Remarks During a Whistlestop Tour of Ohio

October 12, 1984

[1.] Dayton (12:30 p.m.)

This sounds a little old fashioned, I know, but we could say, from an earlier day of telephones here, that talking to the shuttle is kind of a party line. [Laughter]

But I'm glad that you could all listen in. Those wonderful people that are up there, and what they're doing, and just to give you some idea of the miracle that's taken place in all this -- and which if someone had his way several years ago, we wouldn't have had a shuttle program at all; he opposed it very much -- but the time that I was present out at Edwards Air Force Base in California for the landing of the shuttle, they suddenly grabbed me and hustled me up on the platform. And they said, ``It's, you know, getting close. It'll just be minutes now.'' And I got on the platform, and I couldn't see anything in the sky. And I said, ``Well, where are they right now?'' They said, ``They're just over Honolulu.'' [Laughter] And believe me, they were on their glide path from Honolulu in. And in a matter of minutes, they landed there in California.

That's quite a miracle that we have going up there. But there are going to be a lot more miracles in the days ahead here in this country of ours, thanks to people like you.

So, God bless you all. And I think now they're ready to pull out, so we'll be on time at the next station. Thank you.

[2.] Sidney (2 p.m.)

The President. Well, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much. It's wonderful to be here in Sidney, and great to be back in the Buckeye State.

How do you like our ``Heartland Special'' here? You know, Harry Truman rode this State in his whistlestop tour of 1948, and he spoke some very blunt truths. And that's what I'm going to do.

We're now 3\1/2\ weeks away from election day, and the American people are getting the full flavor of the clear choice that's facing them. It's a choice between two fundamentally different ways of governing and two different ways of looking at America. My opponent, Mr. Mondale, offers a future of pessimism, fear, and limits, compared to ours of hope, confidence, and growth.

Now, I don't fault his intentions. I know his intentions are good and that he means well. But we see things differently. He sees government as an end in itself, and we see government as something belonging to the people and only a junior partner in our lives.

They see people merely as members of groups -- special interests -- to be coddled and catered to. Well, we look at them as individuals to be fulfilled through their own freedom and creativity. My opponent and his allies live in the past. They are celebrating the old and failed policies of an era that has passed them by, as if history had skipped over those Carter-Mondale years.

On the other hand, millions of Americans join us in boldly charting a new course for the future. From the beginning their campaign has lived on promises. Indeed, Mr. Mondale has boasted that America is nothing if it is not promises. Well, the American people don't want promises, and they don't want to pay for his promises.

I think you want promise. You want opportunity and workable answers. It's fitting that we're campaigning today on Harry Truman's train, following the same route he took 36 years and 1 day ago. He was the last Democrat that I voted for; indeed, I campaigned for him in 1948.

Yes, I spent a great deal of my life as a Democrat. I respected Harry Truman's ability to stand for what he believes, his consistency of principles, and his determination to do the right thing. Mr. Truman could also make very plain the differences between himself and an opponent. And that's what I'm going to try to do today.

Let's start with the record, the record of the administration in which Mr. Mondale carried a full partnership. He -- Mr. Carter, himself -- said, ``There wasn't a single decision I made during 4 years in the White House that Fritz Mondale wasn't involved in.'' Well, in those 4 years they took the strongest economy in the world, and they pushed it to the brink of collapse. They created a calamity of such proportions that we're still suffering the consequences of those economic time bombs.

That was no fresh-faced, well-fed baby they left on our doorstep in January of 1981. It was a snarling economic wolf with sharp teeth. The suffering of America, the deep and painful recession, and the outrageous and frightening inflation -- these things didn't start by accidental ignition or spontaneous combustion. They came about through the concerted mismanagement of an administration of which Mr. Mondale was a part, and his liberal friends who controlled the Congress.

They gave us five -- in little more than a year -- five anti-inflation plans -- five different economic plans. And with them they managed to give us the worst 4-year record of inflation in nearly 40 years. While it took them five plans to nearly triple inflation, it's only taken us one to cut it down by two-thirds.

Senior citizens were driven into panic by higher rents, exorbitant fuel costs, dramatically increasing food prices, and a Federal health care cost which went up, in those 4 years, 87 percent. And they called that fairness. They punished the poor and the young who struggled as prices of necessity shot up faster than others. Millions of Americans led a life of daily economic terror, fueled by these unrelenting costs.

Well, let's look at interest rates. My opponent has referred to something he calls real interest rates. Well, people don't pay interest rates based on some academic smokescreen or foggy economic theory. What they know is that when Jerry Ford left office the prime rate was 6\1/4\ percent, and when Mr. Mondale left it was 21\1/2\ percent, the highest in 120 years.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. All right. [Laughing] Okay, you talked me into it. [Laughter]

But in that time, the average monthly mortgage payments more than doubled. Young people couldn't buy homes, car loans were hard to get and expensive, the auto and the homebuilding industries were brought to their knees. It's little wonder that the American people were yearning for leadership back in 1980. After all this economic punishment, our opponents blamed you for living too well. They said that's what was at fault and that you had to sacrifice more.

Well, I found that it's not so much that our opponents have a poor memory of this ruinous past, they just have a darn good ``forgetory.'' And one of the things they'd like most to forget is the misery index. Do you remember that?

That was where they added the unemployment rate and the inflation rate together. And in 1976, in that campaign, the misery index was 12.6, and they declared that Jerry Ford had no right to seek reelection being responsible for that kind of a misery index, 12.6.

But now came the 1980 campaign, and they never mentioned the misery index. And I don't think my opponent will mention it in this campaign, possibly because when he left the Vice Presidency the misery index was more than 20 percent, and now it's only 11.6.

He's done a little slipping and sliding and ducking away from this record, but here in Ohio during the primaries, Senator Gary Hart got his message through by reminding the Ohio voters of the true record. And I quote. Senator Hart said, ``Walter Mondale may pledge stable prices, but Carter-Mondale couldn't cut 12-percent inflation.'' ``Walter Mondale,'' he added, ``has come to Ohio to talk about jobs. But Carter-Mondale watched helpless as 180,000 Ohio jobs disappeared in the period between 1976 and 1980.'' Those are Gary Hart's words.

Well, those disastrous consequences didn't come about by accident. They came through the implementation of the very policies of out-of-control spending, unfair taxation, and worship of big government that my opponent still supports. His philosophy can be summed up in four sentences: If it's income, tax it. If it's revenue, spend it. If it's a budget, break it. And if it's a promise, make it. [Laughter]

All this year he has lavished his campaign with promises that staggered even his own Democratic opponents in the primary. Your own Senator Glenn was heard to say in frustration that Mr. Mondale, and I quote, ``has just promised everything to everybody with no thought of how it's going to be paid for.'' And then he said, ``Fritz, you cannot lead this country if you've promised everybody everything.''

But of course there is a predictable answer by one who makes so many promises. His answer is higher taxes, and massive new tax increases are precisely what he proposes. A few weeks back he called his new plans ``Pay as you go.'' What it is, of course, is nothing but the old plan: You pay, and he goes. [Laughter]

Those tax increases to pay for his promises add up to the equivalent of $1,890 per household. If Harry Truman had to apply a motto to this radical taxing scheme, he'd have to say not ``your buck stops here'' -- ``your buck never stops.'' [Laughter]

When the centerpiece of his economic program is backbreaking tax hikes, you can see why my opponent spends so much time using outrageous scare tactics.

