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March 8, 2005
Contact: Bill Lacy, Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, (785) 864-4900.

Dole Institute, KU Gerontology Center event focuses on Social Security reform

LAWRENCE --The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics and the Gerontology Center at the University of Kansas will present a panel discussion on Social Security reform at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 14, at the institute. The event is free and open to the public.

" This won't be your garden variety Social Security discussion," said Jonathan Earle, associate director of the institute. "Since his election victory, President George W. Bush has crisscrossed the nation claiming Social Security was in crisis. It's not the first time -- 22 years ago a bipartisan coalition led by senators Bob Dole and Daniel Patrick Moynihan saved Social Security with a combination of payroll tax increases and spending reforms. We have developed a different way to look at whether we're in a similar situation today and, if so, what our leaders in Washington can do about it."

The panelists will use Dole's 1983 deal on Social Security as a backdrop to focus on the current situation. The panelists will include Carolyn Weaver, who at the time was Dole's point person on Social Security and was central to brokering the compromise; Syracuse University professor Eric Kingson, author of "Social Security in the 21st Century"; and University of Missouri-Kansas City political scientist Max Skidmore, author of "Social Security and Its Enemies: The Case of America's Most Efficient Insurance Program." David Ekerdt, director of the KU Gerontology Center, will moderate.

Local Social Security Administration representative Norman Franker also will be on hand to answer questions about the program.

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, established in 1997 to honor the former Kansas senator and KU alumnus, is designed to foster new thinking on major policy issues and to encourage student participation and citizen involvement in public service. The Dole archives contain one of the nation's largest congressional collections.

Located on KU's West Campus near the Lied Center, the institute features a Visitors Hall, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, call (785) 864-4900 or visit www.doleinstitute.org.

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The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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