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January 20, 1999

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...With these four measures -- saving Social Security, strengthening Medicare, establishing USA accounts, and the long-term tax credit -- we can begin to meet the historic responsibility of our generation to establish true security for 21st Century senior citizens.

President Bill Clinton
1999 State of the Union

Today, President Clinton, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and Tipper Gore travel to Buffalo where the President will discuss the challenges that lay ahead of us as we move into the 21st Century. The President will discuss his framework for ensuring the long-term solvency of the Social Security program, strengthening Medicare, and initiatives to help Americans save for their retirement.

A Presidential Call To Meet The Challenges Of The 21st Century. The policies of the Clinton-Gore Administration and the hard work of the American people have led to six years of strong economic growth and expanded opportunity for more Americans. President Clinton is challenging us to seize this unique opportunity to meet the great challenges that face us as we begin the 21st Century.

Strengthening And Preserving Social Security, Medicare And Retirement Savings. In this time of prosperity, we must address the challenge of an aging America:

  • Saving Social Security Now. The President is proposing that we commit 62 percent of the budget surpluses over the next 15 years to Social Security, while investing a small portion of that in the private sector. By following the President's plan, we will keep Social Security sound for the next 55 years. The President would like to work on a bi-partisan basis to extend solvency for 75 years, reduce poverty among elderly women, and eliminate the limits on what seniors on Social Security can earn;
  • Strengthening Medicare. President Clinton proposes reserving 15 percent of the budget surplus over the next 15 years to strengthen the Medicare system. By doing so, we will not only ensure Medicare will be sound until 2020, but also increase the likelihood of achieving bi-partisan reform, including coverage for seniors' greatest need -- prescription drugs;
  • Encouraging Americans To Save And Invest From Their First Day On The Job. Last night, President Clinton proposed that we use 11 percent of the surplus -- more than $500 billion, to establish Universal Savings Accounts -- USA Accounts -- to give all Americans the means to save. With these new accounts, Americans can invest as they choose and receive funds to match a portion of their savings;
  • Investing In Long-Term Care. The President supports a tax credit of $1,000 for the aged, ailing, or disabled and the families who care for them.

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