Now, that's not my opponent's only tax extravaganza. He came up with still another one in our debate. He said, and I quote, ``As soon as we get the economy on a sound ground as well, I would like to see the total repeal of indexing.'' Now, this tax is even worse, because it would be a dagger at the heart of every low- and middle-income taxpayer in America. It would mean bone-crushing new levies against those who can least afford them.

Indexing was a reform that we passed -- it goes into effect on January 1st, this coming year -- to protect you from the cruel, hidden tax, when government uses inflation to force you into higher tax brackets when you've maybe just gotten a cost-of-living pay raise trying to keep even.

Under his plan, here's what would happen to a family struggling on $10,000 per year: By 1989 they would be paying over 73-percent more in income taxes. For families making $30,000 a year, this tax would take over $500 more in '89, nearly $900 a year more for those making $40,000, and these assume modest inflation. If we had their higher double-digit inflation rates back, then all those tax collections would more than double. And we're told that he misspoke, that he actually meant to say just the opposite.

But on several occasions since 1982, he has expressly proposed the repeal of indexing. He's done this quite often. In politics they call this, sometimes, flip-flops. In this case -- forgive me -- I'm going to call it a Fritz-flop. [Laughter]

Indexing is one example, but there are many others. Yesterday he wanted to give a $200 tax break to every family dependent. Today he wants to raise taxes the equivalent of $1,890 per household. You know, he's done a lot of talk lately that there's a new and an older Reagan. And he doesn't mean my age when he's talking that. He means that the old Reagan said things differently than the new Reagan is saying them.

Well, the old Mondale said that tightening the budget and reducing deficits would worsen a recession, and a new Mondale thinks higher taxes lead to a healthy economy. The old Mondale publicly supported Jimmy Carter's wrong-headed grain embargo, and a new Mondale claims he opposed it privately -- awful privately; no one else ever heard him.

The old Mondale sponsored National Bible Week in the United States Senate. I think that's fine. The new Walter Mondale says there's too much religion in politics. And the old Mondale called the space shuttle a horrible waste, a space extravaganza, and led the fight to kill it in the Senate. And the new Mondale praises American technological achievement.

But just when you're beginning to lose faith, you find there is some constancy. The old Mondale increased your taxes, and the new Mondale will increase them again.

You know, in our debate I got a little angry all those times he distorted my record. And on one occasion I was about to say to him very sternly, ``Mr. Mondale, you are taxing my patience.'' [Laughter] And then I caught myself. Why should I give him another idea? [Laughter] That's the only tax he hasn't thought about. [Laughter]

Well, from now until November 6th, we're going to make sure that the American people know about this choice on which their future depends. We have two roads to tomorrow: We have the road of fear and envy that he proposes. And on his road you frighten the elderly with false statements; you strive to divide Americans against each other, seeking to promote envy and portray greed. Franklin Roosevelt warned us that the only thing we had to fear was fear itself. Well, sadly and tragically, I think the only thing my opponent has to offer is fear itself.

When I said the elderly citizens -- being frightened. Again, these repeated charges that somehow we're nursing a secret plan to undercut the people who are on Social Security and reduce or remove their benefits -- I said it on Sunday night, and I will say it again: There is no one in this administration -- and if there was, they wouldn't be here long -- that has any intention of taking Social Security away from those people who have it and who deserve it.

We see things differently, as I said, because we see ourselves in a springtime of hope, ready to fire up our courage and determination to reach high and achieve all the best. We see a life where our children can enjoy -- at last -- prosperity without inflation. We see a life where they can enjoy the highest of creativity and go for the stars, not have their hopes and dreams crushed by politicians or taxed away by greedy governmentalists.

The American people are walking into tomorrow unashamed, unafraid. And again, I have to say something that I've been saying so often across this country, and I mean it with all my heart. One of the most thrilling things is to see so many young Americans present at these rallies.

Let me tell you, you are what this campaign and this election are all about. There's one thing that the rest of us and the people of my generation have to do before we leave the scene, and that is restore this country -- as I think we've begun to do -- so that one day you will find the same America of unlimited hope and opportunity that we were promised and found when we were young that had been left to us by our parents.

You know, I know you're ready for great opportunity, and I know this may gall our opponents, but -- it's time for the train to move on -- and I think maybe you'll all agree with me when I say just one more line: We think we've made a good beginning, but you ain't seen nothin' yet. [Applause]

All right. Thank you very much.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Thank you. Thank you. Let me just add a little postscript, and then I've got to get on that train. I know in a crowd this size there must be many of you who are Democrats, as I once was. And I must say this: You're not only welcome, but if you are here, I think you're here because -- like happened to me once -- you no longer can follow the policies of the leadership of your party. It's true for millions of patriotic, right-thinking Democrats throughout this country. Well, I say to all of you, if you are here, don't be alone. Come on along with us, and between the two of us, between all of us, we'll get this whole thing straightened out -- day after tomorrow.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

[3.] Lima (3:48 p.m.)

The President. Thank you very much.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Well, all right. I wasn't going to do it, but if you insist, okay. Four more -- [laughter]. All right. Thank you all. It's great to be back in the Buckeye State and here in Allen County and the great city of Lima.

You know, in this job you get to meet some important people -- heads of state, prime ministers, premiers, kings, and queens. But I've always said that the best part of this job is remembering that George Bush and I are working for you and nobody else. So, I just thought that I'd drop by today so you could hear a report from your two hired hands in Washington.

In 4 years here, the unemployment rate in Lima has fallen 4\1/2\ percentage points. And, you know, if you'll help me send a message to some Washington politicians this November, we'll get that rate down even further.

You've done a great job here in Lima. You've got agriculture; you've got basic industry. You've got some of the new industries that are opening up. You're helping keep our defenses strong by building the M - 1 tank at the General Dynamics plant. You've got a refinery, a chemical company. The list keeps going. You're all the things a growing America is all about.

We're now 3\1/2\ weeks from election day, and the American people are getting the full flavor of the very clear choice that faces them. It's a choice between two fundamentally different ways of governing America and two distinct ways of looking at America. My opponent, Mr. Mondale, offers a future of pessimism, fear, and limits, compared to ours of hope, confidence, and growth.

Now, I don't fault his intentions. I know he sincerely means it and feels that way. He sees government -- as some others do -- as an end in itself. And we see government as something belonging to the people and only a junior partner in our lives. They see people merely as members of groups, special interests to be coddled and catered to. Well, we look at them as individuals to be fulfilled through their own freedom and creativity.

My opponent and his allies live in the past. They're celebrating the old and failed policies of an era that has passed them by, and if history had skipped over -- as if history, I should say, had skipped over these Carter-Mondale years. On the other hand, millions of Americans join us in boldly charting a new course for the future.

From the beginning their campaign has lived on promises. Indeed, Mr. Mondale boasts that America is nothing if it isn't promises. Well, the American people don't want promises, I don't think. They don't want to pay for his promises. They want promise; they want opportunity and workable answers.

And it's fitting that we're campaigning today on Harry Truman's train -- following the same route that he took 36 years and 1 day ago. He happened to be the last Democrat I voted for. [Laughter] And I campaigned for him in 1948. I respected his ability to stand for what he believes, his consistency of principles, and his determination to do the right thing.

Mr. Truman could also make very plain the differences between himself and his opponent. And my friends, that's just what we're going to do today.

Let's start with the record, the record of an administration in which Mr. Mondale carried a full partnership.

Mr. Carter, himself, said that ``. . . there wasn't a single decision I made during 4 years in the White House that Fritz Mondale wasn't involved in.'' Well, in those 4 years, they took the strongest economy in the world and pushed it to the brink of collapse. They created a calamity of such proportions that we're still suffering the consequences of those economic time bombs.

