Clinton/Gore '96

The 1996 Presidential Debates. October 6 - Hartford, CT (Presidential)

Setting the Record Straight


THE FACTS: Under President Clinton, the private sector of the economy has grown 3.2 percent per year -- and thatís a stronger record of private-sector growth than either the Reagan (3.0%) or Bush (1.3%) Administrations. [Based on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis] The conservative business magazine Barronís concluded that President Clinton had a stronger economic record than any Republican Administration in the post-World War II era. And just 8 months ago, Bob Dole himself said that “It is also true, as some have said, that our economy is the strongest itís been in 30 years.” [Bob Dole Remarks to the New Hampshire Legislature, 2/13/96]

"It is also true, as some have said, that our economy is the strongest it's been in 30 years." [Dole Remarks before the New Hampshire State Legislature, 2/13/96]

USA Today set the record straight on August 7, 1996: "The Bureau of Labor Statistics' consumer expenditure survey says that in 1994, the latest year for which figures are available, the average household -- not necessarily a two-income household -- spends $16,336 on food, clothing and housing vs. $5,897 on taxes, including property tax, Social Security payroll tax, and federal, state, and local income tax."

After falling by 79 cents during the Reagan-Bush years, wages are now rising. [Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/4/96] As Business Week wrote: "Real wages are rising for the first time in a decade." [3/11/96] According to the Census Bureau, real median household income increased more in 1995 than in any year in a decade, and the typical family's income, adjusted for inflation, has increased by $1,631 since 1993. [Census Bureau, 9/26/96] Since President Clinton took office, every family income group -- from the poorest to the most well-off -- has seen their income increase. [Census Bureau, 9/26/96]


THE FACTS: H&R Block confirms that the Presidentís plan increased income tax rates only for the top 1.2 percent, while cutting taxes for "16.6% of all taxpayers [who] benefit from the Earned Income Tax Credit Expansion." [H&R Block Analysis, August 1993.] And the 1993 4-cent gas tax cost families only $3 a month -- all going towards cutting the deficit by sixty percent. But look at Doleís record. During his 35 years in Washington, Dole hiked 450 different taxes and fees -- at least $900 billion to $2 trillion in higher taxes. [CQ Almanac, 1960-1992] Dole increased Social Security taxes, unemployment taxes, taxes and fees on Medicare, telephone taxes, gas taxes, automobile taxes, airline taxes, beer taxes, boat taxes, and vacation fees. [1982 CQ Almanac, p. 31-32; p. 55-S, Vote # 337; 1990 CQ Almanac, p. 63-S, Vote # 326; 1983 CQ Almanac, p. 219; p. 12-S, Vote # 54; 1991 CQ Almanac, p. 308; p. 33-S, Vote # 254]


THE FACTS: Bob Dole reaffirmed his vote against Medicare just last year. “I was there, fighting the fight, voting against Medicare -- one of 12 -- because we knew it wouldnít work in 1965.” [Bob Dole Speech to the American Conservative Union 10/24/95]. The record shows that Senator Dole continues to try and cut Medicare. In 1995, Dole-Gingrich tried to cut Medicare by $270 billion, doubling premiums. Now 83% of economists surveyed by The Economist said Dole would have to cut Medicare to balance the budget and enact his risky and unaffordable tax scheme. [Economist, October 5, 1996] Doleís own Campaign Co-Chairman, Senator Al DíAmato, was more candid than the candidate: “Youíre gonna have to look at Medicare...I mean, Iím not running this year, so I can say it and tell the truth.”[Don Imus Show, 8/12/96]

President Clinton's balanced budget extends the life of the Trust Fund for a decade -- the same as the Republican budget plan. [Letter from Medicare Chief Actuary, 6/4/96.] The 1993 Clinton Economic Plan, opposed by Senator Dole and enacted without a single Republican vote, extended the life of the Trust Fund by 3 years. [Medicare Actuary, 3/28/95] Republicans, who in 1995 tried to cut Medicare by $270 billion, don't even believe in the program: Senator Bob Dole said, "I was there, fighting the fight, one of twelve, voting against Medicare in 1965 ... because we knew it wouldn't work." [American Conservative Union Speech, 10/24/95]


