Social Security

Social Security

Social Security is one of the centerpieces of America's social safety net. It was created in 1935 by the Social Security Act (unemployment insurance and welfare were also instituted by this law).  Social Security is a federally administered and funded insurance program to alleviate poverty among the elderly. Social Security functions as a contributory system wherein workers and their employers contribute taxes to the program throughout their working lives, and are then able to utilize the fund upon retirement. The Social Security Act has been expanded and amended over the years.

Commentary

Lessons from FDR: When the Right Cries Wolf, Bite Back

August 14, 2010

Cry Wolf Quotes

The Form and nature of the old-age insurance plan, is very questionable; the whole matter should have received careful study by an expert commission. It would mean an added tax burden equal to nearly half of the existing total Federal tax burden.

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Editorial, The New York Times.

The actual fact will be, in almost every case, that the whole tax will be borne either by the employe [sic] or by the consumer through higher prices. That is the history of all such taxes. This is because the tax is imposed in such a way that, if the employer is to stay in business, he must shift the tax to some one else.

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Alf Landon, the 1936 Republican nominee for president.

The Social Security Bill will add 6 percent to the labor cost of doing business. No one with the slightest familiarity with economic principals can believe that the total cost of this will be born solely by employers; it must be shared by labor and consumers.

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Editorial, The New York Times.

[Social Security will ] impose a crushing burden on industry and labor [and] establish a bureaucracy in the field of insurance in competition with private business.

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Republican statement on the Ways and Means committee vote.

Related Laws and Rules

Resources

Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) is a progressive think tank that concentrates on social and economic policy, both domestic and international.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is a think tank focused on tax and fiscal policy. They provide in-depth analysis of state issues.