Affred Kahn, the administration's top inflation fighter, said yesterday that President Carter's anti-inflation program can work if people get behind it.
Interviewed on "Meet the Press" (NBC, WRC), the chairman of the Council on Wage and Price Stability said, "I don't blame the American working man for being concerned" about the impact, but added, "the president is determined to enforce this program fairly."
"All we ask is a fair opportunity . . . to demonstrate that we will be scrupulously fair," he said.
Kahn predicted that the Teamsters Union eventually will agree to a wage settlement within the 7 percent voluntary wage and benefit limit Carter has proposed. He cited increased competition in the trucking industry and "the recognition by the Teamsters that we're all in this together."
The Teamsters are scheduled to negotiate a new contract next spring.
Meanwhile, AFT-CIO President George Meany, on "Face the Nation" (CBS, WDVM), asserted that Carter's top economic advisers share his skepticism about whether the voluntary program will work.
Meany said he repeatedly asked presidential economic adviser Charles L. Schultze, Labor Secretary Ray Marshall and Robert S. Strauss, Carter's former chief anti-inflation adviser, if they could say with any certainty whether the new policy would work, and all said they didn't know.
He said he didn't believe the policy would work, but he said some unions "will be glad to get 7 percent" and thus wind up in compliance.
Meany reiterated his call for congressional enactment of across-the-board binding controls on profits and interest rates as well as on wages and prices. Although he doesn't like controls, he said, they would be more effective and equitable than Carter's guidelines.