THE FACTS: The Presidentís balanced budget -- including his new initiatives -- would cut spending by more than $500 billion to its lowest level in over 3 decades as a share of the economy [CBO, May 1996, and OMB, FY97 Budget Historical Tables, Table 1.2]. Under President Clinton, spending has declined each year as a share of the economy and is now lower than any year under Presidents Reagan or Bush. [OMB, FY97 Budget Historical Tables, Table 1.2]


THE FACTS: Doleís “six percent” doesnít include the more than $700 billion in cuts he simply assumes from last yearís vetoed and discredited Republican budget. Independent analyses, such as Time, Business Week, and the nonpartisan Concord Coalition say that Dole's plan will require between one-third to 40% cuts in domestic discretionary programs in 2002. Time magazine wrote: "[A]nalysts say agencies from the FBI to the Transportation Department could face cuts as deep as 40%...(including 300,000 fewer children in Head Start, 2,200 fewer park rangers; 2,170 fewer Border Patrol agents, 2,960 fewer DEA staff)." [Time, 9/23/96]


THE FACTS: Every serious observer agrees that the 1982 tax increase written by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bob Dole is the largest in history. New York Times, 11/3/95: "It is not true that the $240 billion tax increase approved by Congress in 1993 at Mr. Clinton's behest is the largest in American history. When adjusted for inflation -- the only way to make comparisons of dollar amounts from different years -- a tax increase engineered by Mr. Dole in 1982, when he was the chairman of Senate Finance Committee, was larger. Unbelievably, Dole wanted an even bigger tax increase: He said, in an address on the Senate floor, “Last year, the tax cut was too big, and this year the tax increase is too small.”[Congressional Record, S-21869, 1982]


THE FACTS: Bob Dole is consistently wrong on tobacco. The bill that Dole voted for in 1965 -- the so-called “Cigarette Labeling Act” -- was considered a “victory for the cigarette industry” according to Congressional Quarterly because it superceded regulations by the Federal Trade Commission, which would have required health warnings in cigarette advertising on radio, television, newspapers and other media. The bill that passed required health warnings only on cigarette packages and cartons, not advertising. [1965 CQ Almanac, vt. 90, p. 978, 7/13/65; 1965 CQ Almanac, p. 344]. After taking almost $500,000 in campaign contributions, Bob Dole opposes President Clintonís efforts to curb teen smoking. He has questioned whether smoking is addictive and compared the danger of smoking to the dangers of drinking milk. When he was attacked by former Surgeon General Koop for his statements, Dole said Koop had been brainwashed a little bit by the liberal media. [Washington Post, 6/22/96; AP, 6/20/96; ABCís World News Tonight, 6/14/96; NBC, Today, 7/2/96, FEC, Better America Foundation Contributor List].


THE FACTS: President Clinton has fought the drug war on all fronts. Casual drug use is down 13% among Americans between the ages of 18 and 35 since 1992 (Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse/Mental Health Agency, 8/20/96). Cocaine use is down 30% since 1992 (ONDCP, April 1996). There is a record number of drug felons in federal prisons (Letter from Attorney General Reno to Senator Orrin Hatch, 9/26/96). Border Patrol drug seizures are up 22% (Department of Justice/ Immigration and Naturalization Service, 07/0796). President Clinton has proposed and signed the largest anti-drug budgets in history, up 24% since FY93; he elevated the Office of National Drug Control Policy to Cabinet level status; and he appointed a four-star general, Barry McCaffrey, to lead the fight. By contrast, Bob Dole opposed the creation of the Drug Czarís office in 1982 and voted against its extension in 1994. [1994 CQ Almanac, p.290] [CQ Almanac, 1982 (p.64-S)] Bob Dole voted to cut the Safe and Drug Free Schools Program by 50%. The Dole-Gingrich budget cut $767 million for the Presidentís 1996 drug control budget and cut at risk youth drug programs by over 50%. [CQ, 1994, vt 321, Impact of House Appropriations Subcommittee mark, FY95-97.]


