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  Gerald Ford "Whip Inflation Now" (October 8, 1974)
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ContributorThomas Walker 
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DescriptionMr. Speaker, Mr. President, distinguished guests, my very dear friends:

In his first inaugural address, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, and I quote: The people of the United States have not failed .... They want direct, vigorous action, and they have asked for discipline and direction under our leadership.

Today, though our economic difficulties do not approach the emergency of 1933, the message from the American people is exactly the same. I trust that you are getting the very same message that I am receiving: Our constituents want leadership, our constituents want action.

All of us have heard much talk on this very floor about Congress recovering its rightful share of national leadership. I now intend to offer you that chance.

The 73d Congress responded to FDR's appeal in 5 days. I am deeply grateful for the cooperation of the 93d Congress and the Conference on Inflation, which ended 10 days ago.

Mr. Speaker, many--but not all--of your recommendations on behalf of your party's caucus are reflected in some of my proposals here today. The distinguished majority leader of the Senate offered a nine-point program. I seriously studied all of them and adopted some of his suggestions.

I might add, I have also listened very hard to many of our former colleagues in both bodies and of both the majority and the minority, and have been both persuaded and dissuaded. But in the end, I had to make the decision, I had to decide, as each of you do when the roll call is called.

I will not take your time today with the discussion of the origins of inflation and its bad effect on the United States, but I do know where we want to be in 1976--on the 200th birthday of a United States of America that has not lost its way, nor its will, nor its sense of national purpose.

During the meetings on inflation, I listened carefully to many valuable suggestions. Since the summit, I have evaluated literally hundreds of ideas, day and night.

My conclusions are very simply stated. There is only one point on which all advisers have agreed: We must whip inflation right now.
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