The White House at Work

Monday, May 5, 1997
Balanced Budget

President Clinton and Congressional leaders have reached a bipartisan agreement that will balance the budget for the first time since 1969 to keep the economy growing, while also protecting and advancing America's values:

It protects Medicare and Social Security -- extending the life of the Medicare trust fund, until, at least, 2008, and extending new benefits to our parents (including preventive benefits such as annual mammograms for women over forty, a diabetes self-management benefit, colorectal screening, and preventive injections). It protects and extends the life of Social Security as well.

It opens the doors to education wider than ever with the largest increase in education funding in 30 years: increasing Pell Grants by the largest amount in three decades, funding America Reads, and cutting taxes to help pay for college.

It extends health insurance to up to 5 million uninsured children, and helps move people from welfare to work -- giving businesses incentives to hire people off welfare, and restoring benefits to legal immigrants and excessive cuts in food stamps.

It protects our environment -- cleaning up 500 of the most dangerous toxic waste dumps and boosting enforcement -- and includes modest tax relief to spur business investment, to help families raise children, and to help pay for college.

This new balanced budget agreement builds on President Clinton's success in cutting the deficit by nearly two-thirds over the past four years, to revitalize the economy:

When President Clinton took office, the economy was stagnating, job growth was sluggish, the budget deficit threatened to drown our economy.

President Clinton changed America's course with a new economic strategy: invest and grow, cut the deficit, sell more products overseas through tough trade agreements, and invest in the skills of our people.

Now, the deficit has been cut for four years in a row. Unemployment is at its lowest in 24 years, economic growth is at its highest in a decade, we,ve seen the largest decline in income inequality since the 60's, and 12 million jobs have been created. This balanced budget agreement will help keep the economy growing, steady and strong.

The President leaves today for a week-long trip to Mexico, Costa Rica and Barbados, to strengthen an emerging alliance based on democratic government, open markets to promote growth and create jobs, and cooperation to resolve common problems such as drugs, crime and corruption, and migration.

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