RP EXCLUSIVE: A Full-Throated Appeal For Government Stimulus…By George Romney

Recently, while cleaning up his law firm files, Friend of RP Harvey Burg uncovered a gem of a speech by the late Michigan Governor (and HUD Secretary) George Romney, who’s earning greater renown as the father of the GOP’s current presidential nominee.

In vivid contrast to his son — and to the current direction of much of his own Grand Old Party — George Romney makes a well-reasoned appeal to stimulate private participation by investors, by having the government prime the pump and put in place appropriate and coordinated programming.  Mitt’s dad understood that federal government programming on a major level was required to stimulate the economy.

Here are several excerpts:

Speaking about his Republican government’s accomplishments in 1969, Romney states:

 “Despite the worst credit crunch in modern times…we were able to keep enough capital flowing into the mortgage market to sustain housing production…”

Speaking about needed ingredients of a national housing policy, he lists among his components:

“adequate levels of government assistance for housing low income families.”

“efficient administration and prompt processing in government programs” and

“effective concern for the economic and social implications of housing, including equal job and enterprise opportunity for minority citizens.”  

In addressing the then-battle against both inflation and the tight money crunch, Romney admonishes:

 “Furthermore, experience makes it clear that over-reliance on tight money policies to curb inflation distorts the economy.”

Notwithstanding his concerns for wage increases and their effect on inflation, Romney addresses the need for a continued flow of mortgage capital, saying:

 “In this tight money period, only vigorous federal action has kept the mortgage market situation from becoming worse than it is. The Federal National Mortgage Association [Fannie Mae] activity is a prime example.”

Last but definitely not least, Romney concludes with the following:

 “Meeting our housing needs can trigger the regeneration of our national sense of community—the renewal of our national conviction that this is one America, not two—that we are what we say we are: one people and “one nation under G-d, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Click here to read the full speech delivered by HUD Secretary George Romney to the National Association of Homebuilders, Houston, TX, January 19, 1970.


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