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May 1, 1997

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Strong Economy/ FDR Memorial


Yesterday, new GDP numbers showed that President Clinton's economic strategy is working:

Growth for the first quarter was 5.6% --the highest in a decade. Inflation remains low, exports rose by 8.1%, and investment in business equipment rose by 12.9% percent --making business investment under President Clinton stronger than under any President since JFK.

More than four years ago, President Clinton inherited rising deficits, unemployment at 7.5 percent, and widening income inequality. Today, because of President Clinton's 63% cut in the deficit and the hard work of the American people, we have 11.9 million new jobs, unemployment at 5.2% --the lowest in 7 years --and low inflation and interest rates to keep the economy growing.

President Clinton said yesterday: "It is imperative that we pass a bipartisan balanced budget agreement to continue this solid economic progress...our economic policies and this year's healthy growth may help us cut the deficit for the fifth straight year --for the first time in 50 years. Now it's time to finish the job and balance the budget."


President Clinton will dedicate the first Presidential memorial since FDR dedicated the Jefferson memorial in 1943. President Clinton will honor FDR's achievements, and challenge America to summon the same sense of confidence, hope, and purpose to meet today's challenges:

FDR opened the doors of opportunity for all: sparking the growth of the great American middle class and creating the G.I. bill, the Social Security and unemployment systems, mortgage and bank insurance, the minimum wage and fair labor standards.

FDR made America the world's indispensable nation: leading the crusade to free the world from tyranny, turning America into a world power and paving the way for the global economy.

FDR believed in the American community, writing in the speech he was working on when he died: "If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships -- the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together, in the same world, at peace."

FDR believed in our national government meeting major national challenges: "The country needs...bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something."

As we face an age of promise and possibility as great as FDR's, President Clinton will reaffirm FDR's legacy. As he said at the Library of Congress last night: "Together we will renew our commitment to fight tyranny with liberty, ignorance with knowledge, fear with hope and confidence."

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