The Clinton Presidency: A Historic Era of Progress and Prosperity
- Longest economic expansion in American history
The President’s strategy of fiscal discipline, open foreign markets and investments in the American people helped create the conditions for a record 115 months of economic expansion. Our economy has grown at an average of 4 percent per year since 1993.
- More than 22 million new jobs
More than 22 million jobs were created in less than eight years – the most ever under a single administration, and more than were created in the previous twelve years.
- Highest homeownership in American history
A strong economy and fiscal discipline kept interest rates low, making it possible for more families to buy homes. The homeownership rate increased from 64.2 percent in 1992 to 67. 7 percent, the highest rate ever.
- Lowest unemployment in 30 years
Unemployment dropped from more than 7 percent in 1993 to just 4.0 percent in November 2000. Unemployment for African Americans and Hispanics fell to the lowest rates on record, and the rate for women is the lowest in more than 40 years.
- Raised education standards, increased school choice, and doubled education and training investment
Since 1992, reading and math scores have increased for 4th, 8th, and 12th graders, math SAT scores are at a 30-year high, the number of charter schools has grown from 1 to more than 2,000, forty-nine states have put in place standards in core subjects and federal investment in education and training has doubled.
- Largest expansion of college opportunity since the GI Bill
President Clinton and Vice President Gore have nearly doubled financial aid for students by increasing Pell Grants to the largest award ever, expanding Federal Work-Study to allow 1 million students to work their way through college, and by creating new tax credits and scholarships such as Lifetime Learning tax credits and the HOPE scholarship. At the same time, taxpayers have saved $18 billion due to the decline in student loan defaults, increased collections and savings from the direct student loan program.
- Connected 95 percent of schools to the Internet
President Clinton and Vice President Gore’s new commitment to education technology, including the E-Rate and a 3,000 percent increase in educational technology funding, increased the percentage of schools connected to the Internet from 35 percent in 1994 to 95 percent in 1999.
- Lowest crime rate in 26 years
Because of President Clinton’s comprehensive anti-crime strategy of tough penalties, more police, and smart prevention, as well as common sense gun safety laws, the overall crime rate declined for 8 consecutive years, the longest continuous drop on record, and is at the lowest level since 1973.
- 100,000 more police for our streets
As part of the 1994 Crime Bill, President Clinton enacted a new initiative to fund 100,000 community police officers. To date more than 11,000 law enforcement agencies have received COPS funding.
- Enacted most sweeping gun safety legislation in a generation
Since the President signed the Brady bill in 1993, more than 600,000 felons, fugitives, and other prohibited persons have been stopped from buying guns. Gun crime has declined 40 percent since 1992.
- Family and Medical Leave Act for 20 million Americans
To help parents succeed at work and at home, President Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993. Over 20 million Americans have taken unpaid leave to care for a newborn child or sick family member.
- Smallest welfare rolls in 32 years
The President pledged to end welfare as we know it and signed landmark bipartisan welfare reform legislation in 1996. Since then, caseloads have been cut in half, to the lowest level since 1968, and millions of parents have joined the workforce. People on welfare today are five times more likely to be working than in 1992.
- Higher incomes at all levels
After falling by nearly $2,000 between 1988 and 1992, the median family’s income rose by $6,338, after adjusting for inflation, since 1993. African American family income increased even more, rising by nearly $7,000 since 1993. After years of stagnant income growth among average and lower income families, all income brackets experienced double-digit growth since 1993. The bottom 20 percent saw the largest income growth at 16.3 percent.
- Lowest poverty rate in 20 years
Since Congress passed President Clinton’s Economic Plan in 1993, the poverty rate declined from 15.1 percent to 11.8 percent last year — the largest six-year drop in poverty in nearly 30 years. There are now 7 million fewer people in poverty than in 1993. The child poverty rate declined more than 25 percent, the poverty rates for single mothers, African Americans and the elderly have dropped to their lowest levels on record, and Hispanic poverty dropped to its lowest level since 1979.
- Lowest teen birth rate in 60 years
In his 1995 State of the Union Address, President Clinton challenged Americans to join together in a national campaign against teen pregnancy. The birth rate for teens aged 15-19 declined every year of the Clinton Presidency, from 60.7 per 1,000 teens in 1992 to a record low of 49.6 in 1999.
- Lowest infant mortality rate in American history
The Clinton Administration expanded efforts to provide mothers and newborn children with health care. Today, a record high 82 percent of all mothers receive prenatal care. The infant mortality rate has dropped from 8.5 deaths per 1,000 in 1992 to 7.2 deaths per 1,000 in 1998, the lowest rate ever recorded.
- Deactivated more than 1,700 nuclear warheads from the former Soviet Union
Efforts of the Clinton-Gore Administration led to the dismantling of more than 1,700 nuclear warheads, 300 launchers and 425 land and submarine based missiles from the former Soviet Union.
- Protected millions of acres of American land
President Clinton has protected more land in the lower 48 states than any other president. He has protected 5 new national parks, designated 11 new national monuments and expanded two others and proposed protections for 60 million acres of roadless areas in America’s national forests.
- Paid off $360 billion of the national debt
Between 1998-2000, the national debt was reduced by $363 billion — the largest three-year debt pay-down in American history. We are now on track to pay off the entire debt by 2009.
- Converted the largest budget deficit in American history to the largest surplus
Thanks in large part to the 1993 Deficit Reduction Act, the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, and President Clinton’s call to save the surplus for debt reduction, Social Security, and Medicare solvency, America has put its fiscal house in order. The deficit was $290 billion in 1993 and expected to grow to $455 billion by this year. Instead, we have a projected surplus of $237 billion.
- Lowest government spending in three decades
Under President Clinton federal government spending as a share of the economy has decreased from 22.2 percent in 1992 to a projected 18.5 percent in 2000, the lowest since 1966.
- Lowest federal income tax burden in 35 years
President Clinton enacted targeted tax cuts such as the Earned Income Tax Credit expansion, $500 child tax credit, and the HOPE Scholarship and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits. Federal income taxes as a percentage of income for the typical American family have dropped to their lowest level in 35 years.
- More families own stock than ever before
The number of families owning stock in the United States increased by 40 percent since 1992.
- Most diverse cabinet in American history
The President has appointed more African Americans, women and Hispanics to the Cabinet than any other President in history. He appointed the first female Attorney General, the first female Secretary of State and the first Asian American cabinet secretary ever.