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´╗┐Title: State of the Union Addresses
Author: Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "State of the Union Addresses" ***

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State of the Union Addresses of Richard Nixon

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Dates of addresses by Richard Nixon in this eBook:

  January 22, 1970
  January 22, 1971
  January 20, 1972
  February 2, 1973
  January 30, 1974


State of the Union Address
Richard Nixon
January 22, 1970

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, my colleagues in the Congress, our
distinguished guests and my fellow Americans:

To address a joint session of the Congress in this great Chamber in which I
was once privileged to serve is an honor for which I am deeply grateful.

The State of the Union Address is traditionally an occasion for a lengthy
and detailed account by the President of what he has accomplished in the
past, what he wants the Congress to do in the future, and, in an election
year, to lay the basis for the political issues which might be decisive in
the fall.

Occasionally there comes a time when profound and far-reaching events
command a break with tradition. This is such a time.

I say this not only because 1970 marks the beginning of a new decade in
which America will celebrate its 200th birthday. I say it because new
knowledge and hard experience argue persuasively that both our programs and
our institutions in America need to be reformed.

The moment has arrived to harness the vast energies and abundance of this
land to the creation of a new American experience, an experience richer and
deeper and more truly a reflection of the goodness and grace of the human

The seventies will be a time of new beginnings, a time of exploring both on
the earth and in the heavens, a time of discovery. But the time has also
come for emphasis on developing better ways of managing what we have and of
completing what man's genius has begun but left unfinished.

Our land, this land that is ours together, is a great and a good land. It
is also an unfinished land, and the challenge of perfecting it is the
summons of the seventies.

It is in that spirit that I address myself to those great issues facing our
Nation which are above partisanship.

When we speak of America's priorities the first priority must always be
peace for America and the world.

The major immediate goal of our foreign policy is to bring an end to the
war in Vietnam in a way that our generation will be remembered not so much
as the generation that suffered in war, but more for the fact that we had
the courage and character to win the kind of a just peace that the next
generation was able to keep.

We are making progress toward that goal.

The prospects for peace are far greater today than they were a year ago.

A major part of the credit for this development goes to the Members of this
Congress who, despite their differences on the conduct of the war, have
overwhelmingly indicated their support of a just peace. By this action, you
have completely demolished the enemy's hopes that they can gain in
Washington the victory our fighting men have denied them in Vietnam.

No goal could be greater than to make the next generation the first in this
century in which America was at peace with every nation in the world.

I shall discuss in detail the new concepts and programs designed to achieve
this goal in a separate report on foreign policy, which I shall submit to
the Congress at a later date.

Today, let me describe the directions of our new policies.

We have based our policies on an evaluation of the world as it is, not as
it was 25 years ago at the conclusion of World War II. Many of the policies
which were necessary and right then are obsolete today.

Then, because of America's overwhelming military and economic strength,
because of the weakness of other major free world powers and the inability
of scores of newly independent nations to defend, or even govern,
themselves, America had to assume the major burden for the defense of
freedom in the world.

In two wars, first in Korea and now in Vietnam, we furnished most of the
money, most of the arms, most of the men to help other nations defend their

Today the great industrial nations of Europe, as well as Japan, have
regained their economic strength; and the nations of Latin America--and
many of the nations who acquired their freedom from colonialism after World
War II in Asia and Africa--have a new sense of pride and dignity and a
determination to assume the responsibility for their own defense.

That is the basis of the doctrine I announced at Guam.

Neither the defense nor the development of other nations can be exclusively
or primarily an American undertaking.

The nations of each part of the world should assume the primary
responsibility for their own well-being; and they themselves should
determine the terms of that well-being.

We shall be faithful to our treaty commitments, but we shall reduce our
involvement and our presence in other nations' affairs.

To insist that other nations play a role is not a retreat from
responsibility; it is a sharing of responsibility.

The result of this new policy has been not to weaken our alliances, but to
give them new life, new strength, a new sense of common purpose.

Relations with our European allies are once again strong and healthy, based
on mutual consultation and mutual responsibility.

We have initiated a new approach to Latin America in which we deal with
those nations as partners rather than patrons.

The new partnership concept has been welcomed in Asia. We have developed an
historic new basis for Japanese-American friendship and cooperation, which
is the linchpin for peace in the Pacific.

If we are to have peace in the last third of the century, a major factor
will be the development of a new relationship between the United States and
the Soviet Union.

I would not underestimate our differences, but we are moving with precision
and purpose from an era of confrontation to an era of negotiation.

Our negotiations on strategic arms limitations and in other areas will have
far greater chance for success if both sides enter them motivated by mutual
self-interest rather than naive sentimentality.

It is with this same spirit that we have resumed discussions with Communist
China in our talks at Warsaw.

Our concern in our relations with both these nations is to avoid a
catastrophic collision and to build a solid basis for peaceful settlement
of our differences.

I would be the last to suggest that the road to peace is not difficult and
dangerous, but I believe our new policies have contributed to the prospect
that America may have the best chance since World War II to enjoy a
generation of uninterrupted peace. And that chance will be enormously
increased if we continue to have a relationship between Congress and the
Executive in which, despite differences in detail, where the security of
America and the peace of mankind are concerned, we act not as Republicans,
not as Democrats, but as Americans.

As we move into the decade of the seventies, we have the greatest
opportunity for progress at home of any people in world history.

Our gross national product will increase by $500 billion in the next 10
years. This increase alone is greater than the entire growth of the
American economy from 1790 to 1950.

The critical question is not whether we will grow, but how we will use that

The decade of the sixties was also a period of great growth economically.
But in that same 10-year period we witnessed the greatest growth of crime,
the greatest increase in inflation, the greatest social unrest in America
in 100 years. Never has a nation seemed to have had more and enjoyed it

At heart, the issue is the effectiveness of government.

Ours has become--as it continues to be, and should remain--a society of
large expectations. Government helped to generate these expectations. It
undertook to meet them. Yet, increasingly, it proved unable to do so.

As a people, we had too many visions--and too little vision.

Now, as we enter the seventies, we should enter also a great age of reform
of the institutions of American government.

Our purpose in this period should not be simply better management of the
programs of the past. The time has come for a new quest--a quest not for a
greater quantity of what we have, but for a new quality of life in

A major part of the substance for an unprecedented advance in this Nation's
approach to its problems and opportunities is contained in more than two
score legislative proposals which I sent to the Congress last year and
which still await enactment.

I will offer at least a dozen more major programs in the course of this

At this point I do not intend to go through a detailed listing of what I
have proposed or will propose, but I would like to mention three areas in
which urgent priorities demand that we move and move now:

First, we cannot delay longer in accomplishing a total reform of our
welfare system. When a system penalizes work, breaks up homes, robs
recipients of dignity, there is no alternative to abolishing that system
and adopting in its place the program of income support, job training, and
work incentives which I recommended to the Congress last year.

Second, the time has come to assess and reform all of our institutions of
government at the Federal, State, and local level. It is time for a New
Federalism, in which, after 190 years of power flowing from the people and
local and State governments to Washington, D.C., it will begin to flow from
Washington back to the States and to the people of the United States.

Third, we must adopt reforms which will expand the range of opportunities
for all Americans. We can fulfill the American dream only when each person
has a fair chance to fulfill his own dreams. This means equal voting
rights, equal employment opportunity, and new opportunities for expanded
ownership. Because in order to be secure in their human rights, people need
access to property rights.

I could give similar examples of the need for reform in our programs for
health, education, housing, transportation, as well as other critical areas
which directly affect the well-being of millions of Americans.

The people of the United States should wait no longer for these reforms
that would so deeply enhance the quality of their life.

When I speak of actions which would be beneficial to the American people, I
can think of none more important than for the Congress to join this
administration in the battle to stop the rise in the cost of living.

Now, I realize it is tempting to blame someone else for inflation. Some
blame business for raising prices. Some blame unions for asking for more

But a review of the stark fiscal facts of the 1960's clearly demonstrates
where the primary blame for rising prices must be placed.

In the decade of the sixties the Federal Government spent $57 billion more
than it took in in taxes.

In that same decade the American people paid the bill for that deficit in
price increases which raised the cost of living for the average family of
four by $200 per month in America.

Now millions of Americans are forced to go into debt today because the
Federal Government decided to go into debt yesterday. We must balance our
Federal budget so that American families will have a better chance to
balance their family budgets.

Only with the cooperation of the Congress can we meet this highest priority
objective of responsible government. We are on the right track.

We had a balanced budget in 1969. This administration cut more than $7
billion out of spending plans in order to produce a surplus in 1970, and in
spite of the fact that Congress reduced revenues by $3 billion, I shall
recommend a balanced budget for 1971.

But I can assure you that not only to present, but to stay within, a
balanced budget requires some very hard decisions. It means rejecting
spending programs which would benefit some of the people when their net
effect would result in price increases for all the people.

It is time to quit putting good money into bad programs. Otherwise, we will
end up with bad money and bad programs.

I recognize the political popularity of spending programs, and particularly
in an election year. But unless we stop the rise in prices, the cost of
living for millions of American families will become unbearable and
government's ability to plan programs for progress for the future will
become impossible.

In referring to budget cuts, there is one area where I have ordered an
increase rather than a cut--and that is the requests of those agencies with
the responsibilities for law enforcement.

We have heard a great deal of overblown rhetoric during the sixties in
which the word "war" has perhaps too often been used--the war on poverty,
the war on misery, the war on disease, the war on hunger. But if there is
one area where the word "war" is appropriate it is in the fight against
crime. We must declare and win the war against the criminal elements which
increasingly threaten our cities, our homes, and our lives.

We have a tragic example of this problem in the Nation's Capital, for whose
safety the Congress and the Executive have the primary responsibility. I
doubt if many Members of this Congress who live more than a few blocks from
here would dare leave their cars in the Capitol garage and walk home alone

Last year this administration sent to the Congress 13 separate pieces of
legislation dealing with organized crime, pornography, street crime,
narcotics, crime in the District of Columbia.

None of these bills has reached my desk for signature.

I am confident that the Congress will act now to adopt the legislation I
placed before you last year. We in the Executive have done everything we
can under existing law, but new and stronger weapons are needed in that

While it is true that State and local law enforcement agencies are the
cutting edge in the effort to eliminate street crime, burglaries, murder,
my proposals to you have embodied my belief that the Federal Government
should play a greater role in working in partnership with these agencies.

