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

Do not forget this: such an excessive tax on payrolls is beyond question a tax on employment. In prosperous times it slows down the advance of wages and holds back re-employment. In bad times it increases unemployment, and unemployment breaks wage scales.

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Alf Landon, the 1936 Republican nominee for president.

There is every probability that the cash they pay in will be used for current deficits and new extravagances. We are going to have trouble enough to carry out an economy program without having the Treasury flush with money drawn from the workers…

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Alf Landon, the 1936 Republican nominee for president.

I submit, however, that no man who himself has any practical acquaintance with business processes and methods who is not utterly blinded by partisan political considerations can examine the Securities Act, the Stock Exchange Act, the successive revenue acts in recent years, the Social Security Act, the Public Utilities Act, the Tennessee Valley Authority Act and many of the arbitrary regulations devised under a dozen other recent acts and arrive at any verdict other than they cripple and retard business rather than help revive it. The fact is even so clear that it is hard to keep from wondering if such a result were not actually intended.

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Chamber of Commerce Vice President Philip J. Fay

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.

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.