March 12, 2010
Dear Mr. President, Congressional Leaders, and Commission Co-Chairs:
Generations United, the national membership organization focused solely on improving the lives of children, youth, and older adults through intergenerational solutions and policies, asks the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility to refrain from using the commission to fuel a false sense of competition between the generations. Generations United shares the commission’s aim of reducing the federal debt and balancing the budget, but believes those goals must not come at the expense of unraveling federal investments and supports for the young and the old.
Some vocal commentators assert that it is necessary to cut vital programs like Social Security and Medicaid for the future of our children and our grandchildren. These arguments presuppose that these programs do not benefit children. Generations United urges the commission to use its important role in educating the public to explain the key role Social Security plays in lifting millions of children out of poverty – paying more benefits to children than any other federal program. Generations United questions how our children will benefit from fewer investments as they age and pass through our schools, job market, and into retirement. The best gift we can give our children and grandchildren is a nation with a strong safety net that supports people of all ages.
The best way for the commission to prevent intergenerational conflict is to ensure an open and transparent process. An open process will allow Americans to become more familiar and informed on any potential recommendations from the commission. Individuals and organizations representing a broad segment of society should be offered the opportunity to comment publicly on the available policy options open to the commission.
Please do not hesitate to contact us in the future; we look forward to being a resource to the commission.
Donna M. Butts