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Office of the Vice President

For immediate Release July 1, 1998
                        VICE PRESIDENT GORE 

Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore discussed the future of retirement today at the second in a series of Social Security Forums sponsored by the Concord Coalition and the American Association of Retired Persons.

"Especially in this new time of opportunity, there is no more sacred obligation than to care for our parents and help them live every day to its fullest," Vice President Gore said. "That is why saving Social Security is about more than budgets, it is about our deepest values. I look forward to learning more today about how we can protect those values for all generations in the 21st Century."

Today's forum, in Cranston, RI, comes in response to President Clinton's call for a national dialogue on protecting Social Security. Other elected officials on hand were Sens. John Chafee (R-RI) and Jack Reed (D-RI), and Reps. Mark Sanford (R-SC) and Charlie Rangel (D-NY). The Vice President also participated by satellite in four town hall meetings on Social Security held by House Members in their districts -- Reps. Bob Filner (D-CA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Chris Shays (R-CT), and Karen Thurman (D-FL).

In his remarks, the Vice President reiterated the principles that the President enumerated at the first Social Security forum in Kansas City:

Strengthen and protect Social Security for the 21st Century. This principle establishes the Administration's overall goal in reforming Social Security and warns against proposals that are not comprehensive solutions to the solvency problem.

Maintain universality and fairness. This principle is designed to ensure progressivity and preclude an option for individuals to opt out of the system (which would unduly benefit upper-income Americans).

Provide a benefit people can count on. This principle precludes radical privatization, which would undermine Social Security as a foundation of retirement income security.

Preserve financial security for low-income and disabled beneficiaries. This principle highlights disability and survivors' insurance and protection for low-income widows and other beneficiaries who are often overlooked in reform discussions.

Sustain fiscal discipline. This principle is designed to ensure that Social Security's surpluses are not drained before the Administration and Congress address Social Security reform, and that we maintain fiscal discipline to prepare for the retirement of the baby boom generation.