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State of the Union Address 2000

Helping Americans Balance Work and Family

Tax Cuts for Working Families

  • 15 million additional working families receive additional tax relief because of the President's expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • In 1998, the EITC lifted 4.3 million people out of poverty double the number lifted out of poverty by the EITC in 1993.
  • Middle income Americans -- and the bottom 60 percent of families as a whole -- have a lower effective Federal tax rate today than in any year of the Reagan Administration, and the lowest rate since data was first recorded in 1977.
  • [source: Good News for Low Income Families: Expansions in the EITC and Minimum Wage, CEA, 12/98; Treasury Department; Congressional Budget Office]

Helping Parents Balance Work and Family

  • The Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for seriously ill family members, new born or adoptive children, or their own serious health problems without fear of losing their jobs. Nearly 91 million workers (71% of the labor force) are covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act and millions of workers have benefited from FMLA since its enactment.
  • The Clinton-Gore Administration developed and implemented first-ever plan to protect our children from tobacco and end tobacco marketing targeted to young people.
  • President Clinton fought for the installation of V-chips in all new televisions, giving parents more control over what their children watch on television.
  • [source: Five Years of Success: Report on FMLA, Department of Labor, 8/98 (updated 7/99); Presidential Statement, 8/23/96; FCC Report No. GN 98-3, 3/12/98]

Largest Five-Year Drop in Child Poverty Rate Since the 60s

  • Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, child poverty has declined from 22.7 percent in 1993 to 18.9 percent in 1998 -- the biggest five-year drop in nearly 30 years.
  • The poverty rate for African-American children has fallen from 46.1 percent in 1993 to 36.7 percent in 1998 -- a level that is still too high, but is the lowest level on record and the biggest five-year drop on record.
  • [source: Poverty In the United States: 1998, Census Bureau, 9/30/99]

Increased the Minimum Wage

  • The minimum wage has risen from $4.25 to $5.15 per hour, increasing wages for 10 million workers.
  • The President and Vice President have proposed an additional increase to $6.15.
  • [source: Good News for Low Income Families: Expansions in the EITC and Minimum Wage, CEA, 12/98]

Signed the Landmark Work Incentives Improvement Act

  • The Work Incentives Improvement Act keeps people with disabilities from losing their Medicare or Medicaid health coverage when they go to work.
  • The new law also includes a $250 million demonstration, which the President insisted on fully funding, that allows people with disabilities who are still working and are not yet sufficiently disabled to qualify for Medicaid to buy into the program.
  • [source: White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 11/17/99]

Working to Increase Adoption

  • President Clinton signed the Adoption and Safe Families Act, which was based in large part on the recommendations of the Clinton-Gore Administration's Adoption 2002 report, and made sweeping changes in adoption law so that thousands of children in foster care move more quickly into safe and permanent homes.
  • Thirty-six thousand foster care children were adopted in fiscal year 1998, an increase from 31,000 in 1997 and 28,000 in 1996. This is the first significant increase in adoption since the national foster care program was established nearly 20 years ago. These numbers indicate that we are on the way to meeting the President's goal of doubling the number of children adopted from foster care by the year 2002.
  • President Clinton signed the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999. This legislation will help ensure that young people who leave foster care get the tools they need to make the most of their lives.
  • [source: Dept. of Health & Human Services, 12/31/99]

Creating New Community Service Opportunities

  • In just five years, AmeriCorps has allowed 150,000 young people to serve in their communities while earning money for college or skills training.
  • [source: Corporation for National Service Press Release, 10/16/99]

Building One America

  • Established the President's Initiative on Race to lead the nation towards becoming One America in the 21st Century.
  • Won significant budget increases in funding for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.
  • Appointed the most diverse Cabinet and White House staff in history.

 

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