THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary
                           (New York, New York)

For Immediate Release                                   September 7, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Today, we reach a symbolic moment in the improvement of our nation?s
fiscal situation that few could have imagined eight years ago -- the
retiring of the National Debt Clock in Times Square.  Thanks to Seymour
Durst and his family, the Debt Clock helped shine a vital spotlight on
America's mounting national debt, which quadrupled between 1980 and the day
I came into office.  The Debt Clock was a constant reminder of the enormous
challenge we faced.  Today, because of the hard work of the American people
and the fiscal discipline that the Vice President and I have worked hard to
maintain, we are on our way to eliminating America?s publicly-held debt for
the first time since 1835.

     This year we will pay off $221 billion of debt - the largest one-year
debt pay-down in American history.  This will be the third consecutive year
of debt reduction, bringing the three-year total to $360 billion and
leading to lower interest rates, mortgages, and car payments for American
families.  We should not be complacent, however, about our fiscal progress.
Our record surpluses and the shutting down of the Debt Clock only
underscore the importance of maintaining our commitment to the fiscal
discipline which has helped create the longest economic expansion in
history and will keep us on path to completely pay off the debt by 2012.


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