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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 24, 2000
                           February 24, 2000

Today in his Granoff Lecture at the University of Pennsylvania, the President will outline his vision of the new economy, highlighting the role that fiscal discipline and information technology have played in producing the longest expansion in U.S. history. The President will announce that he will convene a major White House conference on April 5th in order to draw insights on the new economy from the Nation's leading economists, CEOs, and experts. The conference will focus on the most cutting edge issues facing the new economy, in an effort to come to a better understanding of strategies to build on America's strengths while addressing continuing challenges.

FISCAL DISCIPLINE HAS PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN UNLEASHING PRIVATE INVESTMENT. Between 1980 and 1992, the debt quadrupled. In 1992 the budget deficit was a record $290 billion and projected to rise. Seven years of fiscal discipline have turned this around:

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY HAS HELPED TRANSFORM THE ECONOMY AND FUEL RECORD GROWTH. Information technology has made a crucial contribution to the new economy, helping to fuel record growth, higher wages, and changes in the way business is done throughout the economy.

THE PRESIDENT OUTLINES A STRATEGY TO MAINTAIN AMERICA'S ECONOMIC MOMENTUM. The President's proposed policies continue the successful economic strategy that has contributed to sustained and shared growth:

  1. Maintaining fiscal discipline. The President's budget maintains our fiscal discipline, uses the benefits of debt reduction to extend the life of Social Security and Medicare, invests in key priorities, and pays down the debt by 2013, for the first time since Andrew Jackson was President.
  2. Investing in people. Since 1993, the President has nearly doubled investment in education and training -- increasing it from $25.5 billion in 1993 to $49.1 billion in 2000. In his FY 2001 budget the President proposes more increases, including a $1 billion increase in Head Start, the largest increase ever, and a $30 billion College Opportunity Tax Cut.
  3. Opening markets abroad. Since 1992, the United States has negotiated over 270 separate trade agreements. The President is fighting to bring China into the WTO, forcing China to play by the same rules that we do, opening virtually every sector of the Chinese economy -- from agriculture to automobiles to high-technology products -- to U.S. exports.
  4. Opening New Markets in America. The President's New Markets initiative is designed to provide incentives for businesses to invest in the parts of the country that have not fully shared in our prosperity. This initiative includes a New Markets tax credit and extended and expanded Empowerment Zone tax incentives. In total, the President's proposals would stimulate $22 billion of new investment in America's untapped markets.
  5. Advancing the frontiers of science and technology. To spur advances across all disciplines, the President's FY 2001 budget proposes an unprecedented $3 billion increase for America's 21st Century Research Fund -- the largest increase in civilian research in a generation.
  6. Closing the digital divide. Households with incomes $75,000 and higher are twenty times more likely to have access to the Internet than those at the lowest income levels and more than nine times as likely to have a computer at home. To help bridge this digital divide, the President has proposed a range of programs to expand access to the Internet, train teachers in new technologies, and provide tax incentives to encourage corporations to help bridge the Digital Divide.

STRONG AND SHARED GROWTH. The experience of the last seven years is dramatic proof that President Clinton and Vice President Gore's strategy of fiscal discipline, investing in people and technology, and opening markets abroad is working: