**MEDIA ADVISORY** Preventing the Next Bailout

Ripon Society to Hold Bully Pulpit Policy Conference on Looming Pension Crisis Next Thursday, April 29th, at 11:30

Speakers include Sen. Johnny Isakson, Rep. John Kline and Rep. Pat Tiberi

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Ripon Society will hold a “Bully Pulpit” Policy Conference nextThursday, April 29, 2010, focusing on the next major financial crisis looming on the American horizon — the crisis facing pension funds.

Entitled “Preventing the Next Bailout,” the conference will be held from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm in the Eisenhower Room of the Capitol Hill Club, located at 300 First Street, SE, in Washington, DC.  The conference will feature speeches by three Members of Congress who have called for pension reform, followed by a panel of experts who will discuss the challenges facing the Nation and some of the reforms that have been proposed in this regard.

The speakers and panelists include:


U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (GA)
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee

U.S. Rep. John Kline (MN-2)
Ranking Member
Committee on Education and Labor

U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi (OH-12)
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures
Committee on Ways & Means


The Honorable Jim McCrery (Moderator)
Former Ranking Member, Committee on Ways & Means
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1989-2009
Partner, Capitol Counsel LLC

Andrew G. Biggs
Resident Scholar
American Enterprise Institute

Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Director, Center for Employment Policy
Hudson Institute

Gregory Dean
Chief Counsel
U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Background on the issue:  America is coming out of the Great Recession.  But a new crisis is looming on the horizon – the Nation’s pension funds are being squeezed.  In Washington, the agency that oversees pension plans – the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation – is wading in a sea of rising red ink, recording a deficit that nearly doubled from $11.15 billion in 2008 to $21.95 billion in 2009.  The Hudson Institute reports that only 35 percent of private pension plans in the U.S. are considered to be well funded, and only 17 percent of multi-employer pensions are considered to be well funded.  And a recent study by the Pew Center on the States found there to be a $1 trillion gap between the amount of money states have set aside to pay employees’ retirement benefits and the $3.35 trillion price tag of those promises to current and retired workers.  There are currently 38 million senior citizens in the United States.  With that number expected to nearly double in the next 20 years, the crisis facing America’s pension plans will only deepen unless something is done today.

Background on The Ripon Society:  The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 — Ripon, Wisconsin.  One of the main goals of the Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s past success.  These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.  For more information on the Ripon Society, please visit