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mysteryman

Will History Repeat Itself?

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In tersting Column I read today and thought I would share it with all of you comparing Carters time in office to Obama. This far its not good for America from what I can see.

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J. Randolph Evans
Column No. 972 (7/10/09)
President Obama's approval ratings are in a steady decline. There is
precedent for this mood change among Americans.
In 1976, the United States elected Georgia's Jimmy Carter as the 39th
President. His election followed the collapse of the Republican Party
following the Watergate scandal in 1974.
In the following election in 1976, President Carter defeated President
Gerald R. Ford in the campaign for the White House. Weary of politics
gone awry, Americans opted for change.
Many forget that the Carter Administration started full of optimism and
hope based on a promise and expectation of change. Indeed, President
Carter's approval ratings soared to sixty six (66) percent during the
first months of his Presidential term.
The kind of change was far less important than the existence of change.
Americans had had enough and President Carter fit the bill. President
Carter talked different, acted different, and governed differently. And
that was enough. Americans wanted change.
Contrary to belief, Jimmy Carter's changes were notable. Although many
forget, his agenda was actually quite bold. He had a national energy
policy aimed at lessening America's dependence on foreign oil through
the funding of new technologies for alternative energy sources, and
championed the adoption of conservation programs using new federal
rules, regulations, and laws. In order to implement these strategies,
with the help of a Democratic Congress, President Carter created a new
cabinet level department known as the Department of Energy.
On the international front, he struck a noticeably "conciliatory" tone
accompanied by a policy of retrenchment on a number of fronts. In Latin
America, President Carter "negotiated" the Panama Canal treaties
resulting in the transfer of the Panama Canal Zone to Panama. In
Europe, he aggressively pursued the second round of passive positions in
the negotiations around the Strategic Arms Limitations Talks (SALT II)
with the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics (the old "Soviet Union").
On the domestic front, President Carter bailed out Chrysler with The
Chrysler Corporation Loan Guarantee Act of 1979. His solutions to a
lingering recession, high interest rates, high unemployment, and
inflation were a series of government centric programs aimed at propping
up a weakened economy rather than stimulating growth among private small
businesses.
Jimmy Carter's change for America did not work. It did not work for
America and it did not work for American voters. In fact, the consensus
was that President Carter's changes for America actually made things
worse.
Presidents get some pretty wide latitude, especially when they inherit a
mess. But there is one rule that they cannot violate - do not make it
worse.
With President Carter, it was never about his failure to do something;
it was that what he did fundamentally undercut America's ability to lead
as the most powerful and successful nation in the world.
The Iranians stormed the American embassy in Tehran and held hostages as
the world watched. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan in the face of
protest. Fuel shortages mounted as Americans sat in longer and longer
lines at gas stations.
Unemployment hovered at unacceptably high levels as Americans
increasingly faced the prospect of losing their job. Inflation soared,
and the money Americans did make lost its value. Interest rates choked
off investment as credit became prohibitively expensive. Government
spending and, correspondingly, the deficit rocketed.
Things actually got worse.
As bad as things were in 1976 for the Republicans following Watergate
with its ensuing political losses in the United States Congress, none of
that mattered in 1980 when President Jimmy Carter faced reelection. By
then, President Carter's approval rating had plummeted to a meager
thirty-four percent (34%). Democrats, including Carter, tried to run on
resurrected memories of just how bad things were in 1974 and 1976, but
to no avail.
Instead, President Ronald Reagan's simple concepts of lower government
spending, tax cuts, a strong national defense, less government
regulation, and a renewed pride in America carried the day -
overwhelmingly.
It is too early to know what the parallels between President Barack
Obama's agenda for America and President Jimmy Carter's early years in
office mean politically. If bailouts, increased government spending,
huge deficits, and greater government regulation translate into
continued unemployment, a weakened economy, and inflation, the Carter
experience proves that it will not matter what he inherited. If a
government-centric approach to energy and health care translate into
shortages and de facto rationing, then his popularity in 2008 will mean
little in his bid for reelection. If the "conciliatory" tone on the
international stage translates into bolder and bolder action by rogue
leaders in countries like North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, eventually
creating another international crisis, then he, like Jimmy Carter, will
be a one term President.

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Updated 02-12-2010 at 07:42 AM by mysteryman (typo)

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