Birch Bayh for President 1976 Campaign Brochure
‘Senator Birch Bayh -- The Democratic candidate
for President with a plan for economic recovery...’
"We need a President who is less concerned that too many jobs will cause inflation, and more concerned that too few jobs will cause human suffering."
Two Republican Administrations following a deliberate policy of planned unemployment, have led us through two recessions and record inflation. Only a genius for ineptitude could have produced recession and inflation together. Only a totally insensitive Republican Administration could have tolerated both.
Despite some evidence that the current recession has hit bottom, the American economy is still a long way from recovery. Economic recovery will not come naturally. Economic recovery cannot be sustained by doing nothing. Only positive government action now can produce and sustain an economic recovery broad enough to put America back to work. That is the number one priority for a President today...and tomorrow...
With unemployment at 8.6% and American industry operating at two thirds of capacity, the President's concern that too strong a recovery will reignite an inflationary spiral is misplaced. We need a President who is less concerned that too many jobs will cause inflation, and more concerned that too few jobs will cause human suffering.
Nearly 8 million Americans are still unemployed, while millions more are either underemployed or have given up looking for employment. We are losing $200 billion a year in our gross national product -- that's more than $3,000 for each American family and yet inflation continues because Republican economics is blind to the cost of oil monopolies and grain deals.
Unemployment cannot cure our current inflation -- not only is it morally wrong, it is bad economics. Inflation is a serious problem, but the record of the last 5 years is clear -- increasing unemployment does not reduce the monopolistic price of energy; increasing unemployment does not drive down the price of food. It only adds to the welfare rolls and increases unemployment insurance costs.
I believe that putting Americans back to work is the single most important task facing the President. A President committed to putting Americans back to work can do just that by
-proposing a major tax cut for low and middle income families
We need to restore consumer confidence and stimulate consumer spending. That is the surest way to expand production and provide jobs. We need a tax cut plain and simple, without any political gimmicks about budget-cutting. The President's proposal to balance a tax cut with a budget cut is unacceptable economic policy. It will not produce and sustain economic recovery.
-pressuring the Federal Reserve to expand the money supply substantially and hold interest rates down
We can't afford to have the Federal Reserve working against an expansionary fiscal policy. A restrictive monetary policy and higher interest rates will short-circuit economic recovery before it is even underway. In order to avoid repeating the mistakes of monetary policy, we need to curb the independence of the Federal Reserve. That requires a Federal Reserve Board responsive to the public interest -- shorter terms for members and
publicly arrived at targets for monetary expansion are necessary ingredients in reforming the Fed.
-proposing a public service jobs program
We can find useful employment for the innocent victims of Republican engineered recessions. For example, I was successful in obtaining funds for a railroad track rehabilitation program that will put thousands of unemployed railroad workers back on the job -- a job that needs to be done.
-preventing a New York City default by developing a national guarantee program that will enable state governments to assist their hard pressed cities
We will never have economic recovery if New York City defaults and the municipal bond market collapses. Our recovery is much too fragile to absorb the shock of default -- to say nothing of the disastrous consequences of the increased cost of borrowing for every state and local jurisdiction in the nation.
-proposing an anti-recessionary revenue sharing program that is triggered on and off by the unemployment rate
We need to temporarily compensate state and local governments for the increased costs of welfare and for the fall off in revenues that both result from a failure of national economic policy.
Despite a major recession, inflation is still a serious problem? WHY? Because of
-a failure in energy policy
-a failure in food policy
-the monopoly market power of a few firms
ENERGY-Oil and gas prices must be regulated. As long as OPEC maintains its solidarity and the major domestic oil companies are permitted to follow their non-competitive practices, there will be no free market in energy. Decontrol of oil and deregulation of natural gas prices will force all prices upward, increasing the Consumer Price Index by four percent. That is clearly inflationary.
FOOD-Food prices are subject to wide fluctuations in world demand, and weather conditions that affect production. We can't control world demand nor the weather, but we can insulate food prices from these forces by establishing a strategic grain reserve to achieve a better balance between supply and demand. A strategic reserve would have to include safeguards against dumping for political ends -- but properly administered it could mean adequate supplies with price stability and that is in the long-term interests of family farmers and consumers alike.
MONOPOLY PRICING-When 20 oil companies control more than 75 percent of all oil production, refining and marketing in the U.S., and more than 90 percent of the oil pipeline capacity, it is clear they have the ability to set prices without regard to competition or market forces. And that is exactly what the oil companies are doing. Instead of letting the oil and other monopolistic forces repeal the law of supply and demand, we must take decisive action. That is why I have introduced and held hearings on legislation to break up the major domestic oil companies. We have a serious problem. We need a firm response.
Our economy is at a crucial turning point. The problems of skyrocketing energy and food costs and the inability of the free market to function effectively have led me to conclude that recent policy failures are the result of an outdated view of the American economy. Therefore, I am proposing the establishment of a Temporary National Economic Committee -- similar to the Committee established by President Roosevelt in 1938 -- to publicly investigate the concentration of economic power in America today.
If economic power is too heavily concentrated in the hands of a few, then we need stronger anti-trust action.
I want the free enterprise system to work.
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