Press Release
Tuesday, January 19, 1999

WASHINGTON -- The Concord Coalition said today that President Clinton's State of the Union proposals regarding Social Security are best viewed as an opening bid in a political negotiation. The bipartisan group advocating fiscal responsibility noted that when viewed from that perspective, advocates of reform should take heart that all credible options, including individually owned accounts, are still on the table.

"Rather than rejecting the President's ideas out of hand, we urge Republican leaders to continue the bipartisan dialogue that characterized the forums co-sponsored by Concord and AARP last year," said Concord Coalition Executive Director Martha Phillips. "Creative people on both sides of the aisle should be able to develop a consensus approach, but only if they treat the President's proposals as the beginning -- and not the end -- of the negotiations."

The Concord Coalition is concerned that the President stopped short of recommending any hard choices, or even suggesting some options, to reform the current system. As the President noted during the State of the Union, by 2013 Social Security payroll taxes will no longer be sufficient to cover monthly payments.

"This part of the reform agenda needs immediate attention," said Concord Coalition Policy Director Robert Bixby. "The President made a good case for serious reform. We urge the President to meet with Congressional leaders as soon as possible to build upon the progress made during the White House conference held in December."