ArchiveTitle: Remarks at Press Conference
Author: Vice President Al Gore
Date: December 19, 1994
* VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE *
* Remarks at Press Conference *
* December 19, 1994 *
Thank you, Mr. President. The Middle-class Bill of
Rights is just what the country needs. Hard working
Americans have earned a break.
We can and will cover the cost by redoubling our
campaign to reinvent government. We are sticking to the
principles we used in the first National Performance
Review ùprinciples that underpin America's most
innovative and successful private companies: put
customers first, cut red tape, delegate authority, and
cut back to basics. That is how we will decide what
government should stop doing.
We will put customers first in this-review by getting
them involved and listening to their opinions. We will
stop producing red tape, and start paying more
attention to results than we do to processes. And, as
President Clinton asked, we will see if we can reinvent
the government's asDroach to regulatory issues.
We will stop making so many decisions in Washington
that would be better made by state government, local
government, or individual citizens. We will replace
Washington interference with Two weeks ago, seven
cabinet members and I signed the Oregon Option, a pact
with that state to turn problem solving over to the
people closest to the problems. We need to do that
Cutting back to basics means we should shed the
remnants of yesterday's government ùbecause yesterday's
gone. For example, we don't need an Agriculture field
office within a day's horseback ride of every farm. So,
we are closing over 1200 USDA offices. We are looking
to close a lot more field offices in other agenciesùas
long as we can continue to improve customer service.
Americans know they don't have to sacrifice good
service to get low cost.
Cutting back to basics means: stop trying things that
are not working. For example, public housing projects
simply do not achieve the results we are after. We've
tried long enough to fix them. It's time to try
something completely differentùtime to try market
solutions instead of administrative solutions.
Cutting back to basics means: stop trying to run
businesses by bureaucratic rules. We plan to make air
traffic control a corporation, and to do the same thing
with mortgage insurance. We will consider a long list
of other government functions that could be
incorporated, or that we could simply buy from the
We are going to-make government work better and DO
less. We are going to trade interference for
opportunity. We are going to make it possible for
middle-class Americans to have the break they've earned
to raise a family, educate their children, and get
ahead in life.
Now I want to invite up my partner in this endeavor,
the Director of the Office of Management and Budget,
Alice Rivlin. Joining us are the leaders who developed
the bold changes that have already been decided by
- HUD Secretary Cisneros will describe our plan to raze
the 60-room mansion of government grants and clear
the lot so communities can decide for themselves what
- Transportation Secretary Pena will tell you how we
are going to stop directing traffic from Washington..
- Energy Undersecretary Charles Curtis will outline our
plan to bring that OPEC and Cold-War era department
up to date.
- Roger Johnson and Jim King will tell you how we are
phasing out old-fashioned, centralized management of
the government, turning commercial functions like
training and real estate rental to the private sector
where they belong, and giving front-line managers the
opportunity to actually manage.
I'm going to ask each of them to make a short statement
about the major reforms in their agencies and then to
be available to answer your questions.
Before they begin, I know you are all aware that we
gave serious consideration to totally eliminating each
of these agencies. In these cases, the President and I
were convinced that the reform option was preferable.
But, over the next several months, we will be looking
at every agency and program, asking ourselves: Do we
really need this agency? Do we really need this
program? Is there a better way to do it? Is there an
opportunity here to give middle-class Americans a
Now, Alice Rivlin, would you lead off please?