Ronald Reagan, who once had one speech for all occasions, now gives a different speech at almost every stop. But there are basic themes that he returns to again and again. Here are excerpts of recent Reagan speeches that reflect what he has been saying in the fall campaign:
The Carter record is a litany of despair, of broken promises, of sacred trusts abandoned and forgotten. Eight million out of work. Inflation running at 18 percent in the first quarter of 1980. Black unemployment at about 14 percent, higher than any single year since the government began keeping separate statistics. Four straight major deficits run up by President Carter and his friends in Congress. The highest interest rates since the Civil War -- reaching at times close to 20 percent -- lately down to more than 11 percent but now going up again. Productivity falling for six straight quarters among the most productive people in histroy.
Through this inflation he [President Carter] has raised taxes on the American people by 30 percent, while their real income has risen only 20 percent. He promised he would not increase taxes for the low- and middle-income people, the workers of America. Then he imposed on American families the largest single tax increase in history.
His answer to all of this misery? He tries to tell us that we are "only" in a recession, not a depression, as if definitions -- words -- relieve our suffering.
Let it show on the record that when the American people cried out for economic help, Jimmy Carter took refuge behind a dictionary. Well if it's a definition he wants, I'll give him one. A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. Recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.
Let. Mr. Carter go to their homes, look their children in the eye and argue with them that it is "only" a recession that put Dad or Mom out of work.
Let him go to the unemployment lines and lecture those workers who have been betrayed on what is the proper definition for their widespread economic misery.
Human tragedy, human misery, the crushing of the human spirit. They do not need defining -- they need action.
And it is action, in the form of jobs, lower taxes, and an expanded economy that -- as president -- I intend to provide.
Call this human tragedy whatever you want. Whatever it is, it is Jimmy Carter's. He caused it. He tolerates it. And he is going to answer to the American people for it.
In 1976 he said he would never use unemployment as an economic tool to fight inflation. In 1980 he called for an increase in unemployment -- to fight inflation. In 1976 he said he would bring unemployment and inflation down to 3 percent. Who can believe him? Unemployment is now around 8 percent, inflation is 12. And most of us have begun to realize that so long as Carter policies are in effect, the next four years will be as dark as the last four.
This country needs a new administration, with renewed dedication to the dream of America -- an administration that will give that dream new life and make America great again!
Beginning in January of 1981, American workers will once again be heeded. Their needs and values will be acted upon in Washington. I will consult with representatives of organized labor on those matters concerning the welfare of the working people of this nation. I happen to be the only president of a union ever to be a candidate for president of the United States.
We can have a bigger pie with bigger slices for everyone. I believe that together you and I can bake that bigger pie. We can make that dream that brought so many of us or our parents and grandparents to this land live once more.
I want to work in Washington to roll back the crushing burden of taxation that limits investment, production, and the generation of real wealth for our people. A job, and savings, and hope for our children is part of that dream.
One of the most critical elements of my economic program is the control of government spending. Waste, extravagance, abuse and outright fraud in federal agencies and programs must be stopped. Billions of the taxpayer's dollars are wasted every year. . . .
Federal spending is now projected to increase to over $900 billion a year by fiscal year 1985. But through a comprehensive assault on waste and inefficiency, I am confident that we can squeeze and trim 2 percent out of the budget in fiscal year 1981, and that we will be able to increase this gradually to 7 percent of what otherwise would have been spent in fiscal year 1985.
Actually, I believe we can do even better. My goal will be to bring about spending reductions of 10 percent by fiscal year 1984.
But restoring the American dream requires more than restorng a sound, productive economy, vitally important as that is. It requires a return to spiritual and moral values, so deeply held by those who came here to build a new life. We need to restore those values in our daily life, in our neighborhoods and in our government's dealings with the other nations of the world.
The second major element of my economic program is a tax rate reduction plan. This plan calls for an across-the-board, three-year reduction in personal income tax rates -- 10 percent in 1981, 10 percent in 1982, and 10 percent in 1983. My goal is to implement three reductions in a systematic, planned manner.
The most insidious tax increase is the one we must pay when inflation pushes us into higher brackets. As long as inflation is with us, taxes should be based on real income. Federal personal income taxes should be indexed to compensate for inflation, once tax rates have been reduced.
We also need faster, less complex depreciation schedules for business. Outdated depreciation schedules now prevent many industries, especially steel and auto, from modernizing their plants.
Government regulation, like fire, makes a good servant but a bad master. No one can argue with the intent of much of this regulation -- to improve health and safety and to give us cleaner air and water -- but too often regulations work against rather than for the interests of the people. In my administration there should and will be a thorough and systematic review of the thousands of federal regulations that affect the economy.
With 8 million people out of work, too few people are paying into the Social Security Trust Fund. That means future benefits may be jeopardized unless we put America back to work.
Let me tell you where I stand: I will defend the integrity of the Social Security system. And I will make sure that benefits are adjusted to reflect the cost of living. In a Reagan administration, we will make certain that no senior citizen will ever miss a Social Security payment.
I want to talk to you about the real defense policies of the Carter administration and how they would contrast with the convictions and policies of a Reagan administration. Please note I make this contrast in terms of administration rather than parties because I do not believe this administration's defense policies are representative of the thinking of millions of rank-and-file Democratic Party members.
The Carter administration, dominated as it is by the McGovernite wing of the party, has broken sharply with the views and policies of Harry Truman, John Kennedy and many contemporary leaders of the party.
Mr. Carter has recently adopted the rhetoric of strong defense. But his actions show that he lacks the vision and the will necessary to restore America's margin of safety and to preserve a genuine world peace.
The annual reports of the joint chiefs of staff have noted the adverse defense trends with alarm -- but we don't need generals and admirals to tell us that our readiness is eroded.
Every sailor, every soldier, every Marine, every airman knows the desperate condition of our state of readiness under the Carter administration.
There are members of service families present here today who know that the Carter attitude toward military personnel is even less responsible than his attitude toward military hardware. History will record that under Jimmy Carter, our military personnel had first-class equipment taken out of their hands -- and food stamps put in them.
I believe there is a way to reverse this shameful situation. Our country must provide the defenders of freedom with a quality of life that is equivalent to the sacrifices they make on our behalf.
With your support, and working closely with Congress, the next administration can and will restore and maintain America's strength.
Working together we can make American great and secure again. Working together we will not only feel but be more secure.