When he was a candidate in 1976, President Carter, invented a thing he called the Misery Index. He added the rate of unemployment and the rate of inflation. And it came at that point to 12.5%, under President Ford. And he said that no man, with that size Misery Index had a right to seek reelection to the presidency . Today, by his own decision, the Misery Index is in excess of 20%
Reagan 1984 coffee cup
I would like to ask the President, why is it inflationary to let the people keep more of their money and spend it they way they would like and it isn’t inflationary to let him take that money and spend it the way he wants?
I think this idea that has been has been spawned here in our country that inflation somehow came upon on us like a plague and therefore it’s uncontrollable. And no one can do anything about it is entirely spurious and it’s dangerous to say this to the people.
Since then, he has blamed to the people for inflation, OPEC, he has blamed the Federal Reserve system, he has blamed the lack of productivity of the American people, he has then accused the people of living too well and that we must share in scarcity, we must sacrifice and get used to doing with less. We don’t have inflation because the people are living too well. We have inflation because the government is living too well.
I have to interrupt right here and tell you that on one of my visits — I won’t name him, I don’t want to embarrass him,- but one of the heads of state that I met with on this visit, he gave me one while I was on the way. He told me a story about the two fellas in the Soviet Union who were walking down the street. And one of them said, “Have we really achieved full Communism? Is this it? Is this now full Communism?” and the other one said, “Hell no, things are going to get a lot worse.”