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April 14, 2000: Urging Congress to Pass a Budget that Invests in America's Priortities

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Thursday, April 13, 2000


"I believe the budget now being debated in Congress and put forward by the majority takes us in the wrong direction and risks safeguarding this unique moment in our history. It will take us back to an approach that failed before and will fail again; back to ideas that didn't work before and won't work now. We cannot afford to veer from the proven path onto a trail of unmet obligations, unrealistic cuts and unnecessary giveaways"

President Bill Clinton
Thursday, April 13, 2000

Today, in Washington, DC, President Clinton urged Congress to pass a fiscally disciplined budget that invests in key priorities, extends the life of Social Security and Medicare, and pays off the publicly held debt by 2013.In contrast, the Congressional Budget Resolution expected to be adopted by the Republican majority requires deep cuts in key priorities like education, threatens to drain the Social Security surplus, fails to add a single day to the life of Medicare or Social Security, makes it impossible to pay off the debt by 2013, and risks our continued economic prosperity.

REPUBLICAN BUDGET PLAN FAILS TO INVEST IN KEY PRIORITIES. The budget resolution supported by Congressional Republicans would slash critical programs while jeopardizing our economic expansion. For example:

  • Congress has already passed tax cuts that spend more than half of the on-budget surplus before even considering investments in Medicare, Social Security, or education;
  • By suddenly switching from a 10-year to a 5-year budget resolution, Congress is hiding the true cost of its tax cuts, and fails to ensure that the choices we make today will address our long-term fiscal challenges;
  • The Republican budget would slash funding for many domestic priorities by an average of about 10 per cent in 2001 alone. If Republicans maintained spending cuts at the same rate as 2001-05, then the cut in domestic priorities would grow on average to about 25 percent by 2010;
  • If these unrealistic spending cuts do not materialize, the Republican budget would spend $67 billion of the Social Security surplus in the first 5 years alone;
  • The Republican budget does not add a single day to the solvency of Social Security or Medicare; and
  • The Republican tax cut would make it impossible to pay off the debt by 2013 and would risk our economic expansion.

CLINTON-GORE BUDGET PLAN KEEPS AMERICA ON TRACK. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have proposed a balanced and fiscally responsible budget plan which includes:

  • Paying off the debt by 2013, resulting in lower interest rates and a stronger economy;
  • Strengthening and modernizing Medicare by securing it until at least 2030, reforming it to make it more efficient and competitive, and improving its benefits, including new prescription drug coverage;
  • Extending the life of Social Security to at least 2054;
  • Investing in key priorities like education, health care, environment, public safety, and national security; and
  • Providing targeted tax relief for families to help them save for retirement, pay for child care, and go to college.

BUILDING ON A RECORD OF SUCCESS. The Clinton-Gore budget plan builds on the Administration's economic success, which includes:

  • Elimination of record-high budget deficits;
  • Largest pay-down of debt in history;
  • Smallest government in over three decades while increasing key investments in our people;
  • Lowest tax burden for typical families since the 1970s;
  • Seven consecutive years of double-digit investment growth for the first time on record;
  • Lowest unemployment in a generation; and
  • Longest economic expansion in U.S. history.

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