8/9 Remarks By The President At Second New York Senate 2000 Dinner
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                                        August 9, 2000

                         REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                        AT NEW YORK SENATE 2000 DINNER

                             Private Residence
                             Washington, D.C.

10:15 P.M. EDT

     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, thanks for the tie.  You know, I got
interested in ties when I realized that the older and grayer I got the more
it would be the only sort of fashion statement I could ever make for the
rest of my life.  Thank you, Tom; thank you, Pam; thank you, Brasim, and
thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for coming.

     I'll tell you what I would like to do.  I'd like to just talk for a
couple of minutes and then just have a conversation.  If you have any
questions you want to ask, anything you want to say to me, I will be glad
to do it.  We kind of started our dinner that way.

     But I want to begin by thanking you for coming here and for helping
Hillary.  And I wanted to just give you a little background on that.  I am
immensely proud of her for making this race.  And we just got a good poll
today from -- College, saying that she was ahead 64 to 43, which I think is
quite good.  And if you understand anything about New York democratic
politics, if you go into election day and you're two or three points ahead,
you're going to be just fine.

     So I feel good about that and I'm very proud of her because, you know,
we had actually been looking forward to this year and being able to relax a
little bit.  We knew we'd have to work hard for the Vice President and now
for Senator Lieberman and for our crowd in Congress.  But we also looked
forward to the nights at the White House and enjoying our last year there
and going to Camp David.  And my wife gave up a lot of that because she
understood that it was important to carry on the work that we have been
about this last eight years; and because half a dozen or more New York
House members asked her to do it and she got up and spent her time -- she's
been to every country in New York now and she fell in love with it and
figured out that what they needed more was the same thing she had been
working on for 30 years.

     I can tell you this, for 30 years all she ever did was help everybody
else and I'm kind of proud of her for sort of venturing out on her own now
and trying to do something for herself.  (Applause.)

     I wanted to mention just a couple of things because I think it's quite
important.  I think it's important that the people of New York know, the
voters know that what she did as First Lady and what she did before.  So if
you can help us with that, I'd appreciate it.

     She had basically had an unprecedented level of activity in her
present position over the last eight years.  She's been active in lobbying
for specific pieces of legislation from the Family and Medical Leave law to
the Children's Health Insurance Program to the several bills we passed that
dramatically expanded the availability of adoptions, gave tax credits to
people who would adopt children with disabilities, did more for kids in
foster care and for kids who are leaving the foster care system -- which is
the product of a lifetime of commitment for her.

     She has been very active in promoting a lot of our education
initiatives.  She had the first ever White House Conference on Early
Childhood and Brain Development, which is a very important issue; on
violence against children, we had a big meeting on that that she put on.
And the last thing that she did as First Lady that may have, ironically,
one of the most enduring impacts was to basically run all of our millennial
efforts.  We came up with this slogan for the millennium that we would
"honor the past and imagine the future."

     And we've essentially done two things.  We've had a series, probably
10 now, of lectures and dialogues at the White House on big issues that
will define the next several years in the new century.  The last one on
exploring the ocean depths and exploring outer space and what's in those
black holes.  And they've been followed widely all over the world, it's
been amazing.  And it was just her idea to put it together.  We had the
famous scientist, Stephen Hawking, who as you may know, has lived longer
with Lou Gehrig's disease than anybody in history, still teaching at
Cambridge, in England; came all the way across the ocean and gave us a
lecture and talked on this little electronic machine about the whole
concept of time and space and how it would change in the new century.

     And then in terms of honoring the past, she set up this millennial
treasures event to do everything from save the Star Spangled Banner and the
Constitution and the Bill of Rights to specific sites in communities all
over America.  We were just up on Martha's Vineyard.  There is a 19th
century tabernacle there that was used for a hundred years for bible study
in the first integrated event, racially integrated event, starting right
after the Civil War in America; to Abraham Lincoln's summer home at the Old
Soldiers Home in Washington.

     And last week when we were up there, two weeks ago, Dick Moe, the head
of the National Preservation Historic Trust -- Historic Preservation Trust,
said that Hillary's millennium treasures effort was the single largest
historic preservation movement in the history of the United States.  So
she's done a good job as First Lady.  She's made a difference in people's

     Before she ever got here, the whole -- every year I Washington
governor and before when I was attorney general, she gave up huge portions
of her income as a private lawyer to devote time to public service, just
like she gave away all the money she made on that book, which was number
one on the New York Times best seller list.  Because she always believed in
public service.

