We need patience and good will, but we really need to realize that there is a limit to the role and the function of government. Government cannot solve our problems, it can't set our goals, it cannot define our vision. Government cannot eliminate poverty or provide a bountiful economy or reduce inflation or save our cities or cure illiteracy or provide energy. And government cannot mandate goodness. Only a true partnership between government and the people can ever hope to reach these goals.
Those of us who govern can sometimes inspire, and we can identify needs and marshal resources, but we simply cannot be the managers of everything and everybody.
Secondly, private business and not the Government must lead the expansion in the future.
Third, we must lower the rate of inflation and keep it down. Inflation slows down economic growth, and it's the most cruel to the poor and also to the elderly and others who live on fixed incomes. [..]
We can make our tax laws fairer, we can make them simpler and easier to understand, and at the same time, we can-and we will—reduce the tax burden on American citizens by $25 billion. […]
My budget for 1979 addresses these national needs, but it is lean and tight. I have cut waste wherever possible.
I am proposing an increase of less than 2 percent after adjusting for inflation-the smallest increase in the Federal budget in 4 years.
And my favorite one-sentence paragraph:
In areas of peaceful competition with the Soviet Union, we will continue to more than hold our own.
Whole thing here.