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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 18, 2000


Today we received further evidence that our economic strategy of fiscal discipline is working. When I came into office, the debt had quadrupled over the previous 12 years. The deficit had reached a record $290 billion and was projected to keep rising as far as the eye could see. As a result, interest rates were high and growth was slow. We have turned this around with strong deficit reduction packages in 1993 and 1997 and tough choices in each and every budget. As a result, we have enjoyed back-to-back budget surpluses for the first time in over forty years.

The latest financial numbers from the Department of the Treasury indicate that we are on track this year to reach a third consecutive budget surplus. The surplus in the first four months of this fiscal year was $25 billion larger than the surplus last year. These surpluses will allow us to repay a projected $157 billion in debt this year alone, bringing the debt reduction over three years to nearly $300 billion. If we maintain our strategy of fiscal discipline, we can keep our economy strong and pay down the debt by 2013 for the first time since Andrew Jackson was President.