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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Flint, Michigan)
For Immediate Release                                 September 21, 2000


Today, the Department of the Treasury is announcing that, for the first eleven months of this year, the surplus stands at a record $171 billion, more than twice the surplus at this time last year. In total, we are on track to pay off a record $360 billion of publicly held debt over the last three years, including over $220 billion in this year alone.

This dramatic fiscal progress did not happen by accident. A long-term commitment to tough choices and fiscal discipline, not to short-term political gestures, has helped put America on track to pay down the debt by 2012. The majority in Congress should not jeopardize the longest economic expansion in history by failing to adopt our long-term strategy to make America debt free for the first time since 1835.

Let's work together to invest in our future by strengthening Social Security and Medicare, including a voluntary, affordable Medicare prescription drug benefit, making investments in key priorities like education, and putting America on course to be debt free for the first time since Andrew Jackson was President.