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February 24, 2000

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White House at Work

February 24, 2000

"If America needs a national consensus for a solid economic policy that responds to the realities of the global economy, and I believe we have it now.

President Bill Clinton
February 24, 2000

Today, in his Granoff lecture at the University of Pennsylvania, President Clinton outlined his vision of the new economy, and highlighted the roles that fiscal discipline and information technology have played in producing the longest expansion in our nation's history. The President announced that he will convene a White House conference on April 5th with leading economists, CEOs, and other experts to discuss issues facing the new economy.

Fiscal Discipline and Information Technology have helped Turn Around the Economy. Between 1980 and 1992, the debt quadrupled. In 1992, the budget deficit was a record $290 billion and projected to rise. Seven years of the Clinton-Gore Administration's policy of fiscal discipline have led to the largest budget surplus in history, debt reduction, and the longest and strongest investment growth on record. Information Technology (IT) has also played a key role in the new economy, helping to fuel record growth, higher wages, and changes in the way business is done. The Administration has sought to foster IT growth through the first comprehensive reform of telecommunications in 60 years, as well as through policies to open markets abroad, promote research and development, maintain a market-led approach to e-commerce, and bring public school classrooms into the 21st century.

A Strategy to Maintain America's Economic Growth. President Clinton's strategy to maintain the nation's economic growth in the new economy includes:

  • Maintaining fiscal discipline. The President's budget maintains our fiscal discipline, uses the benefits of debt reduction to extend the life of Social Security and Medicare, invests in key priorities, and pays down the debt;
  • Investing in people. Since 1993, the President has nearly doubled investment in education and training;
  • Opening markets abroad. Since 1992, the United States has negotiated over 270 separate trade agreements; Opening new markets in America. The President's New Markets initiative provides incentives for businesses to invest $22 billion in the parts of the country that have not fully shared in our prosperity;
  • Advancing the frontiers of science and technology. To spur advances in all disciplines, the President's FY 2001 budget proposes an unprecedented $3 billion increase for America's 21st Century Research Fund;
  • Closing the digital divide. The President has proposed a range of programs to expand access to the Internet, train teachers in new technologies, and offer tax incentives to encourage corporations to help bridge the divide.

Economic Policies That Work. The record of the last seven years is proof that President Clinton and Vice President Gore's strategy of fiscal discipline, investing in people and technology, and opening markets abroad is working. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, the U.S. has enjoyed:

  • The longest economic expansion in history;
  • The creation of nearly 21 million new jobs since 1993;
  • The lowest unemployment rate in three decades;
  • The strongest growth in over three decades; The highest homeownership on record;
  • The lowest poverty rate in two decades; and
  • Broadly shared income growth.

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