There was no fresh-faced, well-fed baby lying on our doorstep on January 20 of 1981. It was a snarling economic wolf with sharp teeth. The suffering of America -- the deep and painful recession, and the outrageous and frightening inflation -- these things didn't start by accidental ignition or spontaneous combustion. They came about through the complete mismanagement of the administration of which Mr. Mondale was a part, and his liberal friends who controlled the Congress.

They gave us five -- count them -- just in a little more than a year -- as everything was going to pot -- they gave us five different anti-inflation plans and, at the same time with them, managed to give us the worst 4-year record of inflation in nearly 40 years. Now, while it took them five plans to nearly triple inflation, it's only taken us one to cut it by about two-thirds.

Senior citizens were driven into panic by higher rents, exorbitant fuel costs, dramatically increasing food costs, and Federal health care costs which went up a massive 87 percent in those 4 years. And they called that fairness.

They punished the poor and the young who struggled as prices of necessities shot up faster than others. Millions of Americans led a life of daily economic terror fueled by those unrelenting costs.

Let's look at interest rates. My opponent has referred to something that he calls now the real interest rates. Well, people don't pay interest rates on some academic smokescreen or foggy economic theory. What they know is that when Jerry Ford left office, the prime interest rate was 6\1/4\ percent. And when Mr. Mondale left office, it was 21\1/2\ percent. That was the highest interest rate in 120 years.

Average monthly mortgage payments more than doubled. Young people couldn't buy homes; car loans were hard to get and expensive. The automobile and homebuilding industries were brought to their knees. It's little wonder that the American people yearned for leadership in 1980.

And after all this economic punishment, our opponents blamed you, because you lived too well. They told you you had to sacrifice more, that we were in an age of limits now. Well, I found out that it's not so much that our opponents have a poor memory of their ruinous past; it's just that they have an awfully good ``forgetory.'' [Laughter] And one of the things they like most to forget is the misery index.

Now, some of you young people are too young to remember that, but in the 1976 campaign -- 8 years ago -- they figured out a gimmick. They added up the rate of inflation and the rate of unemployment, and the total was the misery index. And at that time, in '76, it was 12.6. And they declared that the incumbent, Jerry Ford, had no right to seek reelection with that kind of a misery index.

Well, 4 years later, along came the 1980 campaign. They never mentioned the misery index. And I don't think my opponent will mention it in this campaign, possibly because it was over 20 when he left the Vice Presidency. And it's only 11.6 now.

My opponent has done a very good job of slipping, sliding, and ducking away from his record. But here in Ohio during the primaries, Senator Gary Hart got his message through by reminding you, the Ohio voters, of the true record. And I quote -- he said, ``Walter Mondale may pledge stable prices, but Carter-Mondale could not cure 12-percent inflation.'' ``Walter Mondale,'' he added, ``has come to Ohio to talk about jobs, but Carter-Mondale watched helpless as 180,000 Ohio jobs disappeared in the period between 1976 and 1980.'' Now, I didn't say that. Those are Gary Hart's words.

Those disastrous consequences didn't come about by accident. They came through the implementation of the very policies of out-of-control spending, unfair taxation, and worship of big government that my opponent still supports.

His philosophy can be summed up in four sentences: If it's income, tax it. If it's revenue, spend it. If it's a budget, break it. And if it's a promise, make it.

All this year -- [applause] -- all -- --

Audience. 4 more years!

The President. Thank you.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Okay.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. All right.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Well, all this year, he has lavished his campaign with promises that staggered even his Democratic opponents. Ohio's own Senator Glenn was heard to say in frustration that Mr. Mondale, and I quote, ``has just promised everything to everybody with no thought of how it's going to be paid for.'' And then again, Gary Hart responded and said, ``Fritz, you cannot lead this country if you've promised everybody everything.''

But, of course, there's a predictable answer by one who makes so many promises. That answer is higher taxes. And massive new tax increases are precisely what he proposes. A few weeks back, he called his new plan ``pay as you go.'' But what it is, of course, is nothing but the old plan. You pay, and he goes. [Laughter]

Those tax increases to pay for his promises add up to the equivalent of $1,890 per household. If Harry Truman had to apply a motto to his radical taxing scheme, he would have to say that -- you know that famous line, ``The buck stops here.'' He would say this time, ``Your buck never stops.'' When the centerpiece of his economic program is backbreaking tax hikes, you can see why he spends so much time using outrageous scare tactics.

Now, that's not my opponent's only tax extravaganza. He came up with still another one in our debate. He said, and I quote, ``As soon as we get the economy on a sound ground as well, I would like to see the total repeal of indexing.''

Now, this tax is even worse, because it would be a dagger at the heart of every low- and middle-income taxpayer in America. It would mean bonecrushing new levies against those who can least afford them. Indexing was a reform that we passed to protect you from the cruelest of taxes, the hidden tax when government uses inflation to force you into higher tax brackets just because you've gotten a cost-of-living pay raise.

And under the Mondale plan, here's what would happen to a family struggling on $10,000 a year. By 1989 they would be paying over 73 percent more in income taxes if indexing, which begins on January 1st, is canceled. For families making 30,000 a year, the tax would take over $500 more in '89, nearly $900 a year more if someone was making 40,000. These assume modest inflation. If we had this higher, double-digit tax inflation rate back, the kind that they had, then all those tax collections would more than double what I've just told you.

Now, we're told since Sunday night that he misspoke, that he actually meant to just say the opposite. But on several occasions, on several occasions since 1982, he has expressly proposed the repeal of indexing. And he's done this quite often.

You know, in politics, they call that a flip-flop. In this case, you'll forgive me if I call it a Fritz-flop. [Laughter]

Yesterday, he wanted to give a $200 tax break to every family dependent, and today he wants to raise taxes the equivalent of $1,890 per household. You know, for some time, over the last several days at least, he was talking about a new Reagan and an old Reagan. Now, that had nothing to do with my age. The old Reagan was the first one. The new Reagan is now. And what he said that -- well, he inspired me to do a little of that old and new business.

The old Mondale is on record as saying that the budget and reducing deficits could worsen a recession; the new Mondale thinks higher taxes lead to a healthy economy. The old Mondale publicly supported Jimmy Carter's wrong-headed grain embargo, and the new Mondale claims that he opposed it privately -- very privately. [Laughter] The old Mondale sponsored National Bible Week in the U.S. Senate. I'm for that. The new Mondale says there's too much religion in politics.

The old Mondale called the space shuttle a horrible waste, a space extravaganza, and he personally led the fight in the United States Senate to kill the shuttle program. The new Mondale praises American technological achievement.

I had the privilege just a little while ago from the train of calling those people that are up there going around the Earth right now while I'm riding on the train, those wonderful heroes of ours.

But just when you're beginning to lose faith, however, you find that there is some constancy. The old Mondale increased your taxes, and the new Mondale will do it again.

You know, in our debate, I got a little angry at all those times that he distorted my record. And on one occasion, I was about to say to him very sternly, ``Mr. Mondale, you're taxing my patience.'' [Laughter] And then I caught myself. Why should I give him another idea? [Laughter] That's the only tax he hasn't thought of.

