Richard Nixon had been handed the keys to the White House in November 1968 amidst obvious fury and turmoil. On the foreign policy front, Vietnam. Here at home, the Great Inflation.
So, President Nixon seeking another electoral mandate in 1972 proudly declared an end to both. A new era of peace and prosperity was at hand here and abroad. Peace talks were underway with the Vietnamese and very soon the President would personally visit China and the Soviet Union.
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He had as much good to say about the economy, too. The US had experienced a recession in 1970, but the economy had seemed to be steadily digging its way out from it. Stubborn inflation had been the key concern heading into the contraction, a huge concern, and the President telling Congress the measures his administration had undertaken the year before, 1971, were bearing fruit.
“Industrial production, consumer spending, retail sales, personal income all have been rising. Total employment, real income are the highest in history. New home building starts this past year reached the highest level ever. Business and consumer confidence have both been rising. Interest rates are down. The rate of inflation is down. We can look with confidence to 1972 as the year when the back of inflation will be broken.”
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