President Clinton's Radio Address to the Nation: Urging Congress to Maintain Fiscal Discipline to Extend America's Prosperity (8/5/00)

President Clinton's Radio Address to the Nation:

Urging Congress to Maintain Fiscal Discipline to Extend America's Prosperity

August 5, 2000

In his weekly radio address today, President Clinton will announce that he is vetoing the Republican version of marriage penalty relief because it is part of a reckless tax cut plan that would threaten our fiscal discipline, drain the entire on-budget surplus, leave no money for key priorities like Medicare prescription drugs, and provide little benefit to most taxpayers. He will contrast the Republican plan with his approach which maintains the same fiscal discipline that has contributed to our current prosperity, prepares for the future by strengthening Social Security and Medicare, invests in key priorities like a voluntary Medicare prescription drug benefit, provides targeted tax relief including marriage penalty relief -- for American families, and pays down the debt by 2012. This week is the 7th anniversary of the Clinton/Gore 1993 deficit reduction plan that has turned record budget deficits into surpluses and produced the longest economic expansion in history with over 22 million new jobs, the lowest unemployment rate in 30 years, and the lowest minority unemployment rate on record.


Administration's Framework

Congressional Republican Tax Plans

Middle Class Tax Cut

More Middle Class Benefits at Lower Cost: President Clinton's proposed targeted tax cuts provide substantially more tax relief for middle class families -- including targeted marriage penalty relief -- and do so at less than half the cost. The President would provide an average tax cut of $371 to middle-class families to encourage retirement savings, help families with long-term care expenses and expand college opportunity.

More for the Wealthiest 1 Percent, Less for Working Families: A Treasury Department analysis of the major Republican tax cuts found that families in the middle fifth of the income distribution would get an average tax cut of just $220. Meanwhile, the top 1 percent of families will receive an average tax cut of $16,000.

National Debt

Debt-Free by 2012: The President's budget framework pays off the entire debt by 2012, making the U.S. debt-free for the first time since the administration of Andrew Jackson.

No End to Red Ink: Congressional Republicans' tax plans would use up the entire budget surplus, making it impossible to pay off the debt by 2012, and significantly less likely that we would ever pay off the debt.

Low Interest Rates

Keep Interest Rates Low: The Administration's framework is a fiscally disciplined approach that will pay off the debt and keep interest rates low. Each 1-point drop in interest rates saves families $250 billion over 10 years. Fiscal policies advanced by the Clinton-Gore administration have already lowered interest rates by 2 points.

Discards Fiscal Discipline: Republican tax policies would abandon our strategy of fiscal discipline, threatening to return us to the days of deficit spending and higher interest rates. Interest rate increases of 1/3 of a point would wipe out all benefits of Republican tax cuts for a middle class family.


Preserve and Strengthen Medicare: President Clinton has proposed a meaningful and affordable prescription drug benefit for all Medicare beneficiaries. He also would take Medicare off-budget and use the funds to pay down the debt and further strengthen Medicare, extending its solvency to at least 2030.

No Medicare Drug Benefit: A Congressional Budget Office analysis of the House plan says it fails to provide prescription drug coverage to 50 percent of seniors and disabled Americans who are not currently covered.

Social Security

Protect and Strengthen Social Security: The President would lock up the Social Security surplus, use it to pay down the debt and extend the life of the program, and not allow it to be used for other purposes. The President's plan would extend the solvency of the program until at least 2057.

Nothing for Social Security: The 106th Congress has passed tax cuts that would use up the entire budget surplus, leaving nothing to strengthen Social Security.

School Construction

Targeted Tax Cuts: The President's plan contains $24.8 billion in tax credit bonds to build or modernize up to 6,000 schools and a new $1.3 billion initiative to provide urgent repairs for 5,000 schools each and every year.

Nothing for School Construction: Republican tax cuts provide nothing to help rebuild and modernize crumbling schools and would consume the entire surplus, leaving nothing to pay for future investments.

College Opportunity

Targeted Tax Cuts: President Clinton has proposed a college opportunity tax cut to help students pay for up to $10,000 in tuition and fees for higher education or job training.

Nothing for College Opportunity: Republican tax cuts provide no help for middle-class students to pay for college education and would prevent use of the surplus to open the doors of college to more Americans. In addition, Republican tax cuts could lead to hikes in interest rates, which would make student loans more expensive.

Child Care

Targeted Tax Cuts: The President's budget contains a comprehensive child care initiative that includes an expanded child care tax credit and tax incentives to encourage businesses to provide child care for employees. The child care package would benefit an estimated 8.1 million families.

Nothing for Child Care: The Republican tax cuts do nothing to help working families with the costs of child care, and by spending the entire projected surplus, make future investments in child care difficult and unlikely.

Long-Term Care

Targeted Tax Cuts: President Clinton's plan contains a $3,000 long-term care tax credit to compensate people with long-term care needs or their caregivers for the cost of care.

Less for Working Families: The Congressional Republican plan provides little for families who are paying long-term care expenses for a family member.

Retirement Savings

Targeted Tax Cuts: The President's Retirement Savings Accounts proposal will give 76 million families the opportunity to build wealth and save for their retirement through a progressive tax cut. The President's proposal also provides tax credits to encourage small businesses to establish high quality pension plans for their workers.

Less for Working Families: The Republican tax cuts include proposals from the President's budget to increase portability and extend coverage to small businesses, but the Republican bill does not do enough to expand savings incentives for small businesses and working families.

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