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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 19, 1999


Today, the Social Security Administration announced the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for next year's benefits. This announcement is a reminder that for over sixty years, Social Security has been a cornerstone of American national policy that has enabled generations of Americans to retire with dignity. Each year, millions of disabled and elderly Americans are lifted out of poverty by Social Security. As a result, poverty rates among the elderly are at the lowest level ever recorded. The cost of living adjustment announced today ensures that Social Security benefits will continue to be an essential part of retirement and family security for all Americans.

This year, we have an historic opportunity to protect and strengthen Social Security, securing it for future generations of retirees. At a minimum, we should agree on a down payment on reform by passing a Social Security lockbox that extends the life of Social Security to about 2050 and pays down the debt by 2015. I remain committed to working with Congress to move forward in this area.