Section One

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November 1, 1974: “We’re Moving Right Along”
Washington Post

When Gerald Ford assumed the presidency after President Nixon’s resignation in August 1974, the economy was already in great difficulty: retail prices increased by 11 percent, unemployment moved to a postwar high of 8.5 percent, and the gross national product fell more than 2 percent. The previous year, the U.S. economy had also been hit by an oil embargo. Barely in office two months, Ford put forward an economic plan consisting of a temporary tax increase and spending cuts designed to deal with what he felt was the major problem: inflation.

On the other hand, Democrats pointed to a Commerce Department report that indicated an imminent recession. In hindsight, the economy was in the midst of a decade-long disturbance that would not be reversed until 1983, and few “experts” had any answers.

This cartoon has the title “We’re Really Making Great Progress” handwritten on it.