FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 24, 2001

Magda Lynn Seymour
Diane S. Witiak
(202) 639-6419

AFGE Condemns Social Security Commission Report

The Only Real Threat To Social Security Is Reckless Politicians

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)--Bobby L. Harnage, National President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), today issued the following statement responding to the interim report issued by President Bush's so-called Commission to Strengthen Social Security:

"The Social Security Trustees, using very conservative estimates, have shown Social Security able to pay all promised benefits for the next 37 years without any changes to the system. And the shortfall over the next 75 years amounts to less than 0.75% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)--hardly a crisis. In 2001, the accumulated surplus in the Trust Fund will top $3 trillion.

"Reckless politicians are the only real threat to Social Security's long-term financial solvency.

"This privatization commission is political payback to Wall Street and insurance companies, who cannot wait to get their hands on billions of dollars in commissions from administering the 150 million or so individual accounts envisioned by the privatizers. They don't care that the retirement eligibility age would have to be raised to 70, and that guaranteed benefits would have to be cut by as much as 50 percent to pay for this scam.

"Social Security provides income support--vital economic security--to 45 million Americans. Social Security is all that keeps 50 percent of our nation's elderly population above the poverty line.

"AFGE will not allow the Bush Administration to get away with dismantling and privatizing our nation's most popular and successful government program."

AFGE is the largest union for government employees, representing 600,000 federal workers in the United States and overseas, as well as employees of the District of Columbia. To learn more about AFGE, log onto www.afge.org.

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The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia. For the latest AFGE news and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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