A return to Jimmy Carter

The new Democrat majority seems eager to return to the bad old days of Jimmy: bad energy policies, blaiming American consumerism for our economic ills and a foreign policy that appeases our enemies.   Investor’s Business Daily sums it up nicely:

…Pressure on oil prices built early in Carter’s term in office as OPEC jacked up prices. But oil really took off in 1979, after the Shah of Iran was toppled by fundamentalist Islamic revolutionaries led by Ayatollah Khomeini. President Carter’s weak and vacillating support for the Shah of Iran encouraged the rebellion.

Things went from bad to worse.

In [the “malaise” speech], Carter suggested high oil prices weren’t the problem; just Americans’ tendency “to worship self-indulgence and consumption.” Further, he said Americans suffered a “crisis of confidence.”

…Within weeks, gas lines formed in cities across the U.S., with cars snaking up and down streets and around city blocks. Americans left idling in gas queues felt both angry and helpless, as they watched prices soar and shortages emerge — and saw a government unable or unwilling to fix the problem.

…Unfortunately, he waited far too long to do what he really needed to do: Namely, completely end price controls on domestic oil, kill off oil import quotas, and veto the Windfall Profits Tax Act.

Worse, Carter erred in thinking the government — and not a healthy, functioning market with realistic price signals — could end the oil crisis. It couldn’t in the 1970s, and it can’t today.

The government limits our energy supply by preventing energy companies from drilling for oil and refining what oil they have.  The government’s profit, an average tax of 47 cents p/gallon, is more than 4 times the profit of so-called big oil and the gas stations combined.  Yet liberals think more government will solve it.

Ah, the infamous “malaise” speech.  According to the peanut preacher, all the world’s problems are caused by Americans wanting to improve their standard of living.  Jimmy, individual responsibility is the cure, not the cause, for the world’s problems.

(H/T Lynne W.)

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