Today, as we set our minds to a new season of work, we begin what I hope will be a new age of the American worker, an age in which all of us again are free to prosper.
Together, we’ve swept away many government-created obstacles to our prosperity. In our fight against inflation and high interest rates, we enacted the largest budget cuts ever considered by the Congress. We produced the first real tax cut for working men and women in nearly 20 years. We slowed the pace of federal rule-making. We saw to it our money supply followed a pattern of slow, stable growth.
These dramatic changes in economic policy are the dynamic result of millions of individuals coming together, committed to preserving a society where we can each seek our own goals, assured of the freedom to climb as high as our own drive, ambition and talent can take us.
Let me make our goal in this program very clear: jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs … .
We built this great nation, built it to surpass the highest standards ever imagined, through the hard work of our people. I would match the American worker against any in the world. The people whose labor fuels our industry and economy are among the most productive anywhere.
But too many Americans don’t have a job, and too many Americans who do, don’t have the tools they need to compete. Past, stagnated policies have made it too difficult to modernize and too risky to expand. Our people, our workers, have cried out for change, and in the last seven months have achieved a historic reversal of the failed policies of an era gone by. We returned to the principles that made us great.
Legislation now in effect has dawned a new age for American workers, an age in which once again we are free to achieve all that we can … .
All of us must take advantage of the incentives for savings, investment and hard work that have been restored. I urge American workers who traditionally saved to make their families secure to do so again. I urge American investors who traditionally took risks to make a profit to do so again. I urge American workers to save and invest, because I believe that when our economic program takes full effect, Americans again will be rewarded for working extra hours or assuming more responsibility.
In a few short months, we’ve accomplished much. But merely signing legislation is not going to bring about an instant cure. We’re only beginning a recovery that will take many long months. We’re only beginning to emerge from an economic crisis still gripping the rest of the world … .
As President Eisenhower told us once: A crisis can be deadly when inert men are smothered in despair. But a crisis also can be the sharpest goad to our creative energies, particularly when we recognize it as a challenge and move to meet it in faith, in thought and in courage. We must act today in the name of generations still to come.
As we work to solve our economic problems, let us tap that well of human spirit. For too many years now, we’ve trusted numbers and computers. We’ve trusted balance sheets, organizational charts, policies and systems. We’ve placed trust in rules, regulations and government dictates. I think it’s about time that we placed trust in ourselves and in each other.