Matthews Uses High Price of Gold to Bash Bush on Economy

Can you remember where you were at any point during the four years of the Jimmy Carter presidency?

Most people who were alive don't look favorably toward the economic situation during those years. But MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews, who was gainfully employed as a member of the Carter administration, might look back a little fondly.

When he criticized President George W. Bush about the economy following his State of the Union address on January 28, he may have just neglected to remember what the economy was like back then. That didn't stop him from taking a shot at the Republican president.

"I think a lot of people expected the president to at least engage for a couple of minutes tonight on what's going on in the world economically and why we should worry and why we should have confidence that we do a couple things right," Matthews said.

And what did Matthews point to as evidence the U.S. economy is ailing? Did he use economic indicators like soaring unemployment, double-digit inflation, double-digit interest rates and a contracting economy? The very same indicators that plagued the country under while Matthews was writing speeches for Carter - but haven't come remotely close to reaching those levels under Bush?

No, Matthews brilliantly pointed toward the price of gold.

"So, why are people buying gold right now?" Matthews asked. "Because it's a smart move and that's the scariest thing you can say - that gold bullion is a better investment than the American economy right now. And that's a very interesting standard of why we're in trouble."

According to Benchmark Financial Network Chief Economist Jerry Bowyer, the pressures on the price of gold are not solely driven by a downturn in the American economy, but other factors including a spike in demand and changes in technology.

"This is taking Bush bashing and blaming America first to new levels of absurdity," Bowyer said to the Business & Media Institute. "Oh, and by the way, if Chris really feels this way, why didn't he say so back when he was working for Jimmy Carter? Under Carter, gold outperformed the stock market far more dramatically than it has recently."