Transition: The Significance of the Carter Years in American Fiscal and Budgetary Policy

35 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2007

See all articles by Yilin Hou

Yilin Hou

Maxwell School, Syracuse University

Date Written: January 2007


By re-examining the fiscal and budgetary priorities of the Carter administration at its 30th anniversary, this article offers a different view from previous studies about Carter policies. The author proposes three things: first, that the late-1970s were a transition from the Liberalist Movement in the prior half century to conservatism in economics and public attitude toward government; second, that the Carter administration filled in those years; and finally that in hindsight it could have been the administration's mission to launch the transition and push it through the initial difficulties. Placing the Carter presidency into its historical, political and economic context, the paper checks the intellectual development in this country till the 1970s, offering a new rationale for the mission of the Carter administration and explanations for its frustration. The paper concludes that by electing Jimmy Carter, Americans chose the right person to lead the transition and that the Carter administration finished its mission, though it could have been accomplished more beautifully.

Keywords: Jimmy Carter, budgetary policy, fiscal policy

JEL Classification: H50, H60

Suggested Citation

Hou, Yilin, Transition: The Significance of the Carter Years in American Fiscal and Budgetary Policy (January 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Yilin Hou (Contact Author)

Maxwell School, Syracuse University ( email )

426 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244-1020
United States
315-443-3114 (Phone)

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