That is why 1971 Federal spending for local law enforcement will double
that budgeted for 1970.

The primary responsibility for crimes that affect individuals is with local
and State rather than with Federal Government. But in the field of
organized crime, narcotics, pornography, the Federal Government has a
special responsibility it should fulfill. And we should make Washington,
D.C., where we have the primary responsibility, an example to the Nation
and the world of respect for law rather than lawlessness.

I now turn to a subject which, next to our desire for peace, may well
become the major concern of the American people in the decade of the

In the next 10 years we shall increase our wealth by 50 percent. The
profound question is: Does this mean we will be 50 percent richer in a real
sense, 50 percent better off, 50 percent happier?

Or does it mean that in the year 1980 the President standing in this place
will look back on a decade in which 70 percent of our people lived in
metropolitan areas choked by traffic, suffocated by smog, poisoned by
water, deafened by noise, and terrorized by crime?

These are not the great questions that concern world leaders at summit
conferences. But people do not live at the summit. They live in the
foothills of everyday experience, and it is time for all of us to concern
ourselves with the way real people live in real life.

The great question of the seventies is, shall we surrender to our
surroundings, or shall we make our peace with nature and begin to make
reparations for the damage we have done to our air, to our land, and to our

Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond party and beyond
factions. It has become a common cause of all the people of this country.
It is a cause of particular concern to young Americans, because they more
than we will reap the grim consequences of our failure to act on programs
which are needed now if we are to prevent disaster later.

Clean air, clean water, open spaces--these should once again be the
birthright of every American. If we act now, they can be.

We still think of air as free. But clean air is not free, and neither is
clean water. The price tag on pollution control is high. Through our years
of past carelessness we incurred a debt to nature, and now that debt is
being called.

The program I shall propose to Congress will be the most comprehensive and
costly program in this field in America's history.

It is not a program for just one year. A year's plan in this field is no
plan at all. This is a time to look ahead not a year, but 5 years or 10
years--whatever time is required to do the job.

I shall propose to this Congress a $10 billion nationwide clean waters
program to put modern municipal waste treatment plants in every place in
America where they are needed to make our waters clean again, and do it
now. We have the industrial capacity, if we begin now, to build them all
within 5 years. This program will get them built within 5 years.

As our cities and suburbs relentlessly expand, those priceless open spaces
needed for recreation areas accessible to their people are swallowed
up--often forever. Unless we preserve these spaces while they are still
available, we will have none to preserve. Therefore, I shall propose new
financing methods for purchasing open space and parklands now, before they
are lost to us.

The automobile is our worst polluter of the air. Adequate control requires
further advances in engine design and fuel composition. We shall intensify
our research, set increasingly strict standards, and strengthen enforcement
procedures--and we shall do it now.

We can no longer afford to consider air and water common property, free to
be abused by anyone without regard to the consequences. Instead, we should
begin now to treat them as scarce resources, which we are no more free to
contaminate than we are free to throw garbage into our neighbor's yard.

This requires comprehensive new regulations. It also requires that, to the
extent possible, the price of goods should be made to include the costs of
producing and disposing of them without damage to the environment.

Now, I realize that the argument is often made that there is a fundamental
contradiction between economic growth and the quality of life, so that to
have one we must forsake the other.

The answer is not to abandon growth, but to redirect it. For example, we
should turn toward ending congestion and eliminating smog the same
reservoir of inventive genius that created them in the first place.

Continued vigorous economic growth provides us with the means to enrich
life itself and to enhance our planet as a place hospitable to man.

Each individual must enlist in this fight if it is to be won.

It has been said that no matter how many national parks and historical
monuments we buy and develop, the truly significant environment for each of
us is that in which we spend 80 percent of our time--in our homes, in our
places of work, the streets over which we travel.

Street litter, rundown parking strips and yards, dilapidated fences, broken
windows, smoking automobiles, dingy working places, all should be the
object of our fresh view.

We have been too tolerant of our surroundings and too willing to leave it
to others to clean up our environment. It is time for those who make
massive demands on society to make some minimal demands on themselves. Each
of us must resolve that each day he will leave his home, his property, the
public places of the city or town a little cleaner, a little better, a
little more pleasant for himself and those around him.

With the help of people we can do anything, and without their help, we can
do nothing. In this spirit, together, we can reclaim our land for ours and
generations to come.

Between now and the year 2000, over 100 million children will be born in
the United States. Where they grow up--and how--will, more than any one
thing, measure the quality of American life in these years ahead.

This should be a warning to us.

For the past 30 years our population has also been growing and shifting.
The result is exemplified in the vast areas of rural America emptying out
of people and of promise--a third of our counties lost population in the

The violent and decayed central cities of our great metropolitan complexes
are the most conspicuous area of failure in American life today.

I propose that before these problems become insoluble, the Nation develop a
national growth policy.

In the future, government decisions as to where to build highways, locate
airports, acquire land, or sell land should be made with a clear objective
of aiding a balanced growth for America.

In particular, the Federal Government must be in a position to assist in
the building of new cities and the rebuilding of old ones.

At the same time, we will carry our concern with the quality of life in
America to the farm as well as the suburb, to the village as well as to the
city. What rural America needs most is a new kind of assistance. It needs
to be dealt with, not as a separate nation, but as part of an overall
growth policy for America. We must create a new rural environment which
will not only stem the migration to urban centers, but reverse it. If we
seize our growth as a challenge, we can make the 1970's an historic period
when by conscious choice we transformed our land into what we want it to

America, which has pioneered in the new abundance, and in the new
technology, is called upon today to pioneer in meeting the concerns which
have followed in their wake--in turning the wonders of science to the
service of man.

In the majesty of this great Chamber we hear the echoes of America's
history, of debates that rocked the Union and those that repaired it, of
the summons to war and the search for peace, of the uniting of the people,
the building of a nation.

Those echoes of history remind us of our roots and our strengths.

They remind us also of that special genius of American democracy, which at
one critical turning point after another has led us to spot the new road to
the future and given us the wisdom and the courage to take it.

As I look down that new road which I have tried to map out today, I see a
new America as we celebrate our 200th anniversary 6 years from now.

I see an America in which we have abolished hunger, provided the means for
every family in the Nation to obtain a minimum income, made enormous
progress in providing better housing, faster transportation, improved
health, and superior education.

I see an America in which we have checked inflation, and waged a winning
war against crime.

I see an America in which we have made great strides in stopping the
pollution of our air, cleaning up our water, opening up our parks,
continuing to explore in space.

Most important, I see an America at peace with all the nations of the

This is not an impossible dream. These goals are all within our reach.

In times past, our forefathers had the vision but not the means to achieve
such goals.

Let it not be recorded that we were the first American generation that had
the means but not the vision to make this dream come true.

But let us, above all, recognize a fundamental truth. We can be the best
clothed, best fed, best housed people in the world, enjoying clean air,
clean water, beautiful parks, but we could still be the unhappiest people
in the world without an indefinable spirit--the lift of a driving dream
which has made America, from its beginning, the hope of the world.

Two hundred years ago this was a new nation of 3 million people, weak
militarily, poor economically. But America meant something to the world
then which could not be measured in dollars, something far more important
than military might.

Listen to President Thomas Jefferson in 1802: We act not "for ourselves
alone, but for the whole human race."

We had a spiritual quality then which caught the imagination of millions of
people in the world.

Today, when we are the richest and strongest nation in the world, let it
not be recorded that we lack the moral and spiritual idealism which made us
the hope of the world at the time of our birth.

The demands of us in 1976 are even greater than in 1776.

It is no longer enough to live and let live. Now we must live and help

We need a fresh climate in America, one in which a person can breathe
freely and breathe in freedom.

Our recognition of the truth that wealth and happiness are not the same
thing requires us to measure success or failure by new criteria.

Even more than the programs I have described today, what this Nation needs
is an example from its elected leaders in providing the spiritual and moral
leadership which no programs for material progress can satisfy.

Above all, let us inspire young Americans with a sense of excitement, a
sense of destiny, a sense of involvement, in meeting the challenges we face
in this great period of our history. Only then are they going to have any
sense of satisfaction in their lives.

The greatest privilege an individual can have is to serve in a cause bigger
than himself. We have such a cause.

How we seize the opportunities I have described today will determine not
only our future, but the future of peace and freedom in this world in the
last third of the century.

May God give us the wisdom, the strength and, above all, the idealism to be
worthy of that challenge, so that America can fulfill its destiny of being
the world's best hope for liberty, for opportunity, for progress and peace
for all peoples.


State of the Union Address
Richard Nixon
January 22, 1971

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, my colleagues in the Congress, our
distinguished guests, my fellow Americans:

As this 92d Congress begins its session, America has lost a great Senator,
and all of us who had the privilege to know him have lost a loyal friend. I
had the privilege of visiting Senator Russell in the hospital just a few
days before he died. He never spoke about himself. He only spoke eloquently
about the need for a strong national defense. In tribute to one of the most
magnificent Americans of all time, I respectfully ask that all those here
will rise in silent prayer for Senator Russell.

Thank you.

Mr. Speaker, before I begin my formal address, I want to use this
opportunity to congratulate all of those who were winners in the rather
spirited contest for leadership positions in the House and the Senate and,
also, to express my condolences to the losers. I know how both of you

And I particularly want to join with all of the Members of the House and
the Senate as well in congratulating the new Speaker of the United States

To those new Members of this House who may have some doubts about the
possibilities for advancement in the years ahead, I would remind you that
the Speaker and I met just 24 years ago in this Chamber as freshmen Members
of the 80th Congress. As you see, we both have come up in the world a bit
since then.

Mr. Speaker, this 92d Congress has a chance to be recorded as the greatest
Congress in America's history.

In these troubled years just past, America has been going through a long
nightmare of war and division, of crime and inflation. Even more deeply, we
have gone through a long, dark night of the American spirit. But now that
night is ending. Now we must let our spirits soar again. Now we are ready
for the lift of a driving dream.

The people of this Nation are eager to get on with the quest for new
greatness. They see challenges, and they are prepared to meet those
challenges. It is for us here to open the doors that will set free again
the real greatness of this Nation--the genius of the American people.

How shall we meet this challenge? How can we truly open the doors, and set
free the full genius of our people?