     But she also served on corporate boards, learned a lot about
economics, helped to bring jobs to poor areas in our state while she was
trying to improve education and do all the things she's done.  And along
the way she chaired the committee that rewrote all the education standards
in our state.  She's the best organized person I ever worked with, with the
best blend of mind and heart and policy knowledge.  She's perfect for the
U.S. Senate and I think she's going to win.  She'll be great at it.

     But all the people that are trying to beat her will spare no effort or
no expense.  Therefore, it's critical that you've done what you've done.
If she has the resources, she'll do just fine.  She won't let you down and
she'll be great in the Senate.

     The only other point I want to make about that generally is, I've done
everything I know to do to kind of turn our country around from the very
difficult circumstances which existed in 1991 and 1992 when I was running.
Our nation has never had the present combination of economic prosperity,
social progress, the absence of domestic crisis or foreign threat and
national self-confidence we've got now.  And it's very important that this
work continue.  And that means that every Senate seat and every House seat
is pivotally important.

     It also means, from my point of view, that this national election is
pivotally important.  A lot of you have been going to these events that I
do, and I had this little mantra -- I'll say it again, I say I always tell
people there are three very important things you need to know about this
election.  It is a bid election, there are big differences and our party is
the only party that wants you to know what the differences really are.
What does that tell you about who you ought to vote for?

     But it's actually, in fact, true.  If you saw what the undecided voter
said after our friends met in Philadelphia, they said, gosh, we like those
people, they look great and they look like they're not being mean and
right-wing anymore, they're being inclusive.  But what do they stand for,
anyway?  That's what they said.  The undecided voters said, I liked what I
saw, but I didn't hear anything; I don't know what they're going to do if
they get in.

     And there are a lot of stories which say, well, I'm pretty relaxed
about this election.  After all, things are so good in America.  Why be --
you know, sort of a don't-worry-be-happy election.  And then there was a
huge story on the cover of -- I think it was USA Today not very long ago --
saying that the people didn't know if there was any difference between the
two candidates on their economic policy -- the two candidates for

     So I just would say to you, in addition to this incredible generosity
tonight to Hillary, and thank you for rescheduling this, because I was in
the Camp David peace talks before when we were supposed to do it.

     Every one of you has a big network of friends and co-workers and
colleagues -- maybe they're people that share your politics but may not be
as energized as you are.  Maybe they're people who don't share your
politics at all or don't think about politics much.  But let me just say,
I've lived long enough now to know that people often make mistakes not
because they're living under such adversity, but because things are going
along so well they just stop concentrating.  And anybody who lives to be
beyond the age of 30 can cite at least one time in his or her life when you
have made a mistake because things were going so well you just stopped

     And this is a phenomenal opportunity for us to basically decide what
we want the future to look like, and then go do it.  And change is the only
constant, particularly in today's economy.  Nothing stays the same forever.
We need to make the most of this.

     The second thing is there really are just huge differences here.  I
mean, there are big differences in economic policy, in crime policy, in
health care policy, in education policy, environmental policy, right down
the line.  And in our policy on building one America, whether we should
have a minimum wage, hate crimes legislation, employment nondiscrimination
legislation, whether we should preserve or get rid of a woman's right to
choose -- all these things are at stake here.  The next President will make
two to four appointments to the Supreme Court.  U.S. senators will confirm
them, or not.  So there's a lot at stake.

     And the only other thing I want to say is let me just briefly ask you
to think about this economic question, because their line -- you can say
their line quicker than ours and it sounds so much better.  They say, gosh,
we're going to have this $2 trillion surplus, and it's your money and we're
going to give it back to you in a tax cut.  And we say, now, wait a minute,
you want a $2 trillion tax cut, but that leaves you nothing to provide
prescription drugs for Medicare people, or deal with long-term care, or
deal with the baby boomers retiring on Social Security or Medicare.  And if
you want to partially privatize Social Security and protect the benefits of
everybody who is on Social Security, that alone costs another trillion
dollars.  And you haven't paid for Star Wars yet or anything else.

     So, in other words, how can you give it all away with a tax cut?  We
say, we'll only give about a quarter as big a tax cut as they will because
we think we have to have money to invest in education, health care, the
environment, and science and technology, and because we want to keep paying
the debt down and get this country out of debt, and we're going to have to
take care of all these baby boomers when they retire.  Now, it takes me
longer to say that.  But let me put it to you in another way.

