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Special Event

Vice Pres. Al Gore Delivers Remarks on College Tuition Tax Deduction Plan

Aired September 13, 2000 - 12:15 p.m. ET

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

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN ANCHOR: And we're going to take you right up to Lewiston, Maine where Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic presidential nominee, is talking education at the local high school. Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But you know, one of the challenges that all of us face in America is how to make it easier for all of our kids to learn and to continue learning throughout their lives.

That's a relatively new challenge, because, as you know in Lewiston better than probably most communities, there's a big change going on in our economy. Some of the jobs that were there for many generations, where people graduated from high school, went right into the job, had a good, steady income for all their lives and could pay the mortgages and car payments and keep on going, and their kids could go to the same line of work, that's all changing for a lot of people. And the new jobs that are opening up require more knowledge, more learning, more education.

The difference in the earnings of a high school graduate and somebody who goes on to have some kind of post-college education is now very different. In fact, the gap between those two categories is now four times to what it was. If you just look at the gap between a high school graduate and a college graduate, it's the difference in lifetime earnings for the average person of $600,000. If you look at women, women with college degrees earn twice as much as women with high school degrees.

If you look at our whole country and analyze what's going on with the economy -- Alan Greenspan, who runs the Federal Reserve Board, of course, uses an interesting statistic. This may sound a little complicated, but bear with me.

He says, if you look at -- everything the U.S. makes and sells, our Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and look at it 50 years ago and look at it today, the total value has tripled. But if you go back and then go through the calculations necessary to weigh it, how much does everything that we make weigh? Don't tell me how they measure that, but they estimate it pretty accurately, apparently. The weight -- as the value has tripled, the total weight of everything we make hasn't gone up at all.

MESERVE: Vice President Al Gore speaking in Lewiston, Maine to high school students about the earnings gap between high school and college students. He is promoting today tax deductions for college tuition, a proposal he's made.

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