Senator Byrd

Since only a last name was included in the speech, it is difficult to determine which Byrd is being referred to. Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) is the more well-known, but at the time of the speech, there was another Byrd in office, Harry Byrd (D-VA).

Robert Byrd (1917 - 2010) was a long-running member of Congress from the state of West Virginia, having served in the House of Representatives from 1953 - 1959 and in the Senate from 1959 until his death in 2010. He was imfamous for the discovery that, before running for Congress, he formed a chapter of and recruited for the Klu Klux Klan. His claim afterwords was that he did it because they were anticommunist.

Harry Byrd (1887 - 1965) was a career politician of Virginia, having held office of Governor for 6 years and Senator for 32. He was more conservative fiscally, stating: "I stand for strict economy in governmental affairs ... The State of Virginia is similar to a great business corporation ... and should be conducted with the same efficiency and economy as any private business."


Speech Relevance

From 'Encroaching Control':
Today, with no one using the term socialism to describe encroaching control, we find one out of seven of the workforce on the public payroll. In 15 years, a 50% increase in public employees has been matched by a 170% increase in their payroll. One-fourth of our people now entitled to government-paid medical care, socialized medicine if you please. One-fifth of our industry owned and operated by government. Senator Byrd has estimated that today 40 million American citizens receive some form of direct cash payment from the federal government.
It is impossible to say where or when exactly Senator Byrd made this claim, so it would be very difficult to substantiate the claim.


Source Links

Robert Byrd

Harry Byrd