Well, from now until November 6th, we're going to make sure the American people know about this choice on which their future depends. Incidentally, when I was in school, I learned that ``Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November.'' Now, I happen to realize that November only has 6 days. [Laughter]

But just when you're beginning to -- well, let me just start again and say we have two roads to tomorrow. We have the road of fear and envy that he proposes. And on this road, you frighten the elderly with false statements. You strive to divide Americans against each other, seeking to promote envy and portray greed. Franklin Roosevelt warned us that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Well, sadly and tragically, the only thing my opponent has to offer is fear itself.

Well, that's the difference between us. We see America's best day ahead. We see ourselves in a springtime of hope, ready to fire up our courage and determination to reach high and achieve all the best. We see a life where our children can enjoy, at last, prosperity without inflation. And we see a life where they can enjoy the highest of creativity and go for the stars; not have their hopes and dreams crushed or taxed away by greedy governmentalists. The American people are walking into tomorrow unashamed and unafraid. They're ready for this great era of opportunity.

And I just have to say two more things here. Looking around -- and when I see these young people in these band uniforms of their respective schools, I have to tell you that all over the country, in gatherings like this, I have been thrilled at seeing so many young people who are present here, because, you know, they're what this campaign and this election is all about.

Those of us -- my generation and a few generations in between them and mine -- all of us have a responsibility. All of us inherited an America that our parents and our grandparents had handed to us, in which the opportunity was unlimited. You knew, when you were growing up, that it was all dependent on you. You could do anything out there, fly as high and far as your own ability would take you, and you wouldn't be penalized for the effort. And our responsibility now, after some years of that having been taken away from us, is to be able to make that same promise to them -- to all of you young people -- that that's the kind of America we're going to turn over to you.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. All right. And because of that, I'll give you a promise of something that'll take place in those 4 more years. Another thing that I think has been shameful in political campaigning -- it was in the 1982 congressional campaigns; it is shameful in this campaign. And that is, for political advantage, to frighten so many of our senior citizens by telling them that we were somehow nursing a secret plan to reduce or take from them their Social Security benefits. Well, there is no one in our administration with such a plan, and if there was one there, he'd be gone.

I just want to set the record straight. We are not going to do anything to reduce or to take from the people now getting Social Security those benefits or to take them from the people that are anticipating them when they come to their nonearning years.

Now, I know this may gall our opponents, but I'll conclude by saying that I think all of you agree with us when we say: You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Thank you all very much. Thank you.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Thank you.

[4.] Ottawa (5:11 p.m.)

The President. Thank you all very much, and I thank your good Congressman Del Latta, who introduced me here today. And I want you to know how much we need him back in Washington, DC. Remember that in that great program of cutting -- or spending cuts and tax cuts that we put through in 1981 there were two authors' names on that bill. One was a Congressman from Texas, Phil Gramm, and the other one was your Del Latta.

But I thank all of you, too, for a heartwarming reception. It is great to be in Ottawa.

When President Harry Truman spoke to the people of Ottawa during his whistlestop tour in 1948 in this same car, he spoke these words: ``We are in a campaign which will go down as one of the most important in the history of our country. And it's your campaign. It's your welfare that's at stake.'' Well, today we once again face an historic election. And once again, it's your welfare that's at stake.

We're now 3\1/2\ weeks from election day. And the American people are getting the full flavor of the very clear choice that is facing them. It's a choice between two fundamentally different ways of governing and two distinct ways of looking at America. My opponent, Mr. Mondale, offers a future of pessimism, fear, and limits, compared to ours of hope, confidence, and growth.

Now, I know that his intentions are good. I know that he's sincere in that and in what he believes. But he sees government as an end in itself, and we see government as something belonging to the people and only a junior partner in our lives.

My opponent and his allies live in the past, celebrating the old and failed policies of an era that has passed them by, as if history had skipped over those Carter-Mondale years. On the other hand, millions of Americans join us in boldly charting a new course for the future.

Now, it's fitting that we're campaigning today on Harry Truman's train, following the same route that he took 36 years and 1 day ago. He was the last Democrat I voted for. [Laughter] Indeed, in 1948 I campaigned for him.

Mr. Truman could make very plain the differences between himself and his opponent. And, my friends, that's just what I'm here to do today. Let us start with the record, the record of the administration in which Mr. Mondale carried a full partnership.

In those 4 years, they took the strongest economy in the world and pushed it to the brink of collapse. They created a calamity of such proportions that we're still suffering the consequences of those economic time bombs. That was no fresh-faced, well-fed baby that they left on our doorstep in January of 1981. It was a snarling economic wolf with sharp teeth.

The suffering of America -- the deep and painful recession and the outrageous and frightening inflation -- these things didn't start by accidental ignition or spontaneous combustion. They came about through the concerted mismanagement of the administration of which Mr. Mondale was a part, and his liberal friends who controlled the Congress.

They gave us five -- in a little more than a year -- they gave us five different anti-inflation programs, and then managed, with them, to give us the worst 4-year record of inflation in nearly 40 years. While it took them five plans to nearly triple in inflation, it's only taken us one to cut it by two-thirds.

Senior citizens were driven into panic by higher rents, exorbitant fuel costs, dramatically increasing food prices, and a Federal health care cost which went up a massive 87 percent in just those 4 years. And they called that fairness.

They punished the poor and the young who struggled as prices of necessities shot up faster than the others. Millions of Americans led a life of daily economic terror fueled by these unrelenting costs.

Let's look at interest rates. My opponent has referred to something now that he calls the real interest rate, and it concerns him greatly. Well, I don't think people pay interest rates on some abstract smokescreen or academic or foggy economic theory. What they know is that when Jerry Ford left office in 1976, the prime rate was 6\1/4\ percent. When Mr. Mondale left office, it was 21\1/2\ percent, the highest in 120 years.

Average monthly mortgage payments more than doubled. Car loans were hard to get and expensive. The automobile and homebuilding industries were brought to their knees. And after all this economic punishment, our opponents blamed you, because you lived too well. They told you you'd have to learn to sacrifice more and live with less and within economic limits. Well, I found that it's not so much that our opponents have a poor memory of this ruinous past; they've just got a darn good ``forgetory.'' [Laughter]

And one of the things they like most to forget is the misery index, where they added the unemployment rate and the inflation rates together. And then -- they did this in 1976 in that election campaign, and the misery index then was 12.6. And they said that Jerry Ford, as the incumbent President, had no right to seek reelection with that kind of a misery index.

Well, then came the 1980 election. And they never mentioned the misery index. And I don't think my opponent will mention it in this campaign, possibly because it was over 20 when he left the Vice Presidency, and it's now down to 11.6.

You know, he's done a pretty good job of slipping, sliding, and ducking away from this record. But here in Ohio, during the primaries, Senator Gary Hart got his message through by reminding the Ohio voters of the true record. And I quote, ``Walter Mondale,'' said Senator Hart, ``may pledge stable prices, but Carter-Mondale could not cure 12-percent inflation.'' And then he added, ``Walter Mondale has come to Ohio to talk about jobs. But Carter-Mondale watched helpless as 180,000 jobs disappeared in the period between 1976 and 1980.'' Now, those are Gary Hart's words.

And those disastrous consequences didn't come about by accident. They came through the implementation of the very policies of out-of-control spending, the very unfair taxation, and the worship of big government that my opponent still supports.

His philosophy can be summed up in four sentences: If it's income, tax it. If it's revenue, spend it. If it's a budget, break it. And if it's a promise, make it.

