Excerpts from his 1948 campaign speech for Democrats:
“This is Ronald Reagan speaking to you from Hollywood. You know me as a motion picture actor but tonight I’m just a citizen pretty concerned about the national election next month and more than a little impatient with those promises the Republicans made before they got control of Congress a couple years ago.
I remember listening to the radio on election night in 1946. Joseph Martin, the Republican Speaker of the House, said very solemnly, and I quote, “We Republicans intend to work for a real increase in income for everybody by encouraging more production and lower prices without impairing wages or working conditions”, unquote. Remember that promise: a real increase in income for everybody.
But what actually happened? The profits of corporations have doubled, while workers’ wages have increased by only one-quarter. In other words, profits have gone up four times as much as wages, and the small increase workers did receive was more than eaten up by rising prices, which have also bored into their savings. For example, here is an Associate Press Dispatch I read the other day about Smith L. Carpenter, a craftsman in Union Springs, New York. It seems that Mr. Carpenter retired some years ago thinking he had enough money saved up that he could live out his last years without having to worry. But he didn’t figure on this Republican inflation, which ate up all of his savings, and so he’s gone back to work. The reason this is news, is Mr. Carpenter is 91 years old.
Now, take as a contrast the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, which reported a net profit of $210 million after taxes for the first half of 1948; an increase of 70% in one year. In other words, high prices have not been caused by higher wages, but by bigger and bigger profits…
Tax-reduction bills have been passed to benefit the higher-income brackets alone. The average The average worker saved only $1.73 a week. In the false name of economy, millions of children have been deprived of milk once provided through the federal school lunch program. This was the payoff of the Republicans’ promises. And this is why we must have new faces in the Congress of the United States: Democratic faces.