderly.
No group in our society deserves the commitment and respect of the Democratic Party more than the elderly. They have built the factories arid mills of the nation. They have fought to defend our country. They have paid taxes to finance the growth of our cities and towns. They have worked and sacrificed for a lifetime to give their children a better chance to achieve their dreams. They have a continuing reservoir of talent, skill and experience to contribute to our future.
The basic program and guarantee for older citizens is Social Security. It is the single most successful social program ever undertaken by the federal government. Ninety-five percent of those reaching 65 are eligible for this program: without it, 60 percent of the elderly would have incomes below the poverty level.
The Democratic Party will oppose any effort to tamper with the Social Security system by cutting or taxing benefits as a violation of the contract the American government has made with its people. We hereby make a covenant with the elderly of America that as we have kept the Social Security trust fund sound and solvent in the past, we shall keep it sound and solvent in the years ahead.
In 1977, the Social Security system faced bankruptcy. The Carter Administration and the Congress enacted legislation ensuring the Social Security system's financial stability and making certain that each of the 35 million recipients received his or her monthly check without interruption. They also worked together to strengthen the benefits provided to
Social Security recipients. As a result of our actions:
—Workers have been protected against inflation;
—Minimum benefit payments have been reformed to protect low-paid, long-time participants;
—A 3 percent increase in primary benefit amounts has been added;
—The retirement test has been liberalized. Despite our efforts, much remains to be done if the elderly are to receive the respect and dignity they have earned. Elderly households have only half the income of younger households. For women, the annual median income of those over 65 is only $2,800. One out of seven persons over 65 lives in poverty. Three-quarters of all elderly unmarried, widowed, or divorced women live in poverty. Millions of elderly persons live in special fear of crime. Health care costs for the elderly are now three and a half times the level for younger people. Actual out-of-pocket health expenditures for the elderly today are greater in real dollars than when Medicare was enacted.
In the 1980s we must continue to work for a financially strong Social Security system. The levels and types of benefits, as well as rates and systems of financing, must be continually reviewed in light of current circumstances. Decisions affecting Social Security benefits should be measured by the standards of Social Security's goals, not by the program's impact on the federal budget.
The Democratic Party is responsible for the adjustments of Social Security benefits to keep pace with increases in the cost of living. We remain committed to ensuring that these adjustments continue. We oppose any caps on Social Security benefits. No change in the index which determines cost of living adjustments should be made for the purpose of achieving smaller adjustments than those granted under the current index.
We oppose efforts to raise the age at which Social Security benefits will be provided. Our Party seeks to protect and assist those most in need. We continue to be sensitive to the economic and physical plight of the older worker and the elderly. We therefore stand unalterably opposed to the taxation of any portion of Social Security benefits. Taxing Social Security benefits would mean real hardship for millions of retired Americans. If government needs to expand the tax base, additional taxation should be borne by those most able to pay.
While these steps are critically important, they will not, standing alone, secure adequate income for the elderly women of this nation. To reach this goal, we must also move immediately to eliminate all the gender-based classifications in the Social Security system. We must consider the special needs of elderly women in future benefit increases. We must end the unfairness in the current system that penalizes two-worker families. We must devise a practical way for the Social Security system to recognize the contributions of homemakers, and thus ensure the resources they need to live in dignity in old age.
Finally, the Democratic Party vehemently opposes all forms of age discrimination and commits itself to eliminating mandatory retirement. With the surety of a guillotine, mandatory retirement severs productive persons from their livelihood, shears their sense of self-worth, and squanders their talents.
Our nation's complex and uneven pension system is a continuing source of concern. To help address this important problem, President Carter created a Presidential Commission on Pension Policy, charged with developing recommendations to improve public and private, federal, state and local pension systems. We applaud this initiative. We must achieve an equitable pension system with improved benefit safeguards and adequate benefit levels.
We urge the Commission to give special attention to recommendations which address the discrimination and hardships imposed on women in pension plans. Problem areas include, pension rights in divorce proceedings, lack of pension benefits for survivors when a worker dies before retirement age, the rules for establishing Individual Retirement Accounts, the vesting rules and participation in pension plans.
We support strong programs of portability in teacher and other public employee retirement programs and private pension plans in order to offer employees involved in geographic employment moves the opportunity to continue retirement security.
The nation's welfare system continues to be inequitable and archaic. The existing organization of our delivery system is chaotic. The roles of the federal, state, and local governments, and of the courts are scrambled, with each vying for power and control over delivery. This confusion lends credence to public outrage.
States and cities which make an honest effort to meet the welfare crisis find themselves in deepening fiscal difficulty. In the past few years, the federal share of welfare costs in many of these states has actually declined.
The fiscal crisis of welfare recipients has also deepened, since states and localities are unable or unwilling to adjust benefits to prevent inflation from robbing them of their worth.
The fiscal crisis for taxpayers continues, as states have little ability or incentive to reduce welfare error rates.
Incentives continue that cause families to break apart and fathers to leave home so that children may survive. Disincentives continue for welfare families to seek work on their own; no regular method links welfare recipients to the work force.
We are at a crossroad in the delivery of welfare. Serious reform is necessary if the inequities are to be remedied and administration improved.
The various components must be reorganized and simplified, with each level of government performing those services most suited to its organizational structure, taking advantage of economies allowed by large-scale delivery where appropriate, and of customized services where they are required, always treating each person with fairness and equity.
The components of an effective human service delivery system are these.
Employment—We must require work or necessary training leading to work of every capable person, except for the elderly and those responsible for the care of small children. However, we cannot make this requirement effective unless we can assure employment first through the private sector and, if that is insufficient, through public employment. We must provide an income floor both for the working poor and the poor not in the labor market. We must adopt a simple schedule of work incentives that guarantees equitable levels of assistance to the working poor.
The training and job program must emphasize supported work programs, in which welfare recipients receive intensive training, personnel counseling and help in the job search. Such services can lead to large increases in job placement, lower government expenditures and more productive workers.
Income Transfer—For those persons who cannot work and who have no independent means of support, we must provide assistance in an integrated, humane, dignified, and simple manner. These problems are national in scope and require a unified, national response.
Social Services—As society becomes more complex and faster paced, people such as senior citizens, handicapped, children, families, and those who need protection are under greater pressure and find it more difficult to find the help they need. As these issues vary among communities, communities should take the lead in design and provision of these services.
Social services must continue to be developed and operated at the local level, close to the users, with knowledge of and sensitivity to both the particular problems of each case and the community's unique infrastructure, resources, and support networks.
We must develop a community-level system for coordinating existing public and voluntary programs that support the family and individual initiative, and develop programs to fill existing gaps in order to provide the variety and extent of social services appropriate for each locality.
Food Stamps—Hunger is one of the most debilitating and urgently felt human needs. A government pledged to a fairer distribution of wealth, income, and power, and to holding as a guiding concern the needs and aspirations of all, must also be a government which seeks to alleviate the hunger that results from economic conditions or personal circumstances. Over the years, the Food Stamp Program, expanded and made more responsive by a Democratic Congress and Administration, has become the bulwark of this nation's efforts to relieve hunger among its citizens.
The only form of assistance which is available to all those in financial need—food stamps—provides an important cushion for poor people, including those whose incomes are temporarily disrupted by layoffs or regional unemployment, or whose age or physical handicap leaves them unable to work.
As state and local governments modify other benefit programs on which low-income people depend, the Food Stamp Program becomes increasingly important. We will continue to work toward full employment in recognition of the importance of self-support. Until that goal can be attained, and for those who cannot be self-supporting, we remain committed to our current policy of full funding for the Food Stamp Program.
Medical Care—Provision of medical care for the poor remains essential. This is a critical part of the national health debate, and should be handled as such.
These reforms may require an additional investment, but they offer the prospect of stabilization of welfare costs over the long run, and the assurance that the objective of this expenditure will be accomplished.
Toward these goals, President Carter proposed welfare reform to the Congress in the form of the Work and Training Opportunities Act and the Social Welfare Reform Amendments Act. These two Acts would lift over two million people out of poverty by providing assistance to individuals and families to enable them to meet minimum income standards and by providing employment to those able to work. We must continue to work to ensure the passage of these two very important acts.
As a means of providing immediate federal fiscal relief to state and local governments, the federal government will assume the local government's burden of welfare costs. Further, there should be a phased reduction in the states' share of welfare costs in the immediate future.
The Democratic Party pledges in the immediate future to introduce legislation to accomplish these purposes in the next year.
Welfare policies significantly affect families. Most persons receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children, for example, are children or the mothers of young children. Many of these young mothers want to work. So, too, many others receiving welfare are well-suited to work and want to work. A companion to any effective welfare reform must be provision for adequate and available child care, so that parents can participate in training programs and in the work force.
Government should not encourage the break-up of intact families. On the contrary, we must provide the help a family needs to survive a crisis together. In 1962, America took and action which has been one of the greatest contributors to family stability in the history of federal policy. For the first time, states were permitted to provide assistance to families with both parents, and still be eligible for general reimbursement. We reaffirm our support for the 1962 action and urge that states not providing assistance to unified families begin to do so. We must treat stable and broken families equally.
The thirty-day waiting period for placement on the welfare rolls poses serious problems for individuals and families in dire need of assistance. We support efforts to streamline processing of new welfare recipients which also attempt to address the problem of administrative errors. Simplified rules and better administration machinery would significantly improve the operation of the welfare system.
We strongly reject the Republican Platform proposal to transfer the responsibility for funding welfare costs entirely to the states. Such a proposal would not only worsen the fiscal situation of state and local governments, but would also lead to reduced benefits and services to those dependent on welfare programs. The Democratic policy is exactly the opposite—to provide greater assistance to state and local governments for their welfare costs and to improve benefits and services for those dependent on welfare.
Low Income Energy Assistance
Our citizens see their family budgets stretched to the breaking point by an explosion of energy costs, while the profits of oil companies multiply to record levels. Last year's 120 percent increase in energy prices by OPEC led to a drastic decrease in the ability of needy families to pay for other necessities of life. The recently enacted low income energy assistance legislation is helping, but it is providing only $1 of help for every $4 in increased costs that have been imposed upon the poor. Significant expansion in this program is urgently needed, and we support such action as a major priority of our Party.
This Administration has worked to strengthen the federal government's commitment to our nation's veterans. The Veterans Administration has been given Cabinet-level participation. There have been three consecutive annual increases in VA compensation. The Veterans' and Survivors' Pension Improvement Act has assured veterans of and adequate minimum income. A treatment and rehabilitation program has been established for veterans with alcohol and drug-dependency disabilities. G.I. educational benefits have been considerably expanded. Unemployment among Vietnam veterans has been reduced. Veterans' health care has been improved. A process has been initiated for veterans to upgrade less than honorable discharges from the Vietnam War era.
During the 1980s, we must commit ourselves to:
—Equal opportunity and full voluntary participation in the military regardless of sex. We oppose quotas and/or percentages, rules, policies and practices which restrict or bar women from equal access to educational training and employment training and employment benefits which accrue during and after military service.
—Continue improving education and training benefits and opportunities for veterans, especially those who are economically or educationally disadvantaged and those who are disabled.
—Initiate and complete comprehensive epidemiological studies on veterans exposed to certain defoliants used during the Vietnam War as well as on veterans or civilians exposed to above-ground nuclear explosion. We then must establish appropriate and sensitive VA health care programs for those determined to have suffered from such exposure or service.
—Complete promptly the current Cabinet-level study on Agent Orange.
—Strive to maintain and improve quality health care in an independent VA health care system.
—Continue priority care to veterans with service-connected disabilities and seek ways of improving and developing special treatment for the ever-increasing aging veterans population, including burial benefit programs sensitive to the needs of veterans and their families in rural areas.
—Provide authority for the construction of a memorial in the nation's capital to those who died in service to their country in Southeast Asia.
Perhaps the single most important factor in spurring productivity in our society is a skilled work force. We must begin to think of federal expenditures as capital investments, favoring those which are productive and which reduce future costs. In this context, education must be one of our highest priorities. Education is also the indispensable prerequisite for effective democracy. As Daniel Webster said, "On the diffusion of education among people rests the preservation and perpetuation of free institutions."
The Democratic Party is strongly committed to education as the best hope for America's future. We applaud the leadership taken by a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress in strengthening federal programs for education.
In the past four years:
—Federal aid to education has increased by 73 percent—the greatest income increase in such a short period in our history.
—Strong financial and administrative support has been provided for programs that enhance educational opportunities for women, minorities, American Indians and other native Americans, the handicapped, and students with lingered English-speaking ability and other special needs;
—The Middle Income Student Assistance Act was adopted, expanding eligibility for need-based student financial aid to approximately one-third of the students enrolled in post-secondary education;
—A number of legislative, regulatory and other administrative actions were taken to enhance benefits received by private school children from federal education programs; and
—A new Department of Education was created to give education a stronger, more direct voice at the federal level, while at the same time reserving control over educational policy-making and operations to states, localities, and public and private institutions.
Over the next four years, we pledge to continue our strong commitment to education. We will continue to support the Department of Education and assist in its all-important educational enterprise that involves three out of ten Americans.
In this regard, we endorse the language of the legislation which emphasized the intent of Congress "to protect the rights of state and local governments and public and private institutions in the areas of educational policies and administration of programs...."
It is now a decade and a half since the passage—by a Democratic Congress at the behest of a Democratic Administration—of the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. At the time, there were sound and compelling reasons to undergird all federal aid to education with specific purposes. The specific purposes remain compelling and the specific programs addressed to them must be maintained.
Federal aid to education plays a significant role in guaranteeing that jurisdictions of differing financial capacity can spend equal amounts on schooling. We favor a steady increase in federal support with an emphasis on reducing inter- and intra-state disparities in ability to support quality education. The federal government and the states should be encouraged to equalize or take over educational expenses, relieving the overburdened property taxpayer.
The Democratic Party renews its commitment to eliminating discrimination in education because of sex and demands full and expeditious enforcement of Title IX of the 1972 education amendments.
The Democratic Party strongly urges that the federal government be sensitive to mandating state and local programs without adequate provision for funding. Such mandates force the state and/or local governments to increase taxes to fund such required programs.
Equal educational opportunity is at the heart of the Democratic program for education. Equality of opportunity must sometimes translate to compensatory efforts. For the disadvantaged, the handicapped, those with limited English language skills, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other minorities, compensatory programs require concentrated federal spending.
The Democratic Administration and Congress have supported a comprehensive program of compensatory education and have expanded it to include secondary education. We will continue to target categorical assistance to low income and low achieving students.
We reaffirm our strong support for Title I concentration grants for remedial instruction for low income students. The Democratic Party pledges to achieve full funding of concentration grants under Title I and to expand the Headstart and Follow-through programs.
The Democratic Party will continue to advocate quality education in the Bureau of Indian Affairs and in tribally contracted schools to meet American Indian educational needs. The Democratic Party opposes the closing of schools serving American Indians and Alaska Natives without consultation with the tribes involved.
The Democratic Party recognizes the need to maintain quality education for children in school districts affected by federal activities and installations. We therefore will continue to be sensitive to the financial problems of these school districts.
School desegregation is an important tool in the effort to give all children equal educational opportunity. The Democratic Party continues to support programs aimed at achieving communities integrated both in terms of race and economic class through constitutional means. We encourage redrawing of attendance lines, pairing of schools, utilizing the "magnet school concept" as much as possible, and enforcing fair housing standards. Mandatory transportation of students beyond their neighborhoods for the purpose of desegregation remains a judicial tool of last resort.
We call for strict compliance with civil rights requirements in hiring and promotion in school systems.
We support an effective bilingual program to reach all limited-English-proficiency people who need such assistance.
The Democratic Party supports efforts to broaden students' knowledge and appreciation of other cultures, languages and countries.
We also support vocational and technical education through increased support for teacher training, personnel development, and upgrading and modernizing equipment and facilities to provide the skill and technical training to meet the workforce needs for business, industry, and government services. Increased emphasis on basic skills is essential to the success of vocational and technical training. Vocational and technical education is a viable tool for establishing people in their own business through entrepreneurship programs. Vocational and technical education contributes to the economic development and productivity of our nation by offering every person an opportunity to develop a marketable skill.
The Party reaffirms its support of public school education and would not support any program or legislation that would create or promote economic, sociological or racial segregation. Our primary purpose in assisting elemental, and secondary education must be to assure a quality public school system for all students.
Private schools, particularly parochial schools, are also an important part of our diverse educational system. The Party accepts its commitment to the support of a constitutionally acceptable method of providing tax aid for the education of all pupils in schools which do not racially discriminate, and excluding so-called segregation academies. Specifically, the Party will continue to advocate constitutionally permissible federal education legislation which provides for the equitable participation in federal programs of all low and moderate income pupils.
