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As the old saying goes, “history may not always repeat itself, but it does often rhyme.”
In six short months, it appears that Biden is already well on his way to re-creating Carter’s disastrous one-term presidency.
The Carter Economy Policy Redux
Jimmy Carter and Joe Biden both inherited economies that were the envy of the world.
Carter’s presidency ended with a term that originated the phrase “stagflation,” with the economy simultaneously experiencing high inflation and low economic growth along with a new measurement term, the “misery index.”
Profligate spending and fossil energy regulatory policies are putting Biden’s presidency on track to resume hyper-inflationary conditions, taxes, and industry-crunching employment casualties that portend a misery index that may even eclipse Carter’s legacy as America’s most inept economic CEO.
Prior to the time, Jimmy Carter entered the Oval Office, the U.S. economy was on the rise, having grown by 5% each year between 1976 and 1978. Unemployment was also declining, dropping from 7.5% in January 1977 to 5.6% by May 1979, with more than 9 million new jobs added during that period.
It was all downhill from then.
With no thanks to rocketing inflation and the self-inflicted energy crisis, unemployment had plunged to 7.5% by January 1981, the month Ronald Reagan took control.
Similarly, Joe Biden has been gifted with an economic recovery – with overdue gratitude to the Trump vaccines – from pandemic COVID-19 lockdowns, which had left the unemployment rate soaring.
That rate had been at a long-time record low 3.5% in February 2020, just before the virus decimated U.S. and global industries, businesses, and many millions of lives. By April 2020, U.S. unemployment hit 14.8%, prior to a post-pandemic fall.
Since then, and arguably driven by re-openings of Red states, the unemployment rate has dropped every month as pent-up commodity demands have driven an economic rebound.
Nevertheless, by last month the employment increase had ticked up only to 5.9%, up from 5.8% in May. This weak recovery in hiring is logically attributed in large part to extended COVID relief benefits, which made it more profitable for many lower-income workers to stay home and collect government checks.
Barely surviving small businesses, including restaurants, barbershops, construction, and maintenance service companies that have already suffered greatly from lockdowns, now can’t find workers to hire as former employees are paid to do nothing.
Meanwhile, teachers’ unions are demanding more money for their members, even while insisting that all schools remain closed.
Nor is inflation merely a theoretical issue in the current administration’s Carter-era redux.
As The Washington Post, certainly no right-wing rag reported in May: “Widespread shortages are driving prices higher for everyday items, as an uneven reopening leaves Americans facing the unfamiliar risk of inflation.”
As spending and gasoline prices rise, so do prices that fall hardest on poor and elderly populations.
The Losing Wars on Fossil Energy
Jimmy and Joe have launched self-defeating ideological regulatory warfare on abundant hydrocarbon energy, which fuels 80% of the American and world economies with fanciful expectations of replacing these sources with the as-yet-unknown environment- and climate-friendlier alternatives.
Warning that the world was running out of oil, Carter set a goal of solar power constituting 20% of the country’s energy by the year 2000. Two decades after his deadline, solar still accounts for only 2.3 % of electricity … with just slightly more than 1% of total energy.
As it turned out, the only oil shortages were those his policies created.
The Washington Post characterized the oil shortage crisis of 1979 as “what might well go down in history as one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated on helpless people.”
As reported, President Carter falsely declared that an Iranian oil embargo had created a petroleum shortage crisis, prompting him to “come down from the mount of the Oval Office” and announce that he “was not going to permit the importation of a single gallon of oil more than we had imported in 1977.”
The consequences were dramatically disastrous as shortages restricted motorists from buying gasoline only on odd or even days, according to the last digits on their license plates. Lines to buy gas were so long that people waited for several hours in shifts with friends before reaching pumps which by then were depleted of supplies.
Carter also set up the Synthetic Fuels Corporation – one of the more notorious Washington boondoggles of all time … at least up until the Obama-Biden administration’s “shovel ready green jobs” scam.
Biden’s new version of Carter’s alternate fuel strategy, the so-called “Clean Energy for America Act,” proposes to spend $154 billion on renewable electricity, $47 billion for electric vehicles, and $21 billion on “energy efficiency.”
Also, on his first day in office, President Biden ended America’s long-sought energy independence along with the Keystone XL pipeline and at least 11,000 jobs it would have created with the simple stroke of a pen.
The results are both predictable and painful. Average regular gasoline prices, which were $2.36 per gallon, have risen to over $3 since then.
Inexplicably, after Biden shut down Keystone to help save the planet from billions of years of climate change – and after Russian hackers shut down the Colonial Pipeline, which supplied gas to the East Coast – he lifted Trump sanctions against Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea to Germany.
Muddling in Middle East Mayhem
Jimmy Carter and Joe Biden share common appeasement strategies in bowing to Iran’s mullah oligarchs.
Carter’s weak attempt to placate the Islamic government following the seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and 52 diplomat employees in direct violation of international law is broadly credited for his landslide presidential election loss to Ronald Reagan in 1980.
After being blindfolded and held hostage for more than a year, the prisoners were immediately released on January 20, 1981 … the very day Reagan was inaugurated.
Biden is now desperately trying to revive a deal Trump rescinded with the same radical theology in Tehran that is busy enriching uranium to make nuclear weapons.
Thus, has prospectively ended one of Trump’s greatest achievements, peace in the Middle East.
After unfreezing billions of dollars of sanctioned money, Biden topped it off with an additional $135 million gift.
The U.S. and Israel were repaid with 4,000 Iran-funded Hamas rockets that rained down on Tel Aviv population centers.
Perhaps fittingly, Joe Biden was the first U.S. Senator to endorse Jimmy Carter for president back in 1975. He appears to be following his example, and very likely his failed legacy as well.
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