The era of big government is over, but the era of big challenges is not. People want smaller government, but they also want active and effective national leadership. They want government that provides them the means and opportunities to meet their responsibilities and solve their own problems.
That's why Vice President Al Gore and I have spent so much time and energy in the first term reinventing government --making it work better, but cost less. We have had some terrific help from the Administration's management team as well as the career federal workforce. I want to thank and congratulate everyone who helped.
We've done pretty well. The federal workforce is the smallest in thirty years and the deficit has been cut by 60 percent. But this smaller, cheaper government is accomplishing more than ever. We've created more than 11 million new jobs. The crime rate is down four years in a row. So is the teen birth rate. Welfare reform is becoming a reality. And many government agencies are getting fan mail for providing better service.
But there is a great deal more to do. We must give Americans the tools to make the most of their lives, to renew national confidence that we can solve our most difficult problems when we work together, and to advance America's role as the world's strongest force for peace, freedom, and prosperity.
These are big jobs for a smaller government. This small book can be a big help. The lessons in it are tried and true. I urge you to pay careful attention to these ideas, as we prepare for the challenges before us.
Blair House Papers
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