The way in which the 92d Congress answers these questions will determine
its place in history. More importantly, it can determine this Nation's
place in history as we enter the third century of our independence.

Tonight I shall present to the Congress six great goals. I shall ask not
simply for more new programs in the old framework. I shall ask to change
the framework of government itself---to reform the entire structure of
American government so we can make it again fully responsive to the needs
and the wishes of the American people.

If we act boldly--if we seize this moment and achieve these goals--we can
close the gap between promise and performance in American government. We
can bring together the resources of this Nation and the spirit of the
American people.

In discussing these great goals, I shall deal tonight only with matters on
the domestic side of the Nation's agenda. I shall make a separate report to
the Congress and the Nation next month on developments in foreign policy.

The first of these great goals is already before the Congress.

I urge that the unfinished business of the 91st Congress be made the first
priority business of the 92d Congress.

Over the next 2 weeks, I will call upon Congress to take action on more
than 35 pieces of proposed legislation on which action was not completed
last year.

The most important is welfare reform.

The present welfare system has become a monstrous, consuming outrage--an
outrage against the community, against the taxpayer, and particularly
against the children it is supposed to help.

We may honestly disagree, as we do, on what to do about it. But we can all
agree that we must meet the challenge, not by pouring more money into a bad
program, but by abolishing the present welfare system and adopting a new

So let us place a floor under the income of every family with children in
America--and without those demeaning, soul-stifling affronts to human
dignity that so blight the lives of welfare children today. But let us also
establish an effective work incentive and an effective work requirement.

Let us provide the means by which more can help themselves. This shall be
our goal.

Let us generously help those who are not able to help themselves. But let
us stop helping those who are able to help themselves but refuse to do so.

The second great goal is to achieve what Americans have not enjoyed since
1957--full prosperity in peacetime.

The tide of inflation has turned. The rise in the cost of living, which had
been gathering dangerous momentum in the late sixties, was reduced last
year. Inflation will be further reduced this year.

But as we have moved from runaway inflation toward reasonable price
stability and at the same time as we have been moving from a wartime
economy to a peacetime economy, we have paid a price in increased

We should take no comfort from the fact that the level of unemployment in
this transition from a wartime to a peacetime economy is lower than in any
peacetime year of the sixties.

This is not good enough for the man who is unemployed in the seventies. We
must do better for workers in peacetime and we will do better.

To achieve this, I will submit an expansionary budget this year--one that
will help stimulate the economy and thereby open up new job opportunities
for millions of Americans.

It will be a full employment budget, a budget designed to be in balance if
the economy were operating at its peak potential. By spending as if we were
at full employment, we will help to bring about full employment.

I ask the Congress to accept these expansionary policies--to accept the
concept of a full employment budget. At the same time, I ask the Congress
to cooperate in resisting expenditures that go beyond the limits of the
full employment budget. For as we wage a campaign to bring about a widely
shared prosperity, we must not reignite the fires of inflation and so
undermine that prosperity.

With the stimulus and the discipline of a full employment budget, with the
commitment of the independent Federal Reserve System to provide fully for
the monetary needs of a growing economy, and with a much greater effort on
the part of labor and management to make their wage and price decisions in
the light of the national interest and their own self-interest--then for
the worker, the farmer, the consumer, for Americans everywhere we shall
gain the goal of a new prosperity: more jobs, more income, more profits,
without inflation and without war.

This is a great goal, and one that we can achieve together.

The third great goal is to continue the effort so dramatically begun last
year: to restore and enhance our natural environment.

Building on the foundation laid in the 37-point program that I submitted to
Congress last year, I will propose a strong new set of initiatives to clean
up our air and water, to combat noise, and to preserve and restore our

I will propose programs to make better use of our land, to encourage a
balanced national growth--growth that will revitalize our rural heartland
and enhance the quality of life in America.

And not only to meet today's needs but to anticipate those of tomorrow, I
will put forward the most extensive program ever proposed by a President of
the United States to expand the Nation's parks, recreation areas, open
spaces, in a way that truly brings parks to the people where the people
are. For only if we leave a legacy of parks will the next generation have
parks to enjoy.

As a fourth great goal, I will offer a far-reaching set of proposals for
improving America's health care and making it available more fairly to more

I will propose:

--A program to insure that no American family will be prevented from
obtaining basic medical care by inability to pay.

--I will propose a major increase in and redirection of aid to medical
schools, to greatly increase the number of doctors and other health

--Incentives to improve the delivery of health services, to get more
medical care resources into those areas that have not been adequately
served, to make greater use of medical assistants, and to slow the alarming
rise in the costs of medical care.

--New programs to encourage better preventive medicine, by attacking the
causes of disease and injury, and by providing incentives to doctors to
keep people well rather than just to treat them when they are sick.

I will also ask for an appropriation of an extra $100 million to launch an
intensive campaign to find a cure for cancer, and I will ask later for
whatever additional funds can effectively be used. The time has come in
America when the same kind of concentrated effort that split the atom and
took man to the moon should be turned toward conquering this dread disease.
Let us make a total national commitment to achieve this goal.

America has long been the wealthiest nation in the world. Now it is time we
became the healthiest nation in the world.

The fifth great goal is to strengthen and to renew our State and local

As we approach our 200th anniversary in 1976, we remember that this Nation
launched itself as a loose confederation of separate States, without a
workable central government. At that time, the mark of its leaders' vision
was that they quickly saw the need to balance the separate powers of the
States with a government of central powers.

And so they gave us a constitution of balanced powers, of unity with
diversity--and so clear was their vision that it survives today as the
oldest written constitution still in force in the world.

For almost two centuries since--and dramatically in the 1930's--at those
great turning points when the question has been between the States and the
Federal Government, that question has been resolved in favor of a stronger
central Federal Government.

During this time the Nation grew and the Nation prospered. But one thing
history tells us is that no great movement goes in the same direction
forever. Nations change, they adapt, or they slowly die.

The time has now come in America to reverse the flow of power and resources
from the States and communities to Washington, and start power and
resources flowing back from Washington to the States and communities and,
more important, to the people all across America.

The time has come for a new partnership between the Federal Government and
the States and localities--a partnership in which we entrust the States and
localities with a larger share of the Nation's responsibilities, and in
which we share our Federal revenues with them so that they can meet those

To achieve this goal, I propose to the Congress tonight that we enact a
plan of revenue sharing historic in scope and bold in concept.

All across America today, States and cities are confronted with a financial
crisis. Some have already been cutting back on essential services---for
example, just recently San Diego and Cleveland cut back on trash
collections. Most are caught between the prospects of bankruptcy on the one
hand and adding to an already crushing tax burden on the other.

As one indication of the rising costs of local government, I discovered the
other day that my home town of Whittier, California--which has a population
of 67,000--has a larger budget for 1971 than the entire Federal budget was
in 1791.

Now the time has come to take a new direction, and once again to introduce
a new and more creative balance to our approach to government.

So let us put the money where the needs are. And let us put the power to
spend it where the people are.

I propose that the Congress make a $16 billion investment in renewing
State and local government. Five billion dollars of this will be in new and
unrestricted funds to be used as the States and localities see fit. The
other $11 billion will be provided by allocating $1 billion of new funds
and converting one-third of the money going to the present narrow-purpose
aid programs into Federal revenue sharing funds for six broad purposes--for
urban development, rural development, education, transportation, job
training, and law enforcement--but with the States and localities making
their own decisions on how it should be spent within each category.

For the next fiscal year, this would increase total Federal aid to the
States and localities more than 25 percent over the present level.

The revenue sharing proposals I send to the Congress will include the
safeguards against discrimination that accompany all other Federal funds
allocated to the States. Neither the President nor the Congress nor the
conscience of this Nation can permit money which comes from all the people
to be used in a way which discriminates against some of the people.

The Federal Government will still have a large and vital role to play in
achieving our national progress. Established functions that are clearly and
essentially Federal in nature will still be performed by the Federal
Government. New functions that need to be sponsored or performed by the
Federal Government--such as those I have urged tonight in welfare and
health--will be added to the Federal agenda. Whenever it makes the best
sense for us to act as a whole nation, the Federal Government should and
will lead the way. But where States or local governments can better do what
needs to be done, let us see that they have the resources to do it there.

Under this plan, the Federal Government will provide the States and
localities with more money and less interference--and by cutting down the
interference the same amount of money will go a lot further.

Let us share our resources.

Let us share them to rescue the States and localities from the brink of
financial crisis.

Let us share them to give homeowners and wage earners a chance to escape
from ever-higher property taxes and sales taxes.

Let us share our resources for two other reasons as well.

The first of these reasons has to do with government itself, and the second
has to do with each of us, with the individual.

Let's face it. Most Americans today are simply fed up with government at
all levels. They will not--and they should not--continue to tolerate the
gap between promise and performance in government.

The fact is that we have made the Federal Government so strong it grows
muscle-bound and the States and localities so weak they approach

If we put more power in more places, we can make government more creative
in more places. That way we multiply the number of people with the ability
to make things happen--and we can open the way to a new burst of creative
energy throughout America.

The final reason I urge this historic shift is much more personal, for each
and for every one of us.

As everything seems to have grown bigger and more complex in America, as
the forces that shape our lives seem to have grown more distant and more
impersonal, a great feeling of frustration has crept across this land.

Whether it is the workingman who feels neglected, the black man who feels
oppressed, or the mother concerned about her children, there has been a
growing feeling that "Things are in the saddle, and ride mankind."

Millions of frustrated young Americans today are crying out--asking not
what will government do for me, but what can I do, how can I contribute,
how can I matter?

And so let us answer them. Let us say to them and let us say to all
Americans, "We hear you. We will give you a chance. We are going to give
you a new chance to have more to say about the decisions that affect your
future--a chance to participate in government--because we are going to
provide more centers of power where what you do can make a difference that
you can see and feel in your own life and the life of your whole

The further away government is from people, the stronger government becomes
and the weaker people become. And a nation with a strong government and a
weak people is an empty shell.

I reject the patronizing idea that government in Washington, D.C., is
inevitably more wise, more honest, and more efficient than government at
the local or State level. The honesty and efficiency of government depends
on people. Government at all levels has good people and bad people. And the
way to get more good people into government is to give them more
opportunity to do good things.

