Friday, October 10, 2008

Thank You Jimmy Carter, Part II

It looks like former President Jimmy Carter continues to show how NOT to be Presidential. In his latest gaffe, the one-term President (1977 – 1981) placed the blame of the current financial crisis on the shoulders of sitting President George W. Bush blaming spending and the Bush tax cuts as the primary culprits of Wall Street's woes. Carter also notes that deregulation in the financial markets was a major problem that has created our current situation plus noting that eight years ago we had a stable, vibrant economy with a trade surplus.

That's all well and good but President Carter omits a few key points:

  1. The U.S. economy began to go experience trouble in 2000 with the "dot com" bust; President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, handed that problem over to President Bush in 2001. I would argue that the Bush tax cuts in 2001 helped the country avoid sliding into a deeper recession following the dot com bust and the September 11 attacks.
  2. He cites deregulation as a root cause in this issue. The Hat Trick wouldn't necessarily disagree yet I think his jumping on the "need for regulation" bandwagon is disingenuous at best given he is responsible for signing the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 into law which eventually allowed the rise of "low cost carriers" to rise, creating the flying environment of today that we know and love. Carter also fails to note that while many of the regulations that governed Wall Street firms were gutted by a Republican-controlled Congress in the late 1990s they were signed into law by President Clinton, not President Bush. To blame President Bush is preposterous.
  3. Let's talk about President Carter's economy between 1977 - 1981: inflation, inflation, inflation with a good amount of unemployment in there as well. To be lectured on the economy by Jimmy Carter is quite laughable indeed.

The Hat Trick feels strongly about the First Amendment but I find it so disappointing that former President Carter feels the need to be so un-presidential in his appraisals. Once again I think the chip on his shoulder is rearing it's ugly head. While it must not be pleasant for him to remember, there is a reason why he a.) had to fight a primary challenge within the Democratic Party from Senator Ted Kennedy and b.) Was not re-elected in the 1980 General Election against Ronald Reagan.

Whatever President Bush's failings are, and they are many (MANY!), Carter inserting himself into the financial chaos is not helpful, not Presidential and not a genuine display of the facts.

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