All this year, he has lavished his campaign with promises that staggered even his Democratic opponents. But, of course, there is a predictable answer by one who makes so many promises. And the answer to his promises is higher taxes. And massive new tax increases are precisely what he proposes. A few weeks back, he called his new plan ``pay as you go.'' But what it is, of course, is nothing but the old plan. You pay, and he goes. [Laughter]

Those tax increases to pay for his promises add up to the equivalent of $1,890 per household in this country. If Harry Truman had to apply a motto to this radical taxing scheme, he would have to say that, ``Your buck never stops.'' [Laughter] When the centerpiece of his economic program is backbreaking tax hikes, you can see why my opponent spends so much time using outrageous scare tactics.

Now, that's not my opponent's only tax extravaganza. He came up with still another one in our debate. He said -- and I quote -- ``As soon as we get the economy on a sound ground as well, I would like to see the total repeal of indexing.''

Now, this tax is even worse, because this would be a dagger at the heart of every low- and middle-income taxpayer in America. It would mean bonecrushing new levies against those who can least afford them. Indexing was a reform that we passed to protect you from the cruel hidden tax when government uses inflation to force you into higher tax brackets when you get a cost-of-living pay raise.

Under the Mondale plan, here's what would happen to a family struggling on $10,000 per year. By 1989 they would be paying over 73 percent more income taxes. Now, we're told since he said that on Sunday night that he misspoke and that he actually meant to say just the opposite. But on several occasions since 1982, he has expressly proposed the repeal of indexing. And he's done this quite often. In politics, you call this a flip-flop. But forgive me, I've decided to call it a Fritz-flop. [Laughter]

Indexing is one example, but there are many others. Yesterday, he wanted to give a $200 tax break to every family dependent. And today he wants to raise taxes the equivalent of $1,890 per household. Several days now out on the campaign trail, he's talked about me as a new Reagan and an old Reagan. Now, that has nothing to do with my age, because the old Reagan was when I was much younger and the new Reagan is now. [Laughter] But I decided to do some old and new Mondaleing.

The old Mondale said that tightening the budget, reducing government spending, and reducing deficits could worsen a recession and cause unemployment. The new Mondale thinks higher taxes lead to a healthy economy. The old Mondale publicly supported Jimmy Carter's wrong-headed grain embargo, and the new Mondale claims that he opposed it privately -- very privately. [Laughter] The old Mondale sponsored National Bible Week in the U.S. Senate. I can go along with that. And the new Walter Mondale, though, says there's too much religion in politics.

The old Mondale called the space shuttle a horrible waste, a space extravaganza, and he personally led the fight in the United States Senate to try and kill the entire shuttle program before it even started. The new Mondale praises American technological achievement.

Well, I just thought that was appropriate today, when probaby right now -- or possibly right now, I should say, I don't know where they are -- but while we're riding across Ohio on this train, those young heroes of ours, male and female, are circling this Earth several times in that shuttle, which will land tomorrow. And God bless them, wherever they are.

Audience. Reagan! Reagan! Reagan!

The President. Well, now, with all this old and new Mondale, just when you're beginning to lose faith, finally you do find there is some constancy. The old Mondale increased your taxes. And the new Mondale will do it again.

You know, in our debate, I got a little angry all those times that he distorted my record. And on one occasion, I was about to say to him very sternly, ``Mr. Mondale, you're taxing my patience.'' [Laughter] Then I caught myself. Why should I give him another idea? That's the only tax he hasn't thought of. [Laughter]

From now on until November 6th, we're going to make sure that the American people know about this choice on which their future depends. We have two roads to tomorrow. We have the road of fear and envy that Mr. Mondale proposes. On his road, you frighten the elderly with false statements.

And speaking of that, let me interrupt myself for a moment and say one of the things that I think has been most shameful in the line of political demagoguery. We saw it in the congressional campaigns of 1982, and we're seeing it in this campaign, and that is when for purely political advantage, falsely, their candidates go around telling our senior citizens who are dependent on Social Security that we somehow have a secret plot in which we're either going to reduce their payments or take them away from them entirely. Well, I want you to know that if there was anyone in my administration that even had secretly such an idea, he'd be long gone.

We are not going to do anything to doublecross the people dependent on Social Security, or those anticipating Social Security when they come to their nonearning years. Their benefits are going to remain with them.

But he strives to divide Americans against each other, seeking to promote envy and portray greed. Franklin Delano Roosevelt warned that the only thing we have to fear in this country is fear itself. Sadly and tragically, the only thing my opponent has to offer is fear itself.

Well, that's the difference between us. We see America's best days ahead. We see ourselves in a springtime of hope, ready to fire up our courage and determination to reach high and achieve all the best. We see a life where our children can enjoy, at last, prosperity without inflation. We see a life where they can enjoy the highest of creativity and go for the stars, and not have their hopes and dreams crushed or taxed away by greedy governmentalists.

The American people are walking into tomorrow unashamed and unafraid. And, you know, I have to say -- all over the country in meetings of this kind, I have been so thrilled and excited to see the turnout of young people at meetings of this kind, because -- --

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Let me just say for all of you -- or to all of you, you're what this campaign and what this election is all about. People of my generation and of several generations between mine and yours -- [laughter] -- we grew up in an America where, for the most part, we just grew up automatically knowing that there was no limit to what we could accomplish. There was no ceiling beyond which we couldn't go -- that the hope, the opportunity, the golden dreams were there for all of us and dependent on us, and we could fly as high and far as our energy and our talent and ability would take us.

Then we've come to a period in recent years in which limits were placed; and that hope, we were told, was kind of shut off -- that we were to expect something less.

Well, I'm glad you're here, all you young people, because I want to tell you the responsibility that the rest of us have and we're going to meet is to see that we turn over to you the same kind of America that our parents turned over to us, where there is hope and freedom for all.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. All right. All right. I'm willing if you are.

But I know that you, the American people, young and old, are ready for this great new era of opportunity. And I know this may gall our opponents, but I think the people, all of you, agree with us when we tell you: You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Audience. U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

The President. Thank you. Thank you very much. Now they tell me the train's going to whistle, and I'm going to have to leave and move on to the next stop -- --

Audience. No!

The President. Oh, I have to -- --

[At this point, the President was presented with an Ottawa-Glansdorf High School T-shirt.]

Thank you. Thank you all. God bless you.

[5.] Deshler (6:12 p.m.)

The President. Well, thank you very much. And I want you to know how proud I am when your Congressman, Del Latta, comes out here and introduces me. There were two names on that bill that cut the cost of government and that cut your taxes when we started our new program in '81. And one of those two names was Congressman Del Latta.

Well, it's great to be in Deshler, home of the Deshler Flag and home of the Bavarian House. And it's great to see all of you here in this Buckeye State.

You know, in this job I have you get to meet some important people like kings and queens, and heads of state, and prime ministers, and so forth, but I've always said the best part of the job is remembering that George Bush and I are working for you and nobody else. So, I thought I'd just drop by today, and you could have a report from your two hired hands.

We're now 3\1/2\ weeks from election day, and the American people are getting the full flavor of the very clear choice that is facing them. It's a choice between two fundamentally different ways of governing and two distinct ways of looking at America. My opponent, Mr. Mondale, offers a future of pessimism, fear, and limits, compared to one -- ours -- of hope, confidence, and growth.

Now, I know that he's sincere, and I know that he is well intentioned, but -- --

Audience. We love you, Ronnie!

The President. Thank you.

-- -- but he sees government as an end in itself, and we see government as something belonging to you, the people, and only a junior partner in your lives.

My opponent and his allies live in the past. They're celebrating the old and failed policies of an era that has passed them by, as if history had skipped over the Carter-Mondale years. On the other hand, millions of Americans join us in boldly charting a course, a new course for the future.

