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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 6, 1999
                 AT LEAST A $76 BILLION SURPLUS IN 1999

                            January 6, 1999

President Clinton and Vice President Gore Have Put America's Fiscal House In Order and Closed The Book On A Generation of Deficits. In 1993, President Clinton and Vice President Gore put in place a three-part economic strategy: to cut the deficit to help reduce interest rates and spur business investment; to invest in education, health care, and technology so that America was prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st century; and to open markets abroad so that American workers would have a fair chance to compete and win across the globe. Today, America's fiscal house is in order. The Office of Management and Budget now projects that the budget surplus in fiscal year 1999 will exceed $76 billion.

Instead of $404 Billion Deficit, At Least $76 Billion Surplus This Year. When President Clinton took office, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected the deficit to be $404 billion this year; using preliminary information, the Administration expects the surplus to be at least $76 billion this year.

At Least $76 Billion Surplus -- The Biggest Dollar Surplus in History. In 1992, the deficit was $290 billion -- the biggest dollar deficit in American history. This year, the Administration expects the surplus to be at least $76 billion -- the biggest dollar surplus in American history. As a share of GDP, the budget surplus would be almost one percent this year -- the largest since the 1950s. And for the first time in 40 years, we will have a budget surplus for two years in a row.

Seven Years in A Row of Fiscal Improvement -- The First Time in U.S. History. Reaching a surplus in 1999 would mark the seventh consecutive year of improved fiscal balance -- the longest period of consistent improvement in all of American history.

While Cutting Federal Spending To Its Lowest in a Quarter Century, President Clinton Has Expanded Critical Investments in the Future, Such As Education and Training. President Clinton's 1993 Economic Plan included $255 billion in spending cuts over five years -- more than half of the total deficit reduction package. As a result, federal spending as a share of the economy has declined for each of the past six years and is now the lowest in 24 years. However, as spending has been cut in lower priority areas, President Clinton has dramatically increased funding in critical areas, such as education and training, children, the environment, health care, and research and development.

While Eliminating The Budget Deficit, President Clinton Has Provided Tax Relief for Middle-Income Families. Because of the tax cuts for working families signed into law by President Clinton, the typical American family of four will face the lowest federal tax burden in over two decades (since 1976). President Clinton proposes to build upon this record to provide additional targeted, paid-for tax relief for child care, education, pensions, affordable housing, and the environment.

We Cannot Turn Back: We Have Fixed The Fiscal Deficit, Now We Must Fix The Generational Deficit. President Clinton is committed to taking advantage of this historic opportunity to save Social Security for the 21st century. We must act now to tackle this tough, long-term challenge; and President Clinton believes that we must do it in a way that maintains universality and fairness, ensures that Social Security continues to provide a benefit people can count on, protects low-income and disabled beneficiaries, and maintains our fiscal discipline.