Mr. Chairman, I look forward to hearing the testimony of Mr. Greenspan. I usually take this time
to reiterate my conviction that monetary policy should strive for price stability and zero inflation.
However, with the consumer price index at 1.7 percent and the producer price index at a negative
1.8 percent for the entire year of 1997, we should actually congratulate the Federal Reserve
Board for achieving the goal of price stability. I believe the performance of monetary policy over
the last year proves the benefits of a strong and independent central bank.
Nevertheless, I believe we should remain vigilant in the fight against inflation, because after all,
inflation is nothing more than a tax. While I do believe monetary policy has performed
exceptionally well over the last year, I hope the Board understands this just increases the world's
expectations of price stability in the future. In other words, Mr. Chairman, not only would we
welcome a repeat performance in 1998, but the markets expect it.
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