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Special Event

Gore Delivers Job Training Speech in New Orleans, Louisiana

Aired September 8, 2000 - 12:18 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

FRANK SESNO, CNN ANCHOR: Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore is laying out a key point of his economic plan, job training, at a community college in New Orleans. We told you we would take you live. He's speaking. So we will go there now.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: ... servants I've ever had an opportunity to serve with. No state has a more effective and hard-working team in the United States Senate than Louisiana in John Breaux and Mary Landrieu, and we appreciate that.

Stand up, both of you. Stand up. A great team.

(APPLAUSE)

And, Mrs. Lois Breaux, thank you for being with Tipper and me last night.

And other acknowledgement here. I'm just so proud, in this effort to define America's future, that my campaign is run by a native of Kenner, Louisiana, the best presidential campaign manager ever, Donna Brazile. And I wanted to acknowledge her. I don't know where she is. She's usually working in the background.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, I want to talk today about America's economic future. Earlier this week, Joe Lieberman and I introduced a comprehensive economic plan. And, incidentally, do I have a great running mate or what in Joe Lieberman? I'm so proud of him.

(APPLAUSE)

In order to invest adequately in education and job training, in order to finance research and development, the development of our resources and technologies and potential, we have to have the right set of priorities, we have to have an economic plan that takes all of the major tasks that we have as a people into account.

We can't just throw out big numbers and not relate them one to the other. All the pieces have to fit together. If we forget some major part of our economic future and treat it as an afterthought, we can end up going deeply into debt again. How does that affect us? Well, the middle-class families of America have seen in the past the harm that can come from poor planning that puts us into deficits, because that drives interest rates up, it diminishes the confidence that we ought to have in our economy, and that means that the economy begins to slow down.

Back eight years ago, we were struggling to come out of a period of very deep deficits. The national debt was quadrupled in just a little over a decade. We had repeat recessions.

Some have argued that we were better off eight years ago than we are now. Well, we've got a lot of challenges that remain, but you know, we've been heading in the right direction. We've made some progress, because instead of the biggest deficits, we now have the biggest surpluses; and instead of a triple-dip recession, we've seen a tripling of the stock market...

(APPLAUSE)

... instead of high unemployment, we've got 22 million new jobs and the strongest economy in the history of the United States of America, including the lowest African-American unemployment rate ever recorded, the lowest Hispanic unemployment rate ever recorded.

But this election is not an award for past performance. It's about the future. I'm not asking anyone to support me on the basis of the economy we have. I'm asking for your support on the basis of the better, fairer, stronger economy that we're going to create together.

(APPLAUSE)

I'm not satisfied. You ain't seen nothing yet. We're going to do much better.

(APPLAUSE)

But in order to do better and in order to avoid making a blunder that would stop our prosperity in progress, we have to fit all the pieces together.

I'm going to talk here today about two subjects and how they fit together. First, the number one goal that Joe Lieberman and I announced was to make sure that we safeguard Social Security and Medicare. Secondly, we need to invest more in high technology and in education and job training.

If we go about safeguarding Social Security in the wrong way and leave out a sensible approach and as a result we're forced into deficit, then what happens is education and job training become afterthoughts and they're deeply cut.

You know, when we put out the details of our economic plan, we wanted to be highly specific.

And you can read the details for yourselves, incidentally, at Algore.com. (LAUGHTER)

Is Newsnut.com going to have a link to AlGore.com? I think it should.

(APPLAUSE)

And we talk specifically about Social Security.

Now, our opponents have not yet been willing to put all the specifics on the table. And I want to highlight for you today one specific that I think that the American people have a right to hear from both of the campaigns.

Yesterday, the leading expert in our nation on Social Security, a man named Bob Ball, the senators know him very well -- he's the one who knows the most about it, along with two other leading experts on Social Security -- sent a letter to our opponents. And they said this in the letter, and I'm quoting: "We believe the question is simple and direct. Where will the $1 trillion come from to protect Social Security benefits?"

Now, let me spell this out just briefly. My opponent has proposed a plan that would divert one out of every six dollars that goes into the Social Security trust fund off into stock market investments. That raises problems about what happens to the losers and not just the winners, because inevitably there are both kinds in investments.

But before you even get to that question, here's the more basic question: Since Social Security has always been a system where the checks that are written this month are financed by the contributions from the work force this month, if you divert one out of every six dollars that's supposed to go into the trust fund, then you either have to cut the checks and reduce them by 16 percent next month, or you have to make up the money from somewhere else.

And over 10 years that's big money; that $1 trillion.

As these prominent Social Security experts said, and I quote again: "The arithmetic is simple. If you take $1 trillion away from the money that's need to write the Social Security checks you have to make it up from somewhere. Where does it come from?"

SESNO: Al Gore's math lesson in Louisiana there, where he is meeting with the people hearing his message on job training, education, and the high tech economy, making the point there that the tax cut that George W. Bush proposes would imperil certain key programs. Gore saying Social Security and Medicare, safeguarding those two programs and investing in high-tech economy, education and job training are the pillars of prosperity moving into the future.

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