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ujpris Comision on rot at Tx Reon # Stat Summary ef Long-Term Reform Options PREFACE, he Interim Report of the Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform graphically illus ates the serious economic problem facing America, An aging population and sharp increases in health care spending lead {© unsustainable growth in Federal entitlements Without reform, this deepening problem will jeopardize the Nation’s longterm economic growth and prosperity. That s not the legacy we want to leave our children and grandchildren, The Commission's task is to propose how to reshape that legacy. If we act today, we can ensure that fature generations are not unfairly burdened with today’s debt and spending commitments, we can pro- teet the Social Security and Medicare programs on which so many Ann icans depend, and we can increase the savi and investment needed for all Americans’ future prosperity The November 8 election underscores the importance of the Commission's work. The American people want the truth and a clear sense of national purpose. By agreeing to the Interim Report’s call to action, Commission \embers showed a willingness to present the hard truths to the American people. ‘The next step is to develop specific reform proposals that solve the problems identified in the Int Report. The documents prepared by the Commission's stall describe numerous reform options and estimate their budgetary effects. The documents allow you to choose options reflecting your vision of reform and to see how those choices affect the future. Although the list of options is not exhaustive, it shows the tade-offs required to attain the goals of the Interim Report. The staff documents also demonstrate that the goals of the Commission can be achieved without reducing enurrent be efits or increasing current taxes, In general, the options can take effect after the tum of the century and be phased in gradually — so that Americans who will look to these programs in the future can plan for the changes. As we prepare to recommend changes, itis important to remember that this effort is not solely a mathematical exer ‘The numbers are mere tools for constructing a sound economic foundation that restores confidence in the American dream. The options are not substitutes for broader reform efforts ‘They are steps to devising a comprehensive longterm plan. Most important of all is the fact that options must soon be transformed into real changes that will affect people — and it is their welkbeing we must keep foremost in mind as reform is implemented, Success is possible only if the American people understand the nature of the entitlement problem and how it affects their lives. Our recommendations must tap into the strong sense of con tment Americans feel towand their families and their country. Our actions must reinforce the national purpose of economic growth and improving each American’s quality of life, and must support th of savings, retirement phi amily purpose ning, and enstu ng adequate health care. In developin specific recommendations for change, the Commission must recognize that the privi- lege of being an American entails respor have always responded to a ¢ ibility to future generations and to the ion itself. Americans call to duty. Given the opportunity, they will do so again. Let us begin ‘our deliberations with a profound gratin le for the freedoms and rights we have inherited as Americans, and balance those rights with the responsibility we have assumed for shaping America’s future. hips 1 en J. Robert Ker John C. Danforth Chairman Vice-Chairman