Clinton/Gore '96

The 1996 Presidential Debates. October 9 - St. Petersburg, FL (Vice Presidential Debate)

Setting the Record Straight


THE FACTS: Under President Clinton, the private sector of the economy has grown 3.2 percent per year -- and that’s 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 Barron’s concluded that President Clinton had a stronger economic record than any Republican Administration in the post-World War II era. Bob Dole himself said that “It is also true, as some have said, that our economy is the strongest it’s been in 30 years.” [Bob Dole Remarks to the New Hampshire Legislature, 2/13/96, Dole Campaign Release 2/20/96; Barron’s, 3/18/96]


THE FACTS: Independent experts say that Dole’s $548 billion plan would actually raise taxes on roughly nine million working families by cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit [EITC]. Citizens for Tax Justice found that: “8.9 million low-and moderate-income working families would face tax increases averaging $270 each under the Dole plan, due to its proposed reductions in the earned-income tax credit.” [Citizens for Tax Justice, 8/26/96]. U.S. News and World Report confirmed this fact. [U.S. News and World Report, 8/19/96]. By contrast, President Clinton remains committed to maintaining the EITC; by expanding it in 1993, he cut taxes for 15 million families. [Treasury Office of Tax Policy, 4/96] In 1995, Jack Kemp labeled such cuts in the earned income tax credit -- proposed in the Dole/Gingrich 1995 budget: a “tax increase on the poor, and it is unconscionable.” [Jack Kemp, testimony to the Senate Small Business Committee, 10/19/95]


THE FACTS: Contrary to this supply-side myth, after Reagan's 1981 tax cut, real personal income tax revenues fell for three consecutive years. They did not recover to their 1981 level until 1986, even though the economy was in recovery. [Dept. of the Treasury] This loss of income tax revenue helped explode the deficit. The only revenues that went up were from Social Security taxes, owing to increases in the payroll tax rates in 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985 and 1986. [Dept. of the Treasury] From 1980 to 1986 -- when the Republicans controlled the White House and the Senate -- the deficit nearly tripled, increasing from $74 billion in FY80 to $221 billion in FY86. [CBO, 5/96]


THE FACTS: During Secretary Kemp’s tenure at HUD, no Empowerment Zones were created. Clinton-Gore didn't talk about creating empowerment zones and economic communities, we created 105 of them, and they're working. (Source: Office of Personnel Management, Monthly Report of Federal Civilian Employment, SF113-A) The Best Kept Secrets in Government, Report of the National Performance Review, September 1996. Page 53.

Contrary to Jack Kemp's assertion, Los Angeles was designated as a supplemental Empowerment Zone receiving $115 million in federal grants and $315 million in HUD loan guarantees.(LA Times, May 26, 1996)


THE FACTS: President Clinton promised to end welfare as we know it, and this August he signed a bill to do just that. Even before that, the Clinton Administration had moved aggressively to approve welfare reform demonstrations in 43 states -- putting 75 percent of all welfare recipients in the nation under time limits, work requirements, and new measures designed to increase parental responsibility. The President made child support a high priority, increasing collections by nearly 50 percent from 1992 to 1996; persuaded Congress to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to reward work over welfare; and created 10 million new jobs. As a result, welfare rolls dropped by 1.9 million people between January 1993 and July 1996. [ July 1996 “flash report,” Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services]


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, 11/6/95], and voted to cut student loans [CQ Almanac, 1995, vote #231].


THE FACTS: The “social engineering” to which Kemp refers are actually targeted tax cuts for working families that are fully paid for under the President’s balanced budget. These tax cuts help families prepare for the greatest financial challenges of their lives: a $1,500 refundable tax credit for the first two years of college tuition; a $10,000 tuition tax deduction for education and training at any age; a $500 tax credit for children under 13 years of age; expanded IRAs for education, retirement, major medical expenses, or first time home ownership; an elimination of capital gains taxes for the sales of most homes. [OMB, Mid-session Budget Review, 7/96; Dem. Convention Policy Announcements, 8/29/96].


