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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                          (Palm Beach, Florida)

For Immediate Release July 31, 2000


When I came into office, the debt had quadrupled since 1980 and was projected to rise even further. As a result of the 1993 and 1997 budget agreements, and tough choices every year, we have been able to turn this situation around. Today, the Department of the Treasury is announcing that the United States will pay off $221 billion of debt this year - the largest one-year debt pay down in American history. This will be the third consecutive year of debt reduction, bringing the three-year total to $360 billion.

This positive news is further confirmation that we should stay on the path of fiscal discipline and not endanger the longest economic expansion in history with a series of expensive tax cuts which would spend every single dime of our projected surplus. The Republican tax plan leaves nothing for strengthening Social Security and Medicare, nothing for a real voluntary Medicare prescription drug benefit, and nothing for education. And the Republican plan would take us off the path of paying off the entire national debt by 2012. This is the wrong approach for America.