Government Spending

Which First-Time SOTUer Said it?


We need patience and good will, but we really need to realize that there is a limit to the role and the function of government. Government cannot solve our problems, it can't set our goals, it cannot define our vision. Government cannot eliminate poverty or provide a bountiful economy or reduce inflation or save our cities or cure illiteracy or provide energy. And government cannot mandate goodness. Only a true partnership between government and the people can ever hope to reach these goals.

Those of us who govern can sometimes inspire, and we can identify needs and marshal resources, but we simply cannot be the managers of everything and everybody.

Hint: Peanuts.

Wanna have some fun? Go to UC Santa Barbara's State of the Union archive, and start clicking. More from Jimmy Carter's 1978 speech:

Never forget!

Secondly, private business and not the Government must lead the expansion in the future.

Third, we must lower the rate of inflation and keep it down. Inflation slows down economic growth, and it's the most cruel to the poor and also to the elderly and others who live on fixed incomes. [..]

We can make our tax laws fairer, we can make them simpler and easier to understand, and at the same time, we can-and we will—reduce the tax burden on American citizens by $25 billion. […]

My budget for 1979 addresses these national needs, but it is lean and tight. I have cut waste wherever possible.

I am proposing an increase of less than 2 percent after adjusting for inflation-the smallest increase in the Federal budget in 4 years.

And my favorite one-sentence paragraph:

In areas of peaceful competition with the Soviet Union, we will continue to more than hold our own.

Whole thing here.

Nick Gillespie and I gave some unsolicited speech advice to Obama yesterday, and compared him to Carter in the Washington Post last July.

NEXT: Live C-SPAN Coverage vs. Pass Now, Explain Later

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  1. Caption Contest:

    “I’ll get you wabbit!”

  2. was it Charlie Brown?

    1. Yep, that’s where I went too, except I was thinking more along the lines of Woodstock.

  3. He didn’t kill that rabbit. Like the American economy and prestige, he was merely trying to assist him with that paddle.

  4. You know except for falling for that whole Club of Rome, “we’re running out of resources”, Limits to Growth nonsense Carter could have been a decent President. Well, that, and the whole completely misreading the Iranian Revolution situation.

    But with friends like Tip O’Neill and Ted Kennedy blocking his every initiative He didn’t need the Republicans to bring him down.

  5. Secondly, private business and not the Government must lead the expansion in the future.

    I don’t remember Jimmy being a Republican 😉

  6. The country, I am thankful to say, is at peace with all the world, and many happy manifestations multiply about us of a growing cordiality and sense of community of interest among the nations, foreshadowing an age of settled peace and good will.

    1913, W. Wilson, our funniest, worst, and most Obama-like President.

    Yes, he’s more like Obama than Obama is.

  7. You know what would have made that picture totally phenomenal? If it were FDR and not Jimmy.

  8. “Congress Passes Americans With No Abilities Act”–headline, Onion, June 24, 1998

    1. “Employer Told Not to Post Advert for ‘Reliable’ Workers Because It Discriminates Against ‘Unreliable’ Applicants”–headline, Daily Mail, Jan. 27, 2010…..cants.html

      1. OMG, I thought I was reading the UK version of Onion-style satire until I read the comments. And then I realized it might actually be true…

        Please tell me it’s supposed to be funny – otherwise, that is just plain sad.

        1. Welcome to Europe.

  9. Welch, you fool, you can’t title two successive blog posts so similarly and expect your adoring public to be able to get to the newer one.

    1. beat me by exactly a minute.

  10. We did it for the show

  11. I guessed Ronald Reagan. Holding the budget to 2% increase? Reduce taxes by $25 billion? Government cannot solve our problems? If Carter gave this speech tonight, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would be delivering the opinion of the opposition. (Either that, or they’d say, “We have to learn how to lie like this guy does. Smooth.”

    1. If Carter gave this speech tonight, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would be delivering the opinion of the opposition.

      Which is essentially exactly what Tip O’Neil and Ted Kennedy did while Carter was in office.

      As I noted above re The Club of Rome, Catrter was wrong about lots of things but he was certainly an improvement over the tired old New Deal liberals that came before him.

      He, Like Bill Clinton later, believed that to finance a welfare state you needed a strong economy and that a strong economy could only exist with a strong private sector.

      It wouldn’t really work, of course, but thanks to the Democrats in Congress it didn’t even get tried.

  12. Commenting is fucked up on part II. It sends you here. Oh well:

    “Education is not my top priority…”

    We know George, we know.

  13. Holy fuck. Jimmy Carter? WTF?

    Did the Libertarian party hijack his TOTUS and substitute a speech from Jefferson?

    1. Seems like there’s a lot of people here who don’t really know about Jimmy Carter.

  14. Jimmy Carter??,, yeah, I punked that b*tch…..

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