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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                         (New York, New York)
For Immediate Release                                   January 13, 2000


America has come a long way in the last seven years. We moved from the largest deficit in history to the largest surplus in history. We have put this country on a path of fiscal discipline that has led to paying down $140 billion in debt over the past two years and put us on course to be debt-free by 2015 for the first time since Andrew Jackson was President.

The announcement that the U.S. Treasury will use "debt buybacks" is a dramatic reminder of this progress on fiscal responsibility. This new tool for this unprecedented era of surpluses will, in effect, help refinance old debt and pay it down on the best terms possible. It represents our commitment to pay down our federal debt in a way that best serves the interests of the taxpayers.