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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 13, 1995


I am pleased to transmit today for your immediate consideration and enactment the "Middle-Class Bill of Rights Tax Relief Act of 1995." I am also sending you an explanation of the revenue proposals of this legislation.

This bill is the next step in my Administration's continuing effort to raise living standards for working families and help restore the American Dream for all our people.

For 2 years, we have worked hard to strengthen our economy. We worked with the last Congress to enact legislation that will reduce the annual deficits of 1994-98 by more than $600 billion; we created nearly 6 million new jobs; we cut taxes for 15 million low-income families and gave tax relief to small businesses; we opened export markets through global and regional trade agreements; we invested in human and physical capital to increase productivity; and we reduced the Federal Government by more than 100,000 positions.

With that strong foundation in place, I am now proposing a Middle Class Bill of Rights. Despite our progress, too many Americans are still working harder for less. The Middle Class Bill of Rights will enable working Americans to raise their families and get the education and training they need to meet the demands of a new global economy. It will let middle-income families share in our economic prosperity today and help them build our economic prosperity tomorrow.

The "Middle-Class Bill of Rights Tax Relief Act of 1995" includes three of the four elements of my Middle Class Bill of Rights. First, it offers middle-income families a $500 tax credit for each child under 13. Second, it includes a tax deduction of up to $10,000 a year to help middle-income Americans pay for postsecondary education expenses and training expenses. Third, it lets more middle- income Americans make tax-deductible contributions to Individual Retirement Accounts and withdraw from them, penalty-free, for the costs of education and training, health care, first-time home-buying, long periods of unemployment, or the care of an ill parent.

The fourth element of my Middle Class Bill of Rights -- not included in this legislation -- is the GI Bill for America's Workers, which consolidates 70 Federal training programs and creates a more effective system for learning new skills and finding better jobs for adults and youth. Legislation for this proposal is being developed in cooperation with the Congress.

If enacted, the Middle Class Bill of Rights will help keep the American Dream alive for everyone willing to take responsibility for themselves, their families, and their futures. And it will not burden our children with more debt. In my fiscal 1996 budget, we have found enough savings not only to pay for this tax bill, but also to provide another $81 billion in deficit reduction between 1996 and 2000.

This legislation will restore fairness to our tax system, let middle-income families share in our economic prosperity, encourage Americans to prepare for the future, and help ensure that the United States moves into the 21st Century still the strongest nation in the world. I urge the Congress to take prompt and favorable action on this legislation.



February 13, 1995.

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