THE FACTS: Kemp voted against Dole’s 1983 Social Security plan -- and attacked Dole in the 1988 Republican primaries for his plan: "George Bush and Bob Dole voted to freeze Social Security and raise taxes on Social Security recipients. What saved Social Security was not the tax increase, Bob, it was getting inflation down, it was getting inflation down and getting the economy moving." [Kemp, 1/16/88 GOP primary debate; 1983 CQ Almanac, p. 18-H, vote #43; p. 12-S, vote #54]


THE FACTS: Under the Dole-Gingrich plan to cut Medicare by $270 billion, Medicare would have spent $1,400 less per person in 2002 than it will without these cuts. This would lower spending per person to more than 20% below private sector premium growth rates. [Administration estimates based on CBO assumptions of private sector premium growth rates, August 1995; CBO, “The Economic and Budget Outlook,” p.84; Administration estimates based off of CBO March 1995 baseline] At the same time, their plan would raise premiums $1,700 more per couple over 7 years and by $269 per couple in 1996 alone. [Administration estimates based on CBO 12/13/95 assumptions]

Senator Dole doesn’t believe in Medicare. He 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] Dole mislead seniors and other voters about the secret Republican plan to cut Medicare just before the 1994 elections. Dole said: “They’re falsely accusing Republicans of secret plans to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits. [Dole radio response, Federal News Service, 11/5/95] Then Dole tried to cut Medicare by $270 billion. [Congressional Record, 11/17/95, vote number 584] In August of this year, Dole’s campaign chariman admitted Dole would have to cut Medicare under his plan. D’Amato said: “You’re gonna have to look at Medicare. . . I would never say it if I were [Dole] until after the election. [Don Imus Show, 8/12/96]


THE FACTS: The U.S. Treasury has earned profits of almost $500 million resulting from Mexican interest payments. Monthly Report by Secretary of the Treasury Pursuant to Mexican Debt Disclosure Act of 1995, September, 1996; Washington Post, 7/26/96. In January, 1995, Bob Dole agreed with Bill Clinton that we needed to stabilize the Mexican economy in the wake of the peso crisis. Statement of President and Congressional leadership, 1/12/95. Bill Clinton’s plan worked: inflation continues to come down in Mexico, and Mexico has repaid nearly three-quarters of its loans well ahead of schedule -- $9 billion out of $12.5 billion.


THE FACTS: From 1986 to 1993, the volume of federal regulations grew by 10,000 pages [Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 10/96] The Clinton-Gore Administration is cutting them by 16,000 pages. Under the Vice President’s National Performance Review, the growth in new regulations that took place when Sec. Kemp was running HUD has been reversed. The Small Business Administration has cut its loan application form from one inch to one page. [NPR Report, 9/96] And HUD has eliminated 1,782 pages of regulations that it inherited from Secretary Kemp. [OIRA, 8/31/96] In July 1995, Dole lead the fight to weaken meat inspection. [Congressional Quarterly, 7/15/95, p. 2050; vote #302, p. 2098] New York Times, in an editorial said “The so-called regulatory reform bill offered by the Senate majority leader, Bob Dole, could...delay the start of modern meat and poultry inspection.” [6/22/95]


THE FACTS: Our goal was restoration of democracy -- a goal established by Secretary of State Jim Baker. Washington Post, 10/3/91. Before democracy was restored, over 2,000 refugees a month were coming to our shores; the refugee flow is now virtually zero. Before democracy was restored, there were 3,000 political murders over 3 years; since democracy was restored, political murders have dropped significantly -- to about two dozen. The human rights group Human Rights Watch said that “Haitians no longer face the systematic human rights abuses committed by the military” junta that ousted Aristide. State Dept. testimony before House International Relations Comm., 9/27/96; Human Rights Watch Press Release, 10/14/95.


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