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pd17jn96 Message to the Congress Transmitting the Report of the National...

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President instead of being in trouble, and being nervous and doing the 
best they can to do something good--if you like that, then you need to 
support these programs, and you need to make sure every child in this 
State that needs it is in one. And you need to support these people that 
are doing it, because they are proof that we can turn this around, but 
we haven't gotten to everybody or the numbers wouldn't be what they are. 
And we have to do it.
    This is a very urgent problem for our country, and we can only 
change it in two ways. One is, like Shane said, when people decide they 
are going to make a difference in their own lives. And secondly, when 
adults like you take responsibility in every community. We will keep 
trying to do our part, but remember, we need you. And if you liked this 
today, when you go out of here, make sure you're going to do something 
to turn this situation around.
    Thank you, and God bless you all.

Note: The President spoke at 11:05 a.m. in the student union ballroom at 
the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. In his remarks, he referred to 
Yvonne Atkinson-Gates, chairwoman, Clark County Commission; Mayor Jan 
Laverty Jones of Las Vegas, NV; and Carol Harter, president, University 
of Nevada at Las Vegas.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 1021-1024]
Monday, June 17, 1996
Volume 32--Number 24
Pages 1015-1062
Week Ending Friday, June 14, 1996
Remarks to the Community in Las Vegas

June 9, 1996

    Thank you. Thank you for being outside. All those people in the heat 
out there, thank you very much. I want to thank the Green Valley High 
School band. Thank you for playing. You did a great job. I thank those 
who were here before: thank you, Mayor Jones; thank you, County 
Commission Chair Yvonne Gates; thank you, Senator Titus; thank you, 
Representative Perkins; and most of all thank you, ladies and gentlemen, 
for being here. I want to thank your fine Senators, Harry Reid and Dick 
Bryan, for representing you, standing up for you, and standing up for 
America in the United States Senate. They do a wonderful job.
    And I want to thank Governor Bob Miller. You know, he has been the 
best sort of friend to me because he always tells me when he thinks I'm 
wrong. [Laughter] And he's been the best sort of Governor for you 
because even though he's my friend he's first and foremost somebody 
who's always fighting for Nevada's interests. And every time he hears 
anything that might be even potentially bad for Nevada, I know the first 
call I'm going to get is from Bob Miller. He's made a lot of calls in 
the last 3\1/2\ years for you, and I thank him for that.
    I also met someone earlier today. And I think he's in the crowd 
today. He's supposed to be up here with us--State Senator Bob Coffin 
who's running for Congress here. I don't know if he's here, but I 
thought I would--is he back there? Thank you.
    Ladies and gentlemen, I'm glad to be back in Nevada. I like it here. 
I'm glad to be back in Las Vegas, which as all of you know, was my 
mother's favorite place on Earth. I've had a wonderful day already. I 
went out and visited one of your juvenile justice programs, where young 
people were doing community service and making restitution for mistakes 
they've made. And I met with some of the young people in the program and 
some of the adults who were working with them and some of the parents. 
And I want to compliment you for that. And I want to ask everybody in 
this room to support people who are out there working with these young 
kids, trying to get them out of trouble, keep them out of trouble, give 
them something to do with their lives.
    We cannot--we cannot--tolerate the situation which now exists in the 
United States where the crime rate is going down overall but going up 
among people under 18. And it's because we don't have enough adults that 
are out there helping these kids to build good lives for themselves. And 
you've got some good programs here. I want you to support the people 
that are out there on the front lines in Las Vegas and Nevada working 
with those kids.
    Four years ago when I came here and asked you to support me, I had 
an idea about what I wanted our country to look like as

[[Page 1022]]

