The Reagan Speech Preservation Society


Modified: Tuesday, 20 July 2021 21:50 by admin - Categorized as: Podcasts
The following is a collection of the materials used in creating the thirty-sixth episode of the Citizen Reagan podcast about the Reagan's Radio Commentaries.





This is the Citizen Reagan podcast and I need to get in the habit of doing a few things with every episode, like asking you to rate and review the podcast with whatever services you use. Like asking you to share us with your friends, family, complete strangers and your worst enemies, I don't care really, just as long as you share it. Like telling you that you can find past episodes, transcripts, research and more on a wiki on my webspace. The address for the wiki is but if you just visit, I have a variety of other projects there. I sell digitally restored books, magazines and pamphlets. I have constructed an archive of old pulp short stories. I accept donations through Ko-fi, if you're willing help out. It’s all there on the website. Now, with that out of the way, let's get to Reagan.

President Joe Biden has proposed a number of extremely large spending bills since he was sworn in. Relief bills for COVID, the American Jobs Plan, the American Families Plan... Not all have been considered by Congress yet, but they are out there nonetheless. Whenever I hear anyone, whether they be a politician, a pundit or a member of the media talk about it, thanks to these Reagan broadcasts and speeches, I have to ask myself a lot of questions. What kinds of, using Reagan's term, boondoggles are included in it? How much waste? What are the carve-outs that will entice politicians to vote for the bills?

I'm going to play some audio from a speech, rather than a radio broadcast and talk about another aspect of these spending bills we could be looking at. It will end up relating to a previous episode, one entitled Puzzle Palaces, episode 9.

The audio I have to play comes from 1966, from a speech given the title, "The Myth of the Great Society." The Reagan Library has the video on their Youtube channel and I have a transcript available on my Wiki.
Now, we've declared war on poverty. Now, no one, again, quarrels with the humanitarian aim. I don't think any one of us want to be like the fella that heard about the war on poverty went right out and threw a hand grenade at a beggar. But in getting the program passed, we heard a great deal about one state, West Virginia. Oh this became a household word... this was the very center of poverty and distress and unemployment. Some of us thought that the whole war would be fought right there in West Virginia. Now the program is adopted, West Virginia gets $400,000, Texas gets 10 million.


We're winning the war though at least on one front... on their own bureaucratic home grounds... $19,000 a year is a good salary and it's a very high rate of pay in government salaries. As a matter of fact there's only one employee out of a thousand in the Department of Defense gets $19,000 a year. Only one out of 500 in the Department of Agriculture. But in the new poverty program, there's 1 out of 19. Gum Springs, Virginia was awarded seventy-four thousand dollars: 54,000 for administrators salaries, 20,000 for the poor.

While...[Applause] while one voice in government tells us that we're enjoying this great prosperity, another voice tells us that one out of five in our country is suffering from poverty and destitution. Now, if that figure is true it shouldn't be too hard to find the people who need the help under this program. Well in my hometown of Dixon, Illinois a committee of ten, self-appointed, beholden to no voters, has established itself and asked the government for a thirty-eight thousand dollar grant so they can go on a search to find out if there's any poverty there. It breaks down... it breaks down to ten thousand two hundred dollars for the chairman and seventy two hundred dollars each for two assistants and the balance will go for secretaries, mailing, office expense, and travel.

Can you anticipate my question? I hope so. How much of the $6 trillion in spending is actually going towards what it's supposed to do and how much is going to be used in administrative costs at the local, state and/or federal levels? I think it's a reasonable question to ask. Consider what it would mean about that $6 trillion if the Gum Springs Virginia example Reagan cited had a similar breakdown. $54,000 for administrative salaries is about 73% of the $74,000 allocated. What is 73% of 6 bill... billion haha... trillion? $4.38 trillion. That’s a lot of administration.

Now, I'm sure it's not as bad as that, but if it's even 17% of that total, that's a trillion dollars going to administrative costs. Aren't these people paid some kind of regular salary through the actual federal budget??

I took a moment while writing this up, to watch a clip from the movie Dave. If you are unaware of it, Kevin Kline stars as the head of a temp agency in Washington D.C. who just happens to look like the President and uses that to his advantage doing impersonations on the side. When the real president suffers from a stroke, he is brought in to take over instead of the Vice President because the president's staff are concerned about the VP's stability. Also, the Chief of Staff wants to run the whole show, pulling the strings of this new, inexperienced president. However, instead of following instructions from that Chief of Staff, begins to go his own way. One poignant scene sees him sitting down with his entire Cabinet and the media, while he cuts the budget, item by item, so that he can re-insert funding for homeless shelters.

Dave: Ahh, Commerce Department.
Secretary of Commerce: Yes, Mr. President.
Dave: Ahh, You're spending $47 million on an ad campaign to boost consumer confidence in the American auto industry.
Secretary of Commerce: Yes, sir. You see it’s designed to bolster individual confidence in a previous domestic automotive purchase.
Dave: So, we're spending $47 million so that somebody can feel better about a car they’ve already bought?
Secretary of Commerce: Yes sir, but I wouldn’t characterize it that...
Dave: No, no, I'm sure that's important. But, I don't want to tell some eight-year-old kid he's gotta sleep in the street because we want people to feel better about their car. Do you want to tell them that?
Secretary of Commerce: [quietly] No sir.
[sits back in his seat and reflects]
Secretary of Commerce: No I sure don't.

Now, unfortunately, we do not have a line-item veto at the Federal level. Many presidents have asked Congress to give them the power and in 1996 it almost happened. (The movie Dave, by the way, came out in 1993.) However, the Supreme Court blocked the implementation of the law. In its present form, a line-item veto would need to be a Constitutional Amendment.

Who has ANY doubt that, along with the actual spending on roads and bridges and administrative costs associated with them, that there are probably advertising buys in these bills.

But with all that in mind, is it really the president's call?? I mean, he can suggest a budget or spending bills, but ultimately it is Congress that must approve of any spending, and those spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives. That's what's in the Constitution.

Oh, look at cute little you, thinking they haven't found a way around the Constitution. Congress has abdicated a great deal of its legislative power to the regulatory bureaucrats, who are placed under the auspices of the president and his Executive Branch. Remember how upset people were when President Trump reallocated money from military projects to begin construction of the border wall on the Mexican border? Or what about President Obama’s attempts to create a Cap-and-Trade program without Congressional approval? Biden could easily operate the same way. Congress only needs to allocate the funds and do it with broad language and the bureaucrats will have amazing leeway to spend it on projects however they choose.

Can we do anything about it? Can this bureaucratic administrative 4th branch of government get trimmed down? One would think, though it may be slow going. We the People need to start electing people that are fiscally conservative and Constitutionally minded. You need people at the Federal level that are willing to shift power back down to the local and state levels where it belongs, but you also need them at the local and state levels that are prepared to take on any added burden. There is amazing potential for savings, if for no other reason than your tax dollars won’t be paying for a federal-level bureaucracy, maybe even a state-level one too.

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