11. Editorial Note

On January 10, 1967, President Johnson delivered his annual message to Congress. In the State of the Union speech, the President stated his intention to recommend to Congress the passage of legislation enacting a surcharge of 6 percent on both corporate and individual taxes “to last for two years or for so long as the unusual expenditures associated with our efforts in Vietnam continue.” The speech also demonstrated the President’s frustration over the continuing war in Vietnam and his resolve to stay the course:

“I wish I could report to you that the conflict is almost over. This I cannot do. We face more cost, more loss, and more agony. For the end is not yet. I cannot promise you that it will come this year—or come next year. Our adversary still believes, I think, tonight, that he can go on fighting longer than we can, and longer than we and our allies will be prepared to stand up and resist.

“Our men in the area—there are nearly 500,000 now—have borne well ‘the burden and the heat of the day.’ Their efforts have deprived the Communist enemy of the victory that he sought and that he expected two years ago. We have steadily frustrated his main forces. General Westmoreland reports that the enemy can no longer succeed on the battlefield.

“So I must say to you that our pressure must be sustained—and will be sustained—until he realizes that the war he started is costing him more than he can ever gain.”

For full text of the speech, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1967, Book I, pages 2–14.