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“Joe Biden is the new Jimmy Carter.”
That’s the comparison Republican lawmakers and Conservative commentators made when the Biden administration faced a number of well-known crises last week – particularly gas shortages and rising consumer goods prices.
After discovering that Colonial Pipeline – the east coast’s largest gas distributor – videos and pictures popped up of cars sitting bumper to bumper waiting to fill up before the gas stations run out of fuel. The lack of gas also had a domino effect. There was even a lack of a fast food favorite: chick-fil-a-sauce.
However, the gas shortage was just a crisis that the Biden government had to grapple with. Less than a week after a devastating employment report, the US Department of Labor announced that the prices of basic goods and services rose 0.8% in April alone. That’s the largest monthly increase the country has seen in more than a decade.
That crisis prompted House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., To say that Biden “is well on its way to creating another Jimmy Carter economy.”
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Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, repeated that sentiment, stating, “Joe Biden is the new Jimmy Carter.”
Biden “really does his best, Jimmy Carter, doesn’t she,” said Joey Jones, Fox News contributor.
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But is comparing Biden to President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s a fair comparison?
Here’s a look at what life was like in America during the Carter administration.
In 1977, the year Carter took office, the average US gas price was $ 0.62. By the time Carter stepped down in 1981, the average gas price had more than doubled to $ 1.31. By 1988, the last full year of the Ronald Reagan administration, the average gas price had steadily declined to $ 0.90.
In a televised address on October 24, 1978, Carter noted that inflation had risen steadily by an average of 6.5% over the past decade. In the years before Carter took office, the average inflation rate had risen to 8%.
“Inflation has therefore been a serious problem for me since I became president. We tried to control it, but we were unsuccessful,” admitted Carter.
But Carter’s efforts to control inflation failed. In the year he took office, the US inflation rate was 6.5%. In the last full year of the Carter presidency, the rate of inflation, like the price of gas, had more than doubled to 13.5% during his tenure. The Reagan administration’s inflation rate has declined steadily every year since 1981. By 1988, the last full year of the Reagan presidency, the inflation rate had fallen to just 4.1%.
During the Carter years, American consumers were not only forced to pay more for the price of basic goods as well as gas, but they also had to wait in lines to buy gas. Pictures from the late 1970s show cars lined up at gas stations. These images are eerily reminiscent of recent photos showing Americans waiting more than 40 years later to buy gasoline during the Biden administration.
Inflation is a major concern during the Biden administration, as it was during the Carter administration. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday that the government “takes the possibility of inflation very seriously.”
“Most economic analysts believe this will have temporary temporary effects,” added Psaki.
In the first full year of President Donald Trump’s presidency, the inflation rate was 2.1%. It rose to 2.4% in Trump’s second year in office. For the remainder of Trump’s presidency, US inflation fell each year, falling to just 1.2% in 2020.
However, as during the Carter presidency, a 0.70% increase is planned for the first full year of the Biden administration. Based on data from the first quarter, the Federal Reserve estimates the inflation rate in 2021 at 1.9%.
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Experts are already sounding the alarm.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers warned of an “inflation scenario in Vietnam”.
“Policy makers at the Fed and in the [White House] I need to realize that the risk of an inflationary scenario in Vietnam is now greater than the risk of deflation that they originally focused on, “Summers said, according to CNN.” Whatever the case a few months ago, it should be clear by now that overheating – not excessive sag – is the dominant economic risk the US faces in the next year or two. “
FOX Business moderator and former Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow has also warned of rising inflation, but stated that he is “not yet” convinced of inflation.
Kudlow noted that commodity prices kept rising after a sharp economic downturn, such as that occurred amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t see the dollar collapse yet,” Kudlow said on May 5th. However, he added that those who believe the threat of inflation is real “are likely to be right”.
“But I will withhold the verdict now.”