THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Wednesday, March 18, 1998
BUILDING THE AMERICAN DREAM, TOGETHER
Now is not a time of rest... We must use this time of prosperity to make sure every single family in America has the ability to meet the challenges of the new economy. At this time of change, we cannot leave behind the working families... We must take new steps to provide health and retirement security, honor the value of work, and expand access to quality education and training for all Americans.
- President Bill Clinton
March 18, 1998
Today, President Clinton speaks at an apprentice training facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, highlighting the Administration' s work to keep the American Dream alive for working families. The President' s remarks address the concerns families wrestle with every day: preparing for retirement, educating their children, raising families in safe neighborhoods, and having access to quality health care.
A Moment Of Great Opportunity. Our nation has never had a better chance to help more working families achieve the American Dream. Under the President' s leadership: unemployment has fallen to its lowest levels in 24 years; more than 15 million new jobs have been created; welfare rolls have fallen to their lowest point in 27 years; typical family income is up $2,169; home ownership levels are at their highest in history; housing starts are at their highest level in more than a decade; crime rates are lower than any time in 24 years; and the budget deficit is on its way to zero. The President is working to make sure all Americans share in these successes by:
- Balancing The budget And Saving Social Security First.By passing a balanced budget three years ahead of schedule, we will be able to eliminate the deficit and pay for every proposal in the President' s budget while reserving the surplus until we strengthen Social Security.
- Extending Medicare. The President is working to give one of America' s most vulnerable and difficult to insure populations new options for obtaining adequate, affordable health care coverage. The President' s targeted Medicare proposal extends new security to millions of people by enabling Americans ages 62 to 65 and displaced workers ages 55 to 65 to purchase Medicare health coverage and enabling retired workers ages 55 to 65 to buy coverage if their former employer drops their coverage.
- Raising The Minimum Wage. Recognizing the value of work, the President is calling for an increase in the minimum wage to give millions of hardworking Americans a pay raise.
- Providing A World Class Education. Education is the surest ladder of opportunity in our society. The President' s balanced budget plan reduces average class size to 18 students per classroom for grades 1-3 by helping local communities hire 100,000 new teachers with certified skills to teach basic reading and math. It also expands funding for training dislocated workers to 3 times the 1993 level.