Clinton/Gore '96

The 1996 Presidential Debates. October 16 - San Diego, CA (Presidential Debate)

Setting the Record Straight


THE FACTS: Knight-Ridder says President Clinton keeps his word. Knight-Ridder: “Nearly four years later, the record shows he has achieved most of [his promises].” In a comprehensive analysis, Knight-Ridder concluded that President Clinton had achieved 66% of his promises and would have achieved 79 percent if Congress had allowed him. [Knight-Ridder, 8/18/96] For example, in 1992, President Clinton said he would cut the deficit in half; he cut it by more than 60%. [CBO, 10/96] President Clinton said he would cut the federal payroll by 100,000 workers; he has now cut it by nearly 250,000. [Washington Post, 9/27/96; OPM, 9/96] President Clinton said he would “end welfare as we know it”; in August 1996, he signed a welfare reform bill with time limits and tough work requirements. President Clinton said he would crack down on crime by putting 100,000 police officers on the streets, signing the Brady bill, and banning dangerous Assault Weapons; he delivered on all three. And President Clinton said that he would sign Family and Medical Leave, Goals 2000, Motor Voter, create a new direct student loan program, expand the EITC, increase the minimum wage, and create a National Service program; he has fulfilled each of these promises. [Knight-Ridder, 8/18/96]


THE FACTS: The conservative business journal Barron’s -- and Bob Dole himself last February -- called the economy the best in over 30 years. [Barron’s 3/18/96, Dole Remarks before the New Hampshire State Legislature, 2/13/96 -- transcript released by the Dole campaign, 2/20/96] Under President Clinton, the private sector of the economy has grown 3.2 percent -- that’s stronger than either the Reagan (3.0%) or Bush (1.3%). [Based on data from the Department of Commerce, 9/96] According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10.5 million new jobs have been created under President Clinton. Unemployment is down from 7.5% to 5.2%, the lowest in 7 ½ years. Family income is up by over $1600 since 1993. We have the lowest combined mortgage, unemployment and inflation rates in 28 years. Real wages are up for the first time in a decade. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/96, Census, 9/96]


THE FACTS: Our economic recovery has created 10 and a half million jobs nation-wide, 705,000 of them in California, after we lost 60,000 jobs in California during the Bush years. [BLS, 10/96] These are good jobs and many defense workers have moved into them. And we are converting closed military bases to civilian use. Fort Ord, in Monterey, is now the site of a University of California/Cal State University branch. The Sacramento Army Depot, closed in March 1995, is now the site of a Packard Bell manufacturing plant and headquarters -- 4,000 jobs were created there last year alone, more than the original 3,000 civilian DOD workers who had been employed there. Long Beach Naval Station is now the site of a major reuse project which includes the world’s largest shipping firm and a branch of Boeing. [Mayor O’Neill, 2/23/96]


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 of 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 increase premiums by $1,700 per couple over the next seven years and by $269 per couple in 1996 alone. [Administration estimates based on CBO 12/13/95 assumptions] That’s a cut. According to the American Hospital Association, “[r]eductions of this magnitude would result not in a reduction in the rate of growth, but in a real cut.” [Letter to Senator Dole, 10/16/95] According to the American Association of Retired Persons, “ . . .The proposal passed by the Senate would cut . . . much more than is necessary to keep the program solvent. [Statement by Horace Deets, 10/27/95] As for Dole’s economic plan, 83% of economists surveyed by the Economist said that the Dole plan would force even deeper cuts in Medicare. [The Economist, 10/5/96]

President Clinton’s balanced budget extends the life of the Trust Fund for a decade from today -- 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. [Memo from Medicare Chief Actuary to HCFA Administrator, 3/28/95] Senator Dole doesn’t even believe in the program: "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 bill that Dole voted for in 1965 -- the so-called “Cigarette Labeling Act” -- was considered a “victory for the cigarette industry” because it superseded regulations by the Federal Trade Commission, which would have required health warnings in cigarette advertising on radio, television, newspapers and other media. The industry calls him “a valuable friend” because of his years of support for it. The President took on the industry beginning in the first six months of his term. [1965 CQ Almanac, vt. 90, p. 978, 7/13/65; 1965 CQ Almanac, p. 344. October 1989 memo from James W. Dyer, then director of Public Relations for Philip Morris, FDA/HHS Fact Sheet, 8/23/96, HHS Fact Sheet, January 17, 1995.] Even tonight, Senator Dole, who previously compared smoking to the dangers of drinking milk, said: “Are they addictive? They probably are. I don’t know. I am not a doctor.”


