Ronald Reagan picture

Remarks at a Reagan-Bush Rally in Cupertino, California

September 03, 1984

The President. Well, thank you very much.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!
The President. All right.

Well, Governor Deukmejian, Senator Wilson, Congressman Zschau, ladies and gentlemen, thank you all very much. And a great, big thank you to the De Anza Dons for allowing us to use your field.

Well, happy Labor Day. I just want you to know how happy Nancy and I feel being with you today. You know, it started yesterday when I got on Air Force One. I couldn't help but thinking: California, here I come. But I've come to ask a simple question: Will you take freedom's next step with me so we can continue the new beginning we made 4 years ago? [Applause]

You know, I've been traveling around the country quite a bit recently, and I've been noticing something—and please correct me if I'm wrong—but it does seem that Americans look happier than they looked 4 years ago when we were campaigning. You seem like people who even believe in your future again. As a matter of fact, you seem like you're better off than you were 4 years ago.

Now, I know that you don't want to hear about interest rates that reached their worst peak since the Civil War, back in 1980, and about double-digit inflation, or about huge, unfair tax increases on working families, growth that ground to a halt, or about the loss of freedom and steady decline of U.S. leadership abroad. So, I won't talk about those things. And believe me, our opponents don't want to talk about them either. But we want to talk about the present and the future, about what Americans are doing together, and what we must continue to do to make America great again and let the eagle soar.

What we've done for 21 straight months, and what we must continue to do, is create powerful economic growth while keeping the inflation monster locked in his cage. And that's how we've created what our European friends are calling the American miracle.

What we've done, and must continue to do, is help restore an environment in which traditional values can flourish—family, work, neighborhood, freedom, and faith in God.

In those values lies the heart of a good and decent people and the golden hopes of a nation as generous and peaceful as the world has ever known. We're seeing a rebirth of these values, not to return to some mythical past, but to build on strengths for a creative future as we renew the quest for excellence at all levels of our society.

What we've done, what we must continue to do, is keep America prepared for peace with freedom and human dignity by being prepared to deter aggression, by bringing steadiness to American foreign policy, by being prepared to pursue all possible avenues for arms reductions, by ensuring that our economic strength leads the way to greater stability through growth and human progress, and by having the spiritual strength and self-confidence to reach out to our adversaries.

And what we've done and must continue to do is to help push back our newest frontiers in education, high technology, and space. America has always been greatest when she dared to be great. I'm convinced we will be leaders in developing these frontiers, because the American people would rather reach for the stars than reach for excuses why we shouldn't.

We can forget that pack of pessimists that are roaming our land. If we strengthen incentives, invest fully in new technologies, and strive for new breakthroughs in productivity, then we can outproduce, outcompete, and outsell anybody, anytime, anywhere in the world. And as we use our knowledge to help older industries modernize and help develop new sunrise industries, we can create a bounty of new opportunities, jobs, and improvements in the quality of life surpassing anything that we've ever before dreamed or imagined.

My friends, this we can do if you'll give us your support. The truth is, we've already got a good start, so I hope I'll be forgiven for pointing out one difference between ourselves and our opponents. We believe in high tech, not high taxes. The Silicon Valley produces some of the most advanced technology in the world. I'm told that you actually have a computer that was able to add up all the promises that have been made by the other side. But when that computer tried to add up all the tax increases it would take to pay for them, it blew a fuse.

They intend to fund their campaign promises by raising taxes more than $1,500, on the average, per household.
Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. Now, I knew that that wasn't what you thought your future should be. The future we're building is not one of special interest groups, one or another, but for all the people. And let me offer a little proof in the form of a question. Which major industrial nation today has the strongest economic growth, 7.6 percent for the last quarter?
Audience. U.S.A.!

The President. Inflation of only 4.1 percent?
Audience. U.S.A.!

The President. Labor force participation at an all-time high, the fastest rate of job creation, 6 1/2 million more people working the last 19 months alone? A record 600,000 business incorporations last year? The fastest rate of business investment in 40 years? Handsome productivity gains, the largest increase in real, after-tax personal income since 1973? And, yes, leadership in developing jobs and markets for the future in science and high technology, both on Earth and in outer space?

I figure you know which nation fits all of those, and its initials are U.S.A.!
Audience. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The President. Thank you. The American people deserve all the credit for the way that you've pulled us from the depths of the economic mess that we were left with. I think the American people have trouble understanding why some people persist in distorting the facts.

Just night before last, a high-ranking official at the AFL-CIO was interviewed on national television. Now, it's hard for me to understand why someone in his position could be as unknowing as he seemed to be about the national employment situation. He charged that our tax program was beneficial to the rich only, and yet, even after they got all that money, there had been very little investment in production facilities to provide new jobs, so, he said, unemployment was getting worse.

Well, he might like to know that there are more people today than ever in our nation's history who are employed. And, as I just noted, more than 6 million new jobs have been created in less than 2 years. In the auto industry, there are nearly 150,000 more people employed than were working in that industry in 1980. As far as business and industrial investment, I just pointed out, it is at the fastest rate of any recovery since World War II.

