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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 17, 2003
President Commends the Social Security Board of Trustees
On the 2003 Report of the Social Security Trustees
I commend the Social Security Board of Trustees for their hard work on their annual report.
As in last year's report, the Trustees confirmed that benefits for today's seniors are safe and secure. Promises made can and will be kept. The Trustees also once again have delivered a sobering message -- Social Security, in its present form, is unsustainable for the long term. I share the Trustees' view that we need to explore new ways to ensure that Social Security remains strong and financially secure for America's children and grandchildren.
I am encouraged by the unprecedented level of bipartisan interest in Social Security modernization. Many comprehensive proposals have been put forward to strengthen Social Security for the long term. Although these proposals differ in details, they are consistent in showing that if we give workers the opportunity to invest a portion of their wages in personal accounts, Social Security will be able to offer higher benefits than would otherwise be the case.
To repeat what I told Congress in the State of the Union address this year: "As we continue to work together to keep Social Security strong and reliable, we must offer younger workers a chance to invest in retirement accounts that they will control and they will own."
Social Security protects beneficiaries with disabilities, retirees, widows, and widowers. It also affects the lives of millions of taxpaying workers, the beneficiaries of tomorrow. As the report makes clear, Social Security faces long term problems that demand bipartisan solutions.
I hope that Members of Congress will join with the Social Security Administration and other interested parties in a national dialogue about how best to strengthen and protect Social Security. I look forward to working with Congress to see that Social Security remains sound and strong for today's and tomorrow's retirees.