THE FACTS: There is only a 1% difference between the President’s defense budget and the Republican’s current budget over 6 years, and the President’s budget provides $7 billion more than Republicans in FY2002. [OMB comparison of President’s FY97 budget and GOP FY97 budget resolution defense discretionary funding FY97-2002]. Our plan for the future invests in modernizing our weaponry -- reversing the downward trend in procurement with a 40% increase the next six years; readiness is at high levels; retired General Edward Meyer, head of a task force reviewing readiness, stated that “what we call an acceptable level of readiness today would in the 70s have been regarded as unattainable pie-in-the-sky...” [General Accounting Office, 8/95]. In reality, the Clinton defense budgets are scarcely different from the Cold War defense budgets in constant dollars.


THE FACTS: President Clinton made his position very clear in the Hartford debate: no special treatment for anyone, period. It is Senator Dole who has been a big fan of presidential pardons throughout his career. Former Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh said Dole’s attempt to use the issue against Clinton is “hypocrisy” because “Dole, himself, had urged pardons for crimes of constitutional dimension committed in office by a Reagan cabinet officer.” [AP News, 10/15/96.] When it was suggested that President Bush might stop at Caspar Weinberger’s unusual pre-conviction pardon, Dole pushed Bush to go further: “If you’re going to do one, you do them all.” [Face the Nation, CBS, 11/92.] In 1992, Dole called Bush’s pardons of five Iran-Contra defendants an “act of courage and compassion.” [New York Times, 10/16/96.] In 1976, Dole said of President Ford’s pardon of Nixon, “he did the right thing.” [New York Times, 10/16/96.]


THE FACTS: Illegal immigrants are explicitly prohibited from receiving AFDC, Food Stamps, SSI, and Medicaid (with the exception of emergency Medicaid). Public welfare agencies administering these programs verify the eligibility of all applicants through the INS. [Brooks Jackson, CNN Inside Politics, 6/27/96; Section 402(a)(33) of the Act (42 USC 602(a)(33); Section 6(f) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 USC 2015(f); Section 1614(a)(1)(B) of the Social Security Act (42 USC 1382c(a)(1)(B); Section 1903(v) of the Social Security Act (42 USC 1396b(v)]


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 Czar’s 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 President’s 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.]

Regarding San Diego drug felony cases, in just the first four months of 1996, fully half of the felony drug cases filed by the United States Attorney in San Diego were in this category (92 out of 184). The United States Attorney’s Office in San Diego filed a record number of drug and immigration related felony charges in 1995 -- doubling the number of felony drug prosecutions over the prior year -- and border drug, criminal alien and alien smuggling cases made up 90% of the total felonies filed by the San Diego U.S. Attorney’s office in 1995. [Letter from Attorney General Reno to Senator Hatch, May 21, 1995]. According to Sheriff William B. Kolender of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, “I have seen a lot of U.S. Attorneys, but in my mind, the cooperation between the federal government, and state and local law enforcement has never been better.” [Letter from Sheriff William B. Kolender to Attorney General Reno, May 17, 1996]


THE FACTS: After losing 2.1 million manufacturing jobs during the Reagan-Bush years, the economy has added 120,000 manufacturing jobs under President Clinton -- a faster annual rate of manufacturing job growth than any Republican Administration since before the Great Depression. [Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10/4/96.]


THE FACTS: In fact, the Dole/Gingrich bills the President vetoed would have denied food and health care to millions of children. It was only over Dole’s objections that President Clinton, working with Republicans and Democrats, achieved passage of a welfare reform bill that dropped the Republican proposals for deep cuts in the school lunch program, as well as their proposed cuts in foster care, adoption assistance and child abuse prevention. And, at his insistence, it maintained the guarantee of health insurance for poor children and pregnant women. [Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, P.L. 104-193; HHS fact sheet, August 1996]


THE FACTS: Education funding increased because President Clinton stopped the Republican education cuts. Senator Dole voted against an amendment to reduce the student loan cuts in the Senate budget plan by $9.4 billion from $13 billion [CQ Almanac, Senate vote 231, 5/25/95]. His budget would have capped the direct lending program, effectively ending direct loans that allow students to repay their loans as a share of their income. [HR 2491, 11/17/95] Senator Dole also voted for the Senate budget plan that would have frozen funding for Pell Grants over 7 years, which would have forced a reduction in the size of the grants and the number of students receiving them. [Senate FY96 budget resolution committee report]. And Dole voted against restoring funding for Pell Grants so they could keep up with the pace of inflation and enrollment. [Senate vote #220, 5/25/95] The Dole-Gingrich budget last year would have cut Pell Grants, denying Pell Grants to at least 100,000 students. [OMB, 9/96] This year, President Clinton won his request for the largest increase in the maximum Pell Grant in over 20 years, reaching 126,000 more students than last year. [OMB, 9/96]


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