August 4, 1999: Urging Fiscal Discipline and Debt Reduction


"In the past seven years we've balanced Washington's books, we've cut its credit card balance. Now let's refinance our nation's mortgage and then wipe the ledger clean. Paying down the debt creates wealth, creates jobs, creates opportunity. It's the right and responsible thing to do and we have the chance of a lifetime to do it."

President Bill Clinton
August 4, 1999

Lowering the Nation's Debt Through Fiscal Discipline. The Clinton-Gore Administration's policy of fiscal discipline has turned our economy around, changing our task from financing a deficit to managing a surplus. As a result of this fiscal discipline, the nation's publicly held debt has dropped from 50 percent of the economy in 1993 to 41 percent now. On Monday, the Treasury Department announced that this fiscal year, we will pay down $87 billion in publicly held debt the largest debt pay-down on record. Over the last two years, we have paid down $142 billion in publicly held debt. Under President Clinton's plan to save Social Security and strengthen Medicare, the publicly held debt would be entirely eliminated by 2015, the first time the nation has been debt-free in 180 years.

The Benefits of Debt Reduction. Paying down the debt would result in real benefits for American families and businesses:

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