The Democratic Party reaffirms its commitment to the concept and promise that every handicapped child should have a full and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. To assure the best placement and program for handicapped students, we support maximum involvement of the regular classroom teacher in placement planning for handicapped students with assurance of barrier-free access. We further support increasing the federal share of the costs of education for the handicapped.
We applaud the actions taken by the government in strengthening federal programs for higher education. The nation must continue to ensure that our colleges and universities can provide quality higher education in the coming period of declining enrollment and rising operating costs.
We are especially interested in extending post-secondary opportunities to students from low and middle income families, older students, and minorities. We believe that no able student should be denied a college education for reasons of cost.
The Democratic Party is committed to a federal scholarship program adequate to meet the needs of all the underprivileged who could benefit from a college education. When those who are qualified for post-secondary education cannot afford to enter college, the nation ignores talent we cannot afford to lose. Basic Education Opportunity Grants, which offer both actress to a college education and the choice of a college, must continue to be strengthened and should be funded at full payment schedule.
Likewise, campus-based programs of aid must be supported. With a coordinated and reliable system of grants, loans and work study, we can relieve the crisis in costs that could close all but the affluent colleges and universities.
Since entry to institutions of higher learning is dependent upon a student's score on a standardized test, we support testing legislation which will assure that students will receive sufficient information relative to their performance on the test to determine their strengths and weaknesses on the tests.
Our institutions of higher education deserve both public and private backing. The Party supports the continuation of tax deductions for charitable gifts, recognizing that such gifts represent the margin of excellence in higher education and foster scholarly independence within our institutions of higher learning.
The Democratic Party commits itself to the strengthening of graduate education and the support of basic and applied research. Graduate education, scholarship and research are of immense importance to the nation's economic and cultural development. Universities conduct most of the nation's basic research. Their graduate and research programs are the training grounds for the research personnel and professionals who discover knowledge and translate that knowledge into action.
The federal role is critical to the quality of these endeavors. We reaffirm the federal responsibility for stable support of knowledge production and development of highly trained personnel in all areas of fundamental scientific and intellectual knowledge to meet social needs.
High priority should be assigned to strengthening the national structure for graduate education, scholarship and research and ensuring that the most talented students, especially women and minorities, can gain access to these programs.
Historically Black colleges and universities have played a pivotal role in educating minority students. The Democratic Party affirms its commitment to ensuring the financial viability and independence of these worthy institutions and supports expanded funding for Black institutions. The Democratic Party pledges to work vigorously for significant increases in programs which have traditionally provided funding for historically Black colleges and universities. Particular attention should be given to substantially increasing the share of funding Black colleges receive. We will substantially increase the level of participation of Black colleges in all federal programs for which they are eligible. In addition, we urge the establishment of an office within the Office of the Secretary of Education to ensure full executive implementation of the President's Black college directive. Similarly, colleges serving Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Asian/Pacific Islander students should receive equal consideration in federal policies affecting their survival.
Finally, educational quality should be strengthened through adequate support for libraries, federal leadership in educational research and development, and improved teacher training.
The Democratic Party further urges the federal government to take into account the geographical barriers to access to educational and library materials which particularly affect the non-contiguous territories of the United States. A study should be conducted to review the possibility of sending airmail, at surface mail rates, said materials to and from the mainland U.S. and the non-contiguous territories of the U.S.
The Party believes that improved teacher in-service training, building upon the successful "Teacher Center Model" implemented under this Administration, could contribute substantially to educational quality. We support the establishment of federally funded teacher centers in every state and will work toward a steady increase in the number of teachers served. Teacher centers should address such issues as bilingual, multi-cultural, non-racist, and non-sexist curricula.
The Party continues to support adult education and training to upgrade basic skills.
We propose federally financed family-centered developmental and educational child care programs available to all who need and desire them.
We support efforts to provide for the basic nutritional needs of students. We support the availability of nutritious school breakfast, milk and lunch programs. Students who are hungry or malnourished can experience serious learning difficulties. The Democratic Party affirms its commitment to restore fair eligibility requirements for this program and to set fees at a level which does not unfairly deny students the ability to participate.
The Democratic Party recognizes the importance of family and community involvement in public schools, and the impact their involvement can have on the quality of a child's educational environment. We support initiatives that will encourage parents and all members of the community to take an active interest in the educational future of our children.
While the American family structure has changed radically in recent years, the family remains the key unit of our society. When the needs of families and children are ignored the nation as a whole ultimately suffers. It is not only morally right, but also far less expensive, for government to assist children in growing up whole, strong and able, than to pay the bill later for children and adults with health, social and educational problems. Government cannot and should not attempt to displace the responsibilities of the family; to the contrary, the challenge is to formulate policies which will strengthen the family.
The Democratic Party shall seek vigorously to enact an adequately funded, comprehensive quality child-care program based upon a national commitment to meet the health, safety, and educational needs of all children. Such a program shall provide for alternative low-cost child care arrangements so that parents may decide what is in the best interests of their children. To ensure the availability of choices, the Child Care Tax Credit shall be revised to benefit low and moderate income families. National policies shall ensure the availability of child care services for all parents. Our programs shall also address themselves vigorously to the issues of flex-time work programs, job sharing, and incentives for child care in private industry, in recognition of the social responsibilities of all citizens to children and their parents as the guardians of our future.
Juvenile delinquency and other problems of young people, like truancy and running away, are often manifestations of serious problems in other areas—family, school, employment, or emotional disturbance. We are committed to maintaining and strengthening the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 and the Runaway Youth Act to help deal with these problems. In particular, we reaffirm our commitment to ending unnecessary institutionalization of young people who have not committed serious crimes and strengthening preventive efforts and other services at the community level to help young people and their families in the sometimes difficult transition to adulthood. Equally important, we are committed to continuing reform in the juvenile courts to assure right of due process and adequate counsel to young people who become enmeshed in the juvenile justice system.
We must continue and strengthen efforts at prison reform to upgrade the safety of our penal institutions. Our penal institutions enhance rehabilitation to offenders, and lower the recidivism level.
The Democratic Party supports efforts to make federal programs more sensitive to the needs of the family, in all its diverse forms.
Since 1976, the Administration's efforts in the area of housing have concentrated on achieving an adequate housing supply. From 1977-1979, housing starts increased substantially over the level of the prior Republican Administration. Additionally, increased emphasis has been placed on saving our existing housing stock through rehabilitation.
But the momentum to increase the housing supply for the 1980s has been threatened by the high rate of inflation. The downturn in economic activity during the first half of 1980 has created a period of severe difficulty for the housing industry and for those Americans in need of housing. These circumstances make it imperative that the Democratic Party redouble its efforts to meet the goal of a decent home in a suitable environment for every citizen. It is essential that we expand the construction and availability of affordable housing in order to match the growing needs of Americans during the 1980s and to help stabilize housing costs.
Housing shortages and deterioration, and the need for economic development, are among the most critical problems facing local government today.
Through a patchwork of programs and tax incentives developed over the past fifty years, this nation is now spending between $25 and $30 billion each year on housing and economic development. These funds must be redirected in a cogent manner, to provide a comprehensive response to the housing problem. This effort should be pressed forward with the same national will that put a man on the moon, and will be a major step toward the revitalization of our local economies.
During the 1980s, we must work to meet the nation's need for available, affordable housing by:
—Achieving steady, high levels of production;
—Continuing progress toward a non-inflationary environment with lower interest rates;
—Pursuing monetary and credit policies which are especially sensitive to the needs of the housing and construction industries in order to help provide jobs;
—Continuing progress toward eliminating sub-standard housing and meeting the housing needs of this nation's low and moderate income families, the elderly, and the handicapped, including a substantial increase in the authorization for public housing and Section 8 rental housing assistance;
—Expanding the coverage of the Fair Housing laws to prohibit discrimination against single parents or single persons;
—Ensuring that federal housing projects meet the needs of single-parent families;
—Strengthening our efforts to provide higher levels of multi-family housing production to meet the rental housing needs of the postwar generation in the 1980s;
—Continuing the development and expansion of new financial instruments designed to attract increased capital to the housing sector throughout the interest rate cycle;
—Continuing to improve the efficiency and management of our housing programs;
—Continuing support for efforts to improve our housing codes;
—Expanding urban homestead and rehabilitation programs which will preserve neighborhoods in our cities for the people who live there;
—Financing moderate income housing at below-market interest rates;
—Adopting condominium conversion policies which protect tenants, particularly the elderly, against unfair and unreasonable conversion practices; and
—Assisting cities, counties, and states which have effective programs to combat the growing and dangerous problem of housing abandonment.
Since 1977, the Carter Administration has worked closely with the Congress to improve all the transportation modes so essential to our nation. These efforts have resulted in the elimination of unnecessary regulations, the expansion of the federal commitment to mass transit, and the savings of billions of dollars for consumers. In the 1980s we must continue our efforts in the same direction.
The Democratic Party commits itself to a balanced, competitive transportation system for the efficient movement of people and goods.
The trucking industry must be deregulated, and legislation to do that is now in place. This legislation would open entry to new truckers, lift restrictions on the goods truckers may haul and the routes they may use, promote vigorous price competition, reduce regulatory delays and improve road safety.
To improve their long-term viability, we must give railroads more flexibility in setting rates, without burdening excessively shippers dependent on rail service. Congress is now progressing on comprehensive legislation in this area. We expect regulatory reform of the railroad industry to speed the elimination of wasteful regulations and improve the facilities and equipment of railroads.
Coal is a centerpiece of our nation's energy policy. We are concerned about the cost of transporting coal to its markets, particularly the cost of rail transportation. Within the context of regulatory reform, we must therefore be especially sensitive to the effects of railroad rates on coal. A healthy rail industry is of critical importance to our economy and our society.
We must ensure, through such efforts as completion of high-speed rail passenger service in the Northeast Corridor, that railroads are an efficient means for personal travel. The decline in the nation's railroad system must be reversed. Tracks must be rehabilitated, equipment modernized and maintenance improved if the nation is to have a rail system that adequately meets the needs of passengers and shippers. We must ensure that flexibility in setting rates does not become a license either for anti-competitive pricing at the expense of consumers, or for anti-competitive mergers that create or maintain inordinate market power at the expense of consumers.
The vital artery of urban America is mass transit. It saves energy by providing fuel-efficient alternatives to the automobile. For the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and many other city dwellers, there is no other transportation. If they are to travel at all, to go to work or to shop, they must rely on mass transit. Mass transit serves them, as well as the employers for whom they work and the businesses where they shop. It aids all of us, by unclogging our cities, cleansing our air, and increasing the economic health of our urban areas.
The Democratic Party pledges to strengthen the nation's mass transit systems. Federal funds must be provided for maintenance and repair of deteriorating systems, and for new equipment purchases for growing systems. Federal aid formulae should be amended to give greater weight to ridership in the allocation of dollars. Reasonable operating subsidies must be provided to help subsidize rider fares.
Mass transit is a high priority in our national transportation policy. We pledge support for significant increases in capital and operating subsidies for mass transit to enhance the reliability, safety, and affordability of existing and expanding systems.
The auto industry and its workers must be assisted during this difficult time. We are committed to an intensive review of the automobile industry's fundamental problems, and to prompt, effective action to help ameliorate those problems. We are also committed to a strong trade adjustment program to help currently unemployed auto workers.
To meet the needs of international commerce and national security, this nation must have a strong, competitive and efficient American-flag ocean transportation system. In recent years, there has been a significant reduction in the ability of our merchant marine to compete for the carriage of world commerce because of economic policies pursued by other nations. Action must be taken to revitalize our merchant marine.
To achieve this objective, we must develop a coherent, consistent, and responsive maritime policy which will encourage the development and maintenance of an American-flag ocean transportation system, staffed with trained and efficient American personnel, and capable of carrying a substantial portion of our international trade in a competitive and efficient manner. Our maritime policy must also lead to the development and maintenance of a domestic shipbuilding and ship repair mobilization base adequate to satisfy the commercial and national security, requirements of the United States. Furthermore, we pledge continued commitment to the Merchant Marine Act of 1970 and greater utilization of the private merchant marine by the Navy for its support functions.
During the campaign of 1975—1976, our nation's great cities and urban counties were mired in a depression. Unemployment was well above 10 percent in many cities and counties; private sector investment and jobs were leaving the great urban centers; poverty and other serious social problems were left unattended; a severe budget squeeze was causing layoffs and cutbacks in essential city services; and the public works of our cities had been allowed to decay. The nation's mayors spent a portion of the year urging Congress to override the Republican Administration's veto of vitally important anti-recession programs. Most seriously, the leadership and citizens of our great urban centers had lost the hope that the future would be better.
Upon taking office, the Democratic Administration responded to these conditions immediately with an $11 billion anti-recession package and, one year later, with the nation's first comprehensive urban policy. The urban policy was the product of a unique effort which actively involved the elected officials of state and local government, representatives of labor, neighborhood organizations, civil rights groups and the members of Congress.
These deliberations produced a blueprint to guide federal action toward cities. The Democratic Administration, in partnership with the Democratic Congress, has moved aggressively to implement parts of the urban policy. Some of these programs have already begun to contribute to the revitalization of the nation's older cities and to assure the continued health of the nation's growing cities. For example, the urban policy has:
—Created the Urban Development Action Grant (UDAG) Program to encourage private investment and jobs to locate or remain in our nation's major cities. UDAG, which is funded at $675 million annually, has already leveraged more than $7 billion of private investment and created more than 200,000 permanent jobs;
—Targeted federal government procurement, facilities and jobs to the high unemployment central cities;
—Increased funding for the Community Development Block Grant program by more than 30 percent and proposed a formula change that provides substantial new aid to the older, more distressed cities and urban counties; and
—Proposed a massive increase in the urban development programs of the Economic Development Administration.
Although many gains have been made, we recognize that a great deal more remains to be done. This is especially true in those cities which have borne the brunt of the current recession. We recognize that no urban policy can completely succeed in a period of high inflation and deepening recession.
In this platform, the Democratic Party dedicates itself to the strength and survival of urban America. We are committed to developing imaginative, compassionate steps to deal with the causes and effects of rising unemployment, to make our cities fiscally strong, to provide jobs and economic growth, to preserve neighborhoods and communities and to meet the basic human needs of urban residents.
Our policies must include the following features:
—A strong jobs policy which supports productive employment of people in the public sector and encourages employment in the private sector by attracting and strengthening business in the cities.
This jobs policy—and the need to guarantee a job for every American who is able to work—is our single highest domestic priority, and will take precedence over all other domestic priorities.
—Public works programs which help rebuild our cities' infrastructure and which provide the unemployed with the opportunity to rebuild their own neighborhoods;
—Incentives for energy conservation by residents, business and industry in urban areas including incentives to convert oil facilities to coal and the construction of new coal-fired replacement plants;
—Increased education and training programs with special attention to employment of youth, women, and minorities and to training people for private sector jobs;
—National economic policies intended to maintain growth in our economy and reduce the inflation rate, thereby easing the fiscal burden on cities and their residents;
—Prompt enactment of the Carter Administration's proposal to expand the economic development initiative programs of the Department of Commerce. When fully implemented, this initiative will provide more than $1 billion in new loan guarantees to our urban centers and will double the amount of economic development grants available;
—Prompt enactment of the Administration's five-year extension of the local government revenue sharing program, including a $500 million transitional aid program for the areas most in need;
—A serious examination of the urban impact of the federal tax code, to ensure that businesses have substantial incentives to invest in our nation's neediest locales; and
—Renewed efforts to consolidate existing grants-in-aid programs in order to provide state and local governments with the flexibility to use these programs efficiently.
In the last analysis, we must recognize that America's cities are centers of people with needs...needs for jobs, decent housing and health care, affordable mass transit, quality education and streets where they can walk in safety. Each is a crucial part of any effective urban program. The Democratic Party is committed to placing the highest priority in our budgets and our programs on meeting these needs of city-dwellers.
From the beginning of the Carter Administration, the government has worked to revitalize neighborhoods and to make them a central component of urban life. As a result of these efforts, the federal government now has a strong neighborhoods policy.
During the 1980s we must continue to strengthen neighborhoods by:
—Making neighborhood organizations partners with government and private sectors in neighborhood revitalization projects;
—Continuing to make neighborhood concerns a major element of our urban policy;
—Developing urban revitalization programs that can be achieved without displacing neighborhood residents; and
—Continuing to reduce discriminatory redlining practices in the mortgage and insurance industries.
