Press Release
Monday, April 30, 2001

WASHINGTON - The Concord Coalition today welcomed President Bush's appointment of a bipartisan Social Security commission, and expressed hope that the commission will produce a credible plan for dealing with the program's long-term challenges without resorting to accounting gimmicks or free lunch proposals.

      “President Bush and the members of this commission deserve great credit for their willingness to undertake the difficult but absolutely essential task of reforming Social Security so that it will be as sound for future generations as it is for today's seniors,” said Concord Co-Chair and former U.S. Senator Warren B. Rudman (R-NH).

      “The demographic and fiscal challenges facing Social Security in the years ahead are well known.   What's needed now is a clear commitment to address these issues in a straightforward, generationally equitable and bipartisan manner,” said Concord Co-Chair and former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA).

      “The Concord Coalition strongly supports the creation of individually-owned accounts as part of comprehensive Social Security reform.  But there is no free lunch.  If, as appears likely, the commission proposes the creation of individual accounts, it must ensure that these accounts are honestly funded. Unfunded individually-owned accounts, like unfunded trust fund IOUs, fail to address the key challenges because they neither add to national savings nor reduce the burden of today's system on future generations,” said Concord President and former Commerce Secretary Peter G. Peterson.

      “The commission faces a number of difficult questions for which there are no easy answers.   Achieving consensus around the hard choices that must eventually be made will require open minds and bipartisan cooperation.  Commission Co-Chairs former Senator Daniel P. Moynihan (D-NY) and AOL Time Warner Co-Chief Operating Officer Richard Parsons bring the right combination of government and private sector experience to lead the effort,” said Concord Executive Director Robert L. Bixby.

      Commission member Timothy J. Penny, former Representative from Minnesota, has been a member of The Concord Coalition's Board of Directors since 1994.   The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to balanced federal budgets and generationally responsible fiscal policy.