October 27, 1987

I am pleased that discussions will begin today between the administration and congressional leaders about the budget deficit. These meetings come at a critical moment.

In the last 59 months America has enjoyed an economic expansion that will soon enter the history books -- the longest peacetime expansion on record. During this period, we have created an average of almost a quarter of a million jobs a month. GNP has risen 20 percent. Yet recently the stock market has alerted us of potential dangers on the economic horizon. Anyone who doubted that these threats to our future growth were serious should have been set straight in the last couple of weeks.

It is time to put aside partisan rivalries and work together for our nation's future. I pledge that in these meetings on the budget deficit the administration will do just that. I know that all Americans hope that the leaders of Congress will do the same. I urge Congress to work quickly with us to set year-by-year deficit reduction targets, moving from this day forward, and then to join us in putting together realistic plans for meeting those targets. We owe it to the Nation to get this job done.