The idea that a bureaucratic elite in Washington knows best what is best
for people everywhere and that you cannot trust local governments is really
a contention that you cannot trust people to govern themselves. This notion
is completely foreign to the American experience. Local government is the
government closest to the people, it is most responsive to the individual
person. It is people's government in a far more intimate way than the
Government in Washington can ever be.

People came to America because they wanted to determine their own future
rather than to live in a country where others determined their future for

What this change means is that once again in America we are placing our
trust in people.

I have faith in people. I trust the judgment of people. Let us give the
people of America a chance, a bigger voice in deciding for themselves those
questions that so greatly affect their lives.

The sixth great goal is a complete reform of the Federal Government

Based on a long and intensive study with the aid of the best advice
obtainable, I have concluded that a sweeping reorganization of the
executive branch is needed if the Government is to keep up with the times
and with the needs of the people.

I propose, therefore, that we reduce the present 12 Cabinet Departments to

I propose that the Departments of State, Treasury, Defense, and Justice
remain, but that all the other departments be consolidated into four: Human
Resources, Community Development, Natural Resources, and Economic

Let us look at what these would be:

--First, a department dealing with the concerns of people--as individuals,
as members of a family--a department focused on human needs.

--Second, a department concerned with the community--rural communities and
urban communities--and with all that it takes to make a community function
as a community.

--Third, a department concerned with our physical environment, with the
preservation and balanced use of those great natural resources on which our
Nation depends.

--And fourth, a department concerned with our prosperity--with our jobs,
our businesses, and those many activities that keep our economy running
smoothly and well.

Under this plan, rather than dividing up our departments by narrow
subjects, we would organize them around the great purposes of government.
Rather than scattering responsibility by adding new levels of bureaucracy,
we would focus and concentrate the responsibility for getting problems

With these four departments, when we have a problem we will know where to
go--and the department will have the authority and the resources to do
something about it.

Over the years we have added departments and created agencies at the
Federal level, each to serve a new constituency, to handle a particular
task--and these have grown and multiplied in what has become a hopeless
confusion of form and function.

The time has come to match our structure to our purposes---to look with a
fresh eye, to organize the Government by conscious, comprehensive design to
meet the new needs of a new era.

One hundred years ago, Abraham Lincoln stood on a battlefield and spoke of
a "government of the people, by the people, for the people." Too often
since then, we have become a nation of the Government, by the Government,
for the Government.

By enacting these reforms, we can renew that principle that Lincoln stated
so simply and so well.

By giving everyone's voice a chance to be heard, we will have government
that truly is of the people.

By creating more centers of meaningful power, more places where decisions
that really count can be made, by giving more people a chance to do
something, we can have government that truly is by the people.

And by setting up a completely modern, functional system of government at
the national level, we in Washington will at last be able to provide
government that is truly for the people.

I realize that what I am asking is that not only the executive branch in
Washington but that even this Congress will have to change by giving up
some of its power.

Change is hard. But without change there can be no progress. And for each
of us the question then becomes, not "Will change cause me inconvenience?"
but "Will change bring progress for America?"

Giving up power is hard. But I would urge all of you, as leaders of this
country, to remember that the truly revered leaders in world history are
those who gave power to people, and not those who took it away.

As we consider these reforms we will be acting, not for the next 2 years or
for the next 10 years, but for the next 100 years.

So let us approach these six great goals with a sense not only of this
moment in history but also of history itself.

Let us act with the willingness to work together and the vision and the
boldness and the courage of those great Americans who met in Philadelphia
almost 190 years ago to write a constitution.

Let us leave a heritage as they did--not just for our children but for
millions yet unborn--of a nation where every American will have a chance
not only to live in peace and to enjoy prosperity and opportunity but to
participate in a system of government where he knows not only his votes but
his ideas count--a system of government which will provide the means for
America to reach heights of achievement undreamed of before.

Those men who met at Philadelphia left a great heritage because they had a
vision--not only of what the Nation was but of what it could become.

As I think of that vision, I recall that America was founded as the land of
the open door--as a haven for the oppressed, a land of opportunity, a place
of refuge, of hope.

When the first settlers opened the door of America three and a half
centuries ago, they came to escape persecution and to find opportunity--and
they left wide the door of welcome for others to follow.

When the Thirteen Colonies declared their independence almost two centuries
ago, they opened the door to a new vision of liberty and of human
fulfillment--not just for an elite but for all.

To the generations that followed, America's was the open door that beckoned
millions from the old world to the new in search of a better life, a freer
life, a fuller life, and in which, by their own decisions, they could shape
their own destinies.

For the black American, the Indian, the Mexican-American, and for those
others in our land who have not had an equal chance, the Nation at last has
begun to confront the need to press open the door of full and equal
opportunity, and of human dignity.

For all Americans, with these changes I have proposed tonight we can open
the door to a new era of opportunity. We can open the door to full and
effective participation in the decisions that affect their lives. We can
open the door to a new partnership among governments at all levels, between
those governments and the people themselves. And by so doing, we can open
wide the doors of human fulfillment for millions of people here in America
now and in the years to come.

In the next few weeks I will spell out in greater detail the way I propose
that we achieve these six great goals. I ask this Congress to be
responsive. If it is, then the 92d Congress, your Congress, our Congress,
at the end of its term, will be able to look back on a record more splendid
than any in our history.

This can be the Congress that helped us end the longest war in the Nation's
history, and end it in a way that will give us at last a genuine chance to
enjoy what we have not had in this century: a full generation of peace.

This can be the Congress that helped achieve an expanding economy, with
full employment and without inflation--and without the deadly stimulus of

This can be the Congress that reformed a welfare system that has robbed
recipients of their dignity and robbed States and cities of their

This can be the Congress that pressed forward the rescue of our
environment, and established for the next generation an enduring legacy of
parks for the people.

This can be the Congress that launched a new era in American medicine, in
which the quality of medical care was enhanced while the costs were made
less burdensome.

But above all, what this Congress can be remembered for is opening the way
to a new American revolution--a peaceful revolution in which power was
turned back to the people--in which government at all levels was refreshed
and renewed and made truly responsive. This can be a revolution as
profound, as far-reaching, as exciting as that first revolution almost 200
years ago--and it can mean that just 5 years from now America will enter
its third century as a young nation new in spirit, with all the vigor and
the freshness with which it began its first century.

My colleagues in the Congress, these are great goals. They can make the
sessions of this Congress a great moment for America. So let us pledge
together to go forward together--by achieving these goals to give America
the foundation today for a new greatness tomorrow and in all the years to
come, and in so doing to make this the greatest Congress in the history of
this great and good country.


State of the Union Address
Richard Nixon
January 20, 1972

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, my colleagues in the Congress, our
distinguished guests, my fellow Americans:

Twenty-five years ago I sat here as a freshman Congressman--along with
Speaker Albert--and listened for the first time to the President address
the State of the Union.

I shall never forget that moment. The Senate, the diplomatic corps, the
Supreme Court, the Cabinet entered the Chamber, and then the President of
the United States. As all of you are aware, I had some differences with
President Truman. He had some with me. But I remember that on that day--the
day he addressed that joint session of the newly elected Republican 80th
Congress, he spoke not as a partisan, but as President of all the
people--calling upon the Congress to put aside partisan considerations in
the national interest.

The Greek-Turkish aid program, the Marshall Plan, the great foreign policy
initiatives which have been responsible for avoiding a world war for over
25 years were approved by the 80th Congress, by a bipartisan majority of
which I was proud to be a part.

Nineteen hundred seventy-two is now before us. It holds precious time in
which to accomplish good for the Nation. We must not waste it. I know the
political pressures in this session of the Congress will be great. There
are more candidates for the Presidency in this Chamber today than there
probably have been at any one time in the whole history of the Republic.
And there is an honest difference of opinion, not only between the parties,
but within each party, on some foreign policy issues and on some domestic
policy issues.

However, there are great national problems that are so vital that they
transcend partisanship. So let us have our debates. Let us have our honest
differences. But let us join in keeping the national interest first. Let us
join in making sure that legislation the Nation needs does not become
hostage to the political interests of any party or any person.

There is ample precedent, in this election year, for me to present you with
a huge list of new proposals, knowing full well that there would not be any
possibility of your passing them if you worked night and day.

I shall not do that.

I have presented to the leaders of the Congress today a message of 15,000
words discussing in some detail where the Nation stands and setting forth
specific legislative items on which I have asked the Congress to act. Much
of this is legislation which I proposed in 1969, in 1970, and also in the
first session of this 92d Congress and on which I feel it is essential that
action be completed this year.

I am not presenting proposals which have attractive labels but no hope of
passage. I am presenting only vital programs which are within the capacity
of this Congress to enact, within the capacity of the budget to finance,
and which I believe should be above partisanship--programs which deal with
urgent priorities for the Nation, which should and must be the subject of
bipartisan action by this Congress in the interests of the country in

When I took the oath of office on the steps of this building just 3 years
ago today, the Nation was ending one of the most tortured decades in its

The 1960's were a time of great progress in many areas. But as we all know,
they were also times of great agony--the agonies of war, of inflation, of
rapidly rising crime, of deteriorating titles, of hopes raised and
disappointed, and of anger and frustration that led finally to violence and
to the worst civil disorder in a century.

I recall these troubles not to point any fingers of blame. The Nation was
so torn in those final years of the sixties that many in both parties
questioned whether America could be governed at all.

The Nation has made significant progress in these first years of the

Our cities are no longer engulfed by civil disorders.

Our colleges and universities have again become places of learning instead
of battlegrounds.

A beginning has been made in preserving and protecting our environment.

The rate of increase in crime has been slowed--and here in the District of
Columbia, the one city where the Federal Government has direct
jurisdiction, serious crime in 1971 was actually reduced by 13 percent from
the year before.

Most important, because of the beginnings that have been made, we can say
today that this year 1972 can be the year in which America may make the
greatest progress in 25 years toward achieving our goal of being at peace
with all the nations of the world.

As our involvement in the war in Vietnam comes to an end, we must now go on
to build a generation of peace.

To achieve that goal, we must first face realistically the need to maintain
our defense.

In the past 3 years, we have reduced the burden of arms. For the first time
in 20 years, spending on defense has been brought below spending on human

As we look to the future, we find encouraging progress in our negotiations
with the Soviet Union on limitation of strategic arms. And looking further
into the future, we hope there can eventually be agreement on the mutual
reduction of arms. But until there is such a mutual agreement, we must
maintain the strength necessary to deter war.

