Remarks to the
Volunteers and Staff of the United Way of
thank you, Jim. That report on the
I'm delighted to meet with all of you who give so much of your time for so many
worthy causes. With the success of your accomplishments to date, I can't help
but feel we can meet the needs of the future. It's also a great pleasure to
join you on this, the 100th anniversary year of the
seriously, in the front atrium stands a bust of one of the most perceptive
foreigners to visit this country: Alexis de Tocqueville. When young de
Tocqueville traveled here in the 1800's, he identified a spirit in
as you may know, I grew up in a small town in northern
One of the most rewarding things about having the job I have is that I get to see the dynamic spirit of neighbor helping neighbor at work in our country. I see hope in the faces of the Americans -- through volunteer tutors, they've learned to read. I see the eyes shining bright with expectation of those young people graduating from high school who, through the care of those like you, may have the opportunity for a better future. But most of all, I see it in the renewed spirit of those Americans who are doing the giving and helping, the ones who've chosen to get involved, to take action, to make a contribution.
example, in the tornado-ravaged community of
makes me prouder as I travel abroad than when leaders of other nations ask me
to share our formula for success in encouraging private sector initiatives. I
believe that formula is summed up most adequately by the plaque hanging near
the front entrance to this building. It reads: ``To
increase the organized capacity of people to care for one another.'' Well,
Of course, it's a growing American economy that helps to make all this possible -- that's right, I said a growing economy. For despite the adjustments in the stock market, the economic basis in our country remains strong. Consider, for example, that during the third quarter, which ended in September, the gross national product in constant dollars rose at a 3.8 percent annual rate, spurred by business-fixed investment, which was soaring at an extraordinary 24 percent. And just last week, we found that inflation, as measured by the GNP implicit price deflator, rose only 2.4 percent. The unemployment rate was falling to its lowest level since 1979. Manufacturing jobs had risen by over a quarter million during the past 12 months, adding to the astonishing 14.2 million jobs created during the past 59 months of economic expansion. Exports were actually up at more than a 16 percent annual rate. And the Federal budget deficit for the fiscal year 1987 had fallen by a full third from one year earlier, to its lowest levels since 1982.
is a record to build on, because there is still much more to be done. Your
spirit of cooperation is the same spirit
have stated all my political life that deficit spending must be controlled. And
that's why I have consented to negotiate with Congress to see if we can jointly
produce a credible package that will further cut, and I hope eliminate our
deficits. But with our administration's economic program in place -- perhaps
most important of all, our tax reform and reduction in marginal rates --
United Way of America is demonstrating to the world how a caring nation can unite to help the less fortunate among us. Through your agencies and volunteers, you've met the challenge I set forth to you one year ago magnificently. I urge you to continue to build on this momentum. We must set our sights even higher as we look forward to the future. After all, it's our nature to set higher and higher goals; we're Americans.
been a privilege for me to come here today to share the encouraging news of
your progress. And as we've seen today, since 1981 that overall funding for the
You know, I have to tell you -- in hearing your very eloquent presentation here -- sometime ago, earlier in my term as President, at a dinner at the White House, the wife of an Ambassador to a European country was hearing a conversation going on at our table about such things as this, on private giving and so forth. And quietly she spoke to me, and she said: ``Yes, in your country you're unique.'' And I said, ``Well, what do you mean?'' Well, she said, ``Yes, in your country people do things that way voluntarily, but not in any other country.'' She said, ``In all our other countries, if the government doesn't do it, it doesn't get done. It's always a government program.''
that stuck with me, and so that a little more than a year ago we had been
hearing for some time from our friends and allies around the world. And then a
meeting was held in
went to the economic summit in
you know how successful you are? There is not a government program in
So, thank you all. God bless you all. And my goodness, for all of us, it's a real happy anniversary. Thank you very much.
Note: The President
spoke at in the film studio at