Biden’s Bundle of Crises, “Another Jimmy Carter Economy”

"No Known Restrictions: President Jimmy Carter Announces Sanctions on Iran by Marion S. Trikosko, 1980 (LOC)" (Public domain) by

As the Biden administration faced a series of familiar crises last week, particularly gas shortages and rising consumer prices, Republicans and conservative commentators are comparing Biden to Jimmy Carter.

After the Colonial Pipeline, the largest gas distributor on the East Coast, was attacked, videos and images of cars are sitting bumper to bumper waiting to fill up before gas stations ran out of fuel. 

The gas shortage then created a domino effect which prompted a shortage of fast food, too, Chick-fil-A sauce.

Gas shortage is just one of the crises that the Biden administration was forced to face. The U.S. Labor Department also revealed devastating job reports last week. On top of that, the data also shows that in April alone, the prices of basic goods and services spiked by 0.8%. This is the largest monthly increase that the country has experienced in over a decade. 

This string of crises has prompted House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to say that Biden is “well on his way to creating another Jimmy Carter economy.”

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio also repeated the same sentiment declaring Biden as “the new Jimmy Carter.”

Fox News contributor Joey Jones also opined and said, Biden “really is doing his best Jimmy Carter, ain’t he.”

In 1977, when former President Jimmy Carter took office, the average price of gas in the U.S. was $0.62. In 1981 when he left office, the average price had more than double to $1.31. 

In comparison, in the last full year of former President Ronald Reagan in 1988, the average price of gas had steadily declined to $0.90.

On October 24, 1978, in a televised speech, Carter noted that inflation had continuously risen in the past decade by an average of 6.5%. In the years before Carter took office, the average rate of inflation had increased to 8%. 

Carter admitted that inflation had been the problem. He said, “Inflation has, therefore, been a serious problem for me ever since I became president. We’ve tried to control it, but we have not been successful.”

However, Carter’s efforts to control inflation have failed. The year that he took office, the inflation rate in the country was 6.5%. During the last full year of his presidency, the price of gas during his administration had more than doubled to 13.5%. 

The rate of inflation had steadily decreased every year during the Reagan administration, starting in 1981. By 1988, the last full year of Reagan’s presidency, the inflation rate had dropped to just 4.1%.

During the years when Jimmy Carter was the President, American Consumers were forced to pay more for the prices of basic goods. They were also forced to wait in line to buy gas.

Images from the late 1970 show cars are lined up in gas stations. The images eerily look like the recent pictures of Americans waiting in line to buy gas during the Biden administration 40 years later. 

The inflation rate in the Biden administration, the same as the Carter administration, is the top concern. 

On Tuesday, the White House press secretary told reporters that the Biden administration takes “the possibility of inflation quite seriously.”

Psaki added, “Most economic analysts believe that it will have a temporary, transitory impact.”

During the first full year of former President Trump’s presidency. The rate of inflation was 2.1%. This increased during his second year in office to 2.4%. This had decreased for the remainder of Trump’s presidency as the rate of inflation in the country had declined every year, dropping to just 1.2% before he left office. 

Meanwhile, experts are already starting to sound the alarm. Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers warned of a “Vietnam inflation scenario.”

Summers said, “Policymakers at the Fed and in the [White House] need to recognize that the risk of a Vietnam inflation scenario is now greater than the deflation risks on which they were originally focused.” He added, “Whatever was the case a few months ago, it should now be clear that overheating — not excess slack — is the dominant economic risk facing the US over the next year or two.”