It's fitting that we're campaigning today on Harry Truman's train. And we're following the same route he took 36 years and 1 day ago. He was the last Democrat I voted for. [Laughter] And I campaigned for him in 1948. But Mr. Truman could make very plain the differences between himself and his opponent. My friends, that's just what we're going to do today.

Let's start with the record, the record of the administration that Mr. Mondale -- in which he was carried as a full partner. In those 4 years they took the strongest economy in the world and pushed it to the brink of collapse. They created a calamity of such proportions that we're still suffering the consequences of those economic hard times.

When we got there on January 20th, that was no fresh-faced, well-fed baby left on our doorstep. It was a snarling economic wolf with sharp teeth. And the suffering of America, the deep and painful recession, and the outrageous and frightening inflation -- these things didn't start by accidental ignition or spontaneous combustion. They came about through the concerted mismanagement of the administration of which Mr. Mondale was a part, and his liberal friends who controlled the Congress.

They gave us five, in a little more than a year, five -- you can count them -- economic programs they said would curb inflation and wound up giving us the worst inflation in nearly 40 years. While it took them five plans to nearly triple inflation, it's only taken us one to cut it by about two-thirds.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Thank you. Thank you. I'm game.

You know, senior citizens were driven into panic by higher rents, exorbitant fuel costs, dramatically increasing food prices, and Federal health care costs which in those 4 years went up 87 percent. They called that fairness. They punished the poor and the young who struggled as prices of necessity shot up faster than others. Millions of Americans led a life of daily economic terror, fueled by those unrelenting costs.

Let's look at interest rates. My opponent has referred to something that he calls the real interest rate as being quite a punishment today. Well, people don't pay interest based on some academic smokescreen or foggy economic theory. What they know is that when Jerry Ford left the Presidency the interest rate, the prime rate was 6\1/4\ percent, and when Mr. Mondale left office it was 21\1/2\ percent, the highest in 120 years.

Average monthly mortgage rates more than doubled. Car loans were hard to get and expensive. The automobile and homebuilding industries were brought to their knees. And after all this economic punishment, our opponents said the trouble was you live too well, and they told you you would have to sacrifice more, that we were now entering an era of limits, and things would never again be as good as they once were.

Well, I found out that it's not so much that our opponents have a poor memory of this ruinous past, they've just got a darn good ``forgetory.'' [Laughter] And one of the things they like most to forget is the misery index.

Now, that was the thing -- and some of you young people probably won't remember, but in 1976, in the campaign, they added the inflation rate to the unemployment rate, and it came to 12.6 percent. And they said that with that kind of a misery index, Jerry Ford had no right to run for reelection. It was so big.

Well, then came the 1980 campaign, and they never mentioned the misery index. And I don't think my opponent's going to mention it in this campaign, possibly because when he left the Vice Presidency it was over 20 percent and today it's only 11.6 percent.

Audience. We in Deshler think you're the best! 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. He does a very good job of slipping and sliding and ducking away from his record. But here in Ohio, during the primaries, Senator Gary Hart got his message through by reminding the Ohio voters of the true record. And I quote. He, too, was a Democratic candidate. He said, ``Walter Mondale may pledge stable prices, but Carter-Mondale could not cure 12-percent inflation.'' ``Walter Mondale,'' he added, ``has come to Ohio to talk about jobs, but Carter-Mondale watched helpless as 180,000 Ohio jobs disappeared in the period between 1976 and 1980.''

Those disastrous consequences did not come about by accident. They came through the implementation of the very policies of out-of-control spending, unfair taxation, and worship of big government that my opponent still supports. His philosophy can be summed up in four sentences: If it's income, tax it. If it's revenue, spend it. If it's a budget, break it. And if it's a promise, make it.

All this year he has lavished his campaign with promises that staggered even his Democratic opponents. But, of course, there is a predictable answer by one who makes so many promises, and his answer is very simple: higher taxes. And massive new tax increases are precisely what he proposes. A few weeks back he called his new plan ``Pay as you go.'' Well, what it is, of course, is nothing but the old plan: You pay, and he goes. [Laughter]

Those tax increases, to pay for his promises, add up to the equivalent of $1,890 per household. If Harry Truman had to apply a motto to this radical taxing scheme -- let me again say to the young people who perhaps don't remember, that Harry Truman was the one that sat in the Oval Office and said that ``the buck stops here.'' I think today, with regard to my opponent's plans, he'd say, ``Your buck never stops.'' [Laughter]

With the centerpiece of his economic program his backbreaking tax hikes, you can see why the opponent spends so much time using outrageous scare tactics.

Now, that's not my opponent's only tax extravaganza. He came up with still another one in our debate. He said, and I quote, ``As soon as we get the economy on a sound ground as well, I would like to see the total repeal of indexing.'' Now, this tax is even worse, because it would be a dagger at the heart of every low- and middle-income taxpayer in this country. It would mean bone-crushing new levies against those who can least afford them.

Indexing was a reform that we passed to protect you from the cruel, hidden tax, when government uses inflation to force you into higher tax brackets. And they do that when you only get a cost-of-living pay raise that's supposed to keep you even with inflation, but you find yourself paying a higher percentage of tax.

Now, under the Mondale plan, here is what would happen to a family struggling on a $10,000 per year income: By 1989 they would be paying over 73 percent more in income taxes.

Now, we're told that he now says he misspoke the other night, that he actually meant to say just the opposite about indexing. But on several occasions since 1982, he has expressly proposed the repeal of indexing, and he's done this quite often. In politics they call this a flip-flop. But if you'll forgive me, I prefer to call it a Fritz-flop.

Well, indexing is just one example, but there are many others. Yesterday he wanted to give a $200 tax break to every family dependent, and today he wants to raise taxes the equivalent, as I've said, of $1,890 per household.

Now, lately in the campaign he's been talking about two Reagans. He said there was a new Reagan and an old Reagan. Now, that doesn't have anything to do with my age -- [laughter] -- because he said the old Reagan was the youngest. That was me some time ago. And then he was quoting the new Reagan, and he says I'm saying different things.

Audience member. You look good, Ronnie! [Laughter]

The President. Thank you. [Laughter] Thank you.

Well, I decided to copy him and do a little old and new Mondaleing myself. The old Mondale said that if you tightened the budget and reduced deficit spending, why you could worsen a recession and cause unemployment. And the new Mondale thinks that higher taxes will lead to a better economy. Now, the new Mondale thinks -- or the old Mondale publicly supported Jimmy Carter's wrong-headed grain embargo, and a new Mondale claims he opposed it privately -- very privately. [Laughter] The old Mondale sponsored National Bible Week in the U.S. Senate, and that's not bad. Now the new Mondale says there's too much religion in politics. Well -- --

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. Yes. [Laughter]

The old Mondale called the space shuttle a horrible waste, a space extravaganza, and he personally led the campaign in the Senate to kill it. Now the new Mondale praises American technological achievement. And while you and I are standing here, and I'm riding across your State in this train, we know that several young men and women of ours are riding several times around this Earth in the Challenger. And God bless those young heroes for what they're doing.

Audience. You're not getting older; you're just getting better.

The President. But you know, just when you begin to lose faith in that old and new Mondale, why then you suddenly find there is some constancy. The old Mondale increased your taxes, and the new Mondale will do the same thing. [Laughter]

You know, in our debate I got a little angry some of those times when he was distorting my record. And on one occasion, I was about to say to him very sternly, ``Mr. Mondale, you are taxing my patience.'' [Laughter] And then I caught myself. Why should I give him another idea? That's the only tax he hasn't thought of. [Laughter]

Well, from now until November 6th, we're going to make sure the American people know about this choice on which their future depends. And we have two roads to tomorrow. We have the road of fear and envy that he proposes. On his road you frighten the elderly with false statements.