Small Community and Rural Development
This Democratic Administration instituted the nation's first comprehensive small community and rural development policy. This policy establishes specific goals, directs numerous organizational and management changes, and initiates an extensive program of action to improve the quality of life for all rural Americans including American Indians/Alaska Natives, rural Hispanics, rural Blacks, and other minorities. Its principles emphasize the need for a strong partnership between the public and private sectors and among all levels of government. Recognizing rural America's great diversity and the limits of the federal role, the Administration's policy invites the nation's governors to establish rural affairs councils to define state rural development strategies and to advance federal-state coordination in addressing priority needs.
Since assuming office in 1977, the Democratic Administration has acted to increase rural access to credit and capital, expand job opportunities, alleviate persistent rural poverty, rehabilitate substandard housing, address the shortage of health professionals in rural areas, improve the mobility of the rural transportation disadvantaged, and enhance educational and training opportunities for disadvantaged rural youth. For example, we have:
—Addressed the problem of substandard housing through substantial increases in rural housing and community development assistance, and through revisions in minimum property standards to permit housing construction which is less expensive and better suited to rural conditions.
—Improved rural access to credit and capital by tripling the economic development resources of the Farmers Home Administration.
—Alleviated rural unemployment by doubling Department of Labor employment and training assistance to rural areas.
—Addressed the shortage of doctors and other health professionals in rural areas through the Rural Health Clinic Services Act and a special initiative to construct 300 rural primary care health clinics by the end of 1981 in medically underserved areas.
For the future, we must move aggressively to address long-standing rural problems and to implement fully the Administration's small community and rural development policy, with emphasis on:
—Synthesizing efforts to improve the quality of life for American Indians/Alaska Natives. We must provide incentives for the development of an economic base that will improve the quality of life on reservations;
—Ensuring that federal programs are administered in ways which encourage local solutions to local problems; target assistance to communities and individuals most in need; make federal investments in ways that leverage private sector investments and complement local and tribal investments; and make federal programs more accessible to rural jurisdiction, better adapted to rural circumstances and needs, and better coordinated in their administration and delivery;
—Promoting rural energy self-sufficiency through improved rural transit and the application of alternative energy technologies on farms and in our rural homes and communities;
—Passing satisfactory welfare reform legislation, with special attention to the needs of the rural disadvantaged;
—Protecting prime agricultural land as rural populations and the rural economy continue to grow;
—Continuing to upgrade substandard rural housing to make it safe, decent, and sanitary;
—Giving full attention to the health, education, and other basic needs of rural citizens, especially the young, the old, and the poor; and
—Providing low cost electric and telephone services to rural areas through the Rural Electrification Administration and the hundreds of rural cooperatives that provide these services.
Science and Technology
The Nixon-Ford Administration permitted serious decline in the state of science and technology in our country.
There had been a decade of erosion of federal support of research and development. The funding of basic research in particular was far below its peak level of the mid-1960s.
Science and technology advice had been seriously downgraded and removed from the White House, until pressures from the science and engineering community had it restored through an act of Congress.
The previous decline in support had affected opportunities in science and engineering. It had resulted in the inadequate replacement of facilities and instrumentation and their growing obsolescence in the face of new scientific advances and needs.
Not only the work of our academic research centers, but also our technological innovation and economic competitiveness were impaired by this erosion of federal support.
To counter these conditions and help revitalize the country's science and technology, the Carter Administration, working with Congress has taken a number of steps. The Office of Science and Technology Policy has been strengthened and upgraded. Growth has been restored in the budgets for federal research and development activities. Basic biomedical research has been strengthened to increase our fundamental knowledge of health and disease.
These are just a few of the innovations that have been made. Our scientific and technological agenda remains unfinished. The 1980s offer great promise. During the next four years, we will work to:
—Continue to strengthen our science and technology and provide for continuity and stability of support to research and development;
—Continue to monitor the flow of talent into science and engineering and provide the appropriate training and opportunities to ensure an adequate number of well-trained scientists and engineers in the coming years, with particular emphasis on women and minorities;
—Pay continued attention to the support of research facilities to make certain they remain among the best in the world;
—Successfully launch the Space Shuttle, take advantage of the many opportunities it offers to make space activities more economic and productive, and release new resources for the future scientific exploration of space; and
—Expand our programs of cooperation in science and technology with all nations who seek development and a stable, peaceful world.
In sum, we must continue to expand our scientific and technological capabilities and apply them to the needs of people everywhere.
The Arts and the Humanities
The arts and humanities are a precious national resource.
Federal commitment to the arts and humanities has been strengthened since 1977 by expanding government funding and services to arts institutions, individual artists, scholars, and teachers. The budgets for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities have increased substantially. The Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities has been reactivated. Policies of the Carter Administration have fostered high standards of creativity across our nation. The Administration has encouraged the arts and humanities through appropriate federal programs for the citizens of our smallest communities, as well as those of our largest cities. During the 1980s, the Party is committed to:
—Continuing federal encouragement and support for institutions relating to the arts and to learning in the humanities;
—Encouraging business participation in a comprehensive effort to achieve a truly mixed economy of support for the arts and humanities by individuals, foundations, corporations and governments at every level;
—Exploring a variety of mechanisms to nurture the creative talent of our citizens and build audiences for their work;
—Supporting strong, active National Endowments both for the Arts and the Humanities, and strengthening the Public Broadcasting System; and
—Seeking greater recognition for the rich cultural tradition of the nation's minorities. We will work to meet the cultural needs of minorities, encourage their greater participation in the performing arts on a national level, and provide grants for the arts in low-income neighborhoods.
Ensuring Basic Rights and Liberties
Equal Rights Amendment
The Democratic Party recognizes that every issue of importance to this nation and its future concerns women as well as men. As workers and consumers, as parents and heads of households, women are vitally concerned with the economy, energy, foreign policy, and every other issue addressed in this platform. The concerns of women cannot be limited to a portion of the platform; they must be reflected in every section of our Party's policy.
Them is, however, a particular concern of women which deserves special emphasis—their entitlement to full equality in our society.
Women are a majority of the population. Yet their equality is not recognized in the Constitution or enforced as the law of the land. The choices faced by women—such as whether to seek employment or work at home, what career or profession to enter, and how to combine employment and family responsibilities—continue to be circumscribe by stereotypes and prejudices. Minority women face the dual discrimination of racism and sexism.
In the 1980s, the Democratic Party commits itself to a Constitution, economy, and society open to women on an equal basis with men.
The primary route to that new horizon is fabrication of the Equal Rights Amendment. A Democratic Congress, working with women's leaders, labor, civil and religious organizations, first enacted ERA in Congress and later extended the deadline for ratification. Now, the Democratic Party must ensure that ERA at last becomes the 27th Amendment to the Constitution. We oppose efforts to rescind ERA in states which have already ratified the amendment, and we shall insist that at past recessions are invalid.
In view of the high priority which the Democratic Party places on ratification of the ERA, the Democratic National Committee renews its commitment not to hold national or multi-state meetings, conferences, or conventions in states which have not yet ratified the ERA. The Democratic Party shall withhold financial support and technical campaign assistance from candidates who do not support the ERA. The Democratic Party further urges all national organizations to support the boycott of the unratified states by not holding national meetings, conferences, or conventions in those states.
Furthermore, the Democratic Party shall seek to eliminate sex-based discrimination and inequities from all aspects of our society.
The Democratic Party firmly commits itself to protect the civil fights of every citizen and to pursue justice and equal treatment under the law for all citizens.
In the 1960s, enormous progress was made in authorizing civil rights for all our citizens. In many areas, the promises of the civil rights efforts of the 1960s have been met, but much more remains to be done.
An effective affirmative action program is an essential component of our commitment to expanding civil rights protections. The federal government must be a model for private employers, making special efforts in recruitment, training, and promotion to aid minority Americans in overcoming both the historic patterns and the historic burdens of discrimination.
We call on the public and private sectors to live up to and enforce all civil rights laws and regulations, i.e., Equal Employment Opportunity Programs, Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Laws, and affirmative action requirements.
We advocate strengthening the Office of Civil Rights in the Department of Education and in the Department of Health and Human Resources.
We oppose efforts to undermine the Supreme Court's historic mandate of school desegregation, and we support affirmative action goals to overturn patterns of discrimination in education and employment.
Ethnic, racial and other minorities continue to be victims of police abuse, persistent harassment and excessive use of force. In 1979, the Community Relations Service of the Department of Justice noted that "alleged use of deadly force by police and the reaction of minorities was a major force of racial unrest in the nation in 1978." In response to this finding:
—We call for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division to develop uniform federal guidelines and penalties for the use of undue force by local law enforcement agencies;
—We call for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division to establish civil rights units at appropriate U.S. Attorneys' offices; and
—We call on the Department of Justice to move concurrently with federal prosecutors so that if a failure to obtain conviction takes place at the state or local level, federal prosecution can occur swiftly.
The Democratic Party strongly condemns the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party. We pledge vigorous federal prosecution of actions by the Klan and American Nazi Party that violate federal law, including the creation of such laws in jurisdictions where they do not exist. We further condemn those acts, symbols, and rituals. including cross-burnings, associated with anti-civil rights activities. We urge every state and local government to pursue vigorous prosecution of actions by the Klan and Nazi party that violate state or local law.
The Democratic Party asserts that the Immigration and Naturalization Service, in enforcing the immigration laws, must recognize its obligation to respect fully the human and constitutional rights of all within our borders. Such respect must include an end to practices affecting Hispanic, Caribbean, and Asian/Pacific American communities such as "neighborhood sweeps" and stop and search procedures which are discriminatory or without probable cause.
Our commitment to civil rights embraces not only a commitment to legal equality, but a commitment to economic justice as well. It embraces a recognition of the right of every citizen—Black and Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Americans, and the majority who are women—to a fair share in our economy. When that opportunity is denied, and the promise of social justice is unfulfilled, the risks of tension and disorder in our cities are increased. The Democratic Party condemns violence and civil disorder wherever they occur. But, we also pledge to attack the underlying injustices that contribute to such violence so that no person need feel condemned to a life of poverty and despair.
The Democratic record provides a solid basis for future progress. There should be little doubt that virtually no progress would occur under a Republican Administration. Over the next four years, our Party must strengthen and improve what has already been accomplished.
Both the ERA and District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendments to the Constitution must be ratified and our full commitment must be given to those efforts.
The Fair Housing Act must be amended to give the Department of Housing and Urban Development greater enforcement ability, including cease and desist authority.
The Equal Pay and the Age Discrimination Acts must be strongly and effectively enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
To end discrimination against language minorities, we must enforce vigorously the amendments to the Voting Rights Act of 1975 to assist Hispanic citizens. We must recognize the value of cultural diversity in education, expand bilingual facilities, and guarantee full protection of the civil and human rights of all workers.
We must affirm the dignity. of all people and the right of each individual to have equal access to and participation in the institutions and services of our society.. All groups must be protected from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, language, age, sex or sexual orientation. This includes specifically the right of foreign citizens to enter this country. Appropriate legislative and administrative actions to achieve these goals should be undertaken.
We are concerned about the opportunity for minorities to be adequately represented on trial juries if the trend toward smaller juries continues. Efforts must be initiated to correct this possible underrepresentation.
The Democratic Party has been actively committed to protecting fundamental civil liberties. Toward that end, over the past four years, the Carter Administration and the Democratic Congress have enacted legislation to control the use of wiretaps by the government in the pursuit of foreign intelligence; developed the government's first comprehensive program to protect privacy; and worked to enact a criminal code which scrupulously protects civil liberties.
As we enter the 1980s, we must enact grand jury reform; revise the Uniform Code of Military Justice; enact charters for the FBI and the intelligence agencies which recognize vital civil liberty concerns while enabling those agencies to perform their important national security tasks; shape legislation to overturn the Supreme Court Stanford Daily decision; and enact a criminal code which meets the very real concerns about protecting civil liberties, and which does not interfere with existing workers' rights.
We call for passage of legislation to charter the purposes, prerogatives, and restraints on the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, and other intelligence agencies of government with full protection for the civil rights and liberties of American citizens living at home or abroad. Under no circumstances should American citizens be investigated because of their beliefs.
We support the concept that no employee should be discharged without just cause.
In the 1980s we must complete this privacy agenda. Broad legislation must be enacted to protect financial, insurance, medical, and research records. We must have these safeguards to preserve a healthy balance between efficiency and privacy.
The Democratic Party recognizes reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right. We therefore oppose government interference in the reproductive decisions of Americans, especially those government programs or legislative restrictions that deny poor Americans their fight to privacy by funding or advocating one or a limited number of reproductive choices only.
Specifically, the Democratic Party opposes involuntary or uninformed sterilization for women and men, and opposes restrictions on funding for health services for the poor that deny poor women especially the right to exercise a constitutionally-guaranteed right to privacy.
Federal legislation is also necessary to protect workers from the abuse of their fights and invasion of their privacy resulting from increased employer use of polygraphs and other so-called "truth test" devices. Workers should have the right to review all records retained by their employers relating to medical and employment information.
One of President Carter's highest priorities has been to increase significantly the number of women, Blacks, Hispanics and other minorities in the federal government. That has been done.
More women, Blacks and Hispanics have been appointed to senior government positions than during any other Administration in history.
Of the six women who have served in Cabinet positions, three have been Carter appointees.
More women, Blacks and Hispanics have been appointed to federal judgeships during the Carter Administration than during all previous Administrations in history.
Of the 39 women federal judges, 35 have been Carter appointees; of the 38 Black federal judges, 19 have been Carter appointees; of the 14 Hispanic judges, 5 have been Carter appointees.
This record must be continued. The Democratic Party is committed to continue and strengthen the policy of appointing more women and minorities to federal positions at all levels including the Supreme Court.
Great strides have been made toward ending discrimination against the handicapped, through increased employment and education opportunities and greater access to public facilities and services.
In the 1980s, we must continue to work towards the goals of eliminating discrimination and opening opportunities.
All federal agencies must complete their Section 504 regulations and implement them effectively.
We must continue to expand opportunities for independent living.
The Fair Housing Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act must be amended to include the handicapped.
We must face the task of making federal facilities and modes of transportation fully accessible.
Job opportunities and job training for the handicapped, including apprenticeship training programs, must be expanded.
We must make the most basic American civil right—the right to vote—fully available to the handicapped.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led this nation's effort to provide all of its citizens with civil rights and equal opportunities. His commitment to human rights, peace and non-violence stands as a monument to humanity and courage. To honor this outstanding national leader, we must enact legislation that will commemorate his birthday as a national holiday.
Each year, 3 to 6 million Americans are injured in acts of domestic violence. To combat this violence the Carter Administration has initiated a government-wide effort to assist and educate victims and rehabilitate victimizers, including:
—The formation of a new Office of Domestic Violence in the Department of Health and Human Services; and
—Amendments to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act which provides funds to state and community groups.
The President has signed the Protection of Children Against Sexual Exploitation Act; HUD has developed demonstration projects for shelters for battered women: the Community Services Administration has established a pilot Family Crisis Center Program to assist low-income battered women and children; and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights held a Consultation on Battered Women in 1978.
Existing federal programs have been coordinated through the Interdepartmental Committee on Domestic Violence, chaired by the Secretary, of Health and Human Services. The Democratic Administration must continue to support the passage of the legislation before the Congress, HR 2977, which would provide direct, immediate assistance to victims effectively and sensitively.
We must be firmly committed to self-determination for the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands, and vigorously support the realization of whatever political status aspirations are democratically chosen by their peoples. The unique cultures, fragile economies, and locations of our Caribbean and Pacific Islands are distinct assets to the United States which require the sensitive application of policy. We are committed to pursuing initiatives we have begun to stimulate insular economic development, enhance treatment under federal programs, provide vitally needed special assistance and coordinate and rationalize policies. These measures will result in greater self-sufficiency and balanced growth.
We are committed to Puerto Rico's right to enjoy full self-determination and a relationship that can evolve in ways that will most benefit U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico. The Democratic Party respects and supports the desire of the people of Puerto Rico to associate, by their own will freely expressed in a peaceful and democratic process, in permanent union with the United States either as a commonwealth or as a state, or to become an independent nation. We are also committed to respect the cultural heritage of the people of Puerto Rico and to the elimination of discriminatory or unfair treatment of Puerto Ricans, as American citizens under federal programs.
The Carter Administration has upheld and defended the historic special relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes. In addition, it has strongly supported the policy of self-determination and the right to practice the ancestral religions that are important to many tribal members. More than $24 million over the next ten years has been committed to assist Indian tribes with energy resources in making decisions about the development and protection of these resources. The Administration has firmly reiterated its fundamental opposition to the policy of termination which was so detrimental to Indians and their relationship with the federal government.
