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President Clinton State of the Union Excerpts

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 27, 2000

EXCERPTS OF PRESIDENT CLINTON'S STATE OF THE UNION January 27, 2000

THE STATE OF OUR UNION

"We are fortunate to be alive at this moment in history. Never before has our nation enjoyed, at once, so much prosperity and social progress with so little internal crisis or so few external threats. Never before have we had such a blessed opportunity -- and therefore, such a profound obligation -- to build the more perfect union of our founders' dreams."

A STRONG RECORD

"Eight years ago, it was not so clear to most Americans there would be much to celebrate in the year 2000."

"In the best traditions of our nation, Americans determined to set things right. We restored the vital center, replacing outdated ideologies with a new vision anchored in basic, enduring values: opportunity for all, responsibility from all, and a community of all Americans."

THE LONG LOOK AHEAD

"At the dawn of the last century, Theodore Roosevelt said that, "The one characteristic more essential than any other is foresight . . . It should be the growing nation with a future which takes the long look ahead."

"Tonight let us take our long look ahead and set great goals for our nation."

21ST CENTURY AMERICAN REVOLUTION

"These are great goals, worthy of a great nation. We will not reach them all this year. Not even in this decade. But we will reach them. Let us remember that the first American revolution was not won with a single shot. The continent was not settled in a single year. The lesson of our history -- and the lesson of the last seven years -- is that great goals are reached step by step: building on our progress, always gaining ground."

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

"But even as we make these and other vital investments in health care, education and support for working families . . . even as we offer tax cuts to help pay for college, for retirement, to care for aging parents and reduce the marriage penalty . . . we must not forsake the path of fiscal discipline that got us here. We must make these investments and tax cuts only in the context of a balanced budget that strengthens and extends the life of Social Security and Medicare and pays down the national debt. That is the responsible way to create opportunity for all."

OPPORTUNITY AND RESPONSIBILITY IN EDUCATION

"First and foremost, we need a 21st Century revolution in education, guided by our faith that every child can learn. Because education is more than ever key to our children's future, we must make sure that all our children have that key. That means universal preschool and afterschool, the best trained teachers in every classroom, and college opportunities for all our children."

REWARDING WORK AND STRENGTHENING FAMILY (HEALTH CARE)

"Lifesaving drugs are an indispensable part of modern medicine. No one creating a Medicare program today would even consider excluding coverage for prescription drugs. Yet more than three in five seniors now lack dependable drug coverage which can lengthen and enrich their lives ..."

"In good conscience, we cannot let another year pass without extending to all seniors the lifeline of affordable prescription drugs."

RESPONSIBILITY AND CRIME (GUNS)

"Crime in America has dropped for the past seven years -- the longest decline on record, thanks to a national consensus we helped to forge on community police, sensible gun control, and effective prevention. But nobody believes America is safe enough. So let's set a higher goal: let's make America the safest big country in the world."

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