ur challenge is to ensure that every American has the opportunity to achieve economic security. We must do what no generation has had to do before -- we must invest in our own people, in their jobs, in their future, and cut our massive debt at the same time. We must meet these challenges in a way that is fair to all Americans.
When President Clinton took office, America's economy was drifting. The deficit was skyrocketing, unemployment was high, and job growth was anemic. In 1993, the President put into place an Economic Plan to reduce the deficit, invest in our people, and get our country moving again.
Four years later, America's economy is on the right track to the 21st century. Americans have created 10.5 million new jobs, 93 percent in the private sector. Basic industries have rebounded, with 931,000 new construction jobs and nearly 120,000 new manufacturing jobs. We have the lowest combined rate of unemployment, inflation, and mortgage rates since 1968. Consumer confidence is at its highest level in six years. Our high-tech industries -- like semiconductors and biotech -- lead the world. America is selling more cars than Japan for the first time since the 1970s.
Our growing economy is giving parents greater opportunity to provide for their children. The typical family's income is up $1,600 since passage of President Clinton's 1993 Economic Plan. Real wages are rising for the first time in a decade. Homeownership is at a 15-year high.
President Clinton is promoting economic growth and building a bridge to the 21st century by:
Putting our economic house in order. President Clinton's wise economic policies have cut the deficit by 60 percent. Making work pay. President Clinton's 1993 budget expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for 15 million working families -- because working parents should not have to raise their children in poverty. Bringing the unemployment rate down. Four years ago, unemployment averaged 7.5 percent. Today, it is down to 5.2 percent -- its lowest level in 7 1/2 years. Increasing exports of American goods by one-third -- a record high. Spurring private-sector growth. Since President Clinton took office, the private sector has expanded 3.2 percent annually. Promoting business investment. Business investment has increased 10.4 percent annually since President Clinton took office. Increasing economic security for families by signing health insurance legislation to expand and protect access. The Kassebaum-Kennedy Health Insurance Reform Bill protects Americans from losing their health insurance if they change or lose their jobs and prevents the denial of coverage due to preexisting conditions. Providing tax relief to our small businesses. Under President Clinton, 90 percent of all small businesses became eligible for tax cuts. Signing the first increase in the minimum wage in over 5 years. This 90-cent raise will provide up to $1,800 per year to each full-time worker -- enough to pay for four months of rent or mortgage payments or over seven months of groceries for the average family.
Building on Our Progress
President Clinton is committed to balancing the budget while providing targeted tax cuts for education, child-rearing, and home buying that strengthen our economy. The President will continue working to open foreign markets to American goods; increase the economic and personal security of working Americans; and invest in research and technology. President Clinton strongly believes that if we stick to America's basic bargain -- opportunity for all and responsibility from all -- there is no limit to the economic success America can achieve. President Clinton will continue strengthening and investing in the economy by:
Proposing to balance the budget in a way that protects our values without undermining Medicare, Medicaid, education, and the environment. It also includes targeted tax cuts that are fully paid for -- including $500 per child -- to help families pay for childrearing, homeownership, and college tuition expenses.
Challenging Congress to pass meaningful pension reform that will help all Americans save for retirement. The President's plan would increase pension portability, enhance pension protection, and expand coverage.
Proposing to consolidate over 70 overlapping federal job training programs into a single $2,600 voucher, allowing unemployed and underemployed workers the opportunity to choose the training programs that are right for them.
Increasing our investment in education by expanding access to college through a $1,500 HOPE Scholarship tax credit, a $10,000 education tax deduction, and penalty-free withdrawals for college tuition from IRAs.
Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96 General Committee, Inc.