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DEMOCRATESE? THE WORDS DON’T ALWAYS ADD UP

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Record exports! A hundred-thousand new officers on the streets! Medicare, beware! President Clinton trumpeted plenty of accomplishments and made a few attacks, too. Here's how his words and other Democrats' words measure up to the facts.

Clinton declared Thursday night that the country was already "halfway home in putting those 100,000 police on the streets."Actually, since the 1994 crime bill created the new police slots, fewer than half, or just 44,000 officers, have been financed by Congress. And only a fifth - or 20,000 - are actually on the streets. Many more are in training.

"People forget it takes a year after the funding gets out for an officer to be hired and trained," said Charles Miller, the Justice Department coordinator of the program.

The president also took credit for the Kennedy-Kassebaum law that ensures 25 million Americans can buy health insurance when they change jobs or if they have pre-existing conditions.

Clinton signed it last week. But early in his administration, Clinton had threatened to veto just such a solution as inadequate. That pledge was part of Clinton's unsuccessful attempt to pressure Congress to enact the much broader health-care reform plan that his wife had championed.

In fact, several of the legislative accomplishments that Clinton said demonstrated he is "on the right track" were the product of the Republican-controlled Congress: lobbying registration, the presidential line-item veto, outlawing unfunded mandates and making Congress follow the laws it passes.

Clinton also alluded to a common Democratic charge during the convention: that Republicans had tried to cut Medicare by $270 billion. "I could never allow cuts that end our duty or violate our duty to our parents through Medicare," the president said.

In fact, Republicans never proposed reducing Medicare benefits at all.

Both Republicans and Clinton have proposed restraining the future growth of Medicare: the GOP by $270 billion over seven years, the president by $124 billion over the same period.

Under the GOP plan, Medicare spending still would have risen by 7 percent a year, the Congressional Budget Office says.

Clinton touted a string of economic accomplishments he said were the fruits of his administration. Among them "record exports."

Although exports have risen under Clinton, the broader measure of U.S. trade performance, the so-called deficit, has sharply worsened each year of his presidency. The 1995 U.S. trade imbalance with other countries was the worst in seven years at $105 billion, compared to just $40 billion during President Bush's last year.

The trend is holding in 1996, driven in part by a record trade gap with China.

As for wages and income, median family income posted a modest increase during the Clinton administration, from $37,905 in 1993 to $38,702 in 1994. But both of those figures are still below what families were earning two decades ago - when adjusted for inflation.

On foreign policy, Clinton said the country was safer because "there is not a single Russian missile pointed at an American child."

He was referring to an agreement reached in 1994 between the United States and Russia. Both superpowers agreed to reprogram their long-range nuclear missiles so they were not fixed on specific locations between the two countries, as they had been during the Cold War.

But analysts have since said that the agreement was not a major security coup, since both countries could easily retrain the weapons with little effort. Clinton's own Pentagon spokeswoman even called the agreement symbolic.