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Ronald Reagan State of the Union Highlights: 10 Quotes From Speeches

Image: Ronald Reagan State of the Union Highlights: 10 Quotes From Speeches
President Ronald Reagan gives the State of the Union Address to Congress, 1988. Behind him, Vice President George H. W. Bush and Speaker of the House Jim Wright. (Reagan Library/wikimedia/commons)

By    |   Sunday, 22 Mar 2015 09:48 AM

Ronald Reagan was dealing with a recession at the beginning of his first term, but his State of the Union addresses reveal the nation’s improvement. Here are 10 quotes from his speeches over the years.

During Reagan’s State of the Union address on January 26, 1982, he spoke of new economic policies that differed from the “artificial quick fixes of the past.”

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1 “Together, we not only cut the increase in government spending nearly in half, we brought about the largest tax reductions and the most sweeping changes in our tax structure since the beginning of this century.”

2. “Together, after 50 years of taking power away from the hands of the people in their states and local communities, we have started returning power and resources to them.”

3. “Together we've begun to mobilize the private sector, not to duplicate wasteful and discredited government programs, but to bring thousands of Americans into a volunteer effort to help solve many of America's social problems.”

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4. “Together we have made a New Beginning, but we have only begun.”

Ronald Reagan spoke of the economic turnaround during his first term on February 6, 1985.

5. “Four years ago we said we would invigorate our economy by giving people greater freedom and incentives to take risks and letting them keep more of what they earned. We did what we promised, and a great industrial giant is reborn.”

The State of the Union address was postponed until February 4, 1986, because of the Challenger space shuttle tragedy in January.

6. “Thank you for allowing me to delay my address until this evening. We paused together to mourn and honor the valor of our seven Challenger heroes. And I hope that we are now ready to do what they would want us to do: Go forward, America, and reach for the stars. We will never forget those brave seven, but we shall go forward.”

7. “Tonight the American people deserve our thanks for 37 straight months of economic growth, for sunrise firms and modernized industries creating nine million new jobs in three years, interest rates cut in half, inflation falling over from 12 percent in 1980 to under 4 today, and a mighty river of good works — a record $74 billion in voluntary giving just last year alone.”

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Reagan’s address on January 25, 1988, included encouragement for welfare reform.

8. “My friends, some years ago, the Federal Government declared war on poverty, and poverty won.”

9. “With the best of intentions, government created a poverty trap that wreaks havoc on the very support system the poor need most to lift themselves out of poverty: the family. Dependency has become the one enduring heirloom, passed from one generation to the next, of too many fragmented families.”
 
10. “Let us give the states more flexibility and encourage more reforms. Let's start making our welfare system the first rung on America's ladder of opportunity, a boost up from dependency, not a graveyard but a birthplace of hope.”

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Ronald Reagan was dealing with a recession at the beginning of his first term, but his State of the Union addresses reveal the nation's improvement. Here are 10 quotes from the president over the years.
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