President Clinton has achieved a balanced budget agreement that includes critical investments in education, health care, and the environment while strengthening and modernizing Medicare and Medicaid -- just as he promised last year. This achievement finishes the job of balancing the budget, a key priority for the President since he took office.
ONLY FOUR YEARS AGO. In 1993, the President inherited a budget deficit of $290 billion that was expected to explode to over one-half trillion dollars in 2002. A decade of large deficits had weakened the foundation of our economy and sapped our power and prestige abroad. Unemployment was 7.5% in 1992, and job growth was sluggish.
THE PRESIDENT PASSES HIS 1993 ECONOMIC PLAN. President Clinton addressed this problem of fiscal instability immediately on a pledge to cut the deficit in half. Working with Democrats in Congress, he implemented an economic program designed to reduce the deficit and to invest in critical priorities, such as education and training. The 1993 economic plan has exceeded all expectations: the deficit has fallen by more than 75%, dropping for a likely fifth year in a row to $67 billion or lower in 1997; equipment investment has been the strongest since Kennedy was President; the economy has produced over 12.5 million new jobs; and the unemployment rate this year is the lowest in 24 years.
THE PRESIDENT ACHIEVES BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT TO FINISH THE JOB. The President began his second term determined to fulfill his goal of balancing the budget. As we head into the next century, this bipartisan agreement protects our priorities, solidifies the nation's economic foundation, restores faith in our ability to govern ourselves, and bolsters America's preeminent position in the world economy. The balanced budget agreement includes roughly $900 billion in 10 year net deficit savings and delivers the first balanced budget in a generation.
The First Balanced Budget in a Generation* 1993 $310 $255 1994 $302 $203 1995 $301 $164 1996 $298 $107 1997 $347 $67 1998 $387 $90 1999 $429 $90 2000 $475 $83 2001 $521 $53 2002 $576 $1 surplus
* Numbers from the budget agreement. Final Budget numbers from reconciliation still being tallied.
BUDGET STAYS IN BALANCE. In addition to delivering a balanced budget in 2002, the budget agreement delivers budget surpluses for each of the second five years of the budget window, 2003-2007, putting the nation on a solid fiscal path at a critical time as the baby boom generation edges toward retirement.