Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 3: Episode 17
The President’s Message on Inflation
President Jimmy Carter…..Dan Aykroyd
Amy Carter…..Laraine Newman
[ open on White House exterior slide ]
Announcer: And now, from the White House: The President of the United States.[ dissolve to President Jimmy Carter seated before plants at the fireplace ]
President Jimmy Carter: Good evening, my fellow Americans. In the past, I have given fireside chats. Tonight, because it is Spring, I’ve chosen to give a plantside chat. [ he smiles ] I love the Spring! Everything grows — the plants, the trees, little baby animals. But some things don’t. Some things grow that we don’t to grow, like inflation. Inflation is our nation’s number-one problem, yet most people don’t even understand it. But it’s really quite simple: Inflation is caused by too many dollars chasing too few goods. Now, the easiest way to get money out of circulation is to maintain high unemployment, so people won’t have jobs and money to spend. This is a program my administration has ACTIVELY pursued. Yet, inflation continues to rise. So, tonight, I’m proposing a new program, one which will call on all Americans to sacrifice again… but which, however, will have immediate effect. I’m asking each and every American to take 8% of your money and burn it! Now, I know — I know you might be saying, “Why, that sounds crazy, Jimmy!” But if all of us burn 8% of our money, less money will be in circulation, and in no time at all, prices will hopefully go down. So you’ll be ale to save MORE of your money for future burnings.
Now, the most difficult thing about asking for mutual sacrifice… is who will sacrifice first? Since i’m the President, I feel that the sacrifice should start in my own family. Amy? [ Amy scoots forward with her peanut piggy bank ] I have asked my daughter Amy to bring down her savings. Sweetheart? How much do you have in your peanut butter bank?
Amy Carter: Well, Daddy… I saved twelve dollars and fifty cents!
President Jimmy Carter: Good! Now, Honeybunch, can you figure out what 8% of twelve dollars and fifty cents is?
Amy Carter: Sure, Daddy. [ she takes out her calculator and does the math ] 8% of $12.50… is a DOLLAR! Exactly a dollar, Daddy!
President Jimmy Carter: Okay, Amy — give me a dollar.
Amy Carter: Okay, Daddy. [ she pulls out a dollar and hands it over ]
President Jimmy Carter: You know what we’re gonna do.
Amy Carter: [ excited ] We’re gonna BURN the dollar, Daddy!
President Jimmy Carter: That’s right, Peanut Butter Cup. And do you know why?
Amy Carter: To fight INFLATION!
President Jimmy Carter: [ trying in vain to spark up a cigarette lighter ] We’re trying to save fuel here at the White House. We’re trying to save on butane. [ he lights a match from a matchbook instead ] You’re a good girl, Amy.[ he lights the dollar bill and drops it in an ashtray labeled “The BUCK BURNS here!” ]
President Jimmy Carter: Now, I’m asking all Americans to follow an example set here tonight. Monday morning, go to the bank and withdraw 8% of your money and burn it. If everyone cooperates, prices may not go lower, but they will be well on their way towards stabilizing — you can depend on it!
Amy Carter: Daddy, can I say it?
President Jimmy Carter: Well, Eskimo Pie — we got to burn your money, so why don’t we let Daddy say it?
Amy Carter: Oh, PLEASE, Daddy!
President Jimmy Carter: Okay! If you really want to do it, Four Eyes!
Amy Carter: [ excited ] Oh, oh boy! “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”