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President Kennedy Delivers State of the Union Address

Jan. 14, 1963 - In a State of the Union Message notable for its tone of confidence in the nation’s domestic and foreign prospects, President Kennedy called today for a 3-year program of tax reduction totaling $13.5 billion. The President proposed an initial reduction of $6 billion in the first year, beginning sometime in 1963, but did not indicate how the further reductions would be made in the succeeding two years. On foreign affairs, President Kennedy said that it was up to the leaders of world communism to choose between peaceful competition with the West and a continuing arms race they could not win. The President declared that if Communist leaders would abandon their “wars of liberation,” accept inspection for a nuclear test ban, and turn their energies to unfinished tasks at home, “then, surely, the areas of agreement can be very wide indeed.” Such a reversal, the President said, would open prospects for an understanding on Berlin, stability in Southeast Asia, an end to nuclear weapons tests and general and complete disarmament. But so long as world communism hews to its goal of world domination, Mr. Kennedy warned, the U.S. will continue to mount “the best defense in the world,” and it will “never weary in the defense of freedom.”


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