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.


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

August 14, 2010

Cry Wolf Quotes

Business and industry are already operating under heavy burdens: and that old –age insurance would cause more unemployment.

Allen Treadway (R-Mass), the ranking minority member of the Ways and Means committee.

[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.

Republican statement on the Ways and Means committee vote.

Unfortunately, the measure is in some respects ill-considered. It’s constitutionality is by no means certain: if the Federal Government may compel the states to adopt unemployment insurance under the guise of a tax, why may it not similarly compel them to adopt any other sort of legislation

Editorial, The New York Times.

[Social Security is] the end of democracy.

The American Liberty League pamphlet. 1935.

Related Laws and Rules


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.