November 19, 2009

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(Turned upside down read: No Immediate Miracles)

I'm often reminded that, when a crisis erupts and the Republicans are in charge, the solutions often fall into the category of Bonehead Misfires.

True to form, in 1974 when the country was in the midst of inflation, recession, mass unemployment and a crisis of faith (owing to the recent resignation of Richard Nixon and the quickly ending Vietnam War), Gerald Ford announced a new package, complete with slogan and buttons - Whip Inflation Now. Rather than use the dreaded Tax-Word, Ford proposed a "surcharge" on individuals making over $7500 a year and families making over $15,000 a year (remember, this is 1974 when money was a little different and less funny then). The immediate effect was to squeeze the middle class and create more loopholes for those who could most afford it.

Ford envisioned a kind of World War 2 gung-ho attitude on the part of the American people, willing to sacrifice at the drop of a hat. The resulting effect was dramatically less so.

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