The last President who was also a public servant?
Jimmy Carter, 30 years ago:
“We are at a turning point in our history. There are two paths to choose. One is a path I’ve warned about tonight, the path that leads to fragmentation and self-interest. Down that road lies a mistaken idea of freedom, the right to grasp for ourselves some advantage over others. That path would be one of constant conflict between narrow interests ending in chaos and immobility. It is a certain route to failure.
All the traditions of our past, all the lessons of our heritage, all the promises of our future point to another path, the path of common purpose and the restoration of American values. That path leads to true freedom for our nation and ourselves. We can take the first steps down that path as we begin to solve our energy problem.”
He says about George Bush and the economy:
“The economic situation is an entrenched problem. It is going to take years to correct what has been done economically,” Carter said, adding he hoped Democrat Barrack Obama would win and immediately improve Washington’s image in the world.
Eight years ago, the United States had a budget surplus, low inflation and a stable, strong economy, he said.
Carter said he was astonished that the United States now owed China “in the neighborhood of $1 trillion.”
Deregulation and what he called a withdrawal of supervision of Wall Street had encouraged irresponsible elements in the U.S. financial system, enabling banks to borrow 30 times their value.
Carter told reporters profligate spending, massive borrowing and dramatic tax cuts since President George W. Bush took office in 2001 were behind the market turmoil and economic crisis.
“I think it’s because of the atrocious economic policies of the Bush administration.” [Reuters]