President Taft on Prosperity

This is a recording of President Taft’s speech about American prosperity in January 1912.

Transcript for “President Taft on prosperity”

Before all reform, before all changes, before every other consideration and importance, is a furnishing to the people the means of living, the means of enjoying comfort in their lives, and of educating their children, of making their homes attractive; and all this depends upon the high rate of wages, the great demand for labor and the continuance of prosperity and good business. How foolish the American people would be to hazard the continuance of this by voting into power a party whose first declared principal is hostility to the policy of protection upon which our business is conducted. Under a Republican administration, there’s nothing to fear from a policy of Congress in respect to the tariff or any other economic policy which will disturb business or frighten capital. With the incoming of a Democratic administration, and if it comes in, it’s difficult to see how it can come in without absolute control of both Houses of Congress. I ask the business interests of this country, I ask the wage earners–whether when they receive the news the day after the election that there’s to be absolutely Democratic control of the financial and economic problems of this country after the 4th of March–whether even a mere doubt as to what the Democratic party would do with this power in respect to the tariff would not halt and paralyze business. I ask them whether when the time comes and we might reasonably expect the change which is to take away the protection from our protected industry and so injure or destroy them, we would not see the prosperity which is now making everyone happy fade away, and if we would not be met with those dreadful symptoms of panic and hard times for which fortunately only the older of the present generation are familiar.


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