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Luke Bailey

on 14 May 2018

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Transcript of Carter-Reagan

1976 Election
In the 1976 election, Gerald Ford barely beat a nomination challenge from Ronald Reagan.

He went up against Democrat Jimmy Carter, a down to earth southerner who emphasized his character and religion.

Carter associated Ford with the corruption of Nixon- he squeaked out a victory.
America's economy came to a screeching halt in the late 1970s.

Carter tried to lower taxes and increase spending, but inflation rose.

We also had a trade deficit- we imported more than we exported.

Oil prices rose due to Middle East conflicts and many people could not fill up their cars.
Iran Hostage Crises
In the 1970s, Iran had been a US Ally as they were ruled by one of our puppet governments.

However, in 1979 Islamic fundamentalists overthrew the Shah and placed instead the Ayatollah Khomeini, who hated the US.

The US embassy in Tehran was besieged and 52 Americans were taken hostage. Carter did nothing.
Election of 1980
In 1980, Carter was seen as a weak leader with a broken economy.

The Republicans nominated Ronald Reagan, an ex actor and governor of California. He won easily.

Iran, knowing Reagan was ready to strike, released the hostages.
The Reagan Revolution
Reagan was a new kind of Republican.

He called for "traditional American values" with an emphasis on family, hard work, respect for law, and patriotism. This appealed to conservative Christians.

He also preached free trade and less government intervention- this appealed to corporate types.

Finally, he wanted to build up the military and get tougher on Iran and the Soviet Union- this appealed to those who thought Carter weak.
Air Traffic Strike
A few months after Reagan was elected, all air traffic controllers went on strike for higher wages. They figured they could hold the country's economy hostage if no flights could take off.

In response, Reagan brought in the military to take over control towers. This showed Reagan's resolve and was a massive boost to his popularity.
Reagan advocated "supply-side" or "trickle down" economics.

By lowering taxes and regulations, the idea was more businesses would start and would make more money. As a consequence, the supply of goods and services would increase. Rich people would get richer, but their spending would "trickle down" to poorer people.

Critics said this only helped corporations and the rich, especially since lower taxes meant less welfare, however the economy boomed.
While Congress lowered taxes, government spending actually increased due to military build-up.

On the bright side, the economy was roaring and our army was now better than the Soviets. On the downside, our government went into a level of debt we still haven't recovered from.
Full transcript