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When President Clinton said the era of big government is over, he wasn't just making a promise, he was reporting on his progress. The Clinton-Gore Administration has made the federal government smaller by nearly a quarter of a million jobs. This is the largest, swiftest government-wide cut in the history of the United States. It's not just a post-Cold War defense reduction; every department except Justice has become smaller. The federal government workforce is now the smallest it has been in more than 30 years, going all the way back to the Kennedy Administration. The cuts were long overdue. People had long since grown tired of new government programs initiated each year, with none ever ending. They were tired of stories about senseless sounding government jobs, like the Official Tea-Taster, tired of larger and larger bureaucracies in Washington interfering more and more with their lives. For years, presidential candidates have been promising to make government smaller. But until Bill Clinton, none delivered. The workforce cuts are saving lots of money. For fiscal year 1996, the average government worker costs more than $44,000 a year, not including office space and supplies. Cutting a quarter million jobs, therefore, can save well over $10 billion annually. But that's not the half of it. The savings from all the common sense reforms we have put in place total $118 billion.* Put that together with the benefits of our healthy economy, and you'll see that the Clinton-Gore Administration has come up with another one for the record books: four straight years of deficit cuts, for a stupendous total reduction of $476 billion.
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