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GOVERNMENT DEBT, SOCIAL SECURITY SHAKE U.S. FISCAL STABILITY; BESTSELLING AUTHOR-CEO CALLS FOR 'REINVENTING' SOCIAL SECURITY

 CLEVELAND, Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Clinton administration ought to overhaul the "recklessly mismanaged" Social Security system if it is serious about reinventing the federal government, according to the author of a best-selling book on the perils of the soaring federal deficit.
 "If nothing changes, there will be no funds to pay Social Security benefits when the Baby Boom generation retires," warns Harry E. Figgie, Jr., author of The New York Times bestseller Bankruptcy 1995. A ecently released paperback edition features four new chapters, including one that examines the draining of the Social Security system.
 "The 80 million members of the Baby Boom generation -- U.S. citizens in their 30s and 40s -- should be asking themselves whether they will be able to collect the retirement benefits they've been promised, because the answer is 'Probably not,'" cautions Figgie. "The assets in the Social Security fund are projected to fall to zero within 20 to 40 years."
 Figgie is chairman and CEO of the Fortune 500 Figgie International Inc., and former co-chair of the Grace Commission, charged in 1983 by Ronald Reagan to eliminate waste in government. The book is written with Gerald J. Swanson, Ph.D., and published by Little, Brown and Company.
 The true story of Social Security's missing surplus is part of the new evidence Figgie has gathered in his book to show that the government's refusal to control spending, reduce annual deficits, and attack the ballooning national debt will have devastating consequences for the country by the mid-1990s.
 "Get it out of your mind that economic and political collapse can't happen in this country, or that we can deal with it once it happens. It can and will happen here unless we move to stop it now," warns Figgie.
 Figgie and economist Swanson fear that the public may believe that the Clinton administration's so-called "deficit reduction plan" and National Performance Review sufficiently address the problem. "But instead of reducing our deficit, current plans will spur continued deficit increases on the whole -- which will inevitably result in a catastrophic financial breakdown for our country," says Figgie.
 It will happen, he says, because by the mid-1990s, government debt will have "grown beyond our ability to control it through taxation."
 "It would take a 22 percent reduction in government expenditures to bring spending in line with revenues, based on 1993 spending levels," points out Swanson. "The Clinton administration's plan to `reinvent government' proposes an average of just 1.3 percent in spending reductions annually. President Clinton and Congress must make bold changes and prove that they are taking this crisis seriously."
 Figgie and Swanson point out that Clinton's five-year budget plan postpones most spending cuts until late 1996 or 1997. "Even if they do come about, they will have been long since submerged by ever-growing expenditures. Clinton's plan is just more `business as usual' -- taxes now, spending cuts later. And in Washington, later means never," says Swanson.
 "Clinton postponed the most important and urgent spending reforms until 1996 and 1997. The question is: Why not now? When the deficit and debt are our worst national sicknesses, why wait two more years before we get even a minuscule and insulting dose of medicine?"
 Figgie is chairman, chief executive officer and founder of Figgie International, a diversified Fortune 500 operating company with headquarters in Cleveland. In addition to serving as co-chairman of the Grace Commission, Figgie has studied the deficit and how it affects the business environment for over 10 years. He is founder of the Academy for Economic Education, and author of Cutting Costs: An Executive's Guide to Increased Profits. He holds a B.S. in metallurgical engineering, a master's degree in industrial engineering, an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a law degree.
 Swanson is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Arizona and executive director of economic affairs for the Academy of Economic Education in Richmond, Va. He is author of Hyperinflation: Lessons from South America, which was commissioned by Figgie International.
 -0- 11/11/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Figgie and Swanson are available for interviews. Call contact to arrange an interview.
 The paperback edition of Bankruptcy 1995 features new chapters covering the Social Security system, the Clinton administration's shortfalls at addressing the debt crisis, spending cuts Congress ought to consider, and questions and answers. For a copy, contact Cheryl Brady of Dix & Eaton at 216-241-0405.
 Free graphics to accompany this story are available immediately to any media with telephoto receiver or electronic darkroom (PC or Macintosh) that can accept overhead transmissions. To retrieve a graphic, call 214-416-3686. Captions follow.
 1) GRAPH TITLE: Projected Social Security Deficit.
 CAPTION: Social Security's own projections show that, beginning in the year 2017, the amount of money the system pays out in annual benefits will exceed the amount of money it receives in tax revenues. This projection is based on an assumption of continuing moderate growth in the economy. If growth is slower, the system could begin showing a deficit as soon as 1995.
 2) PHOTOGRAPH: Harry E. Figgie, Jr., chairman and founder of Figgie International Inc., a Cleveland-based Fortune 500 company, and author of Bankruptcy 1995./
 /CONTACT: Cheryl Brady or Gary Wells of Dix & Eaton Incorporated, 216-241-0405, for Harry E. Figgie, Jr./


CO: Harry E. Figgie, Jr.; Bankruptcy 1995 ST: Ohio IN: PUB SU: PDT

AR -- CL004 -- 3035 11/11/93 07:30 EST
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Date:Nov 11, 1993
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