Now, I wonder if he knows that a short time ago, his AFL-CIO was supportive of those who wanted to cancel the third year of our tax cut and cancel indexing. That cancellation—
Audience. Boo-o-o!
The President. —that would have dumped about three-quarters, 74 percent of the tax increase, on all those earning below $50,000 a year. And when he accused me of plotting to destroy the unions, does he know that I'm the only fellow that ever held this job who is a lifetime member of an AFL-CIO union? I was six times president of my union, and I led it in the first strike that it ever had to call.

Now, with distortions like these, our detractors would like to have you think we've made no progress.

You know, they remind me of a baseball rookie. He had a kind of a know-it-all manager. And it was a crucial game in the pennant race and tied up in the bottom of the ninth. And they put him in as a pinch hitter. And he boomed one way out over right center field and clear over the bleachers into the street. And, of course, by the time he rounded third and headed for the plate, he had a broad grin on his face. Got to the dugout and that manager, that know-it-all manager, was waiting for him. And the first thing he said was, "Your stance was all wrong. You were awkward up there. You held your arms too high." And when he paused for a breath in his criticism, the kid says, "Yeah, but how was it for distance?" [Laughter]

Today, America is moving in a new direction. For the first time since the administration of John Kennedy, the flow of earnings and power from the people to the Government is not increasing, it's going the other way—flowing from the Government back to the people. And we intend to keep on going in this new direction for a brighter future.

We want to enact an historic reform of tax simplification that makes the system easier to understand, fair to all, and that can bring everyone's tax rates further down, not up. Might we consider taking our cue from our Olympic athletes? Rather than discourage risktaking and punish success, rather than raise taxes, let's go for growth, and let's go for the gold.

We want to handcuff the big spenders by enacting a line-item veto and a constitutional amendment mandating that government spend no more than government takes in. Now, you know there are some that say you can't do that. Well, right here in California we have both of those here in our constitution. I used that veto more than 900 times when I was Governor here, and our budget stayed balanced. And your Governor now stands ready and is armed with that, and that's why you have surpluses and balanced budgets.
Audience. Duke! Duke! Duke!

The President. We're pushing for something called enterprise zones so people can get off unemployment and welfare and get the chance for decent jobs that they deserve. Our dream is to help every American climb as high as he or she can go. Now, isn't that more compassionate than keeping people down in dependency for the rest of their lives? That enterprise zones legislation is bottled up by the majority leadership in the House.
Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. We think that it's time for every American to have the protection, also, of our anticrime package; time for spouses working in the home to receive the same rights for IRA's as spouses working outside the home; and time for working families who pay to send their children to parochial and independent schools—and pay their full share at the same time of taxes to support the public schools—that they should receive the simple justice of tuition tax credits.

Now, the trouble is our opponents treat each new idea the old-fashioned way—they spurn it, they turn it down. You know, I hate to say this, but the age factor may play a part in this election. No, not mine. It's their ideas are too old.

Now, the party whose nomination that I hold may be the minority party for now, but we have the majority of good and new ideas. We believe in opportunity and opportunity for all. GOP doesn't stand just for Grand Old Party, it also stands for great opportunity party. We believe that everyone deserves an even place at the starting line. And the more we encourage economic development, the more jobs that are created-jobs for young people just getting out of school, jobs for people denied opportunity in the past—the more all Americans can share in a dynamic, exciting future.

And let me make one thing plain today: We will not be satisfied until all Americans understand that they're welcome with us and belong with us. The Republican Party won't be complete again until more black Americans feel that it is their home again. The Republican Party won't be complete until Hispanic Americans and every individual in this country understands that we are the party of opportunity, the party of growth, the party of the future—and that party is America's party.

We take no one for granted. We don't think we "own" any group. We consider nobody "ours." We do not appeal to envy, and we don't seek to divide and conquer. What Abe Lincoln said once must be said again: A house divided cannot stand.

To all those Democrats who were loyal to the party of F.D.R., Harry Truman, and J.F.K., but who see that its current leaders have changed it, that they no longer stand firmly for America's responsibilities in the world, that they no longer protect the working people of this country, we say to them: Our arms are open. Join us.

I believe in my heart that by changing our country these past 3 1/2 years we're making it a better country—a country of greater freedom, opportunity, confidence, and hope. And that's the America I'm working for this year. That's the America I intend to work for in the next 4 years.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Well, my dream for America—and I know it's one you share—is to be the kind of success story that this valley has—see that story multiply a million times. And with you by our side, we'll make history again, and our victory will be America's victory.
And now, I just want to thank all of you for sharing this afternoon with us. God bless you all. Thank you.
Audience. Reagan! Reagan! Reagan!

The President. And you send this Congressman Zschau back to Washington. We need him.
All right. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke at 3:32 p.m. in the track and field area of the De Anza Community College. He was introduced by Gov. George Deukmejian.

Following his remarks, the President traveled to Salt Lake City, UT, and went to the Little America Hotel, where he remained overnight.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks at a Reagan-Bush Rally in Cupertino, California Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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