View Header


                     Office of the Press Secretary
                          (New York, New York)
For Immediate Release                                  September 7, 2000


Today, we reach a symbolic moment in the improvement of our nation's fiscal situation that few could have imagined eight years ago -- the retiring of the National Debt Clock in Times Square. Thanks to Seymour Durst and his family, the Debt Clock helped shine a vital spotlight on America's mounting national debt, which quadrupled between 1980 and the day I came into office. The Debt Clock was a constant reminder of the enormous challenge we faced. Today, because of the hard work of the American people and the fiscal discipline that the Vice President and I have worked hard to maintain, we are on our way to eliminating America's publicly-held debt for the first time since 1835.

This year we will pay off $221 billion of debt - 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 and leading to lower interest rates, mortgages, and car payments for American families. We should not be complacent, however, about our fiscal progress. Our record surpluses and the shutting down of the Debt Clock only underscore the importance of maintaining our commitment to the fiscal discipline which has helped create the longest economic expansion in history and will keep us on path to completely pay off the debt by 2012.