And that is why, because of rising research and development costs, because
of increases in military and civilian pay, because of the need to proceed
with new weapons systems, my budget for the coming fiscal year will provide
for an increase in defense spending.

Strong military defenses are not the enemy of peace; they are the guardians
of peace.

There could be no more misguided set of priorities than one which would
tempt others by weakening America, and thereby endanger the peace of the

In our foreign policy, we have entered a new era. The world has changed
greatly in the 11 years since President John Kennedy said in his Inaugural
Address, "... we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship,
support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success
of liberty."

Our policy has been carefully and deliberately adjusted to meet the new
realities of the new world we live in. We make today only those commitments
we are able and prepared to meet.

Our commitment to freedom remains strong and unshakable. But others must
bear their share of the burden of defending freedom around the world.

And so this, then, is our policy:

--We will maintain a nuclear deterrent adequate to meet any threat to the
security of the United States or of our allies.

--We will help other nations develop the capability of defending

--We will faithfully honor all of our treaty commitments.

--We will act to defend our interests, whenever and wherever they are
threatened anyplace in the world.

--But where our interests or our treaty commitments are not involved, our
role will be limited.

--We will not intervene militarily.

--But we will use our influence to prevent war.

--If war comes, we will use our influence to stop it.

--Once it is over, we will do our share in helping to bind up the wounds of
those who have participated in it.

As you know, I will soon be visiting the People's Republic of China and the
Soviet Union. I go there with no illusions. We have great differences with
both powers. We shall continue to have great differences. But peace depends
on the ability of great powers to live together on the same planet despite
their differences.

We would not be true to our obligation to generations yet unborn if we
failed to seize this moment to do everything in our power to insure that we
will be able to talk about those differences, rather than to fight about
them, in the future.

As we look back over this century, let us, in the highest spirit of
bipartisanship, recognize that we can be proud of our Nation's record in
foreign affairs.

America has given more generously of itself toward maintaining freedom,
preserving peace, alleviating human suffering around the globe, than any
nation has ever done in the history of man.

We have fought four wars in this century, but our power has never been used
to break the peace, only to keep it; never been used to destroy freedom,
only to defend it. We now have within our reach the goal of insuring that
the next generation can be the first generation in this century to be
spared the scourges of war.

Turning to our problems at home, we are making progress toward our goal of
a new prosperity without war.

Industrial production, consumer spending, retail sales, personal income all
have been rising. Total employment, real income are the highest in history.
New home building starts this past year reached the highest level ever.
Business and consumer confidence have both been rising. Interest rates are
down. The rate of inflation is down. We can look with confidence to 1972 as
the year when the back of inflation will be broken.

Now, this a good record, but it is not good enough--not when we still have
an unemployment rate of 6 percent.

It is not enough to point out that this was the rate of the early peacetime
years of the sixties, or that if the more than 2 million men released from
the Armed Forces and defense-related industries were still in their wartime
jobs, unemployment would be far lower.

Our goal in this country is full employment in peacetime. We intend to meet
that goal, and we can.

The Congress has helped to meet that goal by passing our job-creating tax
program last month.

The historic monetary agreements, agreements that we have reached with the
major European nations, Canada, and Japan, will help meet it by providing
new markets for American products, new jobs for American workers.

Our budget will help meet it by being expansionary without being
inflationary--a job-producing budget that will help take up the gap as the
economy expands to full employment.

Our program to raise farm income will help meet it by helping to revitalize
rural America, by giving to America's farmers their fair share of America's
increasing productivity.

We also will help meet our goal of full employment in peacetime with a set
of major initiatives to stimulate more imaginative use of America's great
capacity for technological advance, and to direct it toward improving the
quality of life for every American.

In reaching the moon, we demonstrated what miracles American technology is
capable of achieving. Now the time has come to move more deliberately
toward making full use of that technology here on earth, of harnessing the
wonders of science to the service of man.

I shall soon send to the Congress a special message proposing a new program
of Federal partnership in technological research and development--with
Federal incentives to increase private research, federally supported
research on projects designed to improve our everyday lives in ways that
will range from improving mass transit to developing new systems of
emergency health care that could save thousands of lives annually.

Historically, our superior technology and high productivity have made it
possible for American workers to be the highest paid in the world by far,
and yet for our goods still to compete in world markets.

Now we face a new situation. As other nations move rapidly forward in
technology, the answer to the new competition is not to build a wall around
America, but rather to remain competitive by improving our own technology
still further and by increasing productivity in American industry.

Our new monetary and trade agreements will make it possible for American
goods to compete fairly in the world's markets--but they still must
compete. The new technology program will put to use the skills of many
highly trained Americans, skills that might otherwise be wasted. It will
also meet the growing technological challenge from abroad, and it will thus
help to create new industries, as well as creating more jobs for America's
workers in producing for the world's markets.

This second session of the 92d Congress already has before it more than 90
major Administration proposals which still await action.

I have discussed these in the extensive written message that I have
presented to the Congress today.

They include, among others, our programs to improve life for the aging; to
combat crime and drug abuse; to improve health services and to ensure that
no one will be denied needed health care because of inability to pay; to
protect workers' pension rights; to promote equal opportunity for members
of minorities, and others who have been left behind; to expand consumer
protection; to improve the environment; to revitalize rural America; to
help the cities; to launch new initiatives in education; to improve
transportation, and to put an end to costly labor tie-ups in

The west coast dock strike is a case in point. This Nation cannot and will
not tolerate that kind of irresponsible labor tie-up in the future.

The messages also include basic reforms which are essential if our
structure of government is to be adequate in the decades ahead.

They include reform of our wasteful and outmoded welfare
system--substitution of a new system that provides work requirements and
work incentives for those who can help themselves, income support for those
who cannot help themselves, and fairness to the working poor.

They include a $17 billion program of Federal revenue sharing with the
States and localities as an investment in their renewal, an investment also
of faith in the American people.

They also include a sweeping reorganization of the executive branch of the
Federal Government so that it will be more efficient, more responsive, and
able to meet the challenges of the decades ahead.

One year ago, standing in this place, I laid before the opening session of
this Congress six great goals. One of these was welfare reform. That
proposal has been before the Congress now for nearly 2 1/2 years.

My proposals on revenue sharing, government reorganization, health care,
and the environment have now been before the Congress for nearly a year.
Many of the other major proposals that I have referred to have been here
that long or longer.

Now, 1971, we can say, was a year of consideration of these measures. Now
let us join in making 1972 a year of action on them, action by the
Congress, for the Nation and for the people of America.

Now, in addition, there is one pressing need which I have not previously
covered, but which must be placed on the national agenda.

We long have looked in this Nation to the local property tax as the main
source of financing for public primary and secondary education.

As a result, soaring school costs, soaring property tax rates now threaten
both our communities and our schools. They threaten communities because
property taxes, which more than doubled in the 10 years from 1960 to '70,
have become one of the most oppressive and discriminatory of all taxes,
hitting most cruelly at the elderly and the retired; and they threaten
schools, as hard-pressed voters understandably reject new bond issues at
the polls.

The problem has been given even greater urgency by four recent court
decisions, which have held that the conventional method of financing
schools through local property taxes is discriminatory and

Nearly 2 years ago, I named a special Presidential commission to study the
problems of school finance, and I also directed the Federal departments to
look into the same problems. We are developing comprehensive proposals to
meet these problems.

This issue involves two complex and interrelated sets of problems: support
of the schools and the basic relationships of Federal, State, and local
governments in any tax reforms.

Under the leadership of the Secretary of the Treasury, we are carefully
reviewing all of the tax aspects, and I have this week enlisted the
Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations in addressing the
intergovernmental relations aspects.

I have asked this bipartisan Commission to review our proposals for Federal
action to cope with the gathering crisis of school finance and property
taxes. Later in the year, when both Commissions have completed their
studies, I shall make my final recommendations for relieving the burden of
property taxes and providing both fair and adequate financing for our
children's education.

These recommendations will be revolutionary. But all these recommendations,
however, will be rooted in one fundamental principle with which there can
be no compromise: Local school boards must have control over local

As we look ahead over the coming decades, vast new growth and change are
not only certainties, they will be the dominant reality of this world, and
particularly of our life in America.

Surveying the certainty of rapid change, we can be like a fallen rider
caught in the stirrups--or we can sit high in the saddle, the masters of
change, directing it on a course we choose.

The secret of mastering change in today's world is to reach back to old and
proven principles, and to adapt them with imagination and intelligence to
the new realities of a new age.

That is what we have done in the proposals that I have laid before the
Congress. They are rooted in basic principles that are as enduring as human
nature, as robust as the American experience; and they are responsive to
new conditions. Thus they represent a spirit of change that is truly

As we look back at those old principles, we find them as timely as they are

We believe in independence, and self-reliance, and the creative value of
the competitive spirit.

We believe in full and equal opportunity for all Americans and in the
protection of individual rights and liberties.

We believe in the family as the keystone of the community, and in the
community as the keystone of the Nation.

We believe in compassion toward those in need.

We believe in a system of law, justice, and order as the basis of a
genuinely free society.

We believe that a person should get what he works for--and that those who
can, should work for what they get.

We believe in the capacity of people to make their own decisions in their
own lives, in their own communities--and we believe in their right to make
those decisions.

In applying these principles, we have done so with the full understanding
that what we seek in the seventies, what our quest is, is not merely for
more, but for better for a better quality of life for all Americans.

Thus, for example, we are giving a new measure of attention to cleaning up
our air and water, making our surroundings more attractive. We are
providing broader support for the arts, helping stimulate a deeper
appreciation of what they can contribute to the Nation's activities and to
our individual lives.

But nothing really matters more to the quality of our lives than the way we
treat one another, than our capacity to live respectfully together as a
unified society, with a full, generous regard for the rights of others and
also for the feelings of others.

As we recover from the turmoil and violence of recent years, as we learn
once again to speak with one another instead of shouting at one another, we
are regaining that capacity.

As is customary here, on this occasion, I have been talking about programs.
Programs are important. But even more important than programs is what we
are as a Nation--what we mean as a Nation, to ourselves and to the world.