THE FACTS: President Clinton led the fight to gain Congressional passage of the Brady Law. The Brady Law requires that a national Instant Criminal Background Check System be established by November 1998. The Department of Justice has already appropriated $112 million in funding for states to create instant check systems.[Atty. Generalís Report to President, 9/13/95, DoJ 9/96] In 1993, Dole voted against passage of the Brady Bill. [1993 CQ Almanac, p. 302; p. 51-S, vote # 394]. Upon voting against final passage, Dole stated: “We lost one.”[Houston Chronicle, 11/25/93] Dole took the NRA position by leading the GOP filibuster of the Brady Bill, voting twice against cloture, despite the fact that the bill represented a compromise measure that he helped draft. [1993 CQ Almanac, p. 302; votes #387, #390, 11/19/93, p. 50-S]


THE FACTS: Last month, Bill Clinton expanded the no-fly zone in southern Iraq in response to Saddamís seizure of Irbil in the north -- tightening the strategic straightjacket on Saddam. It is now harder for Saddam to attack Saudi Arabia and Kuwait -- and easier for us to stop him if he does. In 1993, he launched cruise missiles against Saddamís intelligence headquarters to retaliate for the attempted assassination of President Bush in 1993; in 1994, Bill Clinton deployed American forces to counter Saddamís deployment of forces toward Kuwait. Source: Senate Intelligence Committee testimony by DCI Deutch, Federal News Service, 9/19/96.

Bob Doleís record suggests that Saddam would be better off if Dole had been President. In 1990, three and one-half months before the invasion, Bob Dole met with Saddam in Iraq, and upon his return declared that Saddam is an “intelligent man,” a “leader to whom [we] can talk,” and that there was a “chance to bring this guy around.” A month later, he derailed sanctions against Saddam for his threat to burn up half of Israel. On July 27, 1990 -- on the eve of Saddamís invasion of Kuwait -- Dole tried to weaken the same sanctions. In December, 1990, he equated Israelís actions to the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait when he suggested that Israel may have to give up the Occupied Territories as part of a solution to the Gulf crisis. Sources: Congressional Record, 4/20/90, p. S 4788 (Saddam is intelligent man); Readerís Digest, January, 1991 (leader to whom we can talk) (Washington Post, 4/23/90 (Saddam can be brought around); Congressional Record, 5/17/90, pp. S6427-28, S6442-43 (derailing of sanctions); Congressional Record, 7/26/90, pp. S10827-28, 10832; Congressional Record, 7/27/90, pp. S10003-08; Larry King Live, 8/8/90 (Arab problem and in the Mideast for oil); Kansas City Star, 12/5/90.


THE FACTS: Californians are clearly better off than they were four years ago. After Californiaís unemployment rate had increased from 5.0 percent to 9.7 percent during the Bush Administration, the unemployment rate in California has fallen from 9.7 percent to 7.0 percent. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/96] After California lost 57,900 jobs during the Bush years, the California economy has added nearly 700,000 new jobs since President Clinton took office. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/96] And consumer confidence in California has increased 56 percent since President Clinton took office. [Conference Board, 9/96]


THE FACTS: Doleís regulatory reform bill was heavily influenced by lobbyists, many of whom have contributed to Doleís political efforts. According to Congressional Quarterly, “Dole has relied closely for drafting advice on outside lobbyists, representing businesses and trade associations, many of which have contributed to his presidential campaign and have a direct financial interest in a lighter regulatory burden.” And, according to the New York Times, “...seldom in the past have Congressional staff members so openly and publicly embraced legislative outsiders with extensive interests in the outcome.” [CQ Weekly, 5/6/95, p. 1219-20; New York Times, 3/31/95]


THE FACTS: Bob Dole has a 35-year record of voting against education. In 1964 he voted against the creation of Head Start [CQ Almanac, 1964], in 1965 he was 1 of only 63 representatives to vote against the creation of the federal student loan program [CQ Almanac, 1965 (vote #169), 10/25/65], and in 1979 he voted against the creation of the Education Department [Senate vote #1070, 4/30/79]. In 1995, he teamed up with Newt Gingrich to write the most anti-education budget in history, which would have cut education and training by $31 billion [FY96 budget resolution conference agreement; CBO analysis of the HR 2491, 11/16/95], and voted to cut student loans [CQ Almanac, 1995, vote #231].


Paid for by Clinton/Gore ’96 General Committee, Inc.