Contact: Louise Filkins
Phone: (202) 419-1820

WASHINGTON, DC — The Independent Women’s Forum applauds President Bush’s State of the Union address, in which he restated his commitment to Social Security reform and achieving a stable, democratic Iraq.

“President Bush challenged Congress to consider the world we want our children to live in,” says Carrie Lukas, director of policy of the Independent Women’s Forum. “It would be irresponsible to put off addressing problems that we know are coming, like Social Security’s pending financial shortfall. We need to take action and create a sustainable system that provides a healthy return for younger workers.”

In his address last night, the President described the financial problems Social Security faces. In just 10 years, “the program” will begin running a deficit which will grow with each year. Without reform, Social Security recipients face a cut in benefits and/or an increase in payroll taxes.

“President Bush painted a vision of a system in which all workers have the opportunity to save and invest a portion of their payroll taxes,” adds Lukas. “All members of Congress participate in such a program right now — it’s called the Thrift Savings Plan. It’s time for all Americans to have the opportunity to build a nest egg of their own.”

The President also restated America’s commitment to ensuring a stable, democratic Iraq and highlighted the important milestone represented by Sunday’s vote in Iraq, where roughly 60 percent of the Iraqi people risked their lives to vote.

“We are all humbled by the bravery of the Iraqi people,” says Lukas. “It is a tribute to their dedication and desire for freedom that so many men and women went to the polls.”