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The White House

Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release September 24, 1998

            Calls on Republicans to Scrap Partisan Tax Scheme

     Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore joined Senate Democratic

Leader Tom Daschle and House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt to urge Republicans to abandon efforts to pass a tax bill that would spend the budget surplus, rather than follow the President's call to save Social Security first.

"Some in the Congressional majority want to squander the surplus on risky and indiscriminate tax schemes, unraveling our hard-won fiscal discipline and abandoning our best chance to strengthen Social Security for our children," said the Vice President, who joined with Congressional Democrats, students, and senior citizens in a rally on the steps of the Capitol.

This week, the House votes on the Republican tax bill that calls for using the first surplus in nearly 30 years for broad tax cuts.

Earlier this year, the Vice President gave the keynote speech at a Social Security Forum in Rhode Island where he reiterated the President's principles for Social Security reform:

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.