And right now I'm going to interrupt myself. I think one of the things that has made me the most angry in this campaign and in the 1982 congressional campaign was when we heard the political demagoguery for personal, political advantage. We heard them frightening the people in this country who have to depend on Social Security, frightening them by telling them that we had some secret plan; that we were going to take their benefits away from them or reduce them drastically. And he's saying it again.

Well, if there's anyone in our administration that had any such idea, he wouldn't be there long. I want you to know I have no plan. And I will absolutely battle against any suggestion of reducing or taking the benefits these people on Social Security are getting or those who are anticipating going on Social Security and expecting to get. They're going to get those benefits the way they are.

But he strives to divide Americans against each other, seeking to promote envy and portray greed. Franklin Roosevelt warned that the only thing we have to fear in this country is fear itself. Well, sadly, tragically, the only thing my opponent has to offer is fear itself.

Well, that's the difference between us. We see America's best days ahead. We see ourselves in a springtime of hope, ready to fire up our courage and determination to reach high and achieve all the best. We see a life where our children can enjoy -- at last -- prosperity without inflation. We see a life where they can enjoy the highest of creativity and go for the stars, not have their hopes and dreams crushed by -- or taxed away -- by greedy politicans.

The American people are walking into the future unashamed and unafraid.

Audience. [Singing] We love you, Ronnie. Oh, yes, we do. We love you, Ronnie. We will be true. When you're not near us, we're blue. Oh, Ronnie, we love you.

The President. Thank you. Thank you very much. And now, let me say, it's mutual.

One of the most thrilling things in this whole campaign, wherever I've been, and in meetings like this, is to see the turnout of young people that come to these meetings. It's so wonderful, because I want to say to all of you young people that my generation -- and several generations between yours and mine -- grew up in an America in which you started out knowing that there was no limit to how high you could climb, how high you could fly, that is whatever your own ability and energy and effort would take you there would be no restriction or penalty for it. And we just took that for granted in this country.

And then we came to a time when people tried to tell us it wasn't that way, that there were penalties, and that there were limits and so forth, and to reconcile yourself to not doing that well.

Well, I think you are the very reason, and the most important reason for this election and this campaign, because -- --

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Oh wait. I just want to tell you -- and I'm going to take the liberty, I think I speak for myself and those several other generations that I mentioned out here -- what we're determined is that you're going to have the same kind of America that was turned over to us by our parents. That's what we're resolved to do and what we're going to do for all of you.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Well, all right. I know you're all ready for this great new era of opportunity. And this may gall our opponents -- the train's getting ready to whistle, and I have to move on to the next stop before darkness catches us -- --

Audience. No-o-o!

The President. I know. I wish I didn't, but I do. And, I say, it may gall our opponents, but I think that the people of this country agree with us when we say, ``You ain't seen nothin' yet.''

Thank you very much.

[6.] Perrysburg (7:40 p.m.)

The President. Thank you all. Thank you.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Thank you, Madame Mayor, for those kind words, and Del Latta for being here. And thank all of you. I must tell you, I've had a wonderful time visiting with the people of Ohio today. And I can't think of any finer way of ending my trip on the ``Heartland Special'' than visiting with you good people of Perrysburg.

I've got a great deal to be grateful to all of you for. You've sent to Washington a Representative who has been a tremendous force for responsible government -- the Congressman I just mentioned -- Del Latta. It's no coincidence that his name is on the bill that finally got control of Federal spending after decades of tax and tax and spend and spend. He is a true friend of the taxpayers and a great friend to those who depend on economic progress to give them a chance at a better life.

Well, now we're 3\1/2\ weeks from election day, and the American people are getting the full flavor of the very clear choice that is facing them. It's a choice between two fundamentally different ways of governing and two distinct ways of looking at America.

My opponent, Mr. Mondale, offers a future of pessimism, fear, and limits, compared to ours of hope, confidence, and growth. Now, I know that his intentions are good, and I know that he's sincere in what he believes. But he sees government as an end in itself, and we see government as belonging to you, the people, and only a junior partner in your lives.

My opponent and his allies live in the past. They're celebrating the old and failed policies of an era that has passed them by, as if history had skipped over the 4 Carter-Mondale years. On the other hand, millions of Americans join us in boldly charting a new course for the future.

Now, it's fitting that we're campaigning today on Harry Truman's train, following the same route that he took 36 years and 1 day ago. He was the last Democrat I voted for. I campaigned for him in 1948. Mr. Truman could make very plain the differences between himself and his opponent and, my friends, that's just what I'm going to do this evening.

Let us start with the record, the record of the administration in which Mr. Mondale carried a full partnership. In those 4 years, they took the strongest economy in the world and pushed it to the brink of collapse. They created a calamity of such proportions that we're still suffering the consequences of those economic time bombs.

You know, on that January 20th in 1981 that was no fresh-faced, well-fed baby that was left on our doorstep. It was a snarling economic wolf with sharp teeth. The suffering of America, the deep and painful recession, the outrageous and frightening inflation -- these things didn't start by accidental ignition or spontaneous combustion. They came about through the concerted mismanagement of the administration of which he was a part, and his liberal friends who controlled the Congress. They gave us five -- you can count them -- in a little more than a year, five different anti-inflation plans, and then ended up giving us the worst 4-year record of inflation in nearly 40 years. While it took them five plans to nearly triple inflation, it's only taken us one to cut it by nearly two-thirds.

Senior citizens were driven into panic by higher rents, exorbitant fuel costs, dramatically increasing food prices, and Federal health care costs which went up a massive 87 percent. Some fairness. They punished the poor and the young who struggled as prices of necessity shot up faster than the other prices. Millions of Americans led a life of daily economic terror, fueled by those unrelenting costs.

Let's look at interest rates. Now, my opponent has referred to something that he calls real interest rates. Well, people don't pay interest rates on some academic smokescreen or foggy economic theory. What they know is that when Jerry Ford left office -- the end of 1976 -- the prime interest rate was 6\1/4\ percent. When Mr. Mondale left the Vice Presidency it was 21\1/2\ percent, the highest in 120 years.

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. The average monthly mortgage payments more than doubled. Car loans were hard to get and expensive. The automobile and the homebuilding industries were brought to their knees. And after all this economic punishment, guess what? Our opponents blamed you as being the cause, because you lived too well.

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. You remember they told you you were going to have to sacrifice more. Well, I found out that it's not so much that our opponents have a poor memory for their ruinous past, they've just a got a darn good ``forgetory.'' [Laughter]

And you know, one of the things they'd like to forget the most is the misery index. If you'll remember back in 1976, in that campaign, they put the inflation rate and the unemployment rate, added them together, and then called it the misery index. It came to 12.6 percent. And they said that Jerry Ford had no right to seek reelection with such a huge misery index.

Well, 1980 came along, and they didn't mention the misery index. And I don't think my opponent will mention it in this campaign, possibly because when he left office the misery index was more than 20 percent, and now it's down to 11.6.

My opponent's done a very good job of slipping, sliding, and ducking away from this record. But here in Ohio, during the primaries, a Democratic candidate for the nomination, Senator Gary Hart, got his message through by reminding the Ohio voters of the true record. And let me quote Senator Hart. ``Walter Mondale may pledge stable prices, but Carter-Mondale could not cure 12-percent inflation. ``Walter Mondale,'' he added, ``has come to Ohio to talk about jobs, but Carter-Mondale watched helpless as 180,000 Ohio jobs disappeared in the period 1976 to 1980.'' Well, those were Gary Hart's words.

