Richard Nixon photo

Statement of the Vice President of the United States, on Farm Problem, Casper, WY

November 04, 1960

Last minute opposition tactics are becoming more and more desperate.

Yesterday, in Amarillo, Mr. Kennedy charged me with using what he called "the blackmailer's tactic" in dealing with the farm problem.

By now my opponent has obviously decided to bury his own fantastic farm program and, instead, to fill the air with ominous sounding countercharges.

What does he object to?

He objects to my indictment of his farm program as threatening intolerable bureaucratic controls on our farmers and ranchers, and of raising the price of food by 25 percent. He says this sets city against country.

He is the one who, if he gets his way, would set city against country.

I did not dream up this indictment.

Career experts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture objectively analyzed his proposals - as he himself said in Sioux Falls, S. Dak., they could do "without difficulty" - and made public a report setting forth their conclusions.

I have challenged him to disprove it. He has not done so. He cannot, because it is based on hard, real analysis.

Nor is this the only evidence available to the American people.

Henry A. Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture under President Franklin D. Roosevelt - and certainly no political ally of mine - says that the Kennedy farm plan will result in controls on farmers stricter than those imposed in many Communist countries.

Why will the Kennedy farm plan mean police-state type controls?

The 60 percent of American agriculture that has, until now, been virtually free would be brought under rigid control of Washington deskbound farmers and ranchers.

That means controls on cattlemen and other agricultural producers here in Wyoming and elsewhere.

A slashing of 20 percent of U.S. agricultural marketings would have to be carried out under the Kennedy farm plan. That would include a 14- to 17-percent cutback in marketings of cattle and calves. It would mean a 38- to 46-percent cutback in wheat, and so on down the line.

The experts flatly say that under the Kennedy farm plan, a million jobs would be cut out of the farm and another million lost in the towns and cities by workers who transport, process, and handle crops.

The experts further say that to carry out the Kennedy farm plan would require an additional 50,000 Federal inspectors to enforce the new controls on our farms and ranches. Penalties would have to be severe and jail sentences would zoom for noncompliance.

Another prospective effect of all this on the price of food - say the experts - is to jump the price of food by 25 percent.

These are the facts Mr. Kennedy objects to hearing and to having you hear.

This is what farm and ranch people ought to know about this totalitarian farm plan. This is what consumers ought to know about it.

I challenge him again - as I have for weeks - to defend his farm folly, or forget it.

The American people are waiting.

Richard Nixon, Statement of the Vice President of the United States, on Farm Problem, Casper, WY Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project