Why should not our system of taxation be subject for the profoundest study? ... We must find ways by which the individual may have tools for production which his skill and foresight and thrift have created and yet take for society in taxes what society itself gives. ... There must come to society an increasingly large portion of the wealth created by each generation through inheritance taxes. Thus all our boys and girls will start the race of life more nearly at the scratch. This will be for the making of the race and for the enriching of the whole of society. Yet there must be saved, surely, the call upon the man of talent for every ounce of energy that he has and every spark of imagination.
We want our soldiers and sailors to be more certain of our gratitude and to have an opportunity to realize their own ambition for themselves. We must not be driven into any foolish or impossible course by the pressure of a desire to win their votes. On the contrary, the pressure should come from us who had not the opportunity to risk our lives, that those who did take such risk shall be highly honored. For those who will identify themselves with the tilling of the soil, there should be farms, small yet complete, for which they can gradually pay on long time. For others there should be such education for professional or industrial life as they desire. For others, a home, not a speculation in real estate, but a piece of that American soil for which they fought. For these things we can pay without extra financial strain, if we dedicate to this purpose merely the interest upon the monies which other nations owe us. The extent of our willingness to help these men is not to be measured by their request but rather by our ability and their lasting welfare. ...
We are to extend our activities into all parts of the world. Our trade is to grow as never before. Our people are to resume their old place as traders on the seven seas. We are to know other peoples better and make them all more and more our friends, working with them as mutually dependent factors in the growth of the world’s life. For this day a definite foreign policy must be made, one that is fair; to which none can take exception. Our people shall go abroad for their good and the good of other lands, with their skilled hands and their resourceful minds, and their energetic capital, and they must be assured of support abroad, as at home, in every honest venture.
AMERICA’s ambition is to lead the world in showing what Democracy can effect. This would be my conception of the large idea of the campaign. It involves much more than the League of Nations. This is our hour of test. We must not be little in our conception of ourselves, nor yet have a conceit that is self-destructive.