     I asked the Council of Economic Advisors to tell me what the
difference was between the $2 trillion tax cut, being conservative and all
-- in other words, giving all the other side the benefit of the doubt --
and the plan that I have embraced, that the Vice President and Senator
Lieberman are now working on.  They say that the Gore plan will keep
interest rates at least -- at least -- one percent below the Republican
plan every year for a decade.  That is worth $250 billion in home
mortgages, $30 billion in car payments, $15 billion in college loan
payments, never mind the fact that it means lower business loans, which
means more business loans, more growth, more jobs, and a better stock

     And I haven't even gotten to the main point, which is what are we
going to do if the surplus doesn't materialize and we give it away in
advance by giving it all away in a tax cut?  I never thought -- I'm up here
-- you may remember that during the primary I was actually attacked and, by
extension, the Vice President was, for being so insistent on continuing to
pay down the debt.  I was attacked from the left.  But the best social
program is a job.  And this is a more just country than it was eight years
ago because child poverty has dropped, income is going up in all quintiles,
the female unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in 40 years, the
single-parent household poverty rate is the lowest it's been in 46 years.
The economy does that for you.

     And I'm telling you, this is really -- it's wrong for us to get off
this path we've been on of driving this debt down, keeping the interest
rates as low as we can, and letting the technology and the explosion in
productivity, which was a 5-percent increase in the last quarter over the
same period last year -- keep taking this thing along until we bring
everybody along in this economy.

     And I know a lot of you have heard me say this before; I want to tell
you one more time.  Their position, which is let's give everybody a tax
cut, it's your money, because we project it -- it really does remind me of
these Publisher's Clearinghouse, these sweepstake letters you get from Ed
McMahon.  "You may have won $10 million."  You may have.  And everybody
that went out the next day and spent the $10 million should seriously
consider supporting the Republicans in this election.  (Laughter.)  Every
single one of them.  But everybody else ought to stick with us and keep
this thing going.

     And that's just one difference.  But I'm telling you, it is -- there
really is -- I've dealt with a Republican Congress now for five years and
I've found a lot of common ground with Speaker Hastert.  We're going to
pass this New Markets legislation I think this year.  We passed the
Africa-Caribbean Basin trade bill with the help of the Republican and the
Democratic leadership, where Senator Lott and Senator Daschle worked
together.  I work every which way I can.  But I promise you, this is -- it
is a profound philosophical difference.

     They actually believe it's okay to have tax cuts based on a hundred
percent of the projected surplus.  And I can tell you -- people ask me all
the time -- Bob Rubin and I were together the other day at his portrait
unveiling, and we were talking about how we started the economic team and
Lloyd Bentsen was my first Treasury Secretary and all that.  And all these
guys came up to me -- one guy says to me, he says, well, Mr. President,
what was the principal economic reform you brought to Washington.  What do
you think was the principal thing you've done that led to all this
incredible growth and what was the main change?

     And I said, arithmetic.  (Laughter.)  We brought back arithmetic.  We
stopped spending money we didn't have.  We stopped projecting in a rosy
way.  We stopped acting like all this stuff falls from trees and the sky.
And we started working in a disciplined way to make hard choices.

     So I'm just telling you -- Hillary needs your help; the Vice President
and Senator Lieberman need your help; America needs your help.  Every one
of you has a network.  We've got a chance to keep this economy going and
spread its benefits.  But the first and foremost thing we have to decide
is, are we going to continue the disciplined path of the last eight years,
taking advantage of the fact that we can do more than we could when I came
in because we've turned it around, or are we going to back to the policy
which says all tax cuts are good whether you've got the money or not; give
it away and worry about the consequences later.

     Now, we've tried it both ways.  You had 12 years of one way; now
you've had eight years the other way.  And you can add up the evidence
either way and draw your own conclusion.  But the only way we can get in
trouble is if people don't think about it like that.  If they don't really
think it's a big election, if they think this thing is so strong you
couldn't mess it up with a stick of dynamite, if they don't understand with
clarity the choice there.  Clarity is our friend.

     You can be positive and upbeat, and you should be.  You never have to
say a bad word about any of our opponents.  Just talk about the differences
and let people decide.  We've been around here over 200 years now because
usually the people get it right if they have enough time and enough

     The final thing I want to say is I want to thank Tom for what he said
about Ireland and the Middle East.  It's been the great joy of my life to
labor for peace, which is the highest example of what Harry Truman said is
the essential work of the presidency, which is trying to persuade people to
do what they should do without having to be asked in the first place.

     Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

     END  10:45 P.M. EDT

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