Those disastrous consequences did not come about by accident. They came through the implementation of the very policies of out-of-control spending, unfair taxation, and worship of big government that my opponent still supports. His philosophy can be summed up in four sentences: If it's income, tax it. If it's revenue, spend it. If it's budget, break it. And if it's a promise, make it.

All this year he's lavished his campaign with promises that staggered even his Democratic opponents. But, of course, there is a predictable answer by one who makes so many promises. The answer is higher taxes, and massive new tax increases are precisely what he proposes.

A few weeks back, he called for his new plan. He said it was ``Pay as you go.'' Well, what it is, of course, is nothing but the old plan: You pay, and he goes. Those tax increases to pay for his promises add up to the equivalent of $1,890 per household, for every household in the United States.

Now, if Harry Truman had to apply a motto to his radical taxing scheme -- I think recalling it for the younger people here who might not recall that it was Harry Truman who sat in the Oval Office and said, ``The buck stops here.'' Well, I think with regard to my opponent's scheme he would say, ``Your buck never stops.''

When the centerpiece of his economic program is backbreaking tax hikes, you can see why my opponent spends so much time using outrageous scare tactics.

Now, that's not my opponent's only tax extravaganza. He came up with still another one in our debate. He said, and I quote, ``As soon as we get the economy on a sound ground as well, I would like to see the total repeal of indexing.'' Well, this tax is even worse because it would be a dagger aimed at the heart of every low- and middle-income earner in America. It would mean new, crushing tax levies against those who can least afford them.

Indexing was a reform that we passed. It goes into effect on January 1st. And it's to protect you from the cruel, hidden tax, when government uses inflation to force you into higher tax brackets. You get a cost-of-living pay raise that's only meant to keep pace with inflation, but it pushes you into another, higher tax bracket, and you end up paying a higher percentage of tax.

Well, under his plan, what would happen to a family struggling on $10,000 per year? By 1989, they would be paying over 73 percent more in income taxes. Now we're told -- and he has said in these last few days since the debate -- that he misspoke, that he actually meant to say the opposite. But on several occasions since 1982, he's expressly proposed the repeal of indexing. He's done it quite often. In politics, they call that a flip-flop. You'll forgive me, I'm going to call it a Fritz-flop.

Indexing is one example, but there are many others. Yesterday he wanted to give a $200 tax break to every family dependent, and today he wants to raise taxes the equivalent of $1,890 per household.

Now, for the last couple of weeks in his campaign he's been talking about two Reagans. He says there's a new one and an old one. And he isn't, with that last term, referring to my age -- [laughter] -- because the old Reagan was younger. That was back there. And the new Reagan, now, is me at the present.

But he's been doing that so much that I decided to do some new and old Mondaleing myself. The old Mondale said tightening the budget and reducing deficits could worsen a recession, increase unemployment. The new Mondale thinks higher taxes lead to a healthy economy. The old Mondale publicly supported Jimmy Carter's wrong-headed grain embargo. The new Mondale claims that he opposed it privately -- very privately.

Audience member. Yeah!

Audience member. Give 'em hell, Ron!

The President. The old Mondale sponsored National Bible Week in the U.S. Senate, and that's fine. But the new Walter Mondale says there's too much religion in politics.

Audience. No way!

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. The old Mondale called the space shuttle a horrible waste, a space extravaganza, and in the United States Senate he personally led the fight to kill the space shuttle program.

Audience. Boo-o-o!

The President. Now the new Mondale praises American technological achievement. And well he should, because while I've been going across Ohio on this train, those brave young men and women, those heroes, have been up there going around the world several times in the Challenger. And God bless them for what they're doing.

But with all of those switches in the -- --

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Thank you. Thank you very much. If you can take it, I can.

But now, with all that talk about his in-and-out, old-and-new style, there -- and just when you could begin losing faith, still you find there is some constancy. The old Mondale increased your taxes. And you can count on him -- the new Mondale will, too.

You know, in our debate I got a little angry at all those times he distorted my record. And on one occasion I was just about to say to him very sternly, ``Mr. Mondale, you're taxing my patience.'' [Laughter] And then I caught myself. Why should I give him another idea? That's the only tax he hasn't thought of. [Laughter]

But from now until November 6th, we're going to make sure the American people know about this choice on which their future depends. We have two roads to tomorrow. We have the road of fear and envy that he proposes. On his road, you frighten the elderly with false statements.

And let me interrupt my thought right here to say something about that. Political demagoguery is unpleasant at best. But in the 1982 congressional elections, and now in this present election, there has been some cheap demagoguery, political expediency, when he has deliberately frightened, brought fear to elderly citizens who are dependent on Social Security for their livelihood, when he says that somehow we've got some secret plan that we're going to take those benefits away from you, or at least reduce them sizably.

Well, if there's anyone in my administration that has such an idea, he's gone tomorrow morning. There isn't anyone on our team that believes that. I tell you now, no, we will not tamper with the benefits of the people dependent on Social Security or those that you are expecting when you come to your nonearning years.

You know -- --

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. All right.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. Thank you.

You know, they try to divide us with envy and greed. Franklin Roosevelt warned that the only thing Americans have to fear is fear itself. And sadly and tragically, the only thing my opponent has to offer is fear itself. Now, that's the difference between us. We see America's best days as still ahead. We see ourselves in a springtime of hope, ready to fire up our courage and determination to reach high and achieve all the best. We see a life where our children can enjoy -- at last -- prosperity without inflation. We see a life where they can enjoy the highest of creativity and go for the stars, not have their hopes and dreams crushed -- or taxed away -- by greedy politicians. The American people are walking into America unashamed and unafraid. They're ready for this great new era of opportunity.

And, you know, I have to interrupt myself again. I know it's almost time for the whistle to go and for me to leave, but -- --

Audience. No-o-o!

The President. Yes, yes, it is.

But one of the things that has just thrilled me more than anything in this campaign, all over the country in gatherings such as this, is to see the predominance of so many young people. Look at them. I'm so glad that you're all here, because this is what I want to say to you young people: My generation -- and the several generations between mine and yours -- [laughter] -- this is for us an election in which you, you are the real meaning of this election.

There's been a period in recent years in our life here in America when we were told that opportunity wasn't the same as it used to be, that we couldn't have the dreams that we once had.

Well, I'm here to tell you, the meaning of this election is that the people of my generation and those several other generations I mentioned are determined that you're going to have the same America when we turn it over to you that we had when our parents gave it to us.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. All right.

Audience. 4 more years! 4 more years! 4 more years!

The President. You -- --

Audience. Reagan! Reagan! Reagan!

The President. God bless you.

Audience. Reagan! Reagan! Reagan!

The President. You are ready, I know, for this great new era of opportunity. And I know this may gall our opponents -- I'm going to say it anyway.

Audience. Yes!

The President. With regard to the future, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

God bless you all. Thank you very much.

Note: The President spoke from the rear platform of U.S. Car One of the "Heartland Special" in Dayton, Ottawa, Deshler, and Perrysburg. In Sidney and Lima, he spoke near the train stations. Following the whistlestop tour, the President went to Camp David, MD, for the weekend.

U.S. Car One is the official designation given the Ferdinand Magellan when the car was purchased by the U.S. Government in 1946 for the exclusive use of the President of the United States.