Remarks in Lima, Ohio
Thank you very, very much, Kent, Governor Jim Rhodes, Senator Bob Taft, Congressman Tenny Guyer, Congressman Bud Brown, distinguished guests, all you wonderful people from Lima:
I love you. Thank you for coming out. I want to thank these wonderful bands, and may I congratulate the Elida High School baseball team.
I could tell you a lot of good things about Bob Taft and Tenny Guyer, but one thing you are very, very interested in--those two men have worked hard, and they have given more and more and more of their time to get that tank plant here in Lima. And I want to congratulate them.
Let me just speak for a few moments about peace, prosperity, and trust. When I became President of the United States 22 months ago, in August of 1974, this country was in a serious situation.
The American people, for reasons that we all know, had lost their confidence and trust in the White House. One of the first jobs that I had to do was to restore that confidence. And I decided at that time, the only way that a President could do that was to be open, to be frank, to be forthright, to be candid. In the last 22 months, your President has stood for those things; we have had an open administration. And the net result is the American people trust their President and have confidence in the White House.
Twenty-two months ago we were suffering with inflation of 12 percent or higher. Your earnings were being eroded. Your taxes were too high. We were on the brink of a serious recession, the worst one in 40 years. But what have we done? We've turned it around. We have done it the right way. We have reduced inflation from 12 percent or higher to 3 percent or lower. That's a 75-percent reduction in the rate of inflation. That's a darn good record.
A year ago unemployment was going up, employment was going down. We have turned it around. Right now, we have 87,700,000 people gainfully employed-the most jobs in the history of the United States. And that is a darn good record. Incidentally, we have added 3,600,000 jobs in the last 12 months, 300,000 jobs in the last month. But, I am not satisfied. I won't be satisfied until we get a job for everybody who wants a job and will look for a job.
Twenty-two months ago our Federal taxes were too high. In 1975 we cut Federal taxes a total of some $23 billion--75 percent of it going to individuals and 25 percent of it going to business.
When I submitted the budget for this coming fiscal year, in January of this year, I decided that Federal spending was too high, and I recommended a 50-percent cut in the growth of Federal spending. And we're going to do better than that. And if the irresponsible Members of the Congress--none of these people sitting up here--send me some budget-busting, deficit-spending bills, I will veto them again and again and again.
But in January of this year, I decided we ought to have another tax cut. That's the way to give all of you an opportunity to spend your money, instead of having the bureaucrats in Washington spend it. So, I recommended a $10 billion tax cut to begin July 1, which would include the increase of your personal exemptions from $750 per person to $1,000 per person. So, get the Congress to do it.
Now, let's talk about peace. When I became President, we were still at war some 8,000 miles away. That war has been ended. We have achieved the peace. We have the military capability, we have the diplomatic skill to keep the peace. And I can assure you that this administration, because we're strong, because we are skillful, because the American people have the will and the resolution, we're going to keep the peace in the future, period.
I might .remind you, there is not an American boy fighting on foreign soil and dying today. Thank goodness for that. I might add, there isn't a single young man out of the 2,100,000 who was drafted. They're all volunteers. And nobody getting through high school or college is under the eye of the draft, and the Ford administration will keep it that way in the future.
But let's take just a minute--that election tomorrow is a vitally important one. It will probably decide who's going to be the Republican nominee for the Presidency. Let me ask you a question: Do you want a Republican candidate for the Presidency who can win, or do you want one who's going to lose? I say, vote for Ford. You have a candidate who will win.
Let me ask you one other question about that election tomorrow. We can't have the right kind of Government in Washington, we can't have the right kind of government in your great State of Ohio, unless we have more Republicans in the State legislatures, unless we have more Republicans in the Congress. You want a candidate at the head of the ticket in the national election for November that can help Bob Taft get reelected--that is vitally important--that will help Tenny Guyer, that will help Bud Brown, that will help us get more candidates elected, so the Republican President can have a working majority to get the job done, to cut spending, to reduce taxes, to keep the peace, and to keep the confidence and trust that the American people demand of their Government in the Nation's Capital.
Let me just conclude with this: You know, those of us who come from Michigan, we love you Buckeyes, we love Woody Hayes1--[laughter]--and I love him particularly because he came out and endorsed me. [Laughter] But let me say this: You know, you like to beat us up in Michigan. Well, a couple of weeks ago, the voters of Michigan gave me a 65-percent majority.
BYSTANDER. We'll beat it.
THE PRESIDENT. That's what I want to hear. Nothing would make me happier than for the State of Ohio, those big Buckeyes, to beat us, the record we set in Michigan of 65 percent. Do it, and you'll have a good President for the next 4 years.
Thank you very much.
1 Head coach of the Ohio State University football team.
Note: The President spoke at 5:27 p.m. at the Lima Mail. In his opening remarks, he referred to Kent McGough, Ohio State Republican chairman.
Gerald R. Ford, Remarks in Lima, Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/257407