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January 6, 1999

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Today, I am proud to announce that the era of deficits is over. We are entering the second year of the era of surpluses. We will close out this century with the largest surplus in the history of our nation.

President Bill Clinton
January 6, 1999

Today, President Clinton will announce that the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) preliminary projection is that the 1999 budget surplus will be at least $76 billion, which is 50 percent higher than the Administration's last projection and would be the largest dollar surplus in American history. The President will emphasize that although the budget is now running a surplus, now is the time to solve the generational deficit by putting Social Security on firm ground for the 21st Century.

The Largest Budget Surplus In American History. In 1993, President Clinton and Vice President Gore put in place a three-part economic strategy to: (1) cut the deficit, help reduce interest rates, and spur business investment; (2) invest in education, health care, and technology so that America was prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st Century; and (3) open markets abroad so that American workers would have a fair chance to compete and win across the globe. Today, America's fiscal house is in order. The Office of Management and Budget now projects that the budget surplus in fiscal year 1999 will be at least $76 billion.

  • Instead of a $404 Billion Deficit, We will have at Least a $76 Billion Surplus This Year. When President Clinton took office, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the deficit to be $404 billion this year; using preliminary information, the Administration expects the surplus to be at least $76 billion this year.
  • The Biggest Dollar Surplus in History. In 1992, the deficit was $290 billion --the biggest dollar deficit in American history. This year, the Clinton-Gore Administration expects the surplus to be at least $76 billion --the biggest dollar surplus in American history. For the first time in 40 years, we will have a budget surplus for two years in a row.
  • Seven Years of Fiscal Improvement. Reaching a surplus in 1999 will mark the seventh consecutive year of improved fiscal balance -- the longest period of improvement in all of American history.
  • Expanding Critical Investments in the Future Including Education And Training. President Clinton's 1993 Economic Plan included $255 billion in spending cuts over five years; however, as spending has been cut in lower priority areas, President Clinton has dramatically increased funding in critical areas, such as education and training, children, the environment, health care, and research and development.
  • Providing Tax Relief for Middle-Income Families. Tax cuts for working families signed into law by President Clinton have the typical American family of four facing their lowest federal tax burden in over two decades. President Clinton proposes to build on this record to provide additional targeted, paid-for tax relief for child care, education, pensions, affordable housing, and the environment.

The Budget Is In Surplus, Now We Must Save Social Security. President Clinton is committed to taking advantage of this historic opportunity to save Social Security for the 21st century. We must act now to tackle this tough, long-term challenge and President Clinton believes that we must do it in a way that maintains universality and fairness, ensures that Social Security continues to provide a benefit people can count on, protects low-income and disabled beneficiaries, and maintains our fiscal discipline.

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