[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1994, Book II)]
[December 31, 1994]
[Pages 2207-2209]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

The President's Radio Address
December 31, 1994

    Good morning. The celebration of the New Year is an occasion for 
optimism and hope; it's full of dreams for the years ahead. At the same 
time, it's important that we take last year's lessons with us into the 
future, which is exactly why we make New Year's resolutions. They're

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an avowal to work even harder in the coming year to be the best we can 
    New Year's is also a very good time to think about what we want for 
America, as well as for our own families in the year ahead, and about 
what each of us can do to make our great Nation the best that it can be.
    My New Year's resolution to all of you is simple: I'm going to keep 
doing the work we have begun to help Americans compete and win in the 
new global economy and to restore the American dream for middle class 
    First and foremost, we should do nothing to jeopardize the economic 
recovery we have helped to create over the last 2 years. Our deficit 
reduction plan has already cut our deficit by $700 billion. That's over 
$10,000 of debt for every American family. The economic strategy we have 
pursued, reducing the deficit, expanding trade, investing in the 
education and training of our people in the technologies of the future, 
this strategy has helped to produce over 5 million new jobs in the last 
2 years and, in 1994, more high-wage jobs than in the previous 5 years 
    We're cutting the Federal bureaucracy by over 272,000 people to its 
smallest size in 30 years. And with these cuts in Government, we've used 
the savings to invest in the American people, to expand Head Start, to 
make college loans more affordable to 20 million Americans, and already 
giving a tax cut to over 15 million working families with incomes under 
$27,000 a year.
    But last year made it very clear that all the good statistics in the 
world don't necessarily mean more money in the pockets of working 
Americans or more security and peace of mind for them. Most Americans 
haven't had a pay increase in this recovery. Most Americans are working 
longer work weeks than they were 10 years ago. Over a million Americans 
in working families lost their health insurance in 1994. And as other 
costs go up, disposable income and job security go down. So the average 
American is simply not receiving enough benefit from this robust 
economic recovery. And we have to keep working until we change that.
    Two weeks ago, I proposed a middle class bill of rights, four new 
ideas to help middle class Americans build a future that lives up to 
their dreams.
    First, to help Americans get the skills and education they need to 
get and keep high-paying jobs, I proposed that college tuition, 
community college costs, costs for graduate school, professional school, 
vocational education, or worker training be fully deductible from your 
taxable income, phased up to $10,000 a year if your family makes less 
than $120,000 a year. Second, to better support working families raising 
children, if your family makes $75,000 a year or less, I propose a tax 
cut phased up to $500 for every child under 13. Third, if your family 
makes less than $100,000 a year, I propose allowing you to put $2,000 a 
year tax-free into an individual retirement account, but also to enable 
you to withdraw the money tax-free for education, for buying a first 
home, for paying for health care expenses, or for the care of an elderly 
parent. Finally, I want to take the billions of dollars that Government 
now spends on job-training programs of all kinds and make that money 
directly available to working Americans, to spend as you decide when you 
need to learn new skills to get a new job or a better job.
    As we do this, we must not go back to the irresponsible practices of 
the past, back to trickle-down economics and exploding the deficit. 
Every single penny of the middle class bill of rights that I propose is 
paid for by dramatic cuts in the Government, which I have proposed. An 
important part of my New Year's resolution is this: I won't allow anyone 
to destroy the progress we have made in reducing the deficit.
    On this New Year's Eve, I want to welcome the new Congress. I ask 
them to put aside partisan differences, as I pledge to do, and join me 
in a New Year's resolution to do everything we can to help Americans 
prosper; to reduce yesterday's Government but help Government stay on 
the side of American families; to give the middle class tax relief but 
to do it responsibly, without exploding the deficit; to keep investing 
in education and job training; and to make our tax relief targeted 
toward the future, toward raising children, educating and training 
people, toward the things which make America great.
    I want to close by asking all of you to join me as well. Nothing we 
do here will succeed unless each of you takes a personal responsibility 
first to develop your own capacity and those of your family members and 
then to rekindle a sense of community and common purpose in America. We 
are not enemies in this country. We are all in this together. We are 
going up or down together. With all of our diversity and

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differences, unless we work together, we can never make America the best 
it can be. So let's all make a New Year's resolution to face the future 
challenges together so that we can realize together the opportunities 
that lie ahead.
    Tomorrow, as you visit with your friends and your family, I hope 
you'll talk about the ideas in the middle class bill of rights. In the 
coming weeks, when you're back at work or when you're on the phone with 
friends, I hope you'll talk about the future and about the future you 
want for your families and your country. And I hope you'll do a lot of 
listening to each other and arguing with each other, but don't forget 
for a moment that we have more in common than what divides us. This is 
the great source of our abiding strength.
    Hillary and I wish you and your family a very happy New Year. Please 
be careful tonight, and thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 10:55 a.m. on December 28 in the 
Roosevelt Room at the White House for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on 
December 31.