United States Economy (1969 to 1974)
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The time span is 1969 to1974 and the United States economy is hurting. But, before I go to far let me introduce myself, my name is Richard Nixon and I am the thirty-sixth President of the United States. I am dealing with three major economic crises in the United States at this time. One is high inflation, the basis for this is a mix of a high demand and a low supply of things such as jobs, houses, cars etc. The second issue is an energy shortage caused by an “Arab Oil Embargo”. Lastly there is a high unemployment rate as a result of a combination of more women entering the work force and the return of soldiers from Vietnam.
The question now is how can I bring down inflation without slowing down the economy and raising the unemployment rate? One approach seemed to provide an answer but it contradicts everything I believe in, government controlling prices and wages. This “New Economic Policy”, will freeze wages and prices for 90-days and unlink the dollar to gold by closing the gold window at the Federal Reserve. We will put a surtax on imports and reduce the trade deficit. We hope that this will solve the inflation-employment dilemma and it seems, after the initial ninety days, to be working. I am introducing a “full employment” budget, which provides for deficit spending to reduce unemployment. To help with the energy shortages and conserve gasoline, I have lowered the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 miles per hour.
In 1973, inflation started to climb again so I re-imposed a wage freeze, I also restricted heating and air conditioning and threatened a gasoline rationing (I never did impose this) but this time it was apparent that the government control system would not work. As I leave office inflation is soaring at 11.03%, unemployment is up over 5% and the GDP is at .6%. The long term economic forecast is “gloomy”.
I am Gerald Ford the thirty-eighth President of the United States serving from 1974 to 1977; I have inherited many economic crises from the previous regime. The economy has fallen into a steep recession with an upward inflation spiral that is growing more than at any time in modern history. Rising energy prices have added to higher unemployment by slowing consumer demand for companies products. The economy is a great concern to me and my administration. I believe that “inflation is domestic enemy number one”.
In an effort to fight against what were calling a stagflation, I have introduced a campaign, “Whip Inflation Now”. The idea is, if you can get people to save more and spends less, there might be less fuel to fire inflation. I described the goal to the American people: “Here is what we must do, what each and every one of you can do: To help increase food and lower prices, grow more and waste less; to help save scarce fuel in the energy crisis, drive less, heat less.” WIN proved to be an unsuccessful step, Americans are not good savers.
To encourage economic growth, I am accepting a remedy opposite of what I had at first agreed. I approved measures that increased spending and cut taxes rather than the other way around, despite the danger that these actions might widen the federal budget deficit. I also sought to “decontrol” energy prices in order to encourage production.
Unfortunately under my watch, domestically, the economy suffered from high inflation and a recession. Even though I inherited many of the nations economic problems from the previous establishment, I was defeated in the 1977 presidential election.
Hello, my name is Jimmy Carter. From 1977 to 1981 I will be the thirty-ninth President of the United States. On assuming office, I have inherited an economy that is slowly emerging from a recession. My presidency however, has led to the economy suffering double-digit inflation, very high interest rates, high unemployment and slow economic growth. The country is suffering long lines at the gas pumps, as well as fuel-oil shortages.
I have warned the American people that we are wasting too much energy. To promote the conservation of energy I create the United States Department of Energy (DoE) and I did my part by having solar hot water panels installed on the roof of the White House and I had a wood stove installed in my living area. I had controls put on thermostats in government and commercial buildings, nationwide, to prevent people from raising or lowering temperatures. I proposed a limit on imported oil and gradual price decontrol on domestically produced oil. I suggested a severe program of conservation, and the development of alternative sources of energy. However, during my presidency, I did manage to reduce our dependency on foreign oil imports by 50%.
To cut government spending, I have reduced the defense budget by $6 billion, although many believe that I am allowing the United States to become militarily inferior. I deregulated the airlines to stimulate competition and lower fares. I even sold the presidential yacht.
I tried to do my part, but still the productivity growth in the United States declined to an average annual rate of 1%, compared to 3.2% of the 1960s. Both inflation and unemployment are considerably worse than at the time I took office. The federal budget deficit increased to $66 billion. This government spending has caused interest rates to reach their highest levels since World War II. This rapid change in interest rates propagated the Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s. This ultimately cost the U.S. taxpayer about $124.6 billion.
In 1980, the prime interest rate reached 20% and Art Buchwald, best known for his long-running column in The Washington Post, quipped that “1980 would go down in history as the year it was cheaper to borrow money from the Mafia than the local bank”. In July of 1980, I received a favorable rating of only 21% in the Gallup Poll. That was the lowest rating of any president. There was little to indicate that I would overcome these economic problems and get reelected. So, it was no surprise to me when, with about 51% of the popular vote, the republican team of Ronald Reagan and George Bush were elected in a massive win.
Let me introduce myself, hello, I am Ronald Reagan, the fortieth President of the United States. I will serve the office of the presidency from 1981 until 1989. You, the people, elected me because of your discontent with federal policies. As I first take office the rate of inflation stands at 11.83% with the unemployment rate at 7.5%. In regards to our economy I believe that “government is not the solution, government is the problem”.
I will be implementing policies based on supply-side economics or as dubbed by the media,