we move into this new century--a very different world. The world I grew 
up in was dominated by heavy industry and mass production. The world 
these children will grow up in will be dominated by computers, 
technology, and information. The world I grew up in had an America that 
was totally self-contained. We didn't sell much overseas; we didn't buy 
much from overseas. The cold war was the most important thing and the 
fight we were having with the communists. The world these kids will grow 
up in will be dominated by a global society in which children will 
actually get on computers and do research in libraries in other 
countries, in which people will be able to move across the world as 
easily as they used to go across town, and in which we will have to 
fight those who will seek to take advantage of that through drug 
running, organized crime, the proliferation of weapons of mass 
destruction, terrorism, preying on open societies and free people. This 
is a different world.
    And I had three simple objectives. I wanted America in the 21st 
century more than anything else still to be a place where every child 
has the opportunity to make the most of his or her own life, no matter 
what racial or ethnic or income background they come from. Secondly, I 
wanted America to be a community of responsible citizens, where we are 
coming together instead of drifting apart. I am tired of seeing people 
at election time try to find ways to get us to look down our noses at 
one another and be divided. When we are together, when we reach across 
the lines that divide us, when we say our diversity is a great and good 
thing that makes us stronger in the global society of the 21st century, 
that's when America's strong; when we're working together, not being 
driven apart. And finally, I wanted to make sure that when I left 
office, our country would still be the world's strongest force for peace 
and freedom and prosperity. And I can tell you that on all three fronts, 
we still have a lot of challenges, but this country is in better shape 
than it was 4 years ago, and we're moving in the right direction.
    Harry Reid and Dick Bryan will tell you when I presented my economic 
plan to the Congress, and I said we've got to do something about this 
terrible deficit; we've got to bring it down, but we cannot--we cannot--
do it in a way that undermines our commitment to education or to the 
environment or protecting the health care of the elderly, the Americans 
with disabilities, the poorest children in this country. There were 
those on the other side who said, if Clinton's economic plan passes, it 
will be a disaster for America; we'll be thrown into recession; it will 
cripple the economy. Well, you've got 3\1/2\ years now to decide. When I 
took office, the deficit was $290 billion a year, projected to go over 
$300 billion the next year. It's now going to be $130 billion this year, 
less than half of what it was.
    When we came into office, we had the slowest job growth rate since 
the Great Depression. Three and a half years later, we have 9.7 million 
new jobs for the American people. We are better off than we were 4 years 
ago. We also passed a crime bill to put more police officers on the 
street, some of them right here in Las Vegas to prevent crime. We began 
to work with States to reform welfare and move people from welfare to 
work. Today there are 1.3 million fewer families on welfare than there 
were the day I became President of the United States. We made efforts to 
help families struggling to make the most of their own lives--the family 
and medical leave law that says you don't lose your job if you have to 
take a little time off when there's a baby born or somebody in your 
family who's sick.
    I was just out at UNLV today. We've reformed the college loan 
program so that people could borrow their money directly from the United 
States Government, get it quicker, less hassle, better repayment terms, 
and that no one would ever have to not go to college because they 
couldn't afford to borrow the money, because now they can pay it back as 
a percentage of their income so the loans will never bankrupt anybody. 
We passed the national service program, AmeriCorps, to give young people 
a chance to work in their communities and solve problems and help people 
and work their way through college. That is what we have done.
    And then when the Congress changed hands in the last 2 years, and 
the Republicans said, ``We want to balance the budget,'' I said, so do 
I. We cut the deficit in half already.

[[Page 1023]]

We've done half the job, and you wouldn't help us; we'll help you. We 
won't do you the way you did us; we'll help you. But I will not balance 
the budget by cutting education, by destroying the environment, by 
undermining our commitment to Medicare and Medicaid. I won't do that. 
Because that gets into that second issue I was telling you about. We 
need to come together, not come apart. In the world of the 21st century, 
education will be the key to opportunity. You know it as well as I do. 
We cannot walk away from our commitment to give every American the 
opportunity to get a good education.
    Look at what you're dealing with here in Nevada with all your 
growth. You need water here. I'm going to do everything I can to make 
sure you have it. We can't walk away from our commitment to preserve the 
environment for all Americans. We have obligations here. We have to do 
this together.
    And so I say again to you, I want to balance the budget. I will keep 
working to do that. We have to do that. When you bring the deficit down, 
it gets interest rates down, it makes it easier for you to make a home 
payment, to borrow money for a car, to borrow money for a new business, 
to create jobs. It is critical. But we can do it. Don't let anybody tell 
you otherwise. We can do it and preserve our environment, invest in 
education, and protect Medicare and Medicaid for our seniors. We can do 
    And let me say we still have work to do. We still have work to do. 
If you renew the contract of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, there are other 
things that we have to do to make sure that all the American people can 
take advantage of these new opportunities, because you know as well as I 
do that not everybody in our country, even everybody with a job, is 
having the same chance to get ahead.
    What do we need to do? Let me just give you three or four things. 
First of all, if the Congress doesn't pass it now, we'll do it first 
thing next year. We need to change the health insurance laws of this 
country so you don't lose your health insurance when you change jobs or 
when somebody in your family has been sick. Secondly, we need to change 
the law so that young people starting out, even if they work for small 
businesses, can begin to save for their retirement, and they don't lose 
it if they change jobs. They can keep it all through their lives and 
they can maintain that. And most important--most important of all, we 
ought to give every American a tax deduction for the cost of college 
tuition and a tax credit for 2 years of community college in this 
country. Every single American ought to be able to go, you know as well 
as I do.
    The biggest institution of higher education in Nevada now is the 
community college here. Why? Because older people have figured out that 
if they want to be able to get new jobs and raise their incomes, they 
have to have more education. I was born at a time when the vast majority 
of Americans did not have a high school education, when many places did 
not even require them to do it. Now we know that in the world we're 
living in, you need more. And I think we ought to make it an article of 
national faith that every single American citizen should have access to 
at least 2 years of education after high school. And we'll provide it 
for those families.
    So I say to you, my fellow Americans, I'm glad to be back here. I 
appreciate what the Governor said about the issues that are specific to 
Nevada. What I said about the interim storage was pretty simple: The 
people that wanted to pass the interim bill wanted to pass it so they 
could make it permanent. And I don't believe that that should be done. I 
believe somebody--we're going to have to put this nuclear waste 
somewhere, but I want to know it was done based on the best science, not 
the worst politics. That's all I want. And I don't know what the answer 
to that is.
    But I want you to think about the future that we've got here. I want 
you to think about what it's going to take to make sure that all these 
little kids that are in this house today--in this hangar--every one of 
them, every one of them--and you look at them. We've got kids in this 
room whose roots come from every continent on this globe. Just look 
around here. I want to make sure that every one of them has a chance to 
live out their dreams if they're willing to be responsible, law-abiding, 
hard-working American citizens. That's what I want. And that's what you 
    That's really what this is all about. You know, politics is not the 
most important thing

