Ford-Obama Key Events of Each Presidency
Gerald Ford • Gerald Ford became President after Nixon’s resignation • He was a former star college football player, and fought in the Navy during WWII • Ford’s first move as President was to pardon Nixon of his crimes • Led to a decrease in his popularity – although meant to bring the nation together, the public viewed it as a secret deal he made with Nixon in order to get VP nomination • Ford started the WIN Program (Whip Inflation Now) The program was a complete failure and led to the shut down of many factories and high levels of unemployment
Jimmy Carter • A born-again Christian peanut farmer from Georgia • Was seen as not your typical politician but as more of an everyday citizen – “The Citizen’s President” • He held town meetings, wore casual clothes, and carried his own suitcase • Just one day after inauguration, Carter granted his campaign promise of amnesty or political pardons to Americans who had evaded the draft during Vietnam -> this decision was highly controversial and some said it was the “most disgraceful things that a President has ever done.”
Jimmy carter • Carter had to handle fuel shortages and the energy crisis during his presidency – gas prices rose from 40 cents a gallon to close to $1.20 a gallon • Fuel shortages caused factory closings and business losses. • Carter tried to pass a bill to fight these problems but few of his ideas were actually contained in it --- seen as bad leadership • Presidents are being elected from the Sunbelt • “The Me Generation” • Divorce rates increase, casual clothing increases, long hair was common • Labeled troubling by many older Americans
Jimmy Carter and Foreign Policies • Carter supported human rights in developing countries in poor nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. • Jimmy Carter is known for a peace agreement in the Middle East between Egypt and Israel. This agreement is called the Camp David Accords. • Iran takes 66 American hostages. Jimmy Carter had problems getting these people released, as it would take until the Reagan Presidency for them to get freed. This made Carter look bad.
Ronald Reagan • Reagan was a sports broadcaster, television show host, and an actor before becoming President • Reagan became popular for speaking out about big government, high taxes, and warned of the dangers of communism. • Ronald Reagan beats Jimmy Carter in the Election of 1980
Supply-side economics • Reagan based his economic policies after supply side economics or the belief that reducing tax rates stimulates economic growth – this was termed as “Reaganomics” • The idea is to decrease taxes in order for people to have more money to stimulate the economy. As people work more and have more money than the government can collect more in taxes. • In order to pursue this policy Reagan needed to cut spending on government programs favored by both Democrats and Republicans in order to make the budget more balanced due to reduced tax rates
Effects of Reaganomics • A major recession occurred in 1982. Unemployment rose to more than 10 percent • The recession would start to disappear but the number of poor people, including the working poor, increased • Immigration of Latin Americans and Asians increased which resorted to low paying jobs and struggled to make ends meet. The rich, however, continued to get richer. • Reagan increased defense spending but failed to make government cuts – this caused a federal budget deficit to skyrocket from $79 billion to $221 billion – under Reagan the national debt rose to $2.5 trillion!
Reagan • Reagan wins reelection by showing his upbeat spirit and determination • Democrats however will gain control of the House of Representatives • Reagan appointed several conservative judges to the Supreme Court. His one pick, Sandra Day O’Conner, however, disagreed with Reagan over Roe v. Wade and would uphold the ruling. • Reagan meet with Soviet leader Gorbachev several times and they seemed like best of friends as the policy of détente was being carried out
Iran-Contra Affair • The US sold weapons to Iran in 1985 in exchange for Iran’s promise to pressure terrorist groups to release American hostages. • The plan did not work and it contradicted Reagan’s policy of refusing to negotiate with terrorists • The administration used the money from the sale of weapons which violated a 1986 ruling by Congress not to. • This hurt Reagan’s reputation but his likability ratings was still high when he left office
George Bush Senior • George Bush Senior was Reagan’s Vice President • Bush cemented his support among conservatives by promising not to raise taxes -> However, due to some effects of Reaganomics taxes do get raised • George Bush Senior supported smaller government • The nation faced the threat of the spreading of AIDS – George Bush Senior increased funding and research on the virus • The Berlin Wall will fall and the Soviet Union will break apart early in Bush’s presidency as a response to friendly talks between the United States and the Soviet Union
Persian gulf war • Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and threatened to take control of the oil reserves there. (20 percent of the oil in the world) • Bush built an international coalition, backed by the United Nations, demanding that the Iraqi troops withdraw. • Nearly 500,000 American forces and 200,000 British, French, Egyptian, and Saudi Arabian forces assembled • General Colin Powell led Operation Desert Storm attacking the Iraqi’s which would sign a cease-fire five days later • The Iraqis left Kuwait but Bush decided not to follow them into Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, to topple Saddam Hussein
Bill Clinton • Clinton won the presidency on the promise he was a “New Democrat” who sought to reconcile liberal and conservative ideals. He believed government is necessary and important but it had grown large and inefficient. • Clinton signed the Family Medical Leave Act, which allowed most full-time employees 12 workweeks of unpaid leave each year for the birth and care of a newborn child. • Clinton introduced several proposals to reform Healthcare but did not have the support at the time
Bill Clinton • Clinton signed the Brady Bill which focused on gun-control • 1999, Columbine School Shooting • Clinton will win reelection but had a second term marred in scandal • Clinton was tried for charges of perjury in his denial of a relationship with a White House Intern • He would later be acquitted from the counts and able to continue his presidency
George w bush • George W. Bush wins election in a very close, controversial campaign against Clinton’s VP Al Gore • The decision was taken all the way to the Supreme Court • Bush signs the No Child Left Behind Act in the United States which penalized schools not performing up to federal performance standards • On September 11th, 2001 terrorist hijacked planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York, an open field in Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon Building in Washington, DC.
Bush’s response • Bush held the terrorist group al Qaeda responsible for the tragedy of September 11th. • Bush ordered the United States troops to invade Afghanistan to take action against their Taliban run government and bring those responsible for September 11th to justice. • The troops did bring several people to justice but were unable to capture al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden • Bush improves national security by passing the Patriot Act which gave law enforcement officers broader powers to monitor suspected terrorists. Critics said it violated people’s civil rights. • Bush creates the Department of Homeland Security
Iraq • Bush next contemplated Iraq as a way to fight a wider war against terrorism • He and other believed Iraq had in their possession Weapons of Mass Destruction • On March 19, 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom occurred which led to the collapse of Saddam’s forces. Baghdad, the capital, fell and Saddam and other Iraqi leaders went into hiding. • Bush was elected to a second term with the war continuing in Iraq. Saddam Hussein gets captured and executed.
Troubles at home • Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast. The government’s slow response hurt Bush’s reputation. • The threats of terrorist attacks and high gas prices concerned many Americans • A serious economic crisis loomed – a recession occurs in which the banking, housing, and investment firms would collapse • Bush and Congress gives the financial industry $700 billion to bail out the banks in the United States
Barack Obama • President Obama was elected by creating a stimulus package idea during his campaign to help get the nation out of the recession – when elected this plan gets approved • Obama’s largest accomplishment was passing the Affordable Healthcare and Patient Protection Act which reforms the Healthcare industry. • The bill extends coverage to the uninsured, prevents insurance companies from denying patients coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and provides subsidies to help low-income earners afford health insurance coverage • President Obama created plans to pull troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan • Obama is the first president to support gay marriage and even referenced it in his second inaugural address.