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Remarks on Signing the Economic Report for 1974.

February 01, 1974

AS I conclude the signing of the report, I want to say that I am very grateful for the advice that we have received from the economic experts in the Government and those here in the White House, particularly. We get them together like this only once a year when this report is issued.

I think the economic record of this Administration has been outstanding, and certainly the advice that the President has received has been honest advice and, generally, I think, very good advice.

At one of my press conferences I made some remarks that were supposed to be disparaging of economists, and I pointed out that they didn't seem to have all the answers.

Let me tell you, I value, however, the advice of my economic advisers because they are experts, and simply because the experts don't know all the answers doesn't mean that the amateurs know the answers. I happen to be the amateur. Here are the experts. And I would say that the answers as to where we are and where we are going are here quite honestly set forth for the American people, as well as for the Congress.

Just short-handing it, as I see it, our economic outlook for the year 1974 is that it will be a good year for the economy. We are going through a period now, due to the energy crisis primarily, in which the economy will slow down, but the second half of the year will be one, according to the Economic Report, in which the economy will pick up.

Our budget policies and Government policies are going to fight for a strong and good economy on two fronts. On the one hand, our budget policies and other Government policies will be used to fight against inflation, which this report predicts will still be a troublesome problem, although going down somewhat as a problem toward the end of the year.

It will also be a policy which will fight for a strong economy. In other words, fight against unemployment and for an economy that will be moving up.

Now, this seems to be fighting in two different directions, but the two complement each other. It would be very easy to fight inflation alone, which would mean that if you did that you would do so at the cost of a recession; or it would be very easy to fight the possibilities of a slowdown in an economy alone, and you would do so at the cost of a runaway inflation.

What we have here is a balanced policy which does both. What we can have and what we are working toward, in peacetime, is an economy in which we will have a high rate of growth, in which employment continues to rise, and in which the rate of inflation is held in check.

This is the goal, and we are going to make great progress toward that goal in the year 1974, despite the jolt we received from the energy crisis.

I will simply close that out by saying the energy crisis in the next few months will, as a result of Government action, as a result of the cooperation of the American people, as a result of some actions that may be taken internationally, as well, we believe the energy crisis will become an energy problem and a manageable problem. And as it moves from crisis proportions to a problem proportion, that means that the economy will benefit, and our economic prospectus is based on that assumption, and I think that assumption is very well taken.

Note: The President spoke at 11:30 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. The ceremony was attended by members and staff of the Council of Economic Advisers.

On the same day, the White House released the transcript of a news briefing by Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott and House Minority Leader John J. Rhodes on their meeting with the President to discuss the Economic Report for 1974 and the President's budget message.

Richard Nixon, Remarks on Signing the Economic Report for 1974. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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