I would like to join Chairman Gramm and my colleagues in welcoming Federal Reserve Board Chairman Greenspan to this hearing. I always look forward to the opportunity to hear from Chairman Greenspan concerning monetary policy and other economic issues. It is a particular pleasure to have Chairman Greenspan before this committee knowing that we will have the benefit of his service as Chairman for four more years.
Our nation continues to enjoy unprecedented growth, with remarkable productivity increases fueling much of the growth. As a result we are experiencing low unemployment, increased real wages and remarkable price stability. The members of the Board of Governors and the Federal Reserve Bank presidents see good prospects for sustained economic expansion through the year.
Congress must take advantage of these times of prosperity to plan for the future. I share Chairman Greenspanís belief that the wisest use of our current surpluses is to pay down the debt. Only through fiscal discipline can Congress ensure that future generations will enjoy the same opportunities that we now have.
During the previous two decades, the United States has pursued a policy of low taxation, limited federal regulation, free trade, and sound monetary policy. This has resulted in a tremendous economic expansion. The expansion which began in 1983 has been interrupted by only a very modest downturn in 1991. Obviously, we should continue these policies of limited government.
In contrast to the United States, many of our competitors in Europe and Asia have resorted to greater government intervention. With the benefit of hindsight it is clear that the American model has produced the greatest benefits.
Certainly, Alan Greenspan deserves much of the credit for the current strong economy. His watchful eye and careful policies have created economic opportunities for all Americans.
Chairman Greenspan, I look forward to your testimony.