In New York Harbor stands one of the most famous statues in the world--the
Statue of Liberty, the gift in 1886 of the people of France to the people
of the United States. This statue is more than a landmark; it is a
symbol--a symbol of what America has meant to the world.

It reminds us that what America has meant is not its wealth, and not its
power, but its spirit and purpose--a land that enshrines liberty and
opportunity, and that has held out a hand of welcome to millions in search
of a better and a fuller and, above all, a freer life.

The world's hopes poured into America, along with its people. And those
hopes, those dreams, that have been brought here from every corner of the
world, have become a part of the hope that we now hold out to the world.

Four years from now, America will celebrate the 200th anniversary of its
founding as a Nation. There are those who say that the old Spirit of '76 is
dead--that we no longer have the strength of character, the idealism, the
faith in our founding purposes that that spirit represents.

Those who say this do not know America.

We have been undergoing self-doubts and self-criticism. But these are only
the other side of our growing sensitivity to the persistence of want in the
midst of plenty, of our impatience with the slowness with which age-old
ills are being overcome.

If we were indifferent to the shortcomings of our society, or complacent
about our institutions, or blind to the lingering inequities--then we would
have lost our way.

But the fact that we have those concerns is evidence that our ideals, deep
down, are still strong. Indeed, they remind us that what is really best
about America is its compassion. They remind us that in the final analysis,
America is great not because it is strong, not because it is rich, but
because this is a good country.

Let us reject the narrow visions of those who would tell us that we are
evil because we are not yet perfect, that we are corrupt because we are not
yet pure, that all the sweat and toil and sacrifice that have gone into the
building of America were for naught because the building is not yet done.

Let us see that the path we are traveling is wide, with room in it for all
of us, and that its direction is toward a better Nation and a more peaceful

Never has it mattered more that we go forward together.

Look at this Chamber. The leadership of America is here today--the Supreme
Court, the Cabinet, the Senate, the House of Representatives.

Together, we hold the future of the Nation, and the conscience of the
Nation in our hands.

Because this year is an election year, it will be a time of great

If we yield to that pressure and fail to deal seriously with the historic
challenges that we face, we will have failed the trust of millions of
Americans and shaken the confidence they have a right to place in us, in
their Government.

Never has a Congress had a greater opportunity to leave a legacy of a
profound and constructive reform for the Nation than this Congress.

If we succeed in these tasks, there will be credit enough for all--not only
for doing what is right, but doing it in the right way, by rising above
partisan interest to serve the national interest.

And if we fail, more than any one of us, America will be the loser.

That is why my call upon the Congress today is for a high statesmanship, so
that in the years to come Americans will look back and say because it
withstood the intense pressures of a political year, and achieved such
great good for the American people and for the future of this Nation, this
was truly a great Congress.


State of the Union Address
Richard Nixon
February 2, 1973

To the Congress of the United States:

The traditional form of the President's annual report giving "to the
Congress Information of the State of the Union" is a single message or
address. As the affairs and concerns of our Union have multiplied over the
years, however, so too have the subjects that require discussion in State
of the Union Messages.

This year in particular, with so many changes in Government programs under
consideration--and with our very philosophy about the relationship between
the individual and the State at an historic crossroads--a single,
all-embracing State of the Union Message would not appear to be adequate.

I have therefore decided to present my 1973 State of the Union report in
the form of a series of messages during these early weeks of the 93rd
Congress. The purpose of this first message in the series is to give a
concise overview of where we stand as a people today, and to outline some
of the general goals that I believe we should pursue over the next year and
beyond. In coming weeks, I will send to the Congress further State of the
Union reports on specific areas of policy including economic affairs,
natural resources, human resources, community development and foreign and
defense policy.

The new course these messages will outline represents a fresh approach to
Government: an approach that addresses the realities of the 1970s, not
those of the 1930s or of the 1960s. The role of the Federal Government as
we approach our third century of independence should not be to dominate any
facet of American life, but rather to aid and encourage people, communities
and institutions to deal with as many of the difficulties and challenges
facing them as possible, and to help see to it that every American has a
full and equal opportunity to realize his or her potential.

If we were to continue to expand the Federal Government at the rate of the
past several decades, it soon would consume us entirely. The time has come
when we must make clear choices--choices between old programs that set
worthy goals but failed to reach them and new programs that provide a
better way to realize those goals; and choices, too, between competing
programs--all of which may be desirable in themselves but only some of
which we can afford with the finite resources at our command.

Because our resources are not infinite, we also face a critical choice in
1973 between holding the line in Government spending and adopting expensive
programs which will surely force up taxes and refuel inflation.

Finally, it is vital at this time that we restore a greater sense of
responsibility at the State and local level, and among individual


The basic state of our Union today is sound, and full of promise.

We enter 1973 economically strong, militarily secure and, most important of
all, at peace after a long and trying war.

America continues to provide a better and more abundant life for more of
its people than any other nation in the world. We have passed through one
of the most difficult periods in our history without surrendering to
despair and without dishonoring our ideals as a people.

Looking back, there is a lesson in all this for all of us. The lesson is
one that we sometimes had to learn the hard way over the past few years.
But we did learn it. That lesson is that even potentially destructive
forces can be converted into positive forces when we know how to channel
them, and when we use common sense and common decency to create a climate
of mutual respect and goodwill.

By working together and harnessing the forces of nature, Americans have
unlocked some of the great mysteries of the universe.

Men have walked the surface of the moon and soared to new heights of

This same spirit of discovery is helping us to conquer disease and
suffering that have plagued our own planet since the dawn of time.

By working together with the leaders of other nations, we have been able to
build a new hope for lasting peace--for a structure of world order in which
common interest outweighs old animosities, and in which a new generation of
the human family can grow up at peace in a changing world.

At home, we have learned that by working together we can create prosperity
without fanning inflation; we can restore order without weakening freedom.


These first years of the 1970s have been good years for America.

Our job--all of us together--is to make 1973 and the years to come even
better ones. I believe that we can. I believe that we can make the years
leading to our Bicentennial the best four years in American history.

But we must never forget that nothing worthwhile can be achieved without
the will to succeed and the strength to sacrifice.

Hard decisions must be made, and we must stick by them.

In the field of foreign policy, we must remember that a strong America--an
America whose word is believed and whose strength is respected--is
essential to continued peace and understanding in the world. The peace with
honor we have achieved in Vietnam has strengthened this basic American
credibility. We must act in such a way in coming years that this
credibility will remain intact, and with it, the world stability of which
it is so indispensable a part.

At home, we must reject the mistaken notion--a notion that has dominated
too much of the public dialogue for too long--that ever bigger Government
is the answer to every problem.

We have learned only too well that heavy taxation and excessive Government
spending are not a cure-all. In too many cases, instead of solving the
problems they were aimed at, they have merely placed an ever heavier burden
on the shoulders of the American taxpayer, in the form of higher taxes and
a higher cost of living. At the same time they have deceived our people
because many of the intended beneficiaries received far less than was
promised, thus undermining public faith in the effectiveness of Government
as a whole.

The time has come for us to draw the line. The time has come for the
responsible leaders of both political parties to take a stand against
overgrown Government and for the American taxpayer. We are not spending the
Federal Government's money, we are spending the taxpayer's money, and it
must be spent in a way which guarantees his money's worth and yields the
fullest possible benefit to the people being helped.

The answer to many of the domestic problems we face is not higher taxes and
more spending. It is less waste, more results and greater freedom for the
individual American to earn a rightful place in his own community--and for
States and localities to address their own needs in their own ways, in the
light of their own priorities.

By giving the people and their locally elected leaders a greater voice
through changes such as revenue sharing, and by saying "no" to excessive
Federal spending and higher taxes, we can help achieve this goal.


The policies which I will outline to the Congress in the weeks ahead
represent a reaffirmation, not an abdication, of Federal responsibility.
They represent a pragmatic rededication to social compassion and national
excellence, in place of the combination of good intentions and fuzzy
follow-through which too often in the past was thought sufficient.

In the field of economic affairs, our objectives will be to hold down
taxes, to continue controlling inflation, to promote economic growth, to
increase productivity, to encourage foreign trade, to keep farm income
high, to bolster small business, and to promote better labor-management

In the area of natural resources, my recommendations will include programs
to preserve and enhance the environment, to advance science and technology,
and to assure balanced use of our irreplaceable natural resources.

In developing human resources, I will have recommendations to advance the
Nation's health and education, to improve conditions of people in need, to
carry forward our increasingly successful attacks on crime, drug abuse and
injustice, and to deal with such important areas of special concern as
consumer affairs. We will continue and improve our Nation's efforts to
assist those who have served in the Armed Services in Vietnam through
better job and training opportunities.

We must do a better job in community development--in creating more livable
communities, in which all of our children can grow up with fuller access to
opportunity and greater immunity to the social evils and blights which now
plague so many of our towns and cities. I shall have proposals to help us
achieve this.

I shall also deal with our defense and foreign policies, and with our new
approaches to the role and structure of Government itself.

Considered as a whole, this series of messages will be a blueprint for
modernizing the concept and the functions of American Government to meet
the needs of our people.

Converting it into reality will require a spirit of cooperation and shared
commitment on the part of all branches of the Government, for the goals we
seek are not those of any single party or faction, they are goals for the
betterment of all Americans. As President, I recognize that I cannot do
this job alone. The Congress must help, and I pledge to do my part to
achieve a constructive working relationship with the Congress. My sincere
hope is that the executive and legislative branches can work together in
this great undertaking in a positive spirit of mutual respect and

Working together--the Congress, the President and the people--I am
confident that we can translate these proposals into an action program that
can reform and revitalize American Government and, even more important,
build a better life for all Americans.

The White House,

February 2, 1973.


State of the Union Address
Richard Nixon
January 30, 1974

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, my colleagues in the Congress, our
distinguished guests, my fellow Americans:

We meet here tonight at a time of great challenge and great opportunities
for America. We meet at a time when we face great problems at home and
abroad that will test the strength of our fiber as a nation. But we also
meet at a time when that fiber has been tested, and it has proved strong.

America is a great and good land, and we are a great and good land because
we are a strong, free, creative people and because America is the single
greatest force for peace anywhere in the world. Today, as always in our
history, we can base our confidence in what the American people will
achieve in the future on the record of what the American people have
achieved in the past.

