Press Release: Critics Of Social Security Commission To Brief Media Friday

Leading experts say Commission’s apparent move to issue “options” instead of plans indicates failure

Leading critics of privatizing Social Security will discuss reports that the President’s Commission will not recommend a full solvency plan, as had been expected, but rather a “menu of options.” According to the Commission, this decision will be the focus of conversation at its fifth meeting on November 9.

Hans Riemer of the Institute for America’s Future will argue that, if reports turn out to be true, the Commission’s failure to produce a single plan reflects a political reality: it is impossible to meet President Bush’s goal of creating private accounts without major benefit cuts. Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities will discuss how the President’s signature tax cut is making it more difficult for the Commission to come up with politically feasible recommendations – and why accelerating the tax cuts would further aggravate this problem. Joan Entmacher of the National Women’s Law Center will discuss why a “menu of options” that does not present trade-offs, is an inadequate resolution of this Commission’s charge.


Hans Riemer, Institute for America’s Future

Robert Greenstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Joan Entmacher, National Women’s Law Center


Friday, November 9
1:00 P.M.
Park Hyatt Hotel
Green Park Room (Upstairs from the main ballroom)

This briefing for reporters will take place while the Commission breaks for lunch.

Reports about the Commission’s impending decision:

Associated Press, November 6
“‘The move from a single plan to a menu of options will be discussed in more detail at Friday’s public meeting in Washington,’ [Commission spokesman Randy] Clerihue said.”

“The move toward options came after two White House meetings, including one last week characterized as an attempt to bring a political reality check to the process.”

Wall Street Journal, October 31
“President Bush’s commission to overhaul Social Security this week was moving toward the idea of offering multiple options for change, instead of a single plan. That could give President Bush more flexibility next year — and give pro-reform candidates more cover.”