National Committee President/CEO Barbara Kennelly?s Statement on Failure to Issue a Fiscal Commission Report

?In spite of months of deliberations in a process that appeared intent on reducing the deficit by cutting Social Security, the fiscal commission has failed to reach a consensus on a plan.I?m not surprised given that this fiscal debate spent so much time on the wrong track. Working Americans, who continue to suffer in this economic crisis, want fiscal sanity returned to Washington. However, they also know that Social Security isn?t the problem. Unfortunately, it?s clear that many in Washington will continue to search for a way to reduce Social Security benefits in order to avoid repaying the $2.6 trillion dollars in bonds currently credited to Social Security. That is not fiscal responsibility — that?s $2.6 trillion dollars contributed to Social Security by America?s workers that Washington?s fiscal hawks want to keep.If anything good has come from this commission effort, it?s that the root causes of our fiscal woes have been identified. The commission has begun the process of examining how we can rein in our debt and deficits, which are by definition outside the Social Security portion of the budget. This is where our future efforts must begin.Moving forward, National Committee members believe that Congress must stay focused on reducing the deficit while remembering that today?s middle-income workers are tomorrow?s retirees. Given the economic challenges millions of Americans face now and into the future, it?s clear that preserving and strengthening Social Security benefits should be Washington?s only goal for this program.??Barbara B. Kennelly, President/CEO