WASHINGTON — President Reagan, getting back to business Saturday after the two-day patriotic extravaganza in New York, applauded Congress for passing a tax revision bill and aid to Nicaraguan rebels.
"Recently, the Congress has passed two landmark pieces of legislation that I'm sure put a smile on the face of the Statue of Liberty," Reagan said in his weekly radio address.
The speech was taped Thursday, before the President and First Lady Nancy Reagan left Washington for ceremonies in New York Harbor marking the Fourth of July and the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.
The broadcast was timed to be aired as the Reagans neared Andrews Air Force Base, Md., on their return from the New York area.
Comparison in History
In his praise of Congress, Reagan cited first "our historic effort to reform our nation's tax code, to make it simpler and fairer, to bring tax rates down, and to give families a long-overdue break."
The Senate and House have passed different versions of an income tax overhaul plan, and the issue is slated to be resolved in a conference committee drawn from the two houses.
"Throughout human history, taxes have been one of the foremost ways that governments intrude on the rights of citizens," he said. "In fact, as we all learned in school, our democratic American Revolution began with a tax revolt. Our forefathers knew that if you bind up a man's economic life with taxes, tariffs and regulations, you deprive him of some of the most basic civil rights.
"They have a wonderful phrase describing economic liberty in the Declaration of Independence," the President said. "They call it 'the pursuit of happiness.' Well, with tax reform, we're going to make that pursuit a lot easier for all Americans.
"The other landmark legislation was the vote in the House to join the Senate in approving aid to the pro-democratic freedom fighters in Nicaragua," Reagan said. "I feel proud that on this Independence Day weekend, America has embraced these brave men and their independent struggle."
The House has approved a package of $70 million of military aid and $30 million in logistical and other assistance to guerrillas fighting the Marxist-led government of Nicaragua. A similar assistance package was approved by the Senate earlier.