Saturday, May 07, 2011

Burt Folsom : Jimmy Carter is naive and confused

Who Was Our Most Naive President: Hoover or Carter?

by Burt Folsom
Herbert Hoover and Jimmy Carter both had calamitous presidencies–possibly the worst in U.S. history. Hoover signed the highest tariff in U.S. history, began the first farm subsidy program in U.S. history, and jacked up the top rate on the income tax from 24% to 63%. The result: 25% unemployment and a Great Depression. Jimmy Carter (and the Fed) inflated the currency, watched inflation and unemployment skyrocket, and ran a foreign policy that courted disaster with the Russians. Hoover and Carter were wiped out by FDR and Reagan at the polls, but both lived long after their embarrassing presidencies.

In the winter after the Nazis rolled into Poland, former President Hoover urged the U.S. to send food aid to the defeated Poles. FDR did not do this because most–perhaps all–of the food would have been taken by the Nazis. Good sentiments by Hoover, but bad judgment.

Last week, Jimmy Carter emulated Hoover. According to the Wall Street Journal, Carter condemned the U.S. for refusing to send North Korea food without any conditions attached. Carter proclaimed: “[O]ne of the most important human rights is to have food to eat. For the South Koreans and the Americans and others to deliberately withhold food aid to the North Korean people because of political or military issues not related is really a human rights violation.”

The North Korean government has long had famine in the land because of its statist policies. And it is already notorious for diverting food aid for political purposes. Should we help Kim Jong Il consolidate and perpetuate power by taxing Americans to send free food to the dictator?

In our presidential comparison, Carter is more naive. Hoover never said food aid is a “human right.” If the North Korean government has a right to have food aid, then other nations such as the U.S. have the duty to supply it. But if every nation decides to get free food, who will be stuck having to do the hard work of producing it? Carter is not only naive, but confused.
Read more from Burt, here
Carter : "I believe this (Bin Laden raid) has substantially enhanced his (Obama's) political standing — his reputation among people, particularly those that didn't think he was a strong, competent person who could carry out a mission successfully," - USA Today : Analysis: Reimagining Obama after gutsy raid

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