1._Jimmy_Carter

1._Jimmy_Carter - 3/19/09 Jimmy Carter 1977-1981 A....

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3/19/09 1 Jimmy Carter 1977-1981 A. Election of 1976 Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale Democrats Gerald R. Ford and Bob Dole Republicans Ronald Reagan Independent • Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan were similar as presidential candidates in that they both capitalized on their status as Washington outsiders • Carter capitalized on his theme of “trust”… no one in the nation had any reason to distrust him • Carter seemed to be an early leader, then Ford caught up when many wondered if Carter could be a national leader • Ford hurt his own chances when he made some key mistakes … during a TV debate he mistakenly said the Soviet Union did not dominate Eastern Europe! • In the end it actually turned out to be a closer election than expected
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3/19/09 2 B. Domestic affairs Staff Problems • Carter brought a lot of his buddies from GA with him to Washington • Many of them had no idea how difficult it was to work with Congress, how to get key legislation passed, etc… • Carter’s brother, Billy, also posed an embarrassment… he started to brew his own beer – Billy Beer • He also took a loan from friends in Libya for $200,000… it looked like family business was tied to foreign affairs 1. Economy • Stagflation hits – High inflation – High unemployment – Productivity shows no increase (stagnant production) – US goods are less competitive in the market place • The combination of recession and high inflation in the 1970’s raised doubts about the effectiveness of Keynesian economics • In attempt to help the economy, Carter cut gov’t spending – Most cuts came in social programs angering Democrats • At the same time, the economy slowed down increasing unemployment and business failures • Interest rates soared to close to 20% • Americans were devastated by the economy
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3/19/09 3 • Deregulation – Another economic move was toward deregulation • The reduction or removal of gov’t controls of several industries • Carter argued that regulations hurt competition and increased consumer costs • Carter proposed removing controls on prices for oil and natural gas, RR, trucking and airlines • For the next 2 administrations, we see broad sweeping deregulation in America 2. Energy Crisis • We rely heavily on foreign oil • OPEC has been steadily raising oil prices since our support of Israel in the Yom Kippur war in 1973 resulting in rising prices, shortages, and long lines at the pump • In response, Carter created a comprehensive energy program – He asked Americans to drive less – Use less fuel to heat or cool homes – He created the Department of Energy – Look for new energy sources – Carter called it a “Moral equivalent of War”… critics called it MEOW! • 1978 - National Energy Act
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1._Jimmy_Carter - 3/19/09 Jimmy Carter 1977-1981 A....

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