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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 25, 1994


The Record in 1993

"Together, we have made a hopeful beginning -- and for that I want to thank all of you who heard the American people, broke gridlock, and gave them the most...productive Congress in thirty years. Together we produced:

A budget that cut the deficit by half a trillion dollars, cut spending and raised income taxes only on the very wealthiest Americans.

Tax relief for millions of low income workers to reward work over welfare. NAFTA. The Brady bill . . . which is now the Brady law. Tax cuts to help nine out of ten small businesses invest more and create jobs. More research and treatment for AIDS. More childhood immunizations. More support for women's health research. More affordable college loans for the middle class.

A new national service program for those who want to give something back to their community and earn money for higher education. A dramatic increase in investments to move us from a defense to a domestic economy. A new law, the Motor Voter bill, to help millions of people register to vote. Family and Medical Leave.

All passed. All signed into law with no vetoes. These accomplishments were all commitments I made when I sought this office, and they were all passed by this Congress. But the real credit belongs to the people who sent us here, pay our salaries, and hold our feet to the fire.

When I became President, the experts predicted next year's deficit would be $300 billion. Because we acted, the deficit is now going to be less than $180 billion -- forty percent less than predicted.

Our economic program has helped to produce the lowest core inflation rate since 1974, and the lowest interest rates in twenty years. Because interest rates are down, business investment in equipment is growing at seven times the pace of the previous four years. Auto sales are way up. Home sales are at a record high. Millions have refinanced their homes. And our economy has produced 1.6 million private sector jobs in 1993 -- more than were created in the previous four years combined. The people who supported this economic plan should be proud of its first results.

New Jobs/New Skills

We must transform America's outdated unemployment system into a reemployment system. The old system just kept you going while you waited for your old job to come back; but we need a new system to move people into new and better jobs, because most people don't get their old jobs back.

The only way to get a real job with a growing income is to have real skills and the ability to learn new ones. We must streamline today's patchwork of training programs and make them a source of new skills for people who lose their jobs. Reemployment, not unemployment, will be the centerpiece of our program for economic renewal, and I urge you to pass it this year.

Reforming the Welfare System

We must tackle welfare reform in 1994, yes, even as we tackle health care reform. We must do both at the same time. Millions of people on welfare today are there because it's the only way they can get health care coverage for their families. Those who choose work without health benefits find themselves in the incredible position of paying taxes that help pay for health coverage for those who choose to stay on welfare. No wonder people leave work and go back on welfare to get health care coverage. Until we solve the health care problem we will not solve the welfare problem.

Reforming the Health Care System

If we let the health care system continue to drift in its present direction, Americans will have less care, fewer choices, and higher bills. Our approach doesn't take care and choices away from people. It builds on what works today in the private sector. To expand the employer-based system and guarantee private insurance for every American -- something proposed by President Richard Nixon more than twenty years ago. That's what we want: guaranteed private insurance.

National Security

Last year I proposed a defense plan that maintains our security at lower cost because of the end of the Cold War. This year, many people urged me to cut our defense spending again so we could pay for other government programs. I told them no. The budget I will send to this Congress draws the line against further defense cuts and fully protects the readiness and quality of our forces."