Press Release
Wednesday, October 02, 2002

WASHINGTON --  Testifying before the Senate Finance Committee's hearing on the final report of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security, Concord Coalition Executive Director, Robert Bixby, blasted the Social Security Do Nothing Plan.

“Changing demographics make the current pay-as-you-go system fiscally unsustainable and generationally inequitable over the long-term. Social Security reform is on the political agenda not because President Bush wants to change the law but because the law must be changed.

 "Suppose that one of your colleagues introduced legislation called 'The Social Security Do Nothing Act.' Under this bill, promised retirement benefits would be cut by 16 percent for today-- s 30-year olds, by 29 percent for today's 20-year olds, and by 35 percent for today's newborns. Alternatively, payroll taxes would suddenly go up by 34 percent in 2041. How many of you would rush to endorse this bill? None, I suspect. And yet, these are the grim choices under the Do Nothing Plan.

 “What is remarkable is not that reform plans engender such heated debate, but that the Do Nothing Plan engenders so little outrage. Worse yet is the fact that no one will have to endure the scrutiny and ridicule of specifically advocating the Do Nothing Plan in order for its absurd consequences to take effect. The Do Nothing Plan has already been enacted. It is current law.

“The question facing you is the same one that faced the Commission ¾ what should be done to undo the Do Nothing Plan? Ultimately it is you, our elected leaders, who must answer this question.”

Bixby's testimony also outlined the Concord Coalition's perspective on the report issued by the President's Commission.

The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grass roots organization dedicated to balanced federal budgets and generationally responsible fiscal policy. Former U.S. Senators Warren Rudman (R-NH) and Bob Kerrey (D-NE) serve as Concord's co-chairs and former Secretary of Commerce Peter Peterson serves as president.

For the full text of Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert Bixby's testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, please click here.

Charts to Accompany Testimony (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)