These policies must continue as the federal government finds better means of dealing effectively and compassionately with Indian tribes and individuals. The federal government must honor its treaty commitments. The federal government must redouble its efforts to improve the housing, health care, education and general welfare of Indians. Finally, the federal government must work as an equal partner with tribes as they decide for themselves the best means of managing their substantial energy resources.
President Carter has stated that the composition of American society is analogous to a beautiful mosaic. Each separate part retains its own integrity and identity while adding to and being part of the whole.
America is a pluralistic society. Each of us must learn to live, communicate, and cooperate with persons of other cultures. Our public policies and programs must reflect this pluralism. Immigrants from every nation and their descendants have made numerous contributions to this country, economically, politically and socially. They have traditionally been the backbone of the labor movement and an integral part of the Democratic Party.
Ethnic Americans share the concerns of all Americans. They too are concerned about decent housing, health care, equal employment opportunities, care of the elderly, and education. In addition, ethnic Americans have some concerns of their own. They want to preserve the culture and language of their former homeland. They want to be integrated into the political, social and economic mainstream of American society, but at the same time they are concerned about the foreign policy issues that affect their native countries. We as a nation must be sensitive to their concerns.
President Carter established the Office of Ethnic Affairs and charged it with a broad and diverse mission. The predominant functions of the office are to link the Administration and its ethnic constituents, to foster the concept of pluralism, and to enable all Americans to partake equally in the American way of life.
Americans Living Abroad
Almost 3 million American citizens live overseas, both as government employees and private citizens. We know only too well the dangers and sacrifices some of these government officials face in serving their country. With the threat of terrorism and political unrest always present, we are committed to improving the security of our embassies and missions abroad. Our government must work with other governments to ensure that Americans are protected while performing their vital duties in the interest of the United States.
We also recognize the contributions of private citizens living overseas in bringing American ideals and culture to other lands and in helping the U.S. economy by promoting exports and increased trade with other countries.
The President's Export Council has recommended that in order to encourage American exports and redress trade imbalances, the United States should conform with the practices of other major trading nations. Existing disincentives should be removed, so that Americans working abroad can compete more equitably and effectively with citizens from other nations.
The Administration must continue to support changes in the law which make it simpler for American parents to ensure that their children born overseas are not denied U.S. citizenship.
We also believe that Medicare should be made available to Americans abroad who are eligible for Social Security.
Chapter III: Government Operation and Reform
Making Government Effective and Efficient
The Democratic Party has long stood for an active, responsive, vigorous government. Democrats of our generation have a special obligation to ensure that government is also efficient and well managed.
We understand full well the importance of this obligation. We realize that even the most brilliantly conceived federal programs are doomed to failure if they are not intelligently and efficiently managed.
The kind of government we Democrats stand for is a government that cares and knows how to translate that caring into effective action; a government whose heart and head are working in concert.
Over the last rotor years the Democratic Administration and the Democratic Congress have built a dramatic government reform record. In the years ahead we must carefully implement the changes we have made, and we must pursue additional measures to provide the efficient government the people have a right to expect.
Federal regulations are needed to protect consumers and providers in the areas of health, safety, and the environment. Four years ago, however, the overall regulatory machine desperately needed an overhaul. Some rules served only to protect favored industries against competition, at the public's expense. Others imposed conflicting or needlessly costly requirements.
For decades, the economy has been hamstrung by anticompetitive regulations. A Democratic Administration and a Democratic Congress are completing the most sweeping deregulation in history. Actions already taken and bills currently pending are revamping the rules governing airlines, banking, trucking, railroads, and telecommunications. Airline deregulation in its first year of operation alone has saved passengers over 2.5 billion dollars.
For the regulatory programs our country does need, the Administration has established a new management system. Under Executive Order 12044, agencies are reviewing and eliminating outdated rules and analyzing the full impact of new rules before they are issued. They are developing alternative regulatory approaches which can reduce compliance costs without sacrificing goals. They are increasing public participation in the regulatory process. The Regulatory Council is publishing the first government-wide list of upcoming rules, the Regulatory Calendar, and is using it to eliminate conflict and duplication.
The challenges of the eighties will place great demands on our regulatory system. The reforms we have put in place are building machinery that can meet those challenges. However, much work lies ahead to implement the steps we have taken and go further.
We must continue to conduct an agency-by-agency review to make regulation less intrusive and more effective.
We must find and remove barriers that prevent steady progress toward competition in each industry.
On the management side, we must increase the use of cost-effective regulatory techniques, without adversely affecting worker health or safety.
We must strengthen our research programs to ensure that we set sensible priorities for regulatory action.
We must eliminate those delays, layers of review, and litigation that unduly tie up the process.
We must make the regulatory process accessible to all members of the public who are affected.
We must oppose special interest efforts to undermine the ability of federal agencies to protect consumers, the environment, or public health and safety; and efforts to enable federal agencies to override or exempt state or federal protections of the environment or public health and safety.
In 1976, this Party pledged to seek fundamental tax reform, for we believed that our tax system had lost much of its needed fairness and equity. President Carter honored that pledge by proposing to Congress the most comprehensive and far-reaching set of tax reform proposals ever made by any Administration. That proposal would have dosed over $9 billion worth of tax loopholes, simplified our tax laws, and provided funds for substantial tax reduction for low and middle income taxpayers.
Once again, we call on Congress to legislate meaningful tax reform. We cannot any longer allow the special interests to preserve their particular benefits and loopholes at the expense of the average taxpayers. The fight for tax reform must go forward, and the Party pledges to be a part of that important effort. Therefore, we pledge to seek tax reforms which:
—Encourage savings by low and middle income taxpayers;
—Close tax loopholes which benefit only special interests at the expense of the average taxpayer and use the proceeds to bring relief to low and middle income Americans;
—Simplify the tax code and ease the burden on taxpayers in the preparation of their tax returns;
—Encourage capital formation, innovation and new production in the United States;
—Curb tax deductions, like those for three-martini lunches, conventions, first class travel, and other expense account deductions, which encourage consumption, discourage saving, and thus impede productivity;
—End tax discrimination that penalizes married working couples; and
—End abuses in the tax treatment of foreign sources, such as special tax treatment and incentives for multi-national corporations that drain jobs and capital from the American economy.
Capital formation is essential both to control inflation and to encourage growth. New tax reform efforts are needed to increase savings and investment, promote the principle of progressive taxation, close loopholes, and maintain adequate levels of federal revenue.
The need to restrain federal spending means that every dollar of the budget must be spent in the most efficient way possible. To achieve this, the Democratic Partnership has been working to streamline the management of the federal government and eliminate waste and fraud from federal programs. Real progress has been made in these important areas.
While these reforms have produced substantial savings for the taxpayers, they must be sustained in the coming years to realize their full potential.
The Civil Service Reform Act can be used to encourage improved productivity of the federal government.
More business-like control of our assets, placing the government's operations on a sound financial basis, must be used to produce real savings.
Special investigations and improved accounting systems must be used to attack fraud, abuse and wasteful practices.
Efforts must be continued to improve the delivery of services to citizens through greater accountability, consolidation and coordination in program administration, and elimination of unnecessary red tape and duplication.
Government Openness and Integrity
Under the Nixon-Ford Administration the federal government was closed to all but a privileged few and the public had lost faith in the integrity of its public servants.
The Democratic Party takes pride in its long and outstanding record of leadership in opening up the processes of government to genuine participation by the people, and in making government truly responsive to the basic needs of all the American people.
For the last four years, the Carter Administration and the Democratic Congress have devoted a great deal of time and resources to opening government processes and ensuring the integrity of government officials.
The Ethics in Government Act now requires all senior government officials to make a full financial disclosure and severely limits the "revolving door" practice that has developed among former federal employees of representing private parties before the federal agencies in which they recently held significant positions.
A statutory provision has now been made for the appointment of a special prosecutor in eases of alleged wrong-doing by senior government officials.
"Whistle-blowers" in the federal government (those who report waste and illegalities) have now been given special statutory protection to prevent possible retribution.
An Executive Order has been issued significantly reducing the amount of classified information and increasing the amount of classified material to be released over the next decade by about 250 million pages.
As a result of actions such as these, trust and confidence in government officials have been restored. In the coming years, we must ensure full implementation of these initiatives. We must also work toward lobby law reform which is needed to ensure full disclosure of Congressional and executive lobbying activities.
Numerous changes were necessary when the Democrats took office in 1976. The essential trust between police officers and the public they protect had deteriorated. Funds committed by Congress had been terribly misspent during the eight Republican years.
The Carter Administration has taken solid steps toward correcting this serious problem. It has formalized the relationship between federal and state law enforcement officials to ensure maximum cooperation between federal and state agencies. It has taken long strides toward creating and implementing uniform national guidelines for federal prisons and encouraging state penal institutions to use the same guidelines.
The Democratic Party supports the enactment of a revised federal criminal code which simplifies the currently complex federal criminal law in order to make our federal criminal justice efforts more effective, and repeals antiquated laws while fully protecting all civil liberties. As that effort proceeds, we must ensure that the rights of workers to engage in peaceful picketing during labor disputes are fully protected.
The Democratic Party affirms the right of sports-men to possess guns for purely hunting and target-shooting purposes. However, handguns simplify and intensify violent crime. Ways must be found to curtail the availability of these weapons. The Democratic Party supports enactment of federal legislation to strengthen the presently inadequate regulations over the manufacture, assembly, distribution, and possession of handguns and to ban "Saturday night specials."
Most important, the government has used its own resources to resolve satisfactorily concerns over the use of deadly force. The Administration has made progress toward the preparation of uniform guidelines for all police departments. They have also utilized the conciliation services available through the Community Relations Service to establish closer working ties among the police and community organizations.
The Democratic Party is pledged to continuing its strong record of providing needed assistance to local law enforcement. The new Law Enforcement Assistance Act, enacted by a Democratic Administration and a Democratic Congress, provides an important framework for this purpose. We are committed to using this framework effectively, in close cooperation with state and local law enforcement authorities.
We reaffirm our support for the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Act and the Runaway Youth Act as responses to the serious challenge of youth crime.
We must continue and strengthen efforts at prison reform, to upgrade the safety of our penal institutions, to enhance rehabilitation of offenders, and to lower the recidivism level.
We support federal assistance to the victims of crime, including special programs to assist the elderly and to aid the victims of rape and domestic violence. Further efforts should be made to demonstrate the feasibility of restitution by the perpetrators of crime.
As we work toward improved law enforcement, we must not permit or sanction excessive or illegal police force.
Minorities in some areas have been discriminated against by such police actions, and we must take every action at the federal, state, and local level to prevent that from happening in the future, including a renewed commitment to affirmative action in the hiring of law enforcement personnel, establishment of civil rights units at appropriate U.S. Attorneys' offices, and swift investigation and prosecution of suspected civil rights violations.
Over the years the federal government has imposed more and more paperwork on the private sector. The Carter Administration has stopped that trend and worked to cut the paperwork burden. We have eliminated unnecessary forms, simplified and consolidated needed forms, and discouraged creation of new paperwork requirements. As a result, the federal paperwork burden has been cut 15 percent, or 127 million man-hours.
The Administration is currently putting into place the tools we will need to continue and expand this program. In November 1979, President Carter signed an Executive Order that created the first "paperwork budget." This program will limit the reporting time each agency can impose on the public. In addition, the President has ordered agencies to tailor their forms to reduce the burden on individuals and small business.
We need further legislation. We urge a continuation of the effort to reduce government documents to simple English, easily understandable by all. The Administration is working with Congress to pass a Paperwork Reduction Act, which will close wide loopholes in the current oversight process.
Recent reforms in the election process have aided immeasurably in opening the process to more people and have begun to reduce the influence of special interests. The limitations on campaign contributions and the public financing of Presidential elections are two reforms which have worked very well. Business political action committees continue to spend excessively, however. Further reform in this area is essential. In the 1980s we need to enact reforms which will:
—Provide for public financing of Congressional campaigns;
—Lower contribution limits for political action committees;
—Close the loophole that allows private spending in Presidential elections contrary to the intent of the election law reforms;
—Encourage voter participation in elections through use of simplified procedures for registration in states that lack mail or election day registration procedures, and by resisting efforts to reduce access to bilingual ballots; and
—Increase opportunities for full participation in all areas of party and government affairs by the low and moderate income majority of Americans.
The private expression statutes guarantee the protection and security of the mail for all Americans. They are essential to the maintenance of a national postal system, which will require an adequate public service subsidy to assure the delivery of mail to all Americans.
Chapter IV: Energy, Natural Resources, Environment and Agriculture
For the past four years, the Democratic Party's highest legislative priority has been the development of our nation's first comprehensive energy policy. Our actions were necessitated by the Republican Administration's policy that fostered dependence on foreign oil. This Republican legacy led to America's petroleum paralysis, which weakened our security, undermined our strength abroad, threatened our environment and endangered our economic health.
In perhaps no other domestic area did we inherit such a dangerous situation:
—Domestic production of oil and natural gas was steadily declining, with price controls discouraging exploration and production;
—Natural gas shortages were regularly plaguing parts of our country;
—Our dependence on foreign oil was increasing every year;
—Wasteful energy practices existed in our industries, homes and transportation;
—Solar and other renewable energy resources were being almost completely ignored;
—Synthetic fuel production had been stalled;
—The federal government was not promoting energy conservation;
—Our allies were unwilling to make adequate efforts to reduce their energy consumption; and
—Our energy policy was being made by nearly a dozen different agencies and bureaus throughout the federal government.
The struggle to develop an energy policy was difficult and time-consuming. Tough decisions, especially in the area of oil price decontrol, were necessary to reduce our dependence of foreign oil.
Not all of our energy problems have been solved. Yet the achievements of the past four years leave little doubt that we are finally serious about the problems caused by our excessive reliance on foreign oil. As a result of our national energy policy, oil imports will be cut in half by the end of this decade, saving our nation hundreds of billions of dollars. A framework is now in place that will permit further progress in the 1980s. Our economic security demands that we drastically reduce the massive flow of dollars into the OPEC treasuries and oil company bank accounts at the expense of American consumers and business.
Our progress on energy has been realized because we have achieved four principal goals:
—Incentives have been provided for the production of new energy sources;
—Incentives for new oil production have been added, together with a windfall profits tax, which will fund low income energy assistance and energy research and development;
—Incentives have been provided to encourage conservation of our existing energy resources; and
—Improved international energy cooperation has reduced our dependence on OPEC.
These actions have produced enormous energy benefits to our nation:
—We are importing one million barrels of oil a day less than last year;
—Domestic natural gas exploration and production are at record-high levels;
Domestic oil exploration is at a 20-year high, and the decline in domestic production has been averted;
—Per capita energy consumption is decreasing;
—Use of solar energy has increased considerably, and gasohol production has increased by 600 percent;
—Coal production has increased, and foreign markets for our coal have been developed;
—Gasoline consumption is 8 percent less than last year.
In the 1980s, this program can be improved, as the framework laid in the last four years is used to ensure our energy security for all time.
America's energy future requires a continued strong national policy based on two fundamental principles: efficient use of energy that will conserve our resources, preserve our economy and create jobs for Americans; and development of secure, environmentally safe and reasonably priced energy sources.
It is—and must be—the goal of the Democratic Party to mobilize this nation to use energy efficiently without asking Americans to suffer the loss of our strong economy and hard-earned standard of living. Energy efficiency, especially in buildings, transportation, and industrial production, must be made this nation's top priority.
The following specific actions must be taken.
We must make energy conservation our highest priority, not only to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but also to guarantee that our children and grandchildren have an adequate supply of energy. If we can convince one of every four drivers exceeding the 55 mile per hour speed limit to reduce their speed, we can save 100,000 barrels a day. Conservation is the cheapest form of energy production.
We must establish a massive residential energy conservation grant program. We must provide subsidized loans, direct financial assistance, and other substantial incentives to make all residences in the United States energy efficient, through upgraded insulation, heating, cooling and waterheating. Special incentives should he afforded for the use of renewable energy resources such as passive and active solar energy systems. Our goal should be to ensure that all economically justified energy efficiency investments are made by 1990.
We should use our energy programs to aid in rebuilding the industrial heartland. Industry must be given financial incentives to improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes and to build substantial amounts of generating capacity through co-generation.
We must implement mandatory Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) to encourage the design and construction of energy efficient buildings. Energy efficiency standards should apply to all new construction. Implementation of energy efficiency standards should begin with federal government buildings. In addition, the federal government should lead the way in implementing solar and energy efficiency improvements programs through its loan and insurance agencies by requiring energy conservation standards for federally assisted properties.
In recognition of the potential for substantial energy savings if our most efficient methods of transportation are utilized, we must provide direct economic assistance where private capital is unavailable to improve those means of transport.