Tonight, for the first time in 12 years, a President of the United States
can report to the Congress on the state of a Union at peace with every
nation of the world. Because of this, in the 22,000-word message on the
state of the Union that I have just handed to the Speaker of the House and
the President of the Senate, I have been able to deal primarily with the
problems of peace with what we can do here at home in America for the
American people--rather than with the problems of war.

The measures I have outlined in this message set an agenda for truly
significant progress for this Nation and the world in 1974. Before we chart
where we are going, let us see how far we have come.

It was 5 years ago on the steps of this Capitol that I took the oath of
office as your President. In those 5 years, because of the initiatives
undertaken by this Administration, the world has changed. America has
changed. As a result of those changes, America is safer today, more
prosperous today, with greater opportunity for more of its people than ever
before in our history.

Five years ago, America was at war in Southeast Asia. We were locked in
confrontation with the Soviet Union. We were in hostile isolation from a
quarter of the world's people who lived in Mainland China.

Five years ago, our cities were burning and besieged.

Five years ago, our college campuses were a battleground.

Five years ago, crime was increasing at a rate that struck fear across the

Five years ago, the spiraling rise in drug addiction was threatening human
and social tragedy of massive proportion, and there was no program to deal
with it.

Five years ago--as young Americans had done for a generation before
that--America's youth still lived under the shadow of the military draft.

Five years ago, there was no national program to preserve our environment.
Day by day, our air was getting dirtier, our water was getting more foul.

And 5 years ago, American agriculture was practically a depressed industry
with 100,000 farm families abandoning the farm every year.

As we look at America today, we find ourselves challenged by new problems.
But we also find a record of progress to confound the professional criers
of doom and prophets of despair. We met the challenges we faced 5 years
ago, and we will be equally confident of meeting those that we face today.

Let us see for a moment how we have met them.

After more than 10 years of military involvement, all of our troops have
returned from Southeast Asia, and they have returned with honor. And we can
be proud of the fact that our courageous prisoners of war, for whom a
dinner was held in Washington tonight, that they came home with their heads
high, on their feet and not on their knees.

In our relations with the Soviet Union, we have turned away from a policy
of confrontation to one of negotiation. For the first time since World War
II, the world's two strongest powers are working together toward peace in
the world. With the People's Republic of China after a generation of
hostile isolation, we have begun a period of peaceful exchange and
expanding trade.

Peace has returned to our cities, to our campuses. The 17-year rise in
crime has been stopped. We can confidently say today that we are finally
beginning to win the war against crime. Right here in this Nation's
Capital--which a few years ago was threatening to become the crime capital
of the world--the rate in crime has been cut in half. A massive campaign
against drug abuse has been organized. And the rate of new heroin
addiction, the most vicious threat of all, is decreasing rather than

For the first time in a generation, no young Americans are being drafted
into the armed services of the United States. And for the first time ever,
we have organized a massive national effort to protect the environment. Our
air is getting cleaner, our water is getting purer, and our agriculture,
which was depressed, is prospering. Farm income is up 70 percent, farm
production is setting all-time records, and the billions of dollars the
taxpayers were paying in subsidies has been cut to nearly zero.

Overall, Americans are living more abundantly than ever before, today. More
than 2 1/2 million new jobs were created in the past year alone. That is
the biggest percentage increase in nearly 20 years. People are earning
more. What they earn buys more, more than ever before in history. In the
past 5 years, the average American's real spendable income--that is, what
you really can buy with your income, even after allowing for taxes and
inflation--has increased by 16 percent.

Despite this record of achievement, as we turn to the year ahead we hear
once again the familiar voice of the perennial prophets of gloom telling us
now that because of the need to fight inflation, because of the energy
shortage, America may be headed for a recession.

Let me speak to that issue head on. There will be no recession in the
United States of America. Primarily due to our energy crisis, our economy
is passing through a difficult period. But I pledge to you tonight that the
full powers of this Government will be used to keep America's economy
producing and to protect the jobs of America's workers.

We are engaged in a long and hard fight against inflation. There have been,
and there will be in the future, ups and downs in that fight. But if this
Congress cooperates in our efforts to hold down the cost of Government, we
shall win our fight to hold down the cost of living for the American

As we look back over our history, the years that stand out as the ones of
signal achievement are those in which the Administration and the Congress,
whether one party or the other, working together, had the wisdom and the
foresight to select those particular initiatives for which the Nation was
ready and the moment was right--and in which they seized the moment and

Looking at the year 1974 which lies before us, there are 10 key areas in
which landmark accomplishments are possible this year in America. If we
make these our national agenda, this is what we will achieve in 1974:

We will break the back of the energy crisis; we will lay the foundation for
our future capacity to meet America's energy needs from America's own

And we will take another giant stride toward lasting peace in the
world--not only by continuing our policy of negotiation rather than
confrontation where the great powers are concerned but also by helping
toward the achievement of a just and lasting settlement in the Middle

We will check the rise in prices without administering the harsh medicine
of recession, and we will move the economy into a steady period of growth
at a sustainable level.

We will establish a new system that makes high-quality health care
available to every American in a dignified manner and at a price he can

We will make our States and localities more responsive to the needs of
their own citizens.

We will make a crucial breakthrough toward better transportation in our
towns and in our cities across America.

We will reform our system of Federal aid to education, to provide it when
it is needed, where it is needed, so that it will do the most for those who
need it the most.

We will make an historic beginning on the task of defining and protecting
the right of personal privacy for every American.

And we will start on a new road toward reform of a welfare system that
bleeds the taxpayer, corrodes the community, and demeans those it is
intended to assist.

And together with the other nations of the world, we will establish the
economic framework within which Americans will share more fully in an
expanding worldwide trade and prosperity in the years ahead, with more open
access to both markets and supplies.

In all of the 186 State of the Union messages delivered from this place, in
our history this is the first in which the one priority, the first
priority, is energy. Let me begin by reporting a new development which I
know will be welcome news to every American. As you know, we have committed
ourselves to an active role in helping to achieve a just and durable peace
in the Middle East, on the basis of full implementation of Security Council
Resolutions 242 and 338. The first step in the process is the disengagement
of Egyptian and Israeli forces which is now taking place.

Because of this hopeful development, I can announce tonight that I have
been assured, through my personal contacts with friendly leaders in the
Middle Eastern area, that an urgent meeting will be called in the immediate
future to discuss the lifting of the oil embargo.

This is an encouraging sign. However, it should be clearly understood by
our friends in the Middle East that the United States will not be coerced
on this issue.

Regardless of the outcome of this meeting, the cooperation of the American
people in our energy conservation program has already gone a long way
towards achieving a goal to which I am deeply dedicated. Let us do
everything we can to avoid gasoline rationing in the United States of

Last week, I sent to the Congress a comprehensive special message setting
forth our energy situation, recommending the legislative measures which are
necessary to a program for meeting our needs. If the embargo is lifted,
this will ease the crisis, but it will not mean an end to the energy
shortage in America. Voluntary conservation will continue to be necessary.
And let me take this occasion to pay tribute once again to the splendid
spirit of cooperation the American people have shown which has made
possible our success in meeting this emergency up to this time.

The new legislation I have requested will also remain necessary. Therefore,
I urge again that the energy measures that I have proposed be made the
first priority of this session of the Congress. These measures will require
the oil companies and other energy producers to provide the public with the
necessary information on their supplies. They will prevent the injustice of
windfall profits for a few as a result of the sacrifices of the millions of
Americans. And they will give us the organization, the incentives, the
authorities needed to deal with the short-term emergency and to move toward
meeting our long-term needs.

Just as 1970 was the year in which we began a full-scale effort to protect
the environment, 1974 must be the year in which we organize a full-scale
effort to provide for our energy needs, not only in this decade but through
the 21st century.

As we move toward the celebration 2 years from now of the 200th anniversary
of this Nation's independence, let us press vigorously on toward the goal I
announced last November for Project Independence. Let this be our national
goal: At the end of this decade, in the year 1980, the United States will
not be dependent on any other country for the energy we need to provide our
jobs, to heat our homes, and to keep our transportation moving.

To indicate the size of the Government commitment, to spur energy research
and development, we plan to spend $10 billion in Federal funds over the
next 5 years. That is an enormous amount. But during the same 5 years,
private enterprise will be investing as much as $200 billion--and in 10
years, $500 billion--to develop the new resources, the new technology, the
new capacity America will require for its energy needs in the 1980's. That
is just a measure of the magnitude of the project we are undertaking.

But America performs best when called to its biggest tasks. It can truly be
said that only in America could a task so tremendous be achieved so
quickly, and achieved not by regimentation, but through the effort and
ingenuity of a free people, working in a free system.

Turning now to the rest of the agenda for 1974, the time is at hand this
year to bring comprehensive, high quality health care within the reach of
every American. I shall propose a sweeping new program that will assure
comprehensive health insurance protection to millions of Americans who
cannot now obtain it or afford it, with vastly improved protection against
catastrophic illnesses. This will be a plan that maintains the high
standards of quality in America's health care. And it will not require
additional taxes.

Now, I recognize that other plans have been put forward that would cost $80
billion or even $100 billion and that would put our whole health care
system under the heavy hand of the Federal Government. This is the wrong
approach. This has been tried abroad, and it has failed. It is not the way
we do things here in America. This kind of plan would threaten the quality
of care provided by our whole health care system. The right way is one that
builds on the strengths of the present system and one that does not destroy
those strengths, one based on partnership, not paternalism. Most important
of all, let us keep this as the guiding principle of our health programs.
Government has a great role to play, but we must always make sure that our
doctors will be working for their patients and not for the Federal

Many of you will recall that in my State of the Union Address 3 years ago,
I commented that "Most Americans today are simply fed up with government at
all levels," and I recommended a sweeping set of proposals to revitalize
State and local governments, to make them more responsive to the people
they serve. I can report to you today that as a result of revenue sharing
passed by the Congress, and other measures, we have made progress toward
that goal. After 40 years of moving power from the States and the
communities to Washington, D.C., we have begun moving power back from
Washington to the States and communities and, most important, to the people
of America.

In this session of the Congress, I believe we are near the breakthrough
point on efforts which I have suggested, proposals to let people themselves
make their own decisions for their own communities and, in particular, on
those to provide broad new flexibility in Federal aid for community
development, for economic development, for education. And I look forward to
working with the Congress, with members of both parties in resolving
whatever remaining differences we have in this legislation so that we can
make available nearly $5 1/2 billion to our States and localities to use
not for what a Federal bureaucrat may want, but for what their own people
in those communities want. The decision should be theirs.

