The economy was probably the biggest story of 1978, because that’s went it went down hill and didn’t come back until late 1983. With high unemployment, high interest rates, high inflation, and energy shortage and a recession in 1979-80 and all these things started in 1978. It was called the Great Deflation that started with the 1973 oil embargo that led to energy shortages. America was getting out of Vietnam and jobs were no longer being created from that war. Economic growth slowing down, unemployment going up. As well as the Federal budget deficit, interest rates and inflation. Even if the economy looked solid in January, of 78 with fairly low unemployment that was about to change very quickly by the spring that year.
As far as the smoking report, I’m not a fan of the nanny state and anyone who is familiar with by blogging knows that. But I am a big fan of education and commonsense regulation and that is what the Carter Administration was doing here. Tobacco obviously comes with serious health risks even if you don’t smoke, but hang out with people who smoke around you. So of course Americans have a right to know what they’re putting in their bodies before they do that, along with having the right to make the decision themselves what exactly they should put in their bodies. So of course no to prohibition when it comes to tobacco and no to the nanny state in general. But Americans have a right to breathe clean air and not to have to pay for other bad decisions. Which is where commonsense regulations and taxes come in.
What was otherwise a pretty bad year politically for President Jimmy Carter and his administration with the economy about to tank, which by itself may have cost President Carter his reelection, was actually pretty good for him in foreign affairs. With the Camp David Accords that he and his administration helped negotiate between Israel and Egypt. A peace agreement that got Egypt to recognize the only Jewish country in the world in Israel and the only Jewish state in the entire Middle East. That is surrounded by big Arab countries like Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and a big Persian country in Iran and a big Turkish country in Turkey. And that peace agreement almost forty-years later has held ever since. President Carter also got the Panama Canal Treaty passed by the Senate as well.
1978, the start of the second year of the Carter Administration that had an economy that was about to go south. Rising interest rates, inflation, rising energy costs and an energy shortage, but they did manage to get some important legislation through Congress. An energy bill and they got the airline industry deregulated which created a lot more competition there. They kept us out of war, they kept the deficit down even dealing with a very Progressive if not New-Left Democratic Congress that wanted all sorts of new spending and new taxes to finance their new programs. So President Carter and his administration, actually managed to get a lot done in their four years.