Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Honoring the 100th Anniversary of Ronald Reagan's Birth

President Ronald Reagan, in a way unlike anyone else, defined what it meant to be a Republican and a conservative. President Reagan faced every crisis with dignity, optimism, a belief in the inherent righteousness of the American ideal, and a belief in the enduring goodness of the American people.

There is no better way to honor the man than to study the timeless truth of the principles he espoused during his lifetime. This passage comes from a section of President Reagan's First Inaugural Address delivered on January 20, 1981.

"Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, causing human misery and personal indignity. Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.

But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending. For decades, we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children's future for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.

You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we are not bound by that same limitation?

We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no misunderstanding—we are going to begin to act, beginning today.

The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we, as Americans, have the capacity now, as we have had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom.

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem."