|The American Presidency Project|
|• William J. Clinton|
|Message to Congress Transmitting the Economic Report of the President|
|February 10, 1997|
|To the Congress of the United States:
Four years ago, we began a journey to change the course of the American economy. We wanted this country to go into the 21st century as a Nation in which every American who was willing to work for it could have a chance—not a guarantee, but a real chance— at the American dream. We have worked hard to achieve that goal, and today our economy is stronger than it has been in decades.
THE ECONOMIC RECORD
The challenge we faced in January 1993 was to put the economy on a new course of fiscal responsibility while continuing to invest in our future. In the last 4 years, the unemployment rate has come down by nearly a third: from 7.5 percent to 5.4 percent. The economy has created 11.2 million new jobs, and over two-thirds of recent employment growth has been in industry/occupation groups paying above-median wages. Over the past 4 years inflation has averaged 2.8 percent, lower than in any Administration since John F. Kennedy was President. The combination of unemployment and inflation is the lowest it has been in three decades. And business investment has grown more than 11 percent per year—its fastest pace since the early 1960s. As the economy has grown, the fruits of that growth are being shared more equitably among all Americans. Between 1993 and 1995 the poverty rate fell from 15.1 percent to 13.8 percent—the largest 2-year drop in over 20 years. Poverty rates among the elderly and among African-Americans are at the lowest level since these data were first collected in 1959. And real median family income has risen by $1,600—the largest growth rate since the Administration of President Johnson.
THE ECONOMIC AGENDA
Our comprehensive economic agenda has helped put America's economy back on the right track. This agenda includes:
CONTINUING TO CREATE AN ECONOMY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
America's workers are back at work and our factories are humming. Once again, America leads the world in automobile manufacturing. Our high-technology industries are the most competitive in the world. Poverty is down and real wages are at last beginning to rise. And we have laid the foundations for future long-term economic growth by reducing the deficit and investing in education.
During the past 4 years, we have worked to prepare all Americans for the challenges and opportunities of the new global economy of the 21st century. We have worked to restore fiscal discipline in our government, to expand opportunities for education and training for our children and workers, to reform welfare and encourage work, and to expand the frontiers of free trade. But there is more work to be done. We must continue to provide our citizens with the tools to make the most of their own lives so that the American dream is within the reach of every American.
THE WHITE HOUSE
FEBRUARY 10, 1997
|Citation: William J. Clinton: "Message to Congress Transmitting the Economic Report of the President", February 10, 1997. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=99353.|
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