National Partnership for Reinventing Government
February 2, 1998

Washington, DC--Vice President Al Gore said the dedication and hard work of federal workers in reinventing government helped make a balanced budget possible.

Here is an excerpt from the Vice President's speech as he introduced President Clinton at the roll-out of the President's Fiscal Year 1999 Budget:

"We will also continue reinventing government to make it work better and cost less. After all, it is our progress in reinventing and downsizing government, while improving it, that has enabled us to balance the budget, cut taxes for families, and invest properly in key priorities for the future.

"For a generation, many in Washington would reflexively say that the solution to the budget crunch was to cut down on waste, fraud, and abuse. Well, yes, but they said it so often, it wasn't a policy proposal, it was a punch line -- and it didn't have anything to back it up. But, for the past 5 years, we've made the tough choices based on real numbers and done the hard work of actually cutting wasteful spending.

"And do you know the people who made that possible? They don't often get the credit they deserve. They are the federal employees and the federal managers and the leaders of these Cabinet departments who went to work cutting the red tape, eliminating the waste, in a way that didn't get rid of the good things about our self-government, but got rid of the unnecessary things. None of this achievement today would have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the federal employees who have made this President's plan work. (Applause.)

"We cut 316,000 people from the federal work force, acting on the advice of those federal employees and managers. And we now have not only the balanced budget but also the smallest federal government as a percentage of the work force since before the New Deal. We eliminated 200 outdated government programs, slashed 16,000 pages of red tape, and saved the American people by that means over $120 billion dollars.

"And because of that, always remember this is not only a balanced budget -- it is a progressive budget that allows us to work together through the instruments of self-government in order to successfully address our country's problems.

"Well, ladies and gentlemen, we've come a long way from the endless deficits of that Groundhog Day, five, six years ago, and we thanked all the people who made it possible. But everybody knows that the one person who really charted this course, wrote the blueprint, inspired all of us to work as part of a unified American team, to really recapture our destiny in America, to once again redeem the promise of representative democracy and to show that we are in control of America's future because we are Americans, and we have the fortitude to make the kind of choices that make sense for the people of the United States of America in this generation and in the generations to come.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is truly a remarkable accomplishment, made possible by the leadership of a remarkable President of the United States of America, William Jefferson Clinton."

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