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State of the Union Address - Background

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Statistical Snapshot: Where America is Today

January 23, 1996


  • Unemployment and inflation are at their lowest combined level since 1968;

  • 7.8 million new jobs have been created in the last three years;

  • Creating Jobs in Basic Industries. After a decade of enormous job losses in construction, manufacturing and automobiles, these industries have turned around, combining to add more than one million new jobs under President Clinton;

  • High Growth. The United States has the highest growth of any major economy in the world over the last three years;

  • Cut the Deficit Nearly in Half. The President's economic plan cut the deficit for three years in a row for the first time since Harry Truman was President -- the largest three-year reduction in history;

  • Smaller, Smarter Government. The Clinton Administration eliminated over 200,000 jobs from the government payrolls, and is eliminating more than 16,000 pages of obsolete regulations;


  • The crime rate is declining, with the number of murders reported dropping by 12%, robberies down 10% and car theft down 5%;

  • Keeping Guns Out of the Hands of Criminals. More than 45,000 fugitives and felons have been blocked from buying handguns because the Clinton Administration fought for and passed the Brady Bill requiring background checks on handgun purchases;

  • The Clinton Administration passed an assault weapons ban, outlawing 19 of the deadliest assault weapons;

  • More Cops, Safer Streets. The Clinton Administration's Crime Bill puts 100,000 new cops on the street -- over 31,000 have been funded so far;


  • More Kids Going to College. The Clinton Administration has opened access to higher education. In 1994, 62% of high school seniors went directly to college, up from only 55% ten years ago;

  • Fewer Dropouts. Fewer students are dropping out of high school.

  • Better Results. 1995 SAT scores show continuing improvement on both verbal and math scores for college-bound seniors.


  • Teen pregnancies, poverty and welfare rolls are all down;

  • Donations to the largest 400 charities in the United States increased by 6% in 1994, with giving reaching $130 billion;

  • Building Our Communities and Our Kids. Last year, President Clinton's AmeriCorps Program brought 25,000 American volunteers into our communities, helping to rebuild our neighborhoods and generating private sector partnerships with those efforts, while helping the volunteers pay for their own higher education;

  • Putting Families First. Each year, 2.4 million workers are likely to take advantage of President Clinton's Family and Medical Leave Act, allowing them to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth of a child or to care for a sick family member.


  • Peace in Bosnia. U.S. brokered and securing comprehensive peace agreement in Bosnia;

  • Peace in the Middle East and Northern Ireland. Brokered comprehensive peace agreements in the Middle East, as well as an historic cease-fire in Northern Ireland;

  • No nuclear missiles are targeted at U.S. cities and citizens;

  • Brokered peace and democratic elections in Haiti and South Africa;

  • Reached agreement with North Korea to halt and eventually eliminate its nuclear program.


  • Less Air Pollution. The Clinton Administration issued a new standard to reduce toxic air pollution from chemical plants by 90% by 1997. 50 million Americans in 55 cities have begun breathing air that meets public health standards since President Clinton took office;

  • Public Right to Know. President Clinton expanded the public's right to know about toxic releases in their communities;

  • Private-Public Partnerships. In the first two years of the Clinton Administration, the number of companies voluntarily committing to prevent pollution -- by conserving water, saving energy and cutting air pollution -- increased by nearly 75%;

  • Protecting Our Children. The Clinton Administration has taken aggressive action to protect children, reduce the use of pesticides on food and keeping nearly 150,000 pounds of toxic pesticides out of rivers, lakes and streams each year.

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