Don't Repeat Jimmy Carter's Catastrophic Mistake

Democrats are right to worry about inflation’s threat to Joe Biden’s presidency. But they need to learn the right lesson from our history: Overreaction can be fatal.

The last time inflation had a significant impact on U.S. politics was in 1979–1980, when Jimmy Carter’s mishandling of rising consumer prices elected Ronald Reagan president and ushered in 40 years of conservative dominance of American political life.

Prices were accelerating then because of supply constraints in specific markets. Gasoline rose in response to turmoil in the Middle East, including revolution in Iran. Food costs were driven up by a catastrophic failure of the Russian grain harvest.

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