Richard Nixon photo

Excerpts of Remarks of the Vice President of the United States at West Orange, NJ

October 04, 1960

My opponent shows a flair for fashioning promises to audiences. To groups and regions are offered custom-made promises in the flowing guise of moving America ahead.

I say that America is far more than the sum of the conflicting wishes of our sections and groups. The Presidency is not the property of any bloc or special interest; it must be the office of all - all Americans.

Our real new frontier lies, not in fragmenting the Nation's interests but in uniting the national purpose.

I refer today to my opponent's new farm program. Though presented in South Dakota and framed as an appeal to farmers, it directly concerns every American citizen. In fact, the impact of his program on nonfarmers would be more dramatic than any farm program ever seriously advanced in our country.

You are entitled to know exactly how his farm program would affect you. Here are the facts - they were prepared by career farm and food experts.

(1) Senator Kennedy's plan would run overall food costs up by 25 percent. This means that, if ever his farm program of planned scarcity were adopted, you would find these results at your grocery store:

For every quart of milk you would pay almost 6 cents more.

For a dozen eggs you would pay 28 cents more.

For chicken you would pay about 22 cents a pound more.

For pork you would pay about 23 cents a pound more.

For choice beef you would pay about 15 cents a pound more.

For every loaf of bread you would pay about 2 cents more.

And so on, up and down the aisles in your grocery store.

That's what my opponent's farm plan would do for all Americans, including those least able to pay - run up their grocery bills by 25 percent. Even a sales tax - which has been recommended by Mr. Galbraith - one of the Senator's closest advisers - would do less damage to the average-income citizen on his food bills.

(2) That isn't all. By raising food costs, his plan would also force up the Consumer Price Index - often called the cost-of-living - by at least 6 percent. First wages, then prices, all across the land - right here, and every place else - would be affected. The Kennedy plan is planned inflation.

(3) Next, Senator Kennedy would cut, throughout America, the supply of beef and pork per person below what we had during the rationing days of World War II. He would raise beef and pork prices by making meat scarce.

(4) But even that isn't all. Senator Kennedy would throw onto the unemployment rolls approximately 1 million people now engaged in serving the needs of farm people and handling their products.

(5) He would do even more. He would cut the size of the farm output by about one-fifth, or about the equivalent of another million jobs. Farmers would be driven off farms in shocking numbers. They would be forced to compete with city workers in a desperate effort to find jobs.

(6) In addition, the Senator would raise Government costs. Take just wheat as an example. The subsidy involved in exporting each bushel of wheat would go from a comparable 50 cents today to at least $1.75.

(7) Finally, his plan would unavoidably make America second rate certain farm products. Mr. Khrushchev publicly boasts of his intention to catch up with the United States in the production of such farm products as meat and milk. If Senator Kennedy's plan is put into effect, Mr. Khrushchev can realize his ambition for a number of farm products. That specific ally includes milk.

I must add that my opponent's plan would be no better for farmers than for consumers. I have already pointed out that he would liquidate one out of every five farm jobs. He would also tighten the grip of Government controls, at least quadruple the number of Federal inspectors who enforce Government regulations. He would have the American farmer sell his freedom for a price.

Thus he would deny to the American people the advantages of the scientific advances in agriculture during our generation.

This is a reactionary farm program, seriously advanced, that would wreak havoc on farmer and consumer alike.

I challenge the Senator to refute this analysis.

I challenge him to admit to the American people that he plans to raise their food costs by 25 percent.

I challenge him to deny that he would cut your meat supply below the World War II rationing level.

I challenge him to concede that he is proposing to abolish a million farm jobs and another million nonfarm jobs.

I challenge him to disprove that his plan will be inflationary throughout the economy.

Richard Nixon, Excerpts of Remarks of the Vice President of the United States at West Orange, NJ Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project