Major new efforts must be launched to develop synthetic and alternative renewable energy sources. In pursuing a strong program of synthetic fuel plants we must also be sensitive to environmental and water concerns. The federal government must help eliminate red tape involved in the construction of vital energy facilities. The Energy Mobilization Board, an essential mechanism to speed the construction of vital energy facilities, should be able to override state and local substantive law only with the consent of Congress and the President.
The Democratic Party regards coal as our nation's greatest energy resource. It must play a decisive role in America's energy future. We must increase our use of coal. To accomplish this, we must see that shippers are not overburdened with excessive rates for transportation. Severance taxes levied for depletion of natural resources should be equitable. We must make clean coal conversion a reality. To this end, we will assist utilities that are large enough to permit coal conversion while maintaining or improving air quality. We must also provide incentives for industrial boiler coal conversion. Goal conversion can and must be accomplished in a manner that protects public health, nationally, regionally and locally. It can and must increase the use of coal, reduce the demand for oil, and provide employment where jobs are needed the most.
The federal government should accept its responsibility as trustee for the American Indian and Alaska Native tribes to ensure that tribal resources develop at a pace that preserves the existing life-style and that the tribes participate in the contracting process for resource development with full knowledge of the environmental tradeoffs. The federal government must continue to cooperate with tribal governments in such matters as changes in the use of sacred and religious areas. The Democratic Party believes that American Indian and Alaska Native reservations should remain the permanent homeland for these peoples.
We recognize that Hawaii, U.S. territories and Trust territories in the Pacific Basin are particularly vulnerable because of their total dependence on imported oil for meeting their energy needs. These insular areas do not have access to the alternative sources of energy that are available elsewhere. Consequently, the Democratic Party recommends that these areas, where feasible, be chosen as sites for demonstration and/or pilot alternative energy projects, especially ocean thermal energy conversion, solar and wind.
We must lead the Western World in developing a program for increased use of coal in Europe, Japan, and the developing nations.
Oil exploration on federal lands must be accelerated, consistent with environmental protections.
Offshore energy leasing and development should be conditioned on full protection of the environment and marine resources. Lease sales should proceed only after appropriate safeguards necessary to preserve and protect vital natural resources are put in place. The determination of what safeguards are needed must be based on a complete assessment of the effects of offshore activity on the marine and coastal environment, and must be made in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, the federal agencies charged with protecting our nation's fisheries and other environmental resources.
Solar energy use must be increased, and strong efforts, including continued financial support, must be undertaken to make certain that we achieve the goal of having solar energy account for 20 percent of our total energy by the year 2000.
To ensure that we reach the 20 percent goal, the Democratic Party commits itself to a federal program for solar or other renewable resources that exceeds the federal commitment to synthetic fuels. A greater share of federal funds should be committed to basic research and must be devoted to the development of renewable energy resources and fusion research and development. Moreover, we support the commercialization of solar, wind, low-head hydro, biomass and other renewable resources as quickly as possible through direct assistance, investment and loan guarantees in addition to monies available from the solar bank. The Democratic Party vigorously supports substantial funding for the construction of an engineering test facility for fusion technology. Fusion energy is a safe, clean alternative source of energy which can be used to generate electricity efficiently.
We must encourage research and development of hydrogen or electric powered vehicles. We must fully commit ourselves to an alcohol fuel program. The federal government should expand its use of alcohol fuels in government and military vehicles. This will help reduce surplus feed grain and help to stabilize prices. The Democratic Party pledges that production of fuel-grade alcohol will be increased until at least a target of 500 million barrels of ethanol by 1981 is achieved.
A stand-by gasoline rationing plan must be adopted for use in the event of a serious energy supply interruption. In times of supply interruption, rationing is essential for equitable and prompt distribution of gas to the public. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve should be filled as market conditions permit, consistent with the requirements of existing law.
We must impose a moratorium on the acquisition of competing coal companies and solar energy companies by major oil companies.
Legislation must be enacted to prohibit purchases by oil companies of energy or non-energy companies unless the purchase would enhance competition.
The major oil companies must be responsible and accountable in their production, importation and distribution of fossil fuels. Oil is as basic to our economy, defense, and general welfare as electric power and money. Consequently, the oil companies must be invested with public purpose. To accomplish this objective, we support strengthened leasing regulations, reporting requirements and monitoring by the departments of Energy and Justice.
Thorough investigations of the compliance of the off companies with energy price laws and regulations must be continued, and tough penalties imposed in the event of non-compliance. The Department of Energy, consistent with the law, should share its energy data with the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.
We must make conservation and renewable energy our nation's energy priorities for the future. Through the federal government's commitment to renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, and as alternative fuels become available in the future, we will retire nuclear power plants in an orderly manner.
We must give the highest priority to dealing with the nuclear waste disposal problem. Current efforts to develop a safe, environmentally sound nuclear waste disposal plan must be continued and intensified.
The NRC shall issue no licenses or permits for new nuclear plants until the Kemeny Commission recommendations are fully implemented.
Existing plants must be required to meet the safer recommendations of the Kemeny Commission. The Democratic Party supports prompt implementation of their recommendations. No plant unable to meet these standards can be allowed to operate.
Safe permanent disposal of all high-level radioactive waste and transuranic waste should be the primary responsibility of the federal government, in consultation and concurrence with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments throughout the entire decision-making process, including the actual siting and operation of repositories. Neither the federal government nor the state or tribal or territorial governments should be permitted to act in a manner that forces an unsafe resolution of this problem or prevents a safe resolution from being accomplished. It is, therefore, essential that state and tribal governments, acting according to
their constitutional processes, have the power to reject unsafe sites within their borders. Clear standards should be developed so that the courts may determine whether the federal government or a state or tribe is acting in an arbitrary manner. Every state should be responsible for the management and disposal of all low-level waste generated by non-defense sources within its boundaries. Where appropriate, this responsibility should be exercised through state regional compacts. There should be more federal funding for research and development of safer, more efficient methods of radioactive waste disposal.
Funds generated by the Windfall Profits Tax must be used to expand mass transit. Federal assistance should be provided for construction and operation costs.
We are charged with the stewardship of an irreplaceable environment. The Democratic Party must continue to be as environmentally progressive in the future as it has been in the past. Progress in environmental quality—a major achievement of the 1970s—must continue in the 1980s. The environmental problems we face today are, if anything, more challenging and urgent than those of ten years ago.
The great strides we have taken during the past few years are the best evidence of our commitment to resource conservation and environmental restoration. We have compiled a proud record.
During the next four years, we must carry forward vigorously with these important policies, and move to address a series of new challenges.
We must move decisively to protect our countryside and our coastline from overdevelopment and mismanagement. Major efforts are now underway to solve such problems as disappearing farmland and development on our barrier islands. These efforts should help forge a strong national consensus behind the realization that protection must be balanced with the need to properly manage and utilize our land resources during the 1980s.
We must develop new and improved working relationships among federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments and private interests, to manage effectively our programs for increased domestic energy production and their impact on people, water, air, and the environment in general. All of our energy development efforts should be carried out without sacrificing environmental quality.
We must continue on the path to a sustainable energy future—a future based increasingly on renewable resources and energy conservation. Our national goal of having 20 percent of our energy from renewable resources in the year 2000 must become a working target, not a forgotten slogan. Conservation must remain the cornerstone of our national energy supply.
New efforts at home and abroad will be required in the early 1980s to face squarely such global problems as the destruction of forests, the loss of countless irreplaceable species, growing world population, acid rain, and carbon dioxide buildup.
Passage by Congress of the hazardous waste cleanup proposal will provide the basis for a major effort beginning in 1981 to clean up the thousands of hazardous waste dump sites across the country. Toxic chemicals are a serious threat to the health of our people. We must continue our programs to improve agency performance in many areas, such as protection of groundwater, in order to better protect the public.
We must strive to ensure that environmental regulations cost no more than necessary and are streamlined to eliminate waste, duplication and delay. We must not lose sight of the fact that the benefits of these regulations far outweigh their costs. We must work to reform legislation without deforming it.
We support the allocation of resources to the Environmental Protection Agency and other environmental agencies sufficient to carry out their mandates.
We support strict adherence to automobile pollution standards.
We will support policies to eliminate acid rain pollution from power plant emissions.
We will commit ourselves to efficient transportation alternatives, including mass transit, car pooling, van pooling, employer based commuter plans, and hydrogen and electric commuter vehicles.
We will continue to fight noise pollution in our urban centers and job sites.
We will encourage the recycling of municipal solid waste.
We will seek a strong "super-fund" law financed by government and industry.
We must continue to pursue offshore energy leasing to stimulate our domestic oil and gas production and reduce our dependence on foreign oil consistent with environmental and marine concerns.
We will fund adequately the Land and Water Conservation Fund to protect our national park system.
We will implement vigorously the Toxic Substances Control Act.
Often, actions by one nation affect the economic growth and the quality of life in other nations. Such actions can be influenced by international agreement and incentives.
To defend against environmental risks that cross national frontiers, international cooperation must be extended to new areas, such as acid rain, deforestation and desertification, buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thinning of the ozone shield, air and water pollution, oil spills, chemicals in the environment, and disposal of radioactive waste.
Water is a necessity to all, and represents life itself to much of the American Union. We recognize especially the singular dependence of the Western states on scarce water supplies. The development of navigation, irrigation, flood control, and hydroelectric projects is vital to the economic health of the West, and correspondingly to the entire nation.
Working with Congress, the Democratic Administration will implement a national water policy which recognizes the special needs of the West. Toward this end, we support the modern standards and valid cost-benefit analysis suggested by the Federal Water Resources Council. We support a federal study, in partnership with the affected states, to explore possibilities and recommend alternatives relative to importation of water into arid and semi-arid states. We also support state, local, and tribal participation in all phases of water programs within their respective jurisdictions.
Recently, water programs across the nation have become enmeshed in controversy and conflicting values. It is not unusual for a federal water project to take a generation from the time it is authorized to the time construction actually begins.
Yet the national need for expanded and accelerated investment in water development grows ever more pressing, and is increasingly acknowledged. If, as but one example, we are to develop our unequaled coal resources as a substitute for imported oil, we will require expansion of water transportation and improvement of seaports beyond the imagination of even those early Americans who sensed the path to empire in our inland waterways. The development of synthetic fuels, which must of necessity be concentrated in states with sparse water supplies, is an enormous challenge to engineering and science.
Similarly, the task of reindustrialization requires that we recognize the water development needs of all sections of the nation.
Water to supply steel mills and automobile factories, to provide for the needs of commercial cities and associated suburbs, makes a legitimate and pressing claim on national priorities.
We recognize the need to develop a truly national water program which responds to the needs of each region of our country in an active and effective manner and which recognizes the social effects of water projects.
The Democratic Party strongly supports the desalinization of sea water and the development of water resources in those areas of the country where water is scarce.
America's farmers are among the most vital economic forces of the nation. Because of their extraordinary productivity, Americas farm workers provide more food and fiber per person at a lower cost than their counterparts in any other country. American consumers have a more certain food supply than consumers in any other nation, even though a third of our farm production is sold abroad each year.
In 1977, the Democratic Administration inherited a farm economy marked by serious over-production and badly outdated price support programs. Farm prices and incomes were plummeting, partly in response to misguided attempts at price controls. The livestock sector was in its third straight year of loss, and a herd liquidation of unprecedented scale was under way.
Because of actions taken by the Democratic Administration and Democratic Congress, this situation was turned around in 1978 and 1979. U.S. agriculture was put back on a track of steady, sustained growth and improvement. The sharp decline of farm prices and farm incomes was reversed. An aggressive program of export promotion resulted in record high agricultural exports in each of the past three years.
Recently, however, the nation's farm economy has been hurt by reduced prices; high costs of production, including energy, inflation, equipment, and high interest rates. As a result, our nation's farmers are facing a time of hardship.
Agricultural policy in the 1980s must strengthen the forces which made American farmers the most productive in the world and American agriculture the hope of hungry people everywhere. In this way, we can ensure a decade of prosperity for farmers and of agricultural abundance for America's consumers.
The Democratic Party pledges itself to the following goals.
Continued attention to expanding farm exports—American agriculture's long-run interests remain firmly tied to the sale of U.S. farm products abroad. Despite the significant progress made to date, it is important that we continue to work at breaking down barriers to trade and capitalizing on our nation's enormous advantage in the production of food and fiber.
If food is to be used as an instrument of foreign policy, it is inoperative that farm income be protected. Farmers must have access to free markets.
Recognizing the patriotic sacrifices made by the American farmer during the agricultural embargo protesting the invasion of Afghanistan, we commend the agricultural community's contribution in the field of foreign affairs. Except in time of war or grave threats to national security, the federal government should impose no future embargoes on agricultural products.
Protecting farm prices and farm income— Rapidly rising costs of production, especially energy costs, make it imperative that we increase the level of support for farm prices and income by increasing target prices to cover the cost of production. For those farm products not covered by target prices, such as soy-beans, cattle, hogs, poultry, sugar cane, and sugar beets, we pledge support programs that will maintain viable domestic production. Low cost farm credit should be extended with the least possible delay in times of stress from decreased farm income or disasters.
It is in the nation's long-run interest that returns to farmers keep pace with rising costs to ensure a fair return on investment.
Measures to protect and further enhance agricultural productivity—Although agricultural productivity remains high in comparison with productivity in the non-farm sector, its rate of increase has slowed over the past two or three decades. This trend must be reversed through greater attention to the effects of regulatory actions, increased support for agricultural research, and intensified efforts to conserve our vital land and water resources.
Rebuilding our agricultural transportation system—The transportation system which moves our agricultural products to their final markets, including ports for export shipment, has been strained to the limit. While needed improvements have begun, through such measures as trucking and rail deregulation and the expansion of Lock and Dam 26 (on the Mississippi River at Alton, Illinois), more intensive efforts will be required in the future. In the ease of railroads, a rebuilding effort will be required.
Protecting our soil resource—American agriculture is critically dependent on the productivity of its soil. Without careful and consistent stewardship of this important resource, it can become depleted. An assessment of our nation's conservation needs is now underway. We must be prepared to act on the findings of this assessment. Emergency procedures should be enacted to increase soil conservation incentives for construction of watersheds, tile intake terraces, and other soil saving practices.
Protecting family farms—The real genius of American agriculture is the role and prominence of the farm family. It is this form of organization that provides agriculture with its vitality, independent spirit, and progressiveness. We must protect farmers from land speculators, giant farm combinations, and foreign buyers. We support laws requiring disclosure of all foreign ownership of farmland and we will continue to monitor such ownership to determine its impact on our farms.
While we recognize the need to modernize the 1902 Reclamation Act, we reaffirm our support for its intent—to assure that the federal subsidy program assists only family farmers.
We support reforms in the estate tax to strengthen the stability of family farms.
Farmer Involvement—There is a continuing need to devise better ways of involving people in the decisions of their government, particularly in those decisions that have direct and important effects on their lives. We realize the need for a strong cattle industry and for ranchers' involvement in the development of farm programs. Considerable progress has been made in this regard, but more is required.
Capper-Volstead Act—We reaffirm our strong support for agricultural cooperatives and bargaining associations to engage in vigorous programs to pack, process and market their members' crops as provided for in the Capper-Volstead Act.
Farm labor—We must vigorously enforce existing laws relating to farm labor organization and recognize the right of farm workers to bargain collectively, while ensuring the legal rights of farmers.
Farm mechanization—We support restraining programs for farm workers displaced by mechanized farming.
America's national forests contain a national treasure that provides recreation, wilderness, fish and wildlife, and timber products.
We reaffirm the Democratic Party's traditional support for multiple-use management to ensure the survival of these precious resources for this generation and generations to come.
We call for the speedy resolution by Congress of the Roadless Area Review and Evaluation, stimulated by this Administration, to determine which areas are best suited for wilderness and which should be released for timber harvest and multiple-use management.
We support continued assistance to private, non-industrial forest owners to increase their management potential.
On federal lands identified as part of our timber resource, we support:
—Management policies which, consistent with sound, complete land management plans, will result in the highest timber yields, when trees are mature, and which can be sustained over the long term;
—Concentration of timber sales on areas of greater potential;
—Management of these irreplaceable and environmentally unique areas to maintain perpetually their value; and
—Provision of adequate access facilities for all of these uses.
We shall insist that administration of public lands by the Department of Interior be fair and equitable. The interest of the state within which such public lands lie must be of paramount importance in the decision-making process. We encourage all federal agencies to consult with the states on such matters.
