Lyndon Johnson - January 10, 1967: State of the Union Address

2 de nov. de 2023 · 1h 9m 37s
Lyndon Johnson - January 10, 1967: State of the Union Address

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, distinguished Members of the Congress:I share with all of you the grief that you feel at the death today of one of the most beloved,...

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Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, distinguished Members of the Congress:I share with all of you the grief that you feel at the death today of one of the most beloved, respected, and effective Members of this body, the distinguished Representative from Rhode Island, Mr. Fogarty.I have come here tonight to report to you that this is a time of testing for our Nation.At home, the question is whether we will continue working for better opportunities for all Americans, when most Americans are already living better than any people in history.Abroad, the question is whether we have the staying power to fight a very costly war, when the objective is limited and the danger to us is seemingly remote.So our test is not whether we shrink from our country's cause when the dangers to us are obvious and dose at hand, but, rather, whether we carry on when they seem obscure and distant--and some think that it is safe to lay down our burdens.I have come tonight m ask this Congress and this Nation to resolve that issue: to meet our commitments at home and abroad-to continue to build a better America--and to reaffirm this Nation's allegiance to freedom.As President Abraham Lincoln said, "We must ask where we are, and whither we are tending."The last 3 years bear witness to our determination to make this a better country.We have struck down legal barriers to equality.We have improved the education of 7 million deprived children and this year alone we have enabled almost 1 million students to go to college.We have brought medical care to older people who were unable to afford it. Three and one-half million Americans have already received treatment under Medicare since July.We have built a strong economy that has put almost 3 million more Americans on the payrolls in the last year alone.We have included more than 9 million new workers under a higher minimum wage.We have launched new training programs to provide job skills for almost 1 million Americans.We have helped more than a thousand local communities to attack poverty in the neighborhoods of the poor. We have set out to rebuild our cities on a scale that has never been attempted before. We have begun to rescue our waters from the menace of pollution and to restore the beauty of our land and our countryside, our cities and our towns.We have given 1 million young Americans a chance to earn through the Neighborhood Youth Corps--or through Head Start, a chance to learn.So together we have tried to meet the needs of our people. And, we have succeeded in creating a better life for the many as well as the few. Now we must answer whether our gains shall be the foundations of further progress, or whether they shall be only monuments to what might have been-abandoned now by a people who lacked the will to see their great work through.I believe that our people do not want to quit--though the task is great, the work hard, often frustrating, and success is a matter not of days or months, but of years-and sometimes it may be even decades.I have come here tonight to discuss with you five ways of carrying forward the progress of these last 3 years. These five ways concern programs, partnerships, priorities, prosperity, and peace.First, programs. We must see to it, I think, that these new programs that we have passed work effectively and are administered in the best possible way.Three years ago we set out to create these new instruments of social progress. This required trial and error--and it has produced both. But as we learn, through success and failure, we are changing our strategy and we are trying to improve our tactics. In the long run, these starts--some rewarding, others inadequate and disappointing--are crucial to SUCCESS.One example is the struggle to make life better for the less fortunate among us.On a similar occasion, at this rostrum in 1949, I heard a great American President, Harry S. Truman, declare this: "The American people have decided that poverty is just as wasteful and just as unnecessary as preventable disease."Many listened to President Truman that day here in this Chamber, but few understood what was required and did anything about it. The executive branch and the Congress waited 15 long years before ever taking any action on that challenge, as it did on many other challenges that great President presented. And when, 3 years ago, you here in the Congress joined with me in a declaration of war on poverty, then I warned, "It will not be a short or easy struggle-no single weapon... will suffice--but we shall not rest until that war is won."And I have come here to renew that pledge tonight.I recommend that we intensify our efforts to give the poor a chance to enjoy and to join in this Nation's progress.I shall propose certain administrative changes suggested by the Congress--as well as some that we have learned from our own trial and error.I shall urge special methods and special funds to reach the hundreds of thousands of Americans that are now trapped in the ghettos of our big cities and, through Head Start, to try to reach out to our very young, little children. The chance to learn is their brightest hope and must command our full determination. For learning brings skills; and skills bring jobs; and jobs bring responsibility and dignity, as well as taxes.This war--like the war in Vietnam--is not a simple one. There is no single battleline which you can plot each day on a chart. The enemy is not easy to perceive, or to isolate, or to destroy. There are mistakes and there are setbacks. But we are moving, and our direction is forward.This is true with other programs that are making and breaking new ground. Some do not yet have the capacity to absorb well or wisely all the money that could be put into them. Administrative skills and trained manpower are just as vital to their success as dollars. And I believe those skills will come. But it will take time and patience and hard work. Success cannot be forced at a single stroke. So we must continue to strengthen the administration of every program if that success is to come--as we know it must.We have done much in the space of two short years, working together.I have recommended, and you, the Congress, have approved, 10 different reorganization plans, combining and consolidating many bureaus of this Government, and creating two entirely new Cabinet departments.I have come tonight to propose that we establish a new department--a Department of Business and Labor.By combining the Department of Commerce with the Department of Labor and other related agencies, I think we can create a more economical, efficient, and streamlined instrument that will better serve a growing nation.This is our goal throughout the entire Federal Government. Every program will be thoroughly evaluated. Grant-in-aid programs will be improved and simplified as desired by many of our local administrators and our Governors.Where there have been mistakes, we will try very hard to correct them.Where there has been progress, we will try to build upon it.Our second objective is partnership--to create an effective partnership at all levels of government. And I should treasure nothing more than to have that partnership begin between the executive and the Congress.The 88th and the 89th Congresses passed more social and economic legislation than any two single Congresses in American history. Most of you who were Members of those Congresses voted to pass most of those measures. But your efforts will come to nothing unless it reaches the people.Federal energy is essential. But it is not enough. Only a total working partnership among Federal, State, and local governments can succeed. The test of that partnership will be the concern of each public organization, each private institution, and each responsible citizen.Each State, county, and city needs to examine its capacity for government in today's world, as we are examining ours in the executive department, and as I see you are examining yours. Some will need to reorganize and reshape their methods of administration-as we are doing. Others will need to revise their constitutions and their laws to bring them up to date--as we are doing. Above all, I think we must work together and find ways in which the multitudes of small jurisdictions can be brought together more efficiently.During the past 3 years we have returned to State and local governments about $40 billion in grants-in-aid. This year alone, 70 percent of our Federal expenditures for domestic programs will be distributed through the State and local governments. With Federal assistance, State and local governments by 1970 will be spending close to $110 billion annually. These enormous sums must be used wisely, honestly, and effectively. We intend to work closely with the States and the localities to do exactly that.Our third objective is priorities, to move ahead on the priorities that we have established within the resources that are available.I wish, of course, that we could do all that should be done--and that we could do it now. But the Nation has many commitments and responsibilities which make heavy demands upon our total resources. No administration would more eagerly utilize for these programs all the resources they require than the administration that started them.So let us resolve, now, to do all that we can, with what we have--knowing that it is far, far more than we have ever done before, and far, far less than our problems will ultimately require.Let us create new opportunities for our children and our young Americans who need special help.We should strengthen the Head Start program, begin it for children 3 years old, and maintain its educational momentum by following through in the early years.We should try new methods of child development and care from the earliest years, before it is too late to correct.And I will propose these measures to the 90th Congress.Let us insure that older Americans, and neglected Americans, share in their Nation's progres
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Autor Quiet.Please
Organización William Corbin
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