Gerald R. Ford photo

Exchange With Reporters on Arrival at Newark, New Jersey.

June 06, 1976

GOOD MORNING, everybody. It's nice to be in New Jersey again. I have been here a good many times, but it's nice to be back here today. I deeply appreciate Senator Case and the Members of the congressional delegation. And it's nice to have an opportunity to make a comment or two.

We got some additional good economic news last Friday. The Department of Labor indicated that for the fourth successive month we have shown an all-time high in employment throughout the United States. On Friday, they announced that 87,700,000 people had jobs in the United States, an all-time high. It showed a 300,000 gain in the last month, and it indicates a 3,600,000 gain in the last 12 months.

Unemployment is going down, but it's still too high. And personally, I will not be satisfied until every American who wants a job has a job. The economic policies we have tried to follow, when we had the recession a year ago, I think, are turning out right. The economy is moving again.

A year ago, I recommended and the Congress approved a tax decrease, and that has been very effective and extremely helpful. In addition, last October I recommended a substantial reduction in the growth of Federal spending and an additional $10 billion tax reduction, including an increase in personal exemptions from $750 a person to $1,000 per person. So far, the Congress has responded in part on the reduction in expenditures, but it is still $17 billion more than I proposed.

So far, there has not been action on the additional $10 billion recommended for tax reduction. I hope and trust that between now and adjournment we can further curtail Federal spending so that the American people will have more money to spend for themselves, rather than having the Government do it for them. And I hope before adjournment the Congress can additionally reduce Federal taxes.

These are the kind of economic policies that have turned this country around and have started us on a road to economic prosperity and better times in the future. I am convinced that the American economy is strong and it's going to get better, and that we'll have the kind of economic prosperity that is essential.

I say, again, I thank the congressional delegation for being here this morning, and it is a pleasure to be in New Jersey. I'll be glad to answer a few questions.

REPORTER. Any predictions about how you will do in New Jersey?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I think we will do well in New Jersey, and--

Q. How well?

THE PRESIDENT. I never pick percentages or numbers. But the Republican delegation indicates to me that the volunteers and the county leaders and the leadership in the State are working hard. And with the record we have, I think we will do well.

Q. Mr. President, Morris Udall has said he would leave it to the New Jersey State officials to solve the tax problems in causing public schools to close on July 1. Do you agree with Mr. Udall, or do you support a new tax program in the State?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't think I should comment on what the State of New Jersey should do about its home tax matters. The Federal Government does contribute significantly to educational programs in the State of New Jersey, as it does everywhere, but the State tax matters ought to be decided by the State legislature and the Governor.

Q. There is a statement that I've heard that Mayor Gibson has said wherever America is going, Newark will get there first. In some ways that might not be too good. Do you feel there is anything that the Federal Government can do to help improve where urban centers like Newark are going?

THE PRESIDENT. I've had a number of meetings with Mayor Gibson; we've talked about what the Federal Government can do. For instance, we have to extend the general revenue sharing program. That would bring a significant amount of money, about $10 million to the city here. That would be very, very helpful. And if Congress does not pass general revenue sharing, it will put a very, very serious crimp in Mayor Gibson's plan to continue what he has been doing with general revenue sharing for the last 4 years.

In addition, we have the community development program, which makes a significant contribution to Mayor Gibson's effort to rebuild the city. There are those two programs, plus a number of others, that can be very helpful.

Q. Mr. President, I wonder, did you authorize the TV ads in the State of California, and are you going to withdraw them?

THE PRESIDENT. The President Ford Committee made that decision. The President Ford Committee I have faith in. I approve the concept, because I personally wanted my record known that I would not, under any circumstances, commit U.S. military personnel, U.S. troops, to Rhodesia or southern Africa.

Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 11:54 a.m. at Newark International Airport.

Gerald R. Ford, Exchange With Reporters on Arrival at Newark, New Jersey. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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