Under the Democratic Administration the U.S. fishing industry has made substantial progress, as evidenced by the following:
—Commercial landings of fish in 1979 were up 45 percent in value and 21 percent in quantity compared with 1977;
—The U.S. share of the catch in our 200-mile fisheries conservation zone increased from 27 percent in 1978 to 33 percent in 1979;
—Over the same period, the foreign catch of fish in the U.S. 200-mile zone dropped 6 percent, and 29 percent from the average for the five preceding years;
—The U.S. has moved from fifth in the world in 1977 to fourth in 1978 in total commercial fish landings; and
—Exports of U.S. edible fishery products in 1979 were up 116 percent in value and 67 percent in quantity compared with 1977.
While such trends are encouraging, there remains a tremendous potential for growth. By volume, 67 percent, and by value, 34 percent, of the harvest in the fishery conservation zone is still taken by foreign vessels. The value of the catch to foreign fishermen was $470 million in 1979.
The need for more rapid growth of the U.S. fishing industry is illustrated by the fact that imports of fisheries' products outweighed exports by $1.7 billion last year. With full development of our industry, this deficit could be erased. Moreover, 43,000 new jobs could be created.
One-fifth of the world's fish are found in waters off the United States. We pledge to continue the development of our fishing industry so that the U.S. achieves self-sufficiency in this sector and fully utilizes the valuable and abundant fisheries resources off our shores. To this end, continuing effort in the following areas is needed:
—Develop a balanced U.S. harvesting processing and marketing capability on a geographical and fishery-by-fishery basis;
—Continue to phase out foreign fishing within our 200-mile zone;
—Target efforts to stimulate and expand those fisheries that are presently unutilized and underutilized;
—Increase research and development through cooperative federal-private efforts with emphasis on industry initiatives;
—Encourage the availability of capital in sectors where it is particularly needed;
—Promote market development, and to that end, continue to allocate surplus fishery resources of the U.S. 200-mile zone to foreign nations in order to stimulate improved access to their markets for our fish products;
—Enhance conservation and management of U.S. fishery resources and in that effort, increase observer coverage of foreign fishing operations in the 200-mile zone;
—Work toward ensuring that a fair share of the costs of conservation, management, research and enforcement in the 200-mile zone is borne by foreign fishermen who enjoy access to our surplus fishery resources;
—Assist the U.S. distant-water fleets through international agreements;
—Support an international ocean regime for fisheries management through successful completion of Law-of-the-Sea negotiations;
—Encourage development of a diversified U.S. aquaculture industry;
—Protect, restore and enhance fish habitats;
—Continue support for research, propagation and management of our anadromous fish resource; and
—In recognition of its economic and recreational importance, accord a high priority to maintaining and improving marine sports fishing.
Chapter V: Foreign Policy
When the Democratic Party came into office almost four years ago, the most dangerous threat to America's position in the world was the profound disillusionment and mistrust which the American people felt for their own government. This had reached the point where the very term "national security" had become synonymous with the abuse of power, deceit and violation of public trust. It undermined our capacity to defend our interests and to play our proper role in the world at a time when Soviet power was continuing to grow.
The hallmark of the previous eight years of Republican Administration had been to emphasize the primacy of power politics irrespective of compatibility with American values and with the increasing power of the Soviet Union. The result was disrespect abroad and discontent at home.
The Democratic Party was determined to make our values a central factor in shaping American foreign policy. The one-sided emphasis of the previous Republican Administration had led many Americans to a suspicion of power, and in some respects, even to rejection of military strength. The American people longed to see their country once again identified with widespread human aspirations. The Democratic Party understood, if the Republicans did not, that this is essential to preserve our long-term interest in the world.
The Democratic Administration sought to reconcile these two requirements of American foreign policy—principle and strength. Both are required to maintain a constructive and secure relationship between America and the rest of the world. We have tried to make clear the continuing importance of American strength in a world of change. Without such strength, there is a genuine risk that global change will deteriorate into anarchy to be exploited by our adversaries' military power. Thus, the revival of American strength has been a central preoccupation of the Democratic Administration.
The use of American power is necessary as a means of shaping not only a more secure, but also a more decent world. To shape a decent world, we must pursue objectives that are moral, that make clear our support for the aspirations of mankind and that are rooted in the ideals of the American people.
That is why the Democrats have stressed human rights. That is why America once again has supported the aspirations of the vast majority of the world's population for greater human justice and freedom. As we continue to strive to solve our own internal problems, we are proud of the values for which the United States has always stood. We should continue to be a beacon of liberty around the world and to effectively and positively state America's case for freedom to the world through various governmental and nongovernmental channels.
A foreign policy which seeks to blend our ideals and our strength does not easily reduce itself to simple statements.
First, we must consistently strengthen our relations with like-minded industrial democracies. In meeting the dangers of the coming decade the United States will consult closely with our Allies to advance common security and political goals. As a result of annual summit meetings, coordinated economic policies and effective programs of international energy conservation have been fashioned. With the cooperation of rich and poor nations alike, a new international trade agreement has been reached which safeguards our free enterprise system from protectionism and gives us greater economic opportunity in the world, while it gives the developing world a stake in the stability of the world's economy.
Second, we must continue to improve our relations with the Third World by being sensitive to their legitimate aspirations. The United States should be a positive force for peaceful change in responding to ferment in the Third World. Today, thanks to a number of steps that have been taken—strengthening the international aid institutions, the Panama Canal treaties, the Zimbabwe settlement, the normalization of relations with China—the United States has a healthier and more productive relationship with these countries.
Our third objective must be peace in the Middle East. The Carter Administration has pursued this objective with determination and together with the leaders of Israel and Egypt, has overcome great obstacles in the last three years. America made this commitment for two fundamental reasons—morality and national security.
Our nation feels a profound moral obligation to sustain and assure the security of Israel. That is why our relationship with Israel is, in most respects, a unique one. Israel is the single democracy, the most stable government, the most strategic asset and our closest ally in the region.
To fulfill this imperative, we must move towards peace in the Middle East. Without peace, there is a growing prospect, indeed inevitability, that this region will become radicalized, susceptible to foreign intrusion, and possibly involved in another war. Thus, peace in the Middle East also is vital for our national security interests.
The strength of these two impulses—our moral commitment and national security—has sustained the Democratic Administration in many difficult trials. The result has been the first peace ever between Israel and an Arab country, as well as the eventual prospect of a wider comprehensive agreement which will assure peace and security to all parties concerned. Our goal is to make the Middle East an area of stability and progress in which the United States can play a full and constructive role.
Our fourth major objective is to strengthen the military security of the United States and our Allies at a time when trends in the military balance have become increasingly adverse. America is now, and will continue to be, the strongest power on earth. It was the Democratic Party's greatest hope that we could, in fact, reduce our military effort. But realities of the world situation, including the unremitting buildup of Soviet military forces, required that we begin early to reverse the decade-long decline in American defense efforts.
In 1977, the United States joined with NATO to develop, for the first time in the history of the Alliance, a long-term defense program calling for 3 percent annual real growth in our collective defense efforts. This is being fulfilled. In the first year, the Democratic Administration decided that the U.S. needed an enhanced strategic posture and policy to deal with the increased first strike capability of the Soviet Union. To this end basic commitments were made regarding U.S. strategic capabilities for the late 1980s, in particular, the MX land-based mobile ICBM deterrent. Finally, development is now underway of a rapid deployment force capable of defending our interests and protecting our friends in those parts of the world where American military forces are not regularly present.
At the same time, the Democratic Administration has determined to cut waste in defense spending. The B-1 bomber was cancelled because it was technologically obsolete. A defense bill containing unnecessary expenditures for a new nuclear carrier, while neglecting the readiness of our day-to-day forces, was vetoed and the veto was sustained. These decisions involved difficult choices, but the result is a leaner, stronger American military posture.
As a fifth objective the Democrats have been and remain committed to arms control, especially to strategic arms limitations, and to maintain a firm and balanced relationship with the Soviet Union. Our resolve to pursue this goal remains as strong as ever.
To avoid the danger to all mankind from an intensification of the strategic arms competition, and to curb a possible acceleration of the nuclear arms race while awaiting the ratification of the SALT II Treaty, we endorse the policy of continuing to take no action which would be inconsistent with its object and purpose, so long as the Soviet Union does likewise,
Arms control and strategic arms limitation are of crucial importance to us and to all other people. The Salt II Agreement is a major accomplishment of the Democratic Administration. It contributes directly to our national security, and we will seek its ratification at the earliest feasible time.
America's military strength is and must be unsurpassed. The Democratic Administration has moved to reverse the threatened decline in America's world position. While claiming concern for our nation's defense preparedness, the Nixon-Ford Administration presided over a steady decline of 33 percent in real U.S. military pending between 1968 and 1976.
As a result of the joint efforts of the Democratic Administration and Congress, there has been a real increase in our defense spending every year since 1976.
This increase is necessary in order to compensate for the decline in U.S. military strength over the previous eight years and to assure a high quality of military personnel, an effective nuclear deterrent capability, a capable conventional fighting force and an improved intelligence capability. We will act to further improve intelligence gathering and analysis.
We must be careful that our defense dollars are spent wisely. We must make sure that we develop and deploy practical weapons and that we have the resources to ensure that the men and women who must operate these weapons have the skill to do so.
The serious question of manpower shortages must be addressed promptly. In order to prevent the necessity of a peacetime draft, the all-volunteer force must have wage standards which will retain experienced personnel or recruit new personnel upon whom an increasingly sophisticated military heavily depends.
We will upgrade the combat readiness of our armed forces. We will give the highest priority to combat training, to an effective Reserve and Guard force, and to sufficient supplies, spare parts, fuel and ammunition. Registration of 18-year-olds is intended to enable the United States to mobilize more rapidly in the event of an emergency, which is the only time it should be used. We do not favor a peacetime draft or the exclusion of women from registration. We will seek ways to expand voluntary service in both the armed forces and non-military programs such as VISTA, the Young Adult Conservation Corps, and the Peace Corps.
We need to go forward to protect our retaliatory capabilities in the face of continuing Soviet advances in their strategic forces.
The nation has moved to modernize its strategic deterrent through the MX, Trident, and cruise missile systems. The MX missile deployment will enhance the survivability of our land-based intercontinental ballistic missile force. Cruise missiles will modernize our strategic air deterrent, and the new Trident submarine, with a missile range of over 4,000 miles, will both improve and help guarantee the invulnerability of our nuclear deterrent.
The United States has acted to correct the dangerous military imbalance which had developed in Europe by initiating and obtaining Allied support for a long overdue NATO long-term defense program and proceeding toward the deployment in Europe of long-range theater nuclear deterrents to counter the Soviet buildup of such weaponry in Europe. Our commitment to increase defense speeding by at least 3 percent per year is crucial to the maintenance of Allied consensus and confidence in his regard. We need to modernize our conventional military capabilities so that we can better protect American lives and American an interests abroad.
The Democratic Administration has acted to improve our ability to make rapid responses to contingencies by organizing and supporting rapid deployment forces capable of responding to military problems in any part of the world where our vital interests are threatened. To that end, we favor the development and production of a new fleet of cargo aircraft with intercontinental range, the design and procurement of a force of Maritime Propositioning ships that will carry heavy equipment and supplies for three Marine Corps brigades, and an increase in regional military exercises, in cooperation with friendly states. We have given particular attention to developing the facilities and capabilities to further support the policy of the United States with regard to the Persian Gulf enunciated by President Carter in the State of the Union address on January 23, 1980: "Let our position be absolutely dear: an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."
We are confident that the negotiation of American overseas military facilities in support of this effort as well as in other areas of the world will be conducted with respect for the independence, integrity and cultural values of the host countries.
The Democratic Party recognizes the strategic value of Israel and that peace in the Middle East requires a military secure Israel. Because Middle East nations that have not joined the peace process have been able to purchase the latest sophisticated Soviet and other weaponry, the technological advantage which Israel holds over its adversaries has been jeopardized. The progress of the peace talks means that Israel has gained considerable security advantages from peace with Egypt. At the same time, Israel will lose some of the tactical advantages previously provided by territory occupied in 1967. Any further war Israel fights could take place close to its population centers. Therefore, we pledge a continued high level of U.S. military support for Israel.
A strong, consistent, and principled policy toward the Soviet Union is a vital element of our foreign policy everywhere. The Democratic Administration will use all its resources—including both firm diplomacy and military power—to deter adventurism and to make restraint the only acceptable course available to our adversaries.
We stand ready to pursue good faith negotiations with the Soviet Union at every opportunity on a wide range of issues including strategic arms forces in the European theater, and other matters which would contribute to peace and a more genuine and reciprocal detente.
At the heart of our policy toward the Soviet Union must be a clear recognition of the reality of Soviet power. We must reject the easy mythology that the Soviets see the world as we do. A long-term strategy for the 1980s requires a dear view of the Soviet Union, a view without illusion that our adversary is either benign or omnipotent.
The Soviet attack on Afghanistan, the murder of its leaders, and the ruthless effort to exterminate those resisting the Soviet invasion have violated all norms of international law and practice and have been thoroughly condemned by the international community.
This attempt to subjugate an independent, non-aligned Islamic people is a callous violation of international law, the United Nations Charter, and the principle of restraint which underlies detente.
This invasion places the Soviet armed forces within fighter aircraft range of the Straits of Hormuz, the lifeline of the bulk of the world's exportable oil.
It creates fear and instability among our friends in the region who are already buffeted by the disintegration of Iran as a stabilizing force.
More broadly, the success or failure of Soviet military aggression will affect present and future Soviet leaders' readiness to use force to gain their ends.
Hence, it is a threat not only to our strategic interests in the region but to world peace.
A strong American response to the illegal and brutal invasion of Afghanistan serves our nation's security interests. It must and will be sustained, as long as Soviet troops remain there.
In response to the Soviet invasion, the United States has cut grain exports, curbed high technology trade and interrupted scientific and cultural relations.
The United States has also committed itself to a boycott of Moscow as the site of the Olympic Games. To attend while the Soviet armed might brutally seeks to crush the national liberation movement in Afghanistan would be a travesty of the Olympic spirit.
We must continue to support U.S. actions such as the Olympic boycott and trade restrictions in order to show determined opposition to Soviet aggression. We insist on immediate Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and the reestablishment of a non-aligned, independent government which is supported by the people of Afghanistan. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan makes it extremely important that the United States be ready to aid those in the Third World resisting Soviet, Cuban, and East German domination.
While the invasion of Afghanistan has sidetracked our pursuit of a productive relationship with the Soviet Union, the Democratic Party supports efforts to strengthen ties to the nations of Eastern Europe. Treating each of those nations with sensitivity to its individual situation, the U.S. has steadily improved relations with the people of Hungary, Poland, and Romania. While Soviet conduct has profoundly damaged East-West relations, the U.S. should continue to draw distinctions, to the extent possible, between the sanctions it imposes on economic dealings with Moscow and similar relations with some other members of the Warsaw Pact, as long as they are not diverting that trade, in grain or items under export control, to the use of the Soviet Union and as long as they are willing to maintain a constructive dialogue on issues of concern and significance to the United States.
Through the measures now being taken, including both denial of economic benefits and the Olympic boycott, as well as our efforts to enhance the security of the region more directly affected, the objective should be to make the Soviets pay a price for their act of international aggression. We should continue to do so along with efforts to strengthen our national defense. We cannot permit this attack across an international border, with the threat it poses to the region and thus to the strategic balance, to go unanswered. Only firmness now can prevent new adventures later.
The Democratic Administration will also seek to reverse the recent sharp downturn in Soviet Jewish emigration and to obtain the release of dissidents now detained in the Soviet Union, including 41 members of the Helsinki Watch Groups who are in Soviet prisons, labor camps and banishment for their human rights activity. We will pursue our human rights concerns as a necessary part of overall progress on the range of political, military and economic issues between the United States and the Soviet Union—including the possibility of improved, mutually beneficial economic relations between our two countries.
Consideration of human rights should be a permanent feature of U.S.-Soviet relations. We salute those Soviet citizens active in the Moscow, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Armenian, and Georgian Helsinki Monitoring Groups, assert our support of the courageous human rights advocate, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dr. Andrei Sakharov, and call for Dr. Sakharov's release from forced exile as well as the release of all political prisoners in the U.S.S.R.
We pledge that a Democratic Administration will raise the question of the Soviet violation of human rights at all appropriate international forums.
The SALT II Treaty also serves our security interests. It is a vital step in an arms control process that can begin to lift from humanity the shadow of nuclear war. That process, also, must be sustained.
Soviet aggression against Afghanistan has delayed the course of ratification of the SALT II Treaty, but we must continue to pursue both security priorities: deterrence of Soviet aggression and balanced arms control agreements. Both the response to Afghanistan and the SALT II Treaty serve this purpose.
