Radio Address to the Nation on Fiscal Integrity and Efficiency in the Federal Government
My fellow Americans:
the history of our Republic, many a candidate has promised that if elected he
would clean up the mess in
the last few years, we've made enormous strides in our efforts to ensure that
you get the maximum benefit out of every tax dollar you send to
We've also turned up the heat on those who have the means but refuse to pay their debts to the Federal Government. Over at the Department of Education, for example, we found that many individuals -- some in high-paying jobs -- simply ignored pleas that they repay their long-overdue student loans. Our efforts to crack down have paid off. Collections of loans have almost quadrupled since 1981, from $80 million to over $300 million last year. Last month, Budget Director Jim Miller announced that the entire Federal Government will be accelerating the drive to collect the delinquent $68.3 billion it's owed.
piece-by-piece change is not enough. In 1982 we established a commission headed
by Peter Grace -- one of the country's most prominent businessmen -- to set
down a long-term strategy for streamlining our government. Mr. Grace put
together a team of experts and went through our Federal Government from top to
bottom. Their report is now the basis for ongoing reform that should save tens
of billions of dollars over the next decade. The recommendations include everything
from stepped-up privatization of Federal services to the reform of our budget
system. Building on this success, Peter Grace and a group of dedicated business
leaders are now forming the
Getting the waste out of government, of course, requires not just a commitment from the executive branch but also from Congress. Unfortunately, expenses, special interest provisions, are often added to needed legislation. We can no longer afford this costly all-or-nothing way of doing business. The President should be able to cut the fat yet keep the meat of spending bills that reach his desk. The tool needed to cut that fat is the line-item veto. Congress has the power to enact this needed reform right now. I hope you agree with me it's time every elected official be part of our effort to protect the take-home pay of the American people by getting waste out of government.
Until next week, thanks for listening, and God bless you.
Note: The President
spoke at from his ranch in