Remarks and a Question-and-Answer Session at a Fundraising Reception in Columbus, Ohio, for Gubernatorial Candidate Bud Brown
October 4, 1982
The President. You know, if you don't mind, I just have to mention first -- I thank you all for this. And to all of the distinguished officeholders and candidates for office who are here on the platform with me -- I have to mention those young people who are here today.
You know, I can remember a time when I'd go to a Republican fundraiser and come home and tell Nancy that it looked like the only young people there couldn't join anything else. [Laughter] Not any more. All over the country -- and I said in 1980 in the campaign, that was what that campaign was about. It's what this election is about: the America that we're going to turn over to those young people.
You don't mind if I call him Bud, do you, when -- [laughter] -- know him too well here. Congressman Brown -- Bud -- when he was talking here about returning authority and autonomy to the States, to the local communities and so forth, I wonder how many of us realize that one of the most unique things about America that I believe is more responsible for our freedom than anything else is the fact that in this country we were established to be a federation of sovereign States. We were not set up to have 50 administrative districts of the Federal Government. And that's what we've been in danger of losing.
Now, I was just over speaking to the veterans group, explaining to them how good it was to be out of Washington and back into the heartland of America. And, you know, General Sherman once said, ``If forced to choose between the penitentiary and the White House for 4 years, I would say the penitentiary, thank you.'' [Laughter] Now, I wouldn't go as far as to say that -- [laughter] -- but I will admit there have been a few days there when I've sort of figured that it fit his description of war -- [laughter] -- when General Sherman said, ``War is . . .'' and you know the rest.
Actually, though, with people like Bud Brown in the Congress, my job was a whole lot easier than General Sherman could have imagined, so I think you can understand why I have some mixed feelings about letting go -- Bud Brown, not Sherman. [Laughter] But I'm willing to make the sacrifice. You can have Bud Brown as your Governor as long as you promise me solid Republican congressional delegations from Ohio.
You mean I've left your district, Chalmers?
Representative Wylie. Not yet, not yet.
The President. Not yet.
Representative Wylie. You're still on the 5th beat.
The President. All right. But, believe me, we'll need the help.
The other day in the State Dining Room I pointed out the sea change that has occurred in American politics, how everyone these days seems concerned about too many deficits and too much taxation and spending. We've made real progress, but it's a fragile progress because of those left in Congress who still believe in the tax and tax and spend and spend policies that got us into this present situation.
That's why I challenged Tip O'Neill the day I asked he and the liberal leadership of the other party to promise the American people they wouldn't try to repeal the reforms that we've passed in the last 2 years -- those in regulations, in spending, and the tax program -- the tax cuts. And, you know, they've never answered the question yet. They just finessed that and went on to something else.
The question you should ask of those who solicit your vote is where they stand on the issues of taxing and spending. Will they promise not to try and repeal the income tax cuts that we won for the American people and the historic reform and income tax indexing?
Many people don't quite understand at first what that indexing provision means. It might be the biggest part of all the tax cuts -- unless we win the battle on inflation, and then it won't matter that much. But for years the Federal Government has been making a profit on inflation, because in our graduated income tax, people who got a cost-of-living raise didn't improve them one bit -- just let them -- kept even with inflation. But it moved them into a higher tax bracket, and that's why for years real personal income in America has been going down. And for the last several months, it's been going up.
Will they support further reductions in government spending -- more authority and autonomy, as we've mentioned, for States and local governments? In Ohio this year, you can make a real difference in government, because there are two classic confrontations between the past and the future; between candidates who reject the policies of tax and tax, spend and spend -- as these candidates here do -- and the candidates who endorse them; between candidates who stand for growth and opportunity and candidates who want more government and more spending.
Right now, Paul Pfeifer is waging a strong challenge against one of the Senate's most blatant big spenders. The incumbent represents a political point of view that is out of step with the people of Ohio. Mistaking the incumbent Senator's voting record for the views of the people of Ohio is like mistaking Woody Hayes for Woody Allen. [Laughter] It's time you had a Senator who represented the commonsense, conservative voters of Ohio and not the liberal big spenders in Washington.
I need Paul Pfeifer in the Senate as well as John Kasich in the House of Representatives. And I can give you a single, good reason why he should be Congressman Kasich, because I just learned that his opponent is on record already as wanting to cancel the B - 1 bomber. This is a part of the whole movement that has seen some demonstrators out on the streets wherever we go today. It doesn't mean that they're for peace and we're for war. It means that they've been manipulated by some people who know what they're doing exactly. They're sincere, I think -- millions of them -- very sincere and honest in their desire for peace as we all are.
