Legislation held inflationary
Congress passed fewer inflationary bills in 1979 than it did in 1978, but still managed to pass three times as many bills that spurred inflation than those that helped to control it.
This is the finding of the Legislative Review Committee of the National Association of Business Economists, a professional organization in its second annual review of the budget.
Even though there was some improvement over 1978 when Congress passed five times as many inflationary bills as anti-inflationary bills, Dr. George McKinney , senior vice-president of Irving Trust Company, termed it a "disappointing record."
"Most of the bills judged to be inflationary were not by themselves very significant," Dr. McKinney noted. "But taken together, these bills -- along with similar measures passed in earlier years -- are a principal reason why inflation is now out of hand."
The economists found that of the 172 nonappropriations bills passed during the 96th Congress's first session, 95 were moderately or significantly inflationary while 28 were anti-inflationary. The rest were considered to have little inflationary impact. Of the increase in anti- inflationary bills, Dr. McKinney noted, "there may be reason to hope that the Congress is beginning to listen to the millions of Americans who are urgently crying for an end to inflation."
The most inflationary nonappropriations bill passed, the economists decided, was the Chrysler loan guarantee program because of its anti-competitive nature. The other major bills passed that were considered to be "significantly" inflationary included legislation continuing price supports for dairy products; the establishment of a separate Cabinet-level Department of Education with an initial budget of $14 billion; the increase in disabled veterans' benefits by 9. 9 percent; and a bill authorizing $3.8 billion in military construction.