Messiah Obama Really IS The Second Coming… Of Jimmy Carter

There are a lot of striking parallels between Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama that people more astute than I have already contemplated:

– both were Democrats.

– both were young men.

– both had relatively little political experience prior to running for President.

– both had little in the sense of any meaningful accomplishment to point to.

– both began as outside of their Party’s inner circles.

– both built early excitement by winning early caucus primaries.

– both have run on a campaign featuring vague promises of change

– both had the eager embrace of the mainstream media.

– both were featured as having great intellects.

– both were/are foreign policy disasters just waiting to happen.

Israel Matzav noted:

The media discovered and promoted Carter. As Lawrence Shoup noted in his 1980 book The Carter Presidency and Beyond:

“What Carter had that his opponents did not was the acceptance and support of elite sectors of the mass communications media. It was their favorable coverage of Carter and his campaign that gave him an edge, propelling him rocket-like to the top of the opinion polls. This helped Carter win key primary election victories, enabling him to rise from an obscure public figure to President-elect in the short space of 9 months.”

Prior to his run, Jimmy Carter was such an unlikely presidential candidate that when he told his mother he was running for president, she asked, “Of what?”

Gerald Ford, rendered unpopular by being the president who dealt with the stench of Watergate, who pardoned Nixon, and who presided over an unfortunate period marked by our withdraw from Vietnam and the resulting damage to our prestige, found himself 30 points behind the new media darling – until his campaign hit on a strategy that nearly brought him all the way back: they focused on his His lack of experience, his lack of accomplishments and his lack of specificity on the issues. “The Ford forces pounded away at the experience question and painted Carter as a political illusion, an affable-seeming politician who was terrified of expressing his opinion on any controversial topic.” Had the campaign lasted just a week longer, many believe Ford could actually have pulled off the victory.

But that stuff – although interesting – is not what I wanted to focus on. Rather, I wanted to focus on their similarity on energy.

Namely:

1) both advocated a strategy of conservation.

2) both promised alternative energy over oil.

3) both called for a windfall profits tax on big oil companies.

Let us be frank: there is very little, if anything, that is signicantly different between Carter’s colossol failure of an energy policy and what Obama is pandering, I mean proposing.

Let me begin with 1) the strategy of conservation at the expense of increased production.

Jimmy Carter famously put on a cardigan and gave us high-minded exhortations to save on our heating bills by wearing sweaters. On a superficial level it was very true: by wearing sweators during the winter we could save oil.  It was good as public service announcement.

But as an energy policy it was laughable. And it was part of the reason he got clobbered when he ran for re-election.

When Barack Obama calls for every American to inflate their tires, it is absolutely 100% identical to Carter calling for every American to wear their sweaters.

We need more energy, not less. Our population is continuing to grow. Do you want to grow the economy as well? Do you want to create more jobs? Do you want more homes and businesses? Do you want more development, and a more modern, more mobile, and more powerful economy? Then you want more energy. And you need to vote for a president who will produce that energy.

Consider 2) the promise to develop alternative energy over oil. Barack Obama is promising to increase our “alternative energy” dependence from a little under 5% of our total energy consumption to 10% of our total energy consumption.

But he is literally concentrating on that 5% of energy by ignoring the nearly 90% that is based on oil, natural gas, and coal (by the way, natural gas is found in/near oil deposits; and harvesting the one naturally results in harvesting the other).

When we subsidize, we punish things that are doing well in order to reward something that is performing poorly. When government (during the Carter years, by the way) began to subsidize corn-based ethanol, it picked the wrong horse (as so often happens). We are now creating food shortages in order to force something that Agriculture Department studies show cost several times what it costs to produce a gallon of gasoline. And about 70% more energy is required to produce ethanol than the fuel itself actually produces, which means every time you produce a gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTU.

The decision to subsidize ethanol was based on naked political prostitution to special interest money. Do you really want these clowns – who couldn’t even run their own cafeteria without running massive deficits – making these decisions?

Meanwhile , the United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal. And yet the same liberals that forced ethanol upon us are refusing to allow us to use it again and again. There is a deliberate rejection of American energy in pursuit of biofuels that do nothing but disrupt our food markets and drive up the real costs of energy. Children are literally starving because of these policies.

I mean, fine. Let’s do better to develop alternative energy sources. But to literally do so at the expense of our actual primary sources of energy – which will remain our actual primary sources of energy for decades by ANY standard – is foolishness beyond belief.

When Jimmy Carter was president, foreign oil represented a little less than 1/3 of our consumption; today it is over 70%. You tell me, which way is the trend going? We need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil for both our international competitiveness and for our security. And the ONLY way to do that right now is to drill for our own domestic oil. We are consuming more energy, not less. And at the same time we need that 70% figure to go DOWN, not UP. And we can only bring it down with a comprehensive energy policy that features drilling for our own oil in addition to conservation and alternative energy production.

Now let us look at the crowning policy of both the Carter and the Obama energy policy: 3) windfall profits taxes on big oil.

The current call for a windfall profits tax has been going on since before the 2006 elections, in which Democrats promised that they had the better solutions for energy (and the price of gas has essentially doubled since Nancy Pelosi promised her “commonsense plan.”) Democrats have ever since been lining up to support a new federal windfall profits tax, with the aim of redistributing profits from “greedy” oil companies.

But, as Jonathon Williams, writing in The Los Angeles Times, pointed out:

lawmakers could benefit from a history lesson. The last time this country experimented with such a tax was the Crude Oil Windfall Profit Tax Act of 1980. According to a 1990 Congressional Research Service study, the tax depressed the domestic oil industry, increased foreign imports and raised only a tiny fraction of the revenue forecasted. It stunted domestic production of oil by 3% to 6% and created a surge in foreign imports, from 8% to 16%.

As for that “tiny fraction of the revenue forecasted” figure, the windfall profit tax returned only $40 billion of the $175 billion that had been projected.

Surprise, surprise. When you tax something, you get less of it, and you drive up the cost. It boggles the mind that Democrats are pathologically incapable of understanding what is the most blatently obvious principle of economics. But they can’t.

Many have defined insanity as doing the same thing and expecting different results. By that bar, Democrats should be sitting straightjacketed in rubber rooms.

Jimmy’s Carter’s failed energy policy was part of the reason for the 20% prime interest rate that consumed our economy like a cancer.

By taxing American oil companies, they produced less oil, reducing the supply and driving up the cost. At the same time, the reduction in domestic production created a corresponding increased dependence on foreign oil.

And, as Jonathon Williams also points out, the policy of windfall profits forced a major U.S. industry, and a major U.S. employer, into a depressed condition that it took years to overcome. You might hate big oil, but damaging the industry is tantamount to cutting off your own nose to spite your face.

The Jimmy Carter presidency was a catastrophic disaster in foreign policy, domestic policy, and energy policy. The last thing this country needs is the Second Coming of a failed presidency.

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3 Responses to “Messiah Obama Really IS The Second Coming… Of Jimmy Carter”

  1. Shannon Says:

    Excellent analysis, I love your blog!

  2. Michael Eden Says:

    Thanks, Shannon. I appreciate your gracious words. I hope you keep reading!

  3. moses Says:

    no i dont recognise you. bloody hell i will read on though!

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