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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release March 18, 1999

For six years now, President Clinton and I have followed a brand new economic strategy for America: strict fiscal discipline; open markets; and targeted investments in our future, including the education, job training, and health care that build a stronger nation. And it's working: we now have the longest peacetime economic expansion in American history.

That's why I was so disappointed to see the newest Republican budget proposal. We've seen this kind of budget before -- we've tried this kind of budget before -- and it nearly wrecked our economy. We don't need to go back -- we need to go forward.

First, the Republican budget is fiscally irresponsible. It pours hundreds of billions of dollars into risky tax schemes, which means the cupboard is bare when it comes to saving Medicare. Our plan extends Medicare for more than a decade. The Republican plan doesn't guarantee a single penny to strengthen Medicare.

Second, our plan saves Social Security first, and extends it for 23 years. The Republican plan puts risky tax schemes first, and Social Security last. It doesn't extend Social Security by one day.

Finally, the Republican budget forces deep cuts in Head Start, job training, toxic waste clean-ups -- even our nation's law enforcement. In fact, the only way to make their numbers add up is to cut deeply into everything from education to health care.

We don't need more Republican retro-nomics. We don't need to unravel our hard-won fiscal discipline, and turn a cold shoulder to Social Security and Medicare. We need to work across party lines to keep our prosperity going -- and use it to save Social Security and Medicare, and invest more in our people. I urge all members of Congress: let's work together, and craft a budget that's right for the American people.