Good morning. Today I am speaking to you from Aylesbury, England, just outside of London. Hillary and I are in the middle of a journey of remembrance and discovery as we honor the sacrifices of the remarkable Americans who helped to liberate Europe in World War II.
The generation of heroes who defeated fascism left a safer world for the generations after them, and we are grateful. Our country led the forces of freedom during the World War, and our economy led the world in the decades that followed.
This morning I want to talk about some very good news that shows how much we can still accomplish together when we as a nation act decisively.
In 1993, I took office determined to renew our economy so that we could pass on prosperity and opportunity to our own children. Remember, our economy had suffered from a decade or more of deficits and drift, slow growth or no growth. Then we made some tough choices, to bring down the deficit, to provide more incentives to invest, and to invest more in the education and training of our people on new technologies, and on helping to convert from a defense to a domestic economy.
Well, now we're beginning to see the results. Our economy is back. It's expanding steadily. Most important, it's creating jobs, millions of good-paying jobs. Yesterday, the Government released new statistics showing the success of our efforts. Since this administration took office in January 1993, the United States has created over 3 million jobs, most of them good-paying jobs, nearly all of them in the private sector. We're creating new private sector jobs at 7 times the rate that occurred during the previous administration. During the 1992 campaign we said we'd create 8 million jobs in 4 years. We're running way ahead of schedule now. America is on the way to creating 2 million more in '94.
But mere statistics tend to be abstract. Everywhere, all around us, we see signs of steady economic renewal. The Big Three in Detroit are back, adding shifts, and once again making the best cars in the world. New businesses are being incorporated at a record pace. Consumer confidence is up. Inflation is in check. Business failures are down. And core economic conditions, to quote the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, are "the best they've been in two decades."
As I meet with our allies and visit historic places in Europe, I'm constantly reminded our economy is now the strongest in the world. Let's remember how this came about. These 3 million new jobs are the product of the ingenuity, the entrepreneurial energy, and the willingness to change of the American people. They are the result of an economic plan that has seen to it that Government has been shrinking in the first quarter of this year, while the private sector grows for the first time in a decade.
We've cut the deficit by $500 billion. By 1995, if we stick to this plan, the deficit will have declined for 3 years in a row for the first time since Harry Truman was in the White House. In fact, our deficit is now smaller, as a fraction of our national income, than all but one of our major trading partners.
We've made our cuts fairly. We've sought cuts in more than 300 programs in each of the first 2 years of the budget. We've sought to eliminate over a hundred Government programs. Only the wealthiest 1.2 percent of our people were asked to pay higher income taxes. Working families didn't pay a cent more in income taxes because of higher rates. In fact, for every person who had taxes increase, at least 10 working families had their taxes cut. We are protecting the middle class.
Now we have an obligation to keep going to make sure that every citizen benefits from a changing world. Too many Americans haven't yet been touched by the economic renewal. This year we want to build on our success by taking concrete steps to keep the economy growing and to give our people the tools they need to succeed.
A good start is to increase our exports to other countries. Trade means jobs. Thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement we may soon sell more to Mexico than we do to Japan. This year I'll present to Congress a worldwide trade agreement that will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars of exports for America. That's good for America. And that's why Congress must and will ratify the world trade agreement soon.
When we create these good export jobs, we must make sure our people are ready to fill them. These days, what you earn depends on what you learn. Skills and knowledge are the most important asset of all. That's why we're working on a lifetime learning system to train every citizen from the first day of preschool to the last day before retirement.
Now we have to fix our broken unemployment system to replace it with a reemployment system so that when someone loses a job, he or she can find a good new job as quickly as possible. I am fighting for Congress to pass this reemployment act this year, too.
Finally, our deficit will grow and our expansion will sputter if we don't reform our health care system. Health care costs are going up more and more and more than any other part of our budget, not for new health care but to pay more for the same health care. As you know, I am fighting hard to guarantee health care for every American in a way that can never be taken away but that will bring costs in line with inflation.
So there's still a lot more to do. But let's be proud of what Americans have done. America is going back to work. Unemployment is down. Jobs are up. Inflation is down. Growth and new business is up. Our economy is clearly leading the world. We've made this world better by making the tough choices. That's what we've got to keep doing.
Thanks for listening.