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On the evening of July 15, 1979, Jimmy Carter gave his infamous “malaise” speech, in which he blamed Americans discouraged by soaring inflation and an energy crisis for losing confidence in our country.
Days ago, Joe Biden gave his own malaise speech. Sitting down with an AP reporter for a rare interview, the president described the American people as “really, really down,” and repeated: “They’re really down. Their need for mental health in America has skyrocketed because people have seen everything upset.”
Like Carter, the president insisted that he wanted Americans to “be confident. Because I am confident.”
But Americans do not share Joe’s confidence, just as they did not share Carter’s.
When consumer sentiment and small business confidence hit an all-time low – worse than when our country is in the midst of a pandemic or in a deep recession – something is terribly wrong. That’s where we are now, according to the University of Michigan and the NFIB, which track the nation’s mood.
There are many parallels between Joe Biden’s first year and a half in office and Carter’s