An interesting take on what the United States might be like if Ronald Reagan were never elected President:
As an economics student I would like to stress that while Reagan's tax cuts did have huge effects on the United States in areas such as income inequality, they're not the most significant cause of the budget deficit ballooning in the 80s. That was due to the rapid decrease of inflation in Reagan's first couple of years. At the time it was generally thought that it would take a decade or more to fully stamp out inflation. Going off these projections, budgets were planned out with the thought that spending would have to increase by massive amounts every year just to keep up with inflation and that the revenues would also be increasing due to inflation so it would balance out. However as we now know, inflation fell dramatically in the Reagan first term, leading to a situation where the revenues were coming in far below projections and thus the deficit balloon. The tax cuts absolutely had some effect on that, but the deficits would've ballooned anyway even without the tax cuts.horrific Reagan era tax cuts and a ballooning budget deficit.
The OTL 1982 midterms were quite bad for Reagan with the Democrats winning 26 seats in the house, and with a Democratic president the GOP would gain control of the House in either 1982 or 1986, and probably the Senate as well. That would further force Carey's domestic agenda to the right - as was the case with Clinton in the 90s OTL.
If we're assuming a "Ford in 76" scenario, and he faces broadly similar problems as Carter (stagflation) with similar lack of results, then I don't see a situation where 1982 isn't a GOP wave at least to some extent, they likely may not take the house but they could definitely win a ton of seats and have a good year in the senate races. The reason I say this is that if the democrat who wins in 1980 is successful at beating inflation, then there inevitably will be a recession. If they are unsuccessful at fighting inflation, then stagflation continues (maybe improving slightly) but they're seen as not doing anything. Either way, the GOP is in a good position for 1982.Not necessarily. Assuming that 1978 and 1980 are Democratic years in Congressional elections, it would take a massive GOP wave in 1982 for them to take the House in 1982. You could make a comparison with 1994 or 2010, but both were the result of unique circumstances. '94 happened because Clinton was seen as inept and numerous Southern Democrats decided to retire, while 2010 was largely a reaction to Obamacare and the perception that the stimulus had failed. These generally wouldn't apply in ATL in 1982 (unless a Democratic President screws up) so while the Dems would definitely lose seats I doubt their losses would be on the scale of 1994 or 2010.
Carter's flopping imo discredits neoliberals within democrats. IMO you get even with Carey a democratic party to the left of OTL 1976 on economic assumptions om 1980. I strongly suspect we're more likely to hear talk about the era of small government, of business-oriented politics being over than anything like clinton's "era of big government speech".
Either way, the GOP is in a good position for 1982.