[[Page 1024]]

in anybody's life. When we all get our lives lived, we look back and we 
think about the children we raised, the things we loved and cared about. 
The purpose of politics is to make it possible for more and more and 
more people to live together in peace and harmony and to live out their 
dreams and to find their personal greatness and their families' depth 
and strength and character. That's what this is about. And that's what 
this election is about. Don't you ever forget it. And remember this: 
We're all here, we're all happy, we're all feeling good today. It's 5 
months between now and the election. That is a very long time.
    So I say to you, if you believe what brought you here today and you 
understand how important this is, then I want to ask you to leave here 
today with a commitment every day between now and November to talk to 
your friends and your neighbors about what is genuinely at stake. 
America is deciding on the future of the greatest country in human 
history for a new century. You can help make the decision the right one.
    Thank you, and God bless you all. Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 3:03 p.m. in the executive terminal at 
McCarran International Airport. In his remarks, he referred to State 
Senator Dina Titus and State Representative Richard Perkins.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 1024-1026]
Monday, June 17, 1996
Volume 32--Number 24
Pages 1015-1062
Week Ending Friday, June 14, 1996
Remarks at the Presidio in San Francisco, California

June 9, 1996

    Thank you. Thank you very much. Mr. Chandler, Mr. O'Neill, Mr. 
Mayor, it's wonderful to be back in San Francisco. Congresswoman Pelosi, 
Senator Boxer, Senator Feinstein, thank you all for your work on this 
magnificent project.
    You know, I always love coming here, but I especially love coming 
right here because that's my jogging route right there. [Laughter] 
Whenever I come to San Francisco I always go down there and run to the 
Golden Gate Bridge and back, so--and I didn't know exactly where we were 
going to do this on the Presidio today. I got driven around a little 
bit, so I got to see some other things that are being done here. When I 
finally realized that we were going to do this here, I didn't know 
whether I could actually sit still long enough for the program to 
unfold, instead of just racing away down there--or, as the case may be, 
kind of stumbling away down there--toward the bridge.
    I want to talk to you today about three little simple ideas that 
this magnificent place embodies, ideas that are easy to say but have a 
great deal to do with that kind of country we are and what kind of 
country we're going to be. When I think of the Presidio, I think of, 
first and foremost, preserving our incredible natural heritage and our 
important history. Second, I think about the obligation that the rest of 
the country has for defense conversion. And, thirdly, I think about 
partnership, the kind of partnership that Jim Harvey's life embodied and 
that all the things that Mr. Chandler just mentioned represent.
    And I want you to think about all that today because in my opinion 
if this country is going to be what we all want it to be as we move into 
the next century, we have to keep going until every place that lost a 
lot because of the end of the cold war--which has a happy and wonderful 
event--has been fully restored to economic prosperity through a real 
commitment of all the American people to defense conversion. Because we 
cannot, over the long run, sustain an American economy in this new world 
unless we have a theory of sustainable development that puts the 

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