But today we have three delegations in Europe negotiating with three Soviet delegations -- one with regard to the medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe, one with regard to the strategic nuclear missiles that threaten us particularly in the world, and one that is trying to reduce the armaments, the conventional arms and weapons. And why are we so intent on this military or this defense buildup which had been allowed to -- our defenses to deteriorate so? It's because they need back of them on their side of the table -- they need the fellows on the other side of the table to have the knowledge that unless they join us in reducing those terrible weapons and the threat of war, they're going to have to face a United States that will do whatever is necessary to ensure our safety and the peace of the world. They need a deterrence.
And Mr. Kasich's opponent didn't add when he came out against the B - 1 bomber that it would cost 7,000 jobs here in the State of Ohio, but I think that's a consideration, also.
You know, Bud is a bright and a hard worker. He's a man of tested judgment and experience and character. The country needs him, and you in Ohio can help the country out. But I want to say, also, that he's been an invaluable ally in the fight against big government in Washington. As a matter of fact, he started in committee in '78 and '79, working within the committee in which he served, to bring about the kind of economic reform that we now have started to install, beginning last year in 1981 -- that time up against a total Democratic majority in both Houses and a Democratic administration, they couldn't get it passed. But now the people have spoken, and it's in effect. He's won the respect, as I say, of virtually everyone who's dealt with him there.
In this campaign, he and his runningmate, Jim Betts, have one agenda -- bringing jobs and economic opportunity back to Ohio. And I know that from my own conversations with him. He'll make a great Governor. They'll make a great Governor and a great lieutenant governor, and I thank you for supporting them. And I know they'll go all the way, and I know the importance because of that federalism that he spoke about -- that trying to get more authority back here, how much we need someone at this end ready to receive the resources and the programs that should properly be administered here at the State level.
When he spoke of regulations -- I used to use a city in your State as an example of what regulations were doing long before I ever got the job, and that was a hospital that was built in part with Federal funds. And because it was built in part with Federal funds, the Federal Government reserved the right to regulate. So, one day in came an inspector from OSHA [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] and said that the plastic bags that were put -- or that they must put plastic bags in the wastebaskets so that employees would not be endangered in handling the waste or contaminated in handling the waste. So, they put them in and no sooner had them in than another Washington inspector arrived.
He was from HEW, as it was called then, not HHS. And he was protesting that they had to take the bags out, because if someone threw a cigarette in there the fumes from the burning plastics would be injurious to the patients. And to this day, I don't know whether we've got it straightened out yet or not. [Laughter] But all the hospital knew was to have somebody at the door to see which one was coming -- ``Put the bags in; no, take them out!'' [Laughter]
I'm grateful to be here with these wonderful candidates and with all of you. All across the country wherever I've gone, I've seen -- we have presented this country this time around the finest candidates I think any party has ever fielded in this country. They deserve the people's support. I know all of you'll do your darndest in the crucial days between now and November.
And now I'm going to quit talking, because I'd rather have a dialog. And I always feel -- don't often get enough chances for a visit -- I often feel that you must have sometime or other said, ``If I had a chance, I'd ask him . . . .'' Well, ask me, and we'll have a little dialog.
You mean no one has a question? I've got another speech in the other pocket. [Laughter]
Q. Let me ask you, for small business, what -- [inaudible]?
The President. What's that?
Q. For small business in Ohio, do you see it improving -- I mean, you know, with a new Governor?
The President. Do I see it improving with the new Governor in Ohio? Yes, and I see it improving. And I realize this is taking a great chance. We are in a deep recession. I believe that the course that we're on, which is aimed at reducing inflation -- and which, as he said, we have it down. As a matter of fact, for the first 8 months of this year it has averaged 5.1 percent. And last month it was down at a rate that if that continues it'll be down to around 3 percent.
Now, that inflation rate, which was double digit, 12.4 when we started, is what has kept the interest rates high. Lenders have to get back the lost value of their money while it is out on loan in addition to a return. And it is the high interest rates in what they did to the automobile industry and what they did to the housing industry that has caused the great increase in unemployment. And that, in turn, has caused the great deficits.
I had to laugh the other day when Jim Wright, the majority leader in the House, went on television and said, well, after they had voted down the balanced budget amendment -- and don't ever let them forget that they voted against a constitutional amendment to keep the Federal Government balanced. Forty States have it. This is a necessity if we're going to get control of spending. But he had the chutzpah to go on television and say, well, I'm a fine one to ask for such an amendment when I'm presiding over the biggest deficit in history. Yes. But how'd those deficits come about?
I didn't invent them. Every time you add one percentage point to inflation you add $25 billion to the deficit in lost revenue and outgoing benefits to the unemployed. And so it's gone up 2 or 3 percent since we've been there -- no, a couple of percent since we've been there. Well, that's another $50 billion added to the deficit.
The way to cure that, the way to cure unemployment, is to get the interest rates down, and you can't do that until you finish getting inflation down. And we're going to keep on working at that.
Representative Brown. [Inaudible] -- small business.