I think all of us recognize that the energy crisis has given new urgency to
the need to improve public transportation, not only in our cities but in
rural areas as well. The program I have proposed this year will give
communities not only more money but also more freedom to balance their own
transportation needs. It will mark the strongest Federal commitment ever to
the improvement of mass transit as an essential element of the improvement
of life in our towns and cities.

One goal on which all Americans agree is that our children should have the
very best education this great Nation can provide.

In a special message last week, I recommended a number of important new
measures that can make 1974 a year of truly significant advances for our
schools and for the children they serve. If the Congress will act on these
proposals, more flexible funding will enable each Federal dollar to meet
better the particular need of each particular school district. Advance
funding will give school authorities a chance to make each year's plans,
knowing ahead of time what Federal funds they are going to receive. Special
targeting will give special help to the truly disadvantaged among our
people. College students faced with rising costs for their education will
be able to draw on an expanded program of loans and grants. These advances
are a needed investment in America's most precious resource, our next
generation. And I urge the Congress to act on this legislation in 1974.

One measure of a truly free society is the vigor with which it protects the
liberties of its individual citizens. As technology has advanced in
America, it has increasingly encroached on one of those liberties--what I
term the right of personal privacy. Modern information systems, data banks,
credit records, mailing list abuses, electronic snooping, the collection of
personal data for one purpose that may be used for another--all these have
left millions of Americans deeply concerned by the privacy they cherish.

And the time has come, therefore, for a major initiative to define the
nature and extent of the basic rights of privacy and to erect new
safeguards to ensure that those rights are respected.

I shall launch such an effort this year at the highest levels of the
Administration, and I look forward again to working with this Congress in
establishing a new set of standards that respect the legitimate needs of
society, but that also recognize personal privacy as a cardinal principle
of American liberty.

Many of those in this Chamber tonight will recall that it was 3 years ago
that I termed the Nation's welfare system "a monstrous, consuming
outrage--an outrage against the community, against the taxpayer, and
particularly against the children that it is supposed to help."

That system is still an outrage. By improving its administration, we have
been able to reduce some of the abuses. As a result, last year, for the
first time in 18 years, there has been a halt in the growth of the welfare
caseload. But as a system, our welfare program still needs reform as
urgently today as it did when I first proposed in 1969 that we completely
replace it with a different system.

In these final 3 years of my Administration, I urge the Congress to join me
in mounting a major new effort to replace the discredited present welfare
system with one that works, one that is fair to those who need help or
cannot help themselves, fair to the community, and fair to the taxpayer.
And let us have as our goal that there will be no Government program which
makes it more profitable to go on welfare than to go to work.

I recognize that from the debates that have taken place within the Congress
over the past 3 years on this program that we cannot expect enactment
overnight of a new reform. But I do propose that the Congress and the
Administration together make this the year in which we discuss, debate, and
shape such a reform so that it can be enacted as quickly as possible.

America's own prosperity in the years ahead depends on our sharing fully
and equitably in an expanding world prosperity. Historic negotiations will
take place this year that will enable us to ensure fair treatment in
international markets for American workers, American farmers, American
investors, and American consumers.

It is vital that the authorities contained in the trade bill I submitted to
the Congress be enacted so that the United States can negotiate flexibly
and vigorously on behalf of American interests. These negotiations can
usher in a new era of international trade that not only increases the
prosperity of all nations but also strengthens the peace among all

In the past 5 years, we have made more progress toward a lasting structure
of peace in the world than in any comparable time in the Nation's history.
We could not have made that progress if we had not maintained the military
strength of America. Thomas Jefferson once observed that the price of
liberty is eternal vigilance. By the same token, and for the same reason,
in today's world the price of peace is a strong defense as far as the
United States is concerned.

In the past 5 years, we have steadily reduced the burden of national
defense as a share of the budget, bringing it down from 44 percent in 1969
to 29 percent in the current year. We have cut our military manpower over
the past 5 years by more than a third, from 3.5 million to 2.2 million.

In the coming year, however, increased expenditures will be needed. They
will be needed to assure the continued readiness of our military forces, to
preserve present force levels in the face of rising costs, and to give us
the military strength we must have if our security is to be maintained and
if our initiatives for peace are to succeed.

The question is not whether we can afford to maintain the necessary
strength of our defense, the question is whether we can afford not to
maintain it, and the answer to that question is no. We must never allow
America to become the second strongest nation in the world.

I do not say this with any sense of belligerence, because I recognize the
fact that is recognized around the world. America's military strength has
always been maintained to keep the peace, never to break it. It has always
been used to defend freedom, never to destroy it. The world's peace, as
well as our own, depends on our remaining as strong as we need to be as
long as we need to be.

In this year 1974, we will be negotiating with the Soviet Union to place
further limits on strategic nuclear arms. Together with our allies, we will
be negotiating with the nations of the Warsaw Pact on mutual and balanced
reduction of forces in Europe. And we will continue our efforts to promote
peaceful economic development in Latin America, in Africa, in Asia. We will
press for full compliance with the peace accords that brought an end to
American fighting in Indochina, including particularly a provision that
promised the fullest possible accounting for those Americans who are
missing in action.

And having in mind the energy crisis to which I have referred to earlier,
we will be working with the other nations of the world toward agreement on
means by which oil supplies can be assured at reasonable prices on a stable
basis in a fair way to the consuming and producing nations alike.

All of these are steps toward a future in which the world's peace and
prosperity, and ours as well as a result, are made more secure.

Throughout the 5 years that I have served as your President, I have had one
overriding aim, and that was to establish a new structure of peace in the
world that can free future generations of the scourge of war. I can
understand that others may have different priorities. This has been and
this will remain my first priority and the chief legacy I hope to leave
from the 8 years of my Presidency.

This does not mean that we shall not have other priorities, because as we
strengthen the peace, we must also continue each year a steady
strengthening of our society here at home. Our conscience requires it, our
interests require it, and we must insist upon it.

As we create more jobs, as we build a better health care system, as we
improve our education, as we develop new sources of energy, as we provide
more abundantly for the elderly and the poor, as we strengthen the system
of private enterprise that produces our prosperity--as we do all of this
and even more, we solidify those essential bonds that hold us together as
a nation.

Even more importantly, we advance what in the final analysis government in
America is all about.

What it is all about is more freedom, more security, a better life for each
one of the 211 million people that live in this land.

We cannot afford to neglect progress at home while pursuing peace abroad.
But neither can we afford to neglect peace abroad while pursuing progress
at home. With a stable peace, all is possible, but without peace, nothing
is possible.

In the written message that I have just delivered to the Speaker and to the
President of the Senate, I commented that one of the continuing challenges
facing us in the legislative process is that of the timing and pacing of
our initiatives, selecting each year among many worthy projects those that
are ripe for action at that time.

What is true in terms of our domestic initiatives is true also in the
world. This period we now are in, in the world--and I say this as one who
has seen so much of the world, not only in these past 5 years but going
back over many years--we are in a period which presents a juncture of
historic forces unique in this century. They provide an opportunity we may
never have again to create a structure of peace solid enough to last a
lifetime and more, not just peace in our time but peace in our children's
time as well. It is on the way we respond to this opportunity, more than
anything else, that history will judge whether we in America have met our
responsibility. And I am confident we will meet that great historic
responsibility which is ours today.

It was 27 years ago that John F. Kennedy and I sat in this Chamber, as
freshmen Congressmen, hearing our first State of the Union address
delivered by Harry Truman. I know from my talks with him, as members of the
Labor Committee on which we both served, that neither of us then even
dreamed that either one or both might eventually be standing in this place
that I now stand in now and that he once stood in, before me. It may well
be that one of the freshmen Members of the 93d Congress, one of you out
there, will deliver his own State of the Union message 27 years from now,
in the year 2001.

Well, whichever one it is, I want you to be able to look back with pride
and to say that your first years here were great years and recall that you
were here in this 93d Congress when America ended its longest war and began
its longest peace.

Mr. Speaker, and Mr. President, and my distinguished colleagues and our
guests: I would like to add a personal word with regard to an issue that
has been of great concern to all Americans over the past year. I refer, of
course, to the investigations of the so-called Watergate affair. As you
know, I have provided to the Special Prosecutor voluntarily a great deal of
material. I believe that I have provided all the material that he needs to
conclude his investigations and to proceed to prosecute the guilty and to
clear the innocent.

I believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other
investigations of this matter to an end. One year of Watergate is enough.

And the time has come, my colleagues, for not only the Executive, the
President, but the Members of Congress, for all of us to join together in
devoting our full energies to these great issues that I have discussed
tonight which involve the welfare of all of the American people in so many
different ways, as well as the peace of the world.

I recognize that the House Judiciary Committee has a special responsibility
in this area, and I want to indicate on this occasion that I will cooperate
with the Judiciary Committee in its investigation. I will cooperate so that
it can conclude its investigation, make its decision, and I will cooperate
in any way that I consider consistent with my responsibilities to the
Office of the Presidency of the United States.

There is only one limitation. I will follow the precedent that has been
followed by and defended by every President from George Washington to
Lyndon B. Johnson of never doing anything that weakens the Office of the
President of the United States or impairs the ability of the Presidents of
the future to make the great decisions that are so essential to this Nation
and the world.

Another point I should like to make very briefly: Like every Member of the
House and Senate assembled here tonight, I was elected to the office that I
hold. And like every Member of the House and Senate, when I was elected to
that office, I knew that I was elected for the purpose of doing a job and
doing it as well as I possibly can. And I want you to know that I have no
intention whatever of ever walking away from the job that the people
elected me to do for the people of the United States.

Now, needless to say, it would be understatement if I were not to admit
that the year 1973 was not a very easy year for me personally or for my
family. And as I have already indicated, the year 1974 presents very great
and serious problems, as very great and serious opportunities are also

But my colleagues, this I believe: With the help of God, who has blessed
this land so richly, with the cooperation of the Congress, and with the
support of the American people, we can and we will make the year 1974 a
year of unprecedented progress toward our goal of building a structure of
lasting peace in the world and a new prosperity without war in the United
States of America.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "State of the Union Addresses" ***

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