The SALT Treaty is in the U.S. interest because it is an important way of restraining Soviet behavior.
Without SALT II, the Soviets could have hundreds more missiles and thousands more nuclear warheads than the Treaty permits. Under the Treaty, they would have to eliminate many nuclear weapons they already have.
The Treaty helps sustain a strong American position in the world. Our Allies and other nations around the world know the SALT II Treaty serves their security interests as well as ours. American support for arms control is important to our standing in the international community, the same community that has rebuked the Soviets for their attempted suppression of Afghanistan. It is also important to our efforts to organize an enduring response to the growing threat to Europe of the Soviet SS-20 nuclear missiles and to Soviet aggression in Afghanistan.
Along with support for SALT, we seek to maintain a stable conventional and theater nuclear balance in Europe. We will support modernization programs in which European countries bear their fair share of the cost and other burdens. At the same time, we will ensure that no possibility for effective limits on theater nuclear weapons is left unexplored. The Democratic Administration will join with our NATO allies in making far-reaching, equitable, and verifiable proposals for nuclear and conventional arms control in Europe.
The Democratic Party wants an arms control process to continue, just as it wants to sustain strong policies against Soviet aggression in Afghanistan. We understand that both build peace and make our nation more secure. Accordingly, we must persist in a strong policy regarding the Soviet aggression, and we must seek ratification of SALT as soon as it is feasible.
A Democratic Administration will not accept an indefinite deferral of strategic arms control. On the basis of review and planning of U.S. security requirements in the coming decade, we are determined to pursue negotiations with the Soviet Union, aimed at the achievement of strategic stability and, for the first time, of major reductions and qualitative limits on strategic systems. The American SALT proposals in March 1977 were the first effort to seek such reductions, which remain the goal and justification of arms control. A Democratic Administration will treat the Soviet government's readiness to negotiate verifiable, substantial and significant reductions and qualitative limits as a test of its seriousness about arms control and the compatibility of its approach to arms control with that of the United States.
We will pursue other arms control opportunities that can enhance both our national security and the prospects of peace. In particular, the Democratic Administration will pursue a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Such a treaty is vital to our hopes to control the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Following the 1980 Review Conference on the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty, we will step up our efforts to expand adherence to the treaty, to strengthen international safeguards and controls over nuclear materials, equipment and technology, and to forestall the spread of nuclear explosive capabilities. In any peaceful nuclear supply, we will continue to seek the full application of international safeguards and undertakings not to explode nuclear devices.
We have placed significant limits on our conventional arms transfers and will vigorously press other arms suppliers and recipients to accept mutual restraints.
The Democratic Administration has increased our capacity to counter national terrorism, both on a national basis and in coordination with other governments, and to deal with acts of terrorism including hostage-taking committed either by individuals or by governments. We will strengthen multilateral arrangements for contingency planning, information sharing, military coordination, and the isolation of countries that harbor terrorists.
In the area of international affairs, the Democratic Administration has placed America's power in the service of a more decent world by once again living up to our own values and working in a formal, deliberate way to foster the principles set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This has been accomplished through a strong commitment to human rights, which must be seen not only as a moral imperative but as the only secure and enduring basis upon which a truly stable world order can he fashioned. There have been successes in Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere in the world. We must be undaunted by the increasing repression in the Soviet Union. We support measures designed to restrict trade with the Soviet Union until such time as Soviet emigration policy is made fair and non-restrictive.
We must be vigilant about human rights violations in any country in which they occur including South Africa. We note in particular that many of the Communist-dominated countries are persistent violators of the most basic human freedoms—the right to free speech, the right to religious freedom, the right to travel and emigrate, and the right to be free from arbitrary harassment.
We support Senate ratification of the Genocide Convention and the International Covenants on Human Rights as soon as possible.
We support continuation of the leadership role taken by the United States in the area of human rights and urge that the Democratic Administration continue to speak out openly and forcefully on human rights violations whenever and wherever they occur.
We will fulfill the letter and the spirit of current law by denying assistance to governments that violate fundamental human rights, except for that aid which is clearly humanitarian. We also recognize the exception for assistance that is required for overriding security purposes, but that exception should not he used as an excuse for ignoring abuses of human rights.
We will provide additional assistance and support, as needed, to governments that strive successfully for greater political liberty and protection of human rights.
Refugees and Migration
America's roots are found in the immigrants and refugees who have come to our shores to build new lives in a new world. The Democratic Party pledges to honor our historic commitment to this heritage.
The first comprehensive reform of this nation's refugee policies in over 25 years was completed with the signing in March 1980 of the Refugee Act of 1980, based on legislation submitted to Congress by the Carter Administration in March 1979.
This act offers a comprehensive alternative to the chaotic movement and the inefficient and inequitable administration of past refugee programs in the United States. We favor the full use of refugee legislation now to cope with the flow of Cuban and Haitian refugees, and to help the states, local communities and voluntary agencies resettle them across our land. We urge that monies be distributed to voluntary agencies fairly so that aid is distributed to all refugees without discrimination.
The Administration also established the first refugee coordination office in the Department of State under the leadership of a special ambassador and coordinator for refugee affairs and programs.
The new legislation and the coordinator's office will bring common sense and consolidation to our nation's previously fragmented, inconsistent, and, in many ways, outdated refugee and immigration policies.
A Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy is now at work to further reform the system. We pledge oar support to the goals and purposes of the Commission, and we urge the Administration to move aggressively in this area once the Commission submits its report.
Once that report has been completed, we must work to resolve the issue of undocumented residents in a fair and humane way. We will oppose any legislation designed to allow workers into the country to undercut U.S. wages and working conditions, and which would re-establish the bracero program of the past.
World population projections, as well as international economic indicators—especially in the Third World—forewarn us that migration pressures will mount rapidly in many areas of the world in the decade ahead. Our own situation of undocumented workers underscores how difficult it is to deal with economic and employment forces that are beyond any nation's immediate control. Most of Europe, and many parts of Latin America and Asia, face similar dilemmas. For example, Mexico faces the pressure of migration from Central America.
We will work with other nations to develop international policies to regularize population movement and to protect the human rights of migrants even as we protect the jobs of American workers and the economic interest of the United States. In this hemisphere, such a policy will require close cooperation with our neighbors, especially Mexico and Canada.
We must also work to resolve the difficult problems presented by the immigration from Haiti and from the more recent immigration from Cuba. In doing so, we must ensure that there is no discrimination in the treatment afforded to the Cubans or Haitians. We must also work to ensure that future Cuban immigration is handled in an orderly way, consistent with our laws. To ameliorate the impact on state and local communities and school districts of the influx of new immigrants from Cuba and Haiti, we must provide the affected areas with special fiscal assistance.
We support continued financial backing of international relief programs such as those financed by the United States, the International Red Cross, UNICEF and the private, non-profit organizations to aid the starving people of Kampuehea. We also endorse such support for the Cambodian refugees and encourage participation in the campaign of the National Cambodian Crisis Committee.
We support, through U.S. contributions to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other means, aid for the mounting Afghan refugee population in Pakistan and other desperate refugee situations.
The Middle East
When the Democratic Administration began in 1977, the prospects for peace in the Middle East were bleak. Despite efforts over thirty years, Israel still faced an Arab world that was totally hostile to it; it was still denied any movement towards its dream of living at peace with its neighbors, behind secure and recognized frontiers.
Almost immediately after his inauguration, President Carter undertook to move the peace process forward. Following the historic visit of President Sadat to Jerusalem, the Administration's efforts led to Camp David, where the two presidents and Prime Minister Begin in thirteen days created the Camp David Accords—the most promising effort in three decades for creating a genuine and lasting peace in the Middle East.
Following President Carter's trip to the Middle East in March 1979, Prime Minister Begin and President Sadat signed the Israel-Egypt peace treaty at the White House. A year later, that treaty has led to the transfer of two-thirds of the Sinai to Egypt—along with the Sinai oil fields; ambassadors have been exchanged; borders have been opened; and normalization of relations is well underway. Israel has finally gained peace with its largest Arab neighbor. In sum, this Democratic Administration has done more to achieve Israel's dream of peace than any other Administration in thirty years.
Negotiations are continuing under the Camp David framework on full autonomy for the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza, in order to preserve fully Israel's security while permitting the Palestinians living in the territories to participate in determining their own future. The United States is a full partner in negotiations between Israel and Egypt to provide for a five-year transitional regime in the West Bank and Gaza.
It is recognized that the Democratic Administration has to proceed with special care and sensitivity resulting from its deep engagement in the delicate process of promoting a wider peace for Israel.
At the same time, the United States' commitment to the independence, security, and future of Israel has been strengthened. Nearly half of all U.S. aid to Israel since its creation as a sovereign state—more than $10 billion—has been requested during the last three and a half years. We provide Israel with modern military equipment and we fully support Israel's efforts to create a just and lasting peace with all of its Arab neighbors.
U.S. policy is—and should continue to be—guided also by the following principles.
UN Security council Resolution 242, unchanged, and the Camp David Accords are the basis for peace in the Middle East.
We support Israel's security, and will continue to provide generous military and economic aid to that end.
We pledge not to provide Israel's potential enemies with sophisticated offensive equipment that could endanger the security of Israel.
Jerusalem should remain forever undivided, with free access to the holy places for people of all faiths.
We oppose creation of an independent Palestinian state.
We will not negotiate with or recognize the Palestinian Liberation Organization, unless and until it accepts Israel's right to exist and UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. It is also long past time for an end to all terrorism and other acts of violence against Israel.
We have not and will not use our aid to Israel as a bargaining tool; and we will never permit oil policies to influence our policy toward peace or our support for Israel.
As stated in the 1976 platform, the Democratic Party recognizes and supports "the established status of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, with free access to all its holy places provided to all faiths. As a symbol of this stand, the U.S. Embassy should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem."
Elsewhere in the Middle East, we support the improvement of relations with moderate Arab states. We support the independence, sovereignty, and integrity of Lebanon. We earl upon all states in the region to support the historic efforts of Israel and Egypt to build a comprehensive peace.
We believe a cooperative effort among the nations of the Middle East and the United States can help provide needed assistance to Israel and her Middle East neighbors engaging in the peace process with Israel in the vital areas of refugee resettlement, agricultural development, water development, health and medical facilities, and productivity and trade. A planning group should be created to pursue an effort to provide this type of assistance.
The Democratic Administration will also take needed measures to protect American interests in the Persian Gulf, including energy security, regional stability, and national independence. This will require sophisticated diplomacy as well as military capability. We will seek both to counter external threats and to encourage necessary political and economic development. In the end, our allies have an equal or greater interest than we in the security of oil supply and regional stability, and the Democratic Administration will continue to cooperate with them in a common strategy and to share common burdens.
We condemn the government of Iran for its outrageous conduct in the taking of our diplomatic personnel as hostages. We insist upon respect for the principle—as repeatedly enunciated by the UN Security Council and the International Court of Justice—of the inviolability for diplomatic personnel. We call upon all governments to abide by and uphold this basic tenet of civilized international conduct.
In the region as a whole, we must end our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. Only in this way can our foreign policy counter effectively the pressures of OPEC and of Soviet power poised above the Persian Gulf in Afghanistan. The Democratic Administration will fulfill its commitments to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to protect America against an oil embargo. As we reduce oil consumption and dependence on OPEC, we will be able to bargain on equal terms with the OPEC states for an assurance of more certain supplies of oil at more stable prices.
Europe and Japan
America and her allies must continue the mutual confidence and commitment, the sense of common purpose, that marked our relations for decades. The problems we face are global in scope. We cannot begin to solve them if each of us goes a separate way. We must learn to work in partnership, on an increasing range of problems, in areas such as Africa and the Persian Gulf, and on worldwide economic and security issues.
The Democratic Administration will be committed to a strong NATO and a stable military balance in Europe. We will pursue both modernization of NATO conventional and nuclear forces and equitable limitations between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.
The Democratic Administration will seek collective solutions to the common economic problems of inflation, unemployment, energy, trade and monetary. relations which confront us and our allies. This will require increased cooperation and coordination among all OECD countries.
The Democratic Administration will continue to support the growth and cohesion of the European community, and will increase our support for Greece, Spain and Portugal, which have rejoined the ranks of democracy.
We have been particularly concerned about the need to maintain strategic stability in the eastern Mediterranean. To this end, we have worked with Congress toward the resolution of differences between Greece and Turkey over Cyprus and other divisive issues. We have worked toward a balanced treatment of both countries in our assistance programs.
We will give priority to the reintegration of Greece into NATO's military structure and to the strengthening of NATO's southern flank, including the economic progress of each of our allies in southern Europe.
We have worked towards a fair settlement of the Cyprus issue by giving our support to the United Nations efforts to encourage intercommunal talks. We agree with Secretary General Waldheim's opinion that such talks, if properly used, represent the best possible solution to a just and lasting political settlement of the Cyprus problem based on the legitimate rights of the two communities.
We must do all that is possible, consistent with our interest in a strong NATO in southern Europe and stability in the eastern Mediterranean, to encourage a fair settlement of the Cyprus issue, which has caused so much suffering in that area.
We will press strongly for the full implementation of UN Resolution 3212 in order to bring about an agreed resolution to the tragic conflict in Cyprus; including the withdrawal of all Turkish military forces from Cyprus, the safe return of all refugees to their homes, full cooperation of all parties with a negotiated solution and a full peace and respect for human rights in Cyprus.
Consistent with our traditional concern for peace and human rights, the next Democratic Administration will play a positive role in seeking peace in Northern Ireland. We condemn the violence on all sides. We will encourage progress toward a long-term solution based upon consent of all parties to the conflict, based on the principle of Irish unity. We take note of the Saint Patrick's Day statement "...that the solution offering the greatest promise of permanent peace is to end the division of the Irish people" and its urging of "...the British Government to express its interest in the unity of Ireland and to join with the government of Ireland in working to achieve peace and reconciliation." New political structures which are created should protect human rights, and should be acceptable to both Great Britain and Ireland and to both parts of the community of Northern Ireland.
Our relations with Japan have moved to a new level of maturity and cooperation. The United States is able to deal with patience and understanding on a wide range of difficult and contentious economic issues. In the foreign policy and security area, Japan's record in support of U.S. foreign policy objectives is second to none. We will continue to nurture this relationship.
The International Economy
A vigorous American foreign policy and a sustained defense effort depend on the strength of the U.S. economy and its ability to compete in the international marketplace.
Through annual economic summits in London, Bonn, Tokyo and Venice, we have established a sound basis for economic progress in the 1980s by improving the coordination of our economic policies. We have sought to strengthen international institutions to deal with our common problems; to reduce worldwide inflation, which undermines Western security and prosperity; to encourage investment and innovation to increase productivity; and simultaneously to find ways to reduce unemployment, especially among our youth. We have made substantial progress, but the battle continues.
The Democratic Administration, which has wrestled with these issues over the past three and a half years, pledges a renewed effort to revitalize the world economy and to maintain our position as the leader of the free world's economic forces.
In 1976, we called for trade policies that would benefit economic growth. Trade promotes new jobs for American workers, new markets for farmers and businessmen, and lower prices for consumers. But trade can also cause dislocations within the economy, and we have sought—and will continue to seek—ways to ease the burden of adjustment to foreign competition without impeding the process of structural change so vital to our economic health. We favor a free international trading system, but that system must also be fair. We will not allow our workers and industries to be displaced by unfair import competition. We have entered orderly marketing agreements and other arrangements in areas such as color television, footwear and textiles, to help promote the competitive position of American industry. Others may be necessary.
Last year, we successfully concluded the Multilateral Trade Negotiations, an ambitious set of negotiations designed to reduce barriers to international trade. Before the Democratic Administration took office, these negotiations had proceeded at a snail's pace, and there had been a growing risk of failure which could have sparked a trade war damaging to our interests. It was the imaginative leadership of this Administration which breathed new life into an otherwise somnolent negotiation.
To strengthen the U.S. economy and improve our competitive position in the world economy, U.S. export-import policy must be based on the principle of fair trade that will enhance our exports while safeguarding domestic industry from unfair trade practices. In assuring orderly foreign trade, the U.S. must require observance of our trade laws, as well as cooperation with our trade policies if economic disruption is to be avoided. This will require:
—Encouragement of exert expansion through vigorous negotiations to open foreign markets and enforce U.S. rights;
—The government to take swift, effective antidumping actions and enforce all U.S. trade laws to assure an end to unfair trade practices that lead to the export of American jobs;
—Regulations of imports of textiles and apparel in accordance with current laws and agreements;
—Enforcement of customs laws through the assessment of appropriate penalties. Imports, exports, technology transfers, money flows and investments must be reported in accordance with current laws, monitored and regulated to protect U.S. interests; and
—Implementation of the government procurement code only as negotiated and on a truly reciprocal basis.
