The Guest Blog

Bowyer: President Jimmy’s Collapsible Houses


My friend Dan Holland from Kudlow & Co (the actual company, not the show) sent me a link from the Times (the British one) about how houses which were built by Jimmy Carter and other liberal celebrities were falling apart.

Yup, Jimmy’s poorly constructed houses are crumbling, at the same time as his poorly constructed dream of middle east peace is crumbling. They were both built for show (‘to be seen of men’), and both built on a poor foundation. It’s a metaphor for all of Carter’s faux achievements, a ‘democratic’ revolution for Iran; a middle east playbook in which Israel trades land for the promise of peace; a diplomatic triumph in which North Korea allegedly gave up nukes in exchange for food; the creation of a cabinet level energy department which will ‘end our dependence of foreign oil”. Don’t forget his Community Reinvestment Act, which began the political shift from home ownership as a privilege to home ownership as a civil right. His giveaway of Afghanistan forged another link in the chain of radicalization that led to the Taliban and 911.

The cameras were always there to capture the handshake, the ribbon, the award. The status was always conferred. The media gushed. In each case, though, the house was built on sand, not stone. Hence the collapsing.

Yes, I know that was all three decades ago. So what? Bad ideas usually take a full generation to grow and collapse. We can, and should, forgive his errors. But I see no reason to forget them.

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Jerry Bowyer is chief economist at Benchmark Financial Network, is a member of the Kudlow Caucus, and makes regular appearances on CNBC. He also writes extensively on finance and history for the National Review, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette,, and The New York Sun. He can be emailed at