Decisive action--the hallmark of forceful leadership--has been
taken by President Ford to deal with both foreign and domestic
For example, during his first two years in the White House,
- Did not hesitate to send the U.S. Air Force and the U.S.
Marines to take back the American freighter Mayaguez,
illegally seized by Cambodian Communists.
- Wielded the power of the Presidential veto 55 times as a
major weapon to battle inflation--saving American
taxpayers over $9.2 billion in the process as Congress
upheld 45 of the vetoes.
Betty Ford voiced the sentiments of most Americans in a Parade
Magazine interview published on August 15, 1976, when she
said she wants her husband:
". . . to be our President for the next four years
because he has leadership and honesty and courage. He's
already proven himself . . . Why change our leadership when
we have a President who's set the country on a good course,
who's laid the groundwork for a healthy economy, who's
maintaining the peace against formidable odds?"
President Ford's major accomplishments include:
1. Cutting inflation by more than half.
- The inflation rate was going up at 12.2 percent a year
when President Ford took office.
- The inflation rate was down to 4.6 percent for the first
half of 1976.
2. Nearly 4 million people have found jobs since the bottom
of the recession.
- At the recession low in March, 1975, a total of 84.1
million persons had jobs.
- In July, 1976, employment had risen to a historic high of
87.9 million, an increase of 3.8 million from the March
3. Unemployment has decreased.
- Unemployment reached a high rate of 8.9 percent in May,
- In July, 1976, the unemployment rate was down to 7.8
percent, and the President's economic advisors believe
that it will fall below 7 percent before year's end.
4. Key economic indicators are going up steadily.
During the past year:
- Housing starts have risen by 38 percent.
- The Gross National Product has gone up about 10 percent.
- Real per capita disposable income has gone up by nearly 5
5. Farmers are doing well.
- Net farm income reached $26 billion this year, a record
- Farm exports also are at a record high of $22 billion.
6. Growth of crime has been cut by over 75 percent.
- Crime was increasing at a rate of 18 percent a year when
President Ford took office.
- The rate of increase went down to 9 percent last year.
- The growth rate was cut to 4 percent in the first quarter
of this year.
7. Dangerous downward trends in defense spending have been
- Congress cut proposed defense budgets by almost $50
billion in the 10 years before President Ford took office.
- President Ford reversed that trend this year, persuading
Congress to vote a major increase in defense spending.
8. Alliances with the Atlantic Community and Japan have
never been stronger.
- When President Ford took office, there was great turmoil
and uncertainty in the world over the constancy of
American will and leadership.
- Now the industrialized democracies are carrying forward a
program of cooperation in economics, energy, East-West
diplomacy, anti-terrorism, arms control and in relations
with developing nations.
9. For the first time in over a decade, the U.S. is at
- The Nation was still deeply embroiled in Southeast Asia
and tensions were high in the Middle East when President
Ford took office.
- Today, Mr. Ford is the first President since Dwight
Eisenhower who can run for election to the Nation's
highest office without a single American fighting
10. The Nation is at peace with itself.
- The U.S. was rocked by scandal and inner doubts about its
leaders and institutions when President Ford took office.
- Today the strain of scandal has been erased from the
White House, doubts have been replaced by growing trust
and confidence, and the mood of the country has
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