We bargained long and hard to obtain concessions which would benefit Americans and open new markets to U.S. producers of both agricultural and industrial goods. The agreements, which won the overwhelming support of the U.S. Congress, achieved that objective. They represent a sensible balance of benefits. At the same time, they will ensure a liberal, but fair, international trading environment for the 1980s.
We will continue to take whatever actions are necessary to maintain a sound and stable dollar. We will cooperate with other nations to minimize exchange rate disturbances. We fully support efforts underway to strengthen the ability of international financial institutions to adapt to changing needs and to facilitate the recycling of funds from the surplus off-producing nations to those countries facing large, oil-induced deficits. We will urge OPEC countries to participate constructively in this process.
International Energy Cooperation
We have cooperated with other industrial countries, at summit meetings and in the International Energy Agency, in developing joint programs to conserve oil and increase production of alternative energy sources. Only through a truly global effort can the present imbalance between energy supply and demand be redressed. We will continue to support such efforts, showing our leadership by continuing the actions that have reduced oil consumption and imports by a greater proportion in the U.S. than in any other industrial country in the last year. We will work with our partners abroad to elicit increased effort by them, even as we seek increased U.S. effort at home, to the same ends.
The Developing World
Under the previous Republican Administration, the nations of the Third World viewed the United States as uninterested in or hostile to the need to treat the North-South economic issues which are of greatest importance to developing countries. Since then, the United States has adopted a range of economic policies on trade (MTN, Generalized System of Preferences expansion), commodities (Common Fund, sugar, coffee, tin), aid (International Financial Institutions replenishments) which have demonstrated that the Carter administration is responsive to the aspirations of peoples in developing countries.
But this task is only begun. We share the globe with more than 4 billion people, more than three-quarters of whom live in developing nations, most of them poor. By the end of this century, the population of developing countries will grow by about 1.7 billion people. Their prospects for jobs, food, and peace will increasingly affect our own prospects. These nations can be the fastest growing market for our exports, as they are today, or they can become sources for new immigration and hostility toward the industrial democracies.
Thus, America's defense, energy, and economic security depend on stability and growth not only among our allies, but among our friends in the Third World. It is unacceptable that the United States ranks 13th among 17 major industrial powers in percentage of GNP devoted to development assistance.
The Democratic Administration will work with the Congress to develop and sustain policies and programs of economic cooperation with the developing nations, guided by the test of mutual interest. We will approach the global negotiations next year on economic relations between the industrial North and developing South in this positive spirit. We will contribute the United States' fair share to the capital of the multilateral development banks and agencies, and we will continue substantial and innovative U.S. programs of direct development assistance to low-income countries.
These policies will be reflected in further concentration of U.S. development assistance in countries that make good use of aid and on programs that address the basic needs of poor people, especially food, health, and voluntary family planning services. We will increase U.S. and multilateral technical and financial assistance to oil-importing nations for the development of their energy resource. The participation of U.S. private enterprises in the economic growth of developing nations will be selectively encouraged, with due regard for our own employment objectives.
We are deeply concerned about the growing problem of world hunger as reported by the President's Commission on World Hunger. We are determined to increase our resources, and to seek a similar increase on the part of other nations, with a view toward solving this problem by the end of the century.
Together with our allies, the Democratic Administration will challenge OPEC and the Communist nations to reach a new collective worldwide commitment to economic development. All sides must increase their contributions for this development, so that the world may escape the spectre of international bankruptcy from rising energy costs and rising burdens of debt. Development in the Third World is vital to international political and economic stability and therefore to our own national security.
In all of our relations with developing nations, we will actively promote the cause of human rights and express America's abhorrence of the denial of freedom.
Our security depends critically on events in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, and Africa, events marked by either the pursuit of goals common to or conflicting with our interests. We will continue to cooperate with key friendly developing nations in security relations and in economic measures ensuring our mutual security. Great care will be exercised in our security assistance activities to avoid stimulating regional arms races or needlessly diverting resources from development to armament.
The Third World
Under the previous Republican Administration relations with the Third World were at their nadir. The United States appeared hostile and indifferent to the developing world's aspirations for greater justice, respect, and dignity. All this has changed.
Latin America and the Caribbean
In stark contrast to the policies of previous Republican Administrations, this Democratic Administration has begun to forge a new, collaborative relationship with nations of Latin America and the Caribbean; one resting on a firm commitment to human rights, democratization, increased economic and industrial development, and non-intervention.
We must now move innovatively to strengthen our ties with our neighbors in the Western Hemisphere, first to obviate any vacuum for outside intervention and second to promote bilateral approaches for social progress and economic development including energy resources.
Through systematic and structural high level attention to the problems of the Western Hemisphere we will mobilize the resources of our government to achieve this end. One such possibility to be considered is to appoint an Under Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere. This would encourage both economic and political freedom throughout the Hemisphere.
We have given particular attention to developing a more balanced relationship with Mexico, a country with which we share so many important interests and also problems.
The successful negotiation of the Panama Canal Treaties—after fourteen fruitless years of effort—was seen as an indication of our willingness to treat Latin America on the basis of mutual respect. With those treaties ratified, the United States in 1980 is not only identified with the cause of human rights and democracy, but also we have opened a new chapter in our relations with the nations of this Hemisphere. Moreover, through regular multilateral consultations at all levels, more balanced relationships with the nations in the region have been forged.
The United States has worked hard to encourage the expansion of democracy in Latin America, respect for human rights, and the preservation of national independence and integrity from the threat of Soviet and Cuban intervention.
For the first time, an approach has been developed and tailored to the unique needs and aspirations of the Caribbean area. The Administration has supported change within a Democratic framework; more than doubled aid programs; and worked with twenty-nine other nations and fifteen international institutions to establish the Caribbean Group for Cooperation in Economic Development, which has quadrupled external aid to the region.
Through strengthened relations with the Caribbean Community and the Andean Pact, the Administration has worked to enhance subregional cooperation as well.
President Carter has worked for peace in the region. By signing Protocol I of the Treaty of Tlatelolco, President Carter has demonstrated his support for nonproliferation objectives in the Hemisphere. We support its ratification. By supporting regional efforts at arms restraints, the United States has taken the lead in trying to reduce the possibilities for conflict in the region.
We reaffirm our commitment to the protection of universally recognized and fundamental human rights throughout the Americas by urging that the Senate ratify the American Convention on Human Rights, which was signed by' President Carter in June 1977.
We will join with other like-minded states in pursuing human fights, democracy, and economic development throughout the region. We will uphold our own law and terminate all aid except for clearly humanitarian purposes to human rights violators. In our relationships with Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti and others throughout the Hemisphere we will press further for respect for human rights and political liberalization. In Central America especially, we will align ourselves with those who are trying to build a better future out of the aftermath of tyranny, corruption and civil war.
We will oppose a spiral of confrontation with Cuba, for its own sake, but we will not evade the real issues between that country and the United States. Under no condition will we accept a Soviet military offensive capability based in Cuba or anywhere else in the Hemisphere.
In order to permit the pursuit of normal relations between our countries, Cuba should stop its disorderly movement of those seeking to leave; it should cooperate with the international community to develop a fair and orderly emigration program; it must withdraw its armed forces from Africa; it must cease subversive activities throughout the Hemisphere; and it should follow the principles of the American Convention on Human Rights.
The establishment of normal diplomatic and economic relations with China is an historic foreign policy achievement.
Progress in U.S.-China relations was stalled in 1977, but with patience, political courage and historic vision, the deadlock was broken by this Democratic Administration.
In the fifteen months since normalization, the benefits of normalization have already become clear: trade, travel, cultural exchange, and, most important of all, the security and stability of the Pacific region is greater now than in any time in this century.
The Democratic Party commits itself to a broadening and deepening of our relationship with China in a way that will benefit both our peoples and the peace and security of the world. We will continue to seek new areas where the United States and China can cooperate in support of common interests. We have not and will not play "China cards" or other dangerous games; nor will we allow our relationship with any other country to impede our efforts to continue the process of normalization of relations with China.
In 1976, the so-called Koreagate affair had badly hurt our ties to Korea. A friendly and increasingly frank dialogue with the Korean government has been promoted. We will continue not only to fulfill our commitment to security, but equally to the promotion of a more democratic government. North and South Korea have renewed their dialogue and made a difficult but hopeful start down a long, uncertain road. In our relationships with the Philippines, Taiwan and others in the region, we will also press for political liberalization and human rights.
With ASEAN, the Democratic Administration has developed a coherent and supportive approach, encouraging the cohesion of those five nations just at the time when their unity was being tested by the Vietnamese aggression in Kampuchea. ASEAN now stands as one of the most viable regional organizations in the world. The Democratic Party recognize the important role the U.S. territories and other emerging island states in the Pacific Basin play in the solidification of defense and economic ties with the ASEAN nations. The Democratic Party commits itself to humanitarian aid to the people of East Timor.
Africa will be of central importance to American foreign policy in the 1980s. By the end of the previous Republican Administration in 1977, the United States had little credibility in Black Africa for they had made little or no attempt to see African problems from an African perspective. Our policy had no clearly defined goals. As a consequence, our attempts to bring an end to the war in Southern Africa were ineffective. We were becoming, in African eyes, irrelevant—even antagonistic—to African aspirations.
The Democratic Administration developed a long-term African policy—a policy that is viable on its own merits and does not treat Africa as an appendage to great power competition. It recognized the need for a new approach to the Continent, an approach based on mutual respect, fundamental concern for human rights and the necessity for economic justice.
Considerable success has been achieved, perhaps most notably in Southern Africa. Our diplomatic efforts there have been instrumental in helping to bring about a peaceful settlement in Rhodesia—now Zimbabwe—while lessening Soviet/Cuban influence in the area. We will continue to assist in the reconstruction and development of an independent Zimbabwe, as a means of promoting stability in the region.
Much remains to be done. Many of the fifty African nations are politically unstable and economically weak—partially as a result of their colonial heritage, but increasingly due to endemic drought and the economic dislocation resulting from ever-rising energy costs.
The Democratic Party pledges itself to continue efforts to improve U.S. relations with all African nations, on the basis of mutual respect and a mutual commitment to enhance economic justice and human dignity everywhere, with particular emphasis on the recurrent problem of drought and starvation. U.S. aid in the form of grain and foodstuffs must be continued but, in addition, we must seek with African governments ways of removing famine permanently from the African Continent.
The Democratic Party pledges itself to the process of economic reconstruction in Zimbabwe within the context of a coherent multi-donor development plan for all the cooperating nations of the Southern African region.
The Democratic Party pledges active support for self-determination in Namibia, and for full social and economic justice for all the peoples of Southern Africa.
The Democratic Administration will press for the withdrawal of Soviet and Cuban troops.
In Southern Africa, we will exert our influence to promote progress toward majority rule and to end the racist system of apartheid. We condemn the brutal suppression of Black Native African people in Soweto and Capetown by the South African regime and support increased political and economic pressure on this oppressive regime, through legal sanctions.
We support increased pressure through legal diplomatic sanctions on the oppressive South African regime. Initially we will divest, under legal procedures, South African holdings of all public institutions and deploy full legal economic sanctions until that government abandons its undemocratic apartheid system.
Following the removal of Cuban troops from Angola, we will seek to normalize relations with Angola. We will strengthen relations with nations committed to the objectives of economic development, respect for human rights and political liberalization. In the western Sahara we will support a negotiated settlement to the conflict.
The United Nations and International Agencies
In each of the regions of the globe, international organizations and agencies will be tested in the coming decade and will play an increasingly crucial role. The United Nations remains the only forum where rich and poor, East and West, and neutral nations can come together to air their grievances, participate in respected forums of world opinion, and find mechanisms to resolve disputes without resort to force. In particular, in recent months the UN has been a forum for expressing the world's condemnation and rejection of both the hostage-taking in Iran and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
The United Nations is also vital in other ways—through its international refugee efforts, coordination of development assistance, support for agricultural research, and worldwide eradication of disease.
In the next decade, international monetary and development institutions will also be under increasing pressure. Their efforts must be expanded to meet more fully the urgent needs of the two-thirds of the world's population which suffers the damaging and depressing effects of underdevelopment.
The United Nations and these agencies perform a vital role in the search for peace. They deserve America's continuing support—and they will receive it from the Democratic Administration. We support the U.S. position on freedom of the press to be voted again in Belgrade during the 1980 UNESCO meeting.
We support the call in Section 503 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 1978, for the United States to make "a major effort toward reforming and restructuring the United Nations system."
We also endorse that portion of the President's report to Congress in March, 1978 on UN reform and restructuring which calls for the Senate "to reexamine the Connally reservation," "the creation of a U.N. Peacekeeping Reserve composed of national contingents trained in peacekeeping functions," the establishment of "a new UN senior post as High Commissioner of Human Rights," and the development of autonomous sources of income for the international community.
We will work toward new structures which will enhance the UN in the fields of economic development, including international trade organizations, higher education, volunteer service, mediation and conciliation, international disarmament, implementation of the Law of the Sea Agreement, and controlling international terrorism.
Into the 1980s
As we look to the 1980s, we have a full and challenging agenda.
With our Allies, we face the challenge of building greater unity of action while preserving the diversity of our democracies. Europe is increasingly united and is finding its own identity and voice. We must forge new links of consultation and revive the political process within the North Atlantic Alliance so that Europe remains America's partner in meeting the challenges to our common security and economic interests. We must find ways to include Japan in this process, broadening the mechanisms for cooperation which exist in current international forums, such as the Seven-Nation Summit.
With the Third World countries, we must continue to do our part in the realization of their aspirations for justice, respect, and freedom. We must continue to work for full political participation by all in South Africa, including independence and majority rule in Namibia. We must work to strengthen democracy in the Caribbean and Central America in the face of efforts by the Cubans to export their failed revolution. Throughout Latin America, we must continue to cooperate for the realization of greater human rights and the fulfillment of basic human needs. In Asia, we must continue to strengthen our relationships with our friends and Allies as they confront the twin dangers flowing from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Soviet-backed invasion of Cambodia.
We must persevere with the Middle East peace process. There is no viable alternative. We can welcome initiatives from other countries so long as they contribute to the Camp David process that is leading toward a comprehensive peace in that region. But we will oppose efforts that undermine Camp David while offering no viable alternative. Our goal is to see the achievement of a comprehensive peace for all parties.
With our defenses, we will continue to meet the requirements of the Administration's five-year defense program, including the deployment of the MX missile, cruise missiles, the Trident submarine, and long-range theater nuclear forces in Europe. At the same time, we intend to increase readiness and strengthen the All-Volunteer Force with a standby system of draft registration. We will continue with our Allies to meet the commitments of the long-term NATO defense program and, as we strengthen our military capabilities and presence in Southwest Asia and the region of the Persian Gulf, we will look to our Allies to assume more of the burden for the defense and security of Europe. Finally, we must recognize that development assistance represents a crucial part of our national security. As such, we may have to make a greater contribution of resources to these programs.
In the field of arms control, in addition to ratification of SALT II, we must proceed to more comprehensive and drastic reductions and qualitative limitations on strategic nuclear forces. SALT III must also include effective limitations and reductions in long-range theater nuclear forces based on the principle of equality. We must pursue to a conclusion a comprehensive test ban, effective curbs in the international traffic of conventional arms and a more rigorously effective international regime to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology. We must bring to at least an initial conclusion the negotiations for mutual and balanced force reductions in Europe. The decade of the 1980s is not to become the decade of violence. We must make renewed efforts to stabilize the arms competition and widen the scrape of arms control arrangements.
As we look to the future, we hope the progress in arms control and the strength and determination we shall demonstrate in the face of Soviet aggression in Afghanistan will soon result in the fashioning of stronger, more productive relationship with the Soviet Union. We favor a genuine detente—one with equivalent benefits to ourselves and the Soviets, one that is based on genuine restraint, one that benefits all mankind by harnessing the enormous potential of our two societies for cooperation rather than competition and confrontation. This will take patience, but we shall persevere for the prize is peace.
By reaffirming America's values as the centerpiece of our foreign policy and by pursuing realistically the requirements of military strength, the Democratic Party is forging a new and broader consensus among the American people in support of our foreign policy. We are turning the tide against the paralysis of despair that came from a tragic war in Asia and political scandal at home. We are restoring America to its rightful place, not only as the strongest nation in the world but as the nation which is the champion of human justice and freedom.
|Citation: Democratic Party Platforms: "Democratic Party Platform of 1980", August 11, 1980. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=29607.|
© 1999-2011 - Gerhard Peters - The American Presidency Project