The President. And, yes, you asked about small business. That, in particular -- our tax program -- we knew definitely in aiming the tax cuts at individuals that the bulk of small business does not pay corporate tax; they pay personal income tax. We also were thinking of small business with regard to the inheritance tax. So many family businesses and family farms have to go out of business to pay the inheritance tax if death comes. Well, in the first place now, a spouse doesn't have to pay an inheritance tax -- a widow or a widower -- and we have reduced the tax by increasing sizably the exemption from that. And there are further reductions coming in the near future; it's in installments.
That is one of the things for small business that we have to preserve. And small business provides 80 percent of the new jobs that we must have in this country, not big business. And we've done some other things through the Small Business Administration and all.
The President. I'm sure they will, because I'm going to keep squawking. [Laughter]
Representative Brown. [Inaudible] -- introduced again next year.
The President. Yes. Bud says it's going to be introduced again next year, so probably in the spring we'll be battling on that.
Representative Wylie. Mr. President, we have time for one more question, I'm told by your keepers, your Secret Service men. So -- --
The President. There's a gentleman that I'd already recognized.
Representative Wylie. We might try a lady if we've got a lady in -- --
The President. Do we have a lady with a question? What?
Advice for Young People
Q. [Inaudible] -- what advice do you have for the young people going out in the world today?
The President. What advice for the young people going out in the world today?
Q. Vote Republican. [Laughter]
The President. Some person down here in front said, ``Vote Republican.'' But, of course -- let me just take a second here, and then I will -- because I haven't recognized someone over here. Let me just take a second, if I could.
There are so many things -- and it's so easy for someone my age to start pontificating to young people when they open themselves up with a question like that. But, of course, you get all the training that you can. And then, I think, make up your mind, if it's in regard to a career, where you think that you would be happiest and be able to contribute the most and receive the most personal reward, I mean, in fulfillment in that job. And then I'll give you the best advice that I was ever given.
When a man back in the depression days of 1932 -- and I was a college graduate then and back at my old college job of lifeguarding for the summer, knowing I'd have to face the fall and get out into the world. And in 1932, there weren't any jobs anyplace. And there was a man who had fared well in the depression and was able to tell me that if I could tell him what I wanted to do, what line of work, if he had any connections there, he would speak for me and see if I couldn't get an opportunity in there.
Well, that was the first time, believe it or not, in this modern age, and that was the first time I had ever really been pinned down to having to say what I wanted to do. And there was a rather young industry at the time called radio. And I kind of made my way through college on the football field, and finally I went to him and I said, ``I think I'd like some form of the entertainment business and I think radio. And I'd like to be a sports announcer.''
Well, he said, ``I don't have any connections there. I can't help you.'' But he said, ``Maybe that's best, because I'll give you this advice.'' He said, ``Even in this depression, there are people who know they've got to take young people in and bring them up in their business and their industry to have people coming along.'' ``So,'' he said, ``you start knocking on doors of radio stations.'' He said, ``Just tell them you want a job, any job, to get into that industry -- that you believe in the industry, believe you can make it in that industry, and you'll take any job there is. And then take your chances on getting up to where you want to be from there.'' And, you know, it worked. [Laughter]
Dais guest. And now you're fully employed.
The President. I know. I knocked on a lot of radio station doors. And finally one day I knocked on one and happened to mention for the first time sports announcing as being a future ambition. And this elderly gentleman, one of the nicest men I've ever met, all bothered by arthritis, said to me, ``What do you know about football?'' I said, ``Played it for 8 years.'' He said, ``Could you tell me about a game if I were listening and make me see it?'' And I said, ``I think so.'' And he took me in his studio, put me in front of a microphone and said, ``When that red light goes on up there, you start broadcasting an imaginary football game. I'll be in another room listening.'' And I did.
And the only thing I really remember about that broadcast was -- I naturally picked a game from the previous season that I'd played in, and I was the running guard who had to come out and led the interference on a certain off-tackle play. And with 2 minutes to go, trailing by 1 point, we went 65 yards off-tackle for the touchdown, and I missed the key man in the secondary that I was supposed to block. And I've never known how we made the touchdown with me missing the block. But on the rebroadcast -- first instant replay -- I threw a block like you've never seen. [Laughter]
1984 Presidential Campaign
The President. What's that?
Q. [Inaudible] -- again in '84?
The President. I have said that that's something that the people tell you, whether you should or not. And I appreciate your reaction just now. If it's the same in '84, well, I'll certainly take that into consideration.
Thank you very much.
Representative Wylie. They have a song for you, Mr. President. It is called ``Staying the Course.''
[At this point, a small group sang the song.]
The President. Thank you very much. I am going to heed that advice. We're staying the course.
Note: The President spoke at 3:36 p.m. in the Union Room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Prior to his remarks, he had attended a reception for major contributors to the Bud Brown for Governor campaign.
Following his appearance at the fundraising reception, the President returned to Washington, D.C.