Jimmy Carter photo

Lynn, Massachusetts Remarks at a State Democratic Party Rally.

October 28, 1978

Speaker O'Neill; Speaker Tom McGee; Senator Ted Kennedy; Paul Tsongas, next Senator from Massachusetts; Ed King, next Governor of Massachusetts; his running mate, Tommy O'Neill, next Lieutenant Governor; my good working companions in Washington, Congressman Harrington, Congressman Markey; Mayor Marino, who has welcomed me so well to Lynn; Mike Connolly, the next secretary of state; Bob Crane, the next treasurer; Francis Bellotti, next attorney general; Thad Buczko, State auditor; and John Marino, who will be the next Congressman from the loth District:

I also want to say that you've already welcomed two great, young newcomers-Jim Shannon, the Fifth Congressional seat candidate, and of course we know Nick Mavroules is a great friend of all of ours, and I welcome you all.

It is an honor for me to come back to Massachusetts. You treated me well in 1976, not only by giving me your votes for President but also by ensuring that I had as the leader of the House of Representatives perhaps the greatest Speaker of all time—I believe the greatest Speaker of all time—Tip O'Neill.

He's been a brother, a father, an adviser, a friend, a counselor, a critic, an adviser. He's a man who believes in his country. He says next year we have four priorities, in increasing order of importance: first, to get hospital cost containment passed; second, to have a SALT agreement ratified; third, to get inflation under control; fourth, to see the Red Sox win the National [American] League pennant, and then go on to win the World Series, right, Tip?

The day after we had a new Polish Pope elected, Tip O'Neill called me up and said, "I've got a good recommendation for the next Secretary of State." I knew before he told me that he was talking about Carl Yastrzemski, and Tip wanted to take him over to the investiture of the new Pope. But when Cy Vance steps down, I'll call on Carl to help me as Secretary of State.

Let me say this in recognition of Ted Kennedy: Of all the hundred Members of the Senate who have given me good support this year, the Senator who has been my most consistent supporter in domestic and foreign affairs has been your great Senator, Ted Kennedy, and I want to thank him in front of all of you.

It's very important that we have representing Massachusetts next year a fine, new Democratic Senator, Paul Tsongas. He represents what the Democratic Party is, a man who believes in meeting basic human needs, a man who's honest, practical, competent, and close to you. He's a man who believes in the economic development of Massachusetts, who wants to put our people back to work. He serves on the Banking Committee. He's responsible for urban affairs. He's responsible as well for defense. He's a very strong supporter of having our Nation have a strong defense capability.

We are now the strongest nation on Earth. And with the help of people like Paul Tsongas, we're going to stay that way, and you can depend on it.

He's one of the leaders in developing for our country a new energy policy. Because of his ability and his knowledge of New England, particularly Massachusetts, he was chosen to serve on the ad hoc committee to develop a new energy bill. And you couldn't go wrong and you won't go wrong Tuesday after next when you elect Paul Tsongas to be the next Senator from your great State.

You've got a good Democratic team in Ed King and Tommy O'Neill. They believe in holding down property taxes. They're tough enough to deliver on promises. They believe in making the city stronger, and they are for the working people. And I hope you'll give them your strong support.

I think you know it's a balanced ticket, and the Democratic Party is certainly broad enough to encompass those who might disagree on some issues. But they believe that their strength, politically, their counsel, when they're in office, will come to you, and I hope you'll give them your strong support.

I'd like to talk just a few minutes about my own administration and the importance of a Democratic team. When I went in office 21 months ago, we had 10 million people in this country who could not find a full-time job. We had 7 million people who could find no jobs at all. When I campaigned through your State in '75 and '76, through Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, the most important single question asked me was, "Can we put our people back to work?" The Congress and I have worked hard at this with the help of great Governors like your own Mike Dukakis, with Governors around the country.

We've cut the unemployment rate already by 25 percent. We've added a net increase of 6 1/2 million jobs. The unemployment rate has dropped l 1/2 million, and we're going to keep on until every person in this country who wants a job can find a job. That's our great task, a very important one.

In Lynn, your employment has gone up twice as fast even as the national average that I've just described to you.

We've lowered taxes. Last year we lowered your income taxes $8 billion, this year almost $20 billion more. We've added good services—for you, the highest increase in allocation of money for education in the history of our Nation. We've also had good programs, as you know, for highways. We've strengthened our country's defense. We're improving the allocation of funds to areas like your own, where the need is greatest. We're rebuilding our cities. We formed a good partnership between local, State, and Federal officials. At the same time, we've seen a need to make our Government more efficient, more effective.

One of the big problems that we had was with our civil service. It was formed 95 years ago. It had never been changed nor improved. Quite often we would have two Federal workers sitting side by side. One would be competent, dedicated, hard-working. The one sitting next to him or her would be incompetent or lazy. With the new civil service reform, we're going to recognize the hard, dedicated worker, and the ones who haven't been working well are going to be reinspired, transferred, or fired. And we're going to let managers manage, and in the future you can depend on your Government being more effective and more efficient.

I think all of you remember just 2 or 3 years ago there was a great dissatisfaction, even distrust of our Federal Government by the people of this country. After the war in Vietnam, after the Watergate scandals, after the embarrassments of the CIA, there was a great feeling that public officials could not be trusted. I advocated that we require a change in accountability of public officials to you, the people of this country.

Under the great leadership of Tip O'Neill, the Congress passed and I signed just this week a new ethics bill. It requires the President, the Vice President, the members of the Cabinet, all top employees in the executive branch of Government, every Member of Congress, all Federal judges, to reveal their net worth, to let you the people know how much income they have and where that income comes from. So, from now on, there will be much less temptation to violate the laws or to do something embarrassing or unethical, and that's a great step forward, thanks to your Speaker and my Speaker, Tip O'Neill.

In addition to better services and lower taxes, I was very concerned in 1976 about the high Federal Government deficit. When I ran for President, the Federal deficit was over $66 billion. I've not been in office yet 2 years, but the Congress and I together have already reduced the deficit by $25 billion. I'm now preparing the 1980 fiscal year budget. I'm going to cut the Federal deficit to less than half what it was when I was elected.

And with the help of the Members of Congress, we've dedicated ourselves, with a strong economy, to having a balanced budget for the Federal Government of the United States in the future.

The biggest problem that I have and that you have still on our shoulders is to control inflation. It robs those who are least able to afford it. The other night I spoke to the Nation on television to outline what I would do as President, what business leaders and employers would do to hold down prices below 6 percent increase per year.

I asked the working people of this country that if we are able to control government waste and spending and hold down prices to also hold down their wage demands. It is going to be a very difficult undertaking. I need your support, and I hope the people of this country will rally to me to control this blight on our economy, give us a stronger nation that can keep jobs coming to us by holding down inflation.

I would like to say one other thing in closing about international affairs. It's very important for our country's military capability to be strong, because with strength comes confidence and influence in the rest of the world. We've tried to provide leadership that in the past was missing. We've not felt a necessity to endorse and support every tinhorn dictatorship around the country [world] 1 that violated human rights. We've tried to raise a banner for our country to follow of common decency, honesty, and self-respect.

1Printed in the transcript.

I think we've been successful to a great degree. As you well know, in times gone by, every time the United Nations met in the fall of the year in New York, our country was embarrassed by being the target of every attack, the butt of every joke. This is no longer the case. And I believe that the nations of Asia, Europe, Africa now see us as a nation that can be trusted, a nation that's strong, a nation that's going to stay strong.

We're negotiating every day with the Soviet Union to bring about a SALT agreement to reduce the threat of atomic weapons that hang over our heads, those of the Soviet Union and indeed the entire world. The Congress has already passed a bill that was called the nonproliferation bill to keep nations who don't presently have atomic weapons from getting them.

The Republican Senator from this State has said that he wants us to put a moratorium on negotiating with the Soviets to limit nuclear weapons. This would be a serious mistake, to stop trying for world peace, to stop trying for nuclear weapons. And as long as I'm in the White House, we'll continue to negotiate to keep our Nation's strength, to cut down on nuclear weapons, and eliminate this great threat from the entire world.

I'm grateful that since I've been in office, not a single American member of our Armed Forces has shed blood in a foreign country. And I hope I can go out of office at the end of my term with that record still intact.

But we're not trying to bring peace just to our own country. We're trying to bring peace in other troubled areas of the world. In Southern Africa, in Namibia, in Rhodesia, in Cyprus, wherever there's a threat of bloodshed that might spread to other countries and eventually to us, we are working day and night to try to alleviate tensions, to eliminate hatred, and to 'build up friendships.

One of the most complicated and longstanding disputes in the entire world, as you know, is in the Middle East. There's no doubt in my mind that the people of Israel want peace. There's no doubt that the people of Egypt want peace. This also applies to those who live on the West Bank, in Jordan, in Syria, in Lebanon.

We've already made some progress. President Sadat, Prime Minister Begin have been very determined and very courageous in seeking common ground on which they could build an agreement. Lately, we have had some problems with the settlement issue on 'the West Bank. There was a chance yesterday that the Egyptian .delegation might withdraw. They had orders to do so. But I contacted President Sadat. This morning, he sent me word that his delegation would stay here and continue to negotiate until there's a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. And I hope before this year is over, I can go over and sign a peace treaty with those two, bring peace to that troubled region.

I'd like to emphasize that the Presidency is sometimes a lonely job. And it's only with a team effort that I can be successful, that the Congress can be successful, that gubernatorial and local officials can be successful in meeting your needs in an effective way.

We have been making progress in lower taxes, better services, a more open government, more effective delivery of the things that you need in your own lives. We've built up our Nation's defense. We've increased the influence and the esteem of our own Nation around the world. We've protected human rights, and we're working hard toward peace. We've put our people back to work, and we are trying to control inflation.

Every one of these issues, many others like them, are very difficult. It requires the support of you and people like you around the country. I can be much more effective in domestic and foreign issues if when I speak, foreign leaders and others know that I don't speak with a hollow voice, that the Congress gives me its backing and that you support me in my efforts to lead this Nation. I hope you'll support the entire Democratic ticket in Massachusetts.

The next 9 or 10 days will be very important to you. I hope that you'll make a small investment of time, money, and your influence to shape the kind of government you will have in the future and elect these fine candidates who have already been chosen in an open, free, democratic primary.

Please do this, because I want to see the Democratic team stay together which has served you so well in Massachusetts. We've got the greatest nation on Earth. If you'll help me and the others on the stage with me in the future, we'll have an even greater nation, the United States of America.

Thank you very much, everybody.

Note: The President spoke at 4:37 p.m. at the Lynn City Hall. In his opening remarks, he referred to Thomas W. McGee, speaker of the house of the Massachusetts General Court.

Jimmy Carter, Lynn, Massachusetts Remarks at a State Democratic Party Rally. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243693

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