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

Never in the history of the world has any measure been brought in here so insidiