1976 Republican Platform: Jobs and Inflation

We believe it is of paramount importance that the American people understand that the number one destroyer of jobs is inflation. We wish to stress that the number one cause of inflation is the government's expansion of the nation's supply of money and credit needed to pay for deficit spending. It is above all else deficit spending by the federal government which erodes the purchasing power of the dollar. Most Republicans in Congress seem to understand this fundamental cause-and-effect relationship and their support in sustaining over 40 Presidential vetoes in the past two years has prevented over $13 billion in federal spending. It is clear that most of the Democrats do not understand this vital principle, or, if they do, they simply don't care.

Inflation is the direct responsibility of a spendthrift Democrat-controlled Congress that has been unwilling to discipline itself to live within our means. The temptation to spend and deficit spend for political reasons has simply been too great for most of our elected politicians to resist. Individuals, families, companies and most local and state governments, must live within a budget. Why not Congress?

Republicans hope every American realizes that if we are permanently to eliminate high unemployment, it is essential to protect the integrity of our money. That means putting an end to deficit spending. The danger, sooner or later, is runaway inflation.

Wage and price controls are not the solution to inflation. They attempt to treat only the symptom -- rising prices -- not the cause. Historically, controls have always been a dismal failure, and in the end they create only shortages, black markets and higher prices. For these reasons, the Republican Party strongly opposes any reimposition of such controls, on a standby basis or otherwise.

Unfortunately, the Democrat-controlled Congress now persists in attempting to obtain control over our nation's money creation policies by taking away the independence of the Federal Reserve Board. The same people who have so massively expanded government spending should not be allowed politically to dominate our monetary policy. The independence of the Federal Reserve System must be preserved.

Massive, federally-funded public employment programs, such as the Humphrey-Hawkins Bill currently embraced by the new National Platform of the Democrat Party will cost billions and can only be financed either through very large tax increases or through ever increasing levels of deficit spending. Although such government "make-work" programs usually provide a temporary stimulus to the economy, "quick-fix" solutions of this sort -- like all narcotics -- lead to addiction, larger and larger doses, and ultimately the destruction of far more jobs than they create. Sound job creation can only be accomplished in the private sector of the economy. Americans must not be fooled into accepting government as the employer of last resort.

Nor should we sit idly by while 2.5 million American jobs are threatened by imports of textile products. We encourage the renewal of the GATT Multifiber Arrangement and the signing of other necessary bilateral agreements to protect our domestic textile industry.

In order to be able to provide more jobs, businesses must be able to expand; yet in order to build and expand, they must be profitable and able to borrow funds (savings) that someone else has been willing to part with on a temporary basis. In the long fun, inflation discourages thrift, encourages debt and destroys the incentive to save which is the mainspring of capital formation. When our government -- through deficit spending and debasement of the currency destroys the incentive to save and to invest, it destroys the very well-spring of American productivity. Obviously, when production falls, the number of jobs declines.

The American people are beginning to understand that no government can ever add real wealth (purchasing power) to an economy by simply turning on the printing presses or by creating credit out of thin air. All government can do is confiscate and redistribute wealth. No nation can spend its way into prosperity; a nation can only spend its way into bankruptcy.

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