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Special Event

Gore Says U.S. Must Pay down Debt to Save Social Security

Aired September 28, 2000 - 10:44 a.m. ET

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

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: And we want to take you live to Washington, D.C., now, where Vice President Al Gore is speaking at the Brookings Institution, talking about his economic policy plans.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

VICE PRES. AL GORE (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A question of values, and our whole future is riding on it . We now have a greater chance than at any time in our lifetimes to create the America of our ideals. A country where your hard work and enterprise is not weighed down by deficit and recession, joblessness and hopelessness. A country where working and middle-class families can achieve what they want for the future. That's the country I am working to build, and I say to you today: We cannot let this chance slip through our hands.

I don't believe we can take prosperity for granted. Even in good economic times, I don't believe we can settle for what's easy. We have to ask the hard questions about what's right for our economy and our families. We've come a long way, these past eight years, but I am not satisfied.

America is the strongest, most powerful, most prosperous country the world his ever known. But we can be stronger, more powerful and more prosperous still. So I don't believe this election is an award for past performance. I am not asking anyone to vote for me on the basis of the economy we have. I ask for your support on the basis of the better, fairer, more prosperous America that we can build together.

Together, let's make sure that our prosperity enriches not just the few, but all our families. Let's help parents and strengthen families. Let's invest in education, middle class tax cuts, a clean environment, and a secure retirement. The choice we make in the next 40 days, could well shape our future for the next 40 years. You ought to be able to know what the candidates are proposing to do with our prosperity, so you can judge for yourselves.

If we do things right, we now have it within our grasp to completely eliminate the national debt by the year 2012, saving taxpayers, hundreds of billions of dollars in interest payments. If we make the right choices, we can make Social Security financially sound for more than 50 years and make Medicare financially sound for another 30 years. If we make the right choices we can reach the day in the next few years, when seven in 10 Americans live in their own homes and family incomes rise by one-third.

So, let me tell you where I stand when it comes to the economy. I believe in fiscal discipline and paying down the debt this year, next year, and every year. I believe in smart investments in the future, not massive tax cuts for the few, that could bring us back into deficit. And above all, I believe prosperity has to work for the working and middle-class families who built this economy. The families who are the hope and soul of this country. That's who I am fighting for.

I'm talking about people making house payments and car payments. Parents, struggling to find more time to spend with their kids and pass on the right values. Families that need help affording college tuition, health care for their kids or job training to earn more and lift themselves to a better life. And I will not accept a massive tax cut that gives almost half the benefits to the wealthiest one percent, which would hurt middle-class families and make today's balanced budget tomorrow's distant memory.

The Gore-Lieberman economic plan.

KAGAN: We have been listening to Vice President Al Gore as he spells out part of his economic plan, speaking today in Washington, D.C.

Of course, yesterday president Clinton announced a record budget surplus for the federal government. George W. Bush and Al Gore have very different takes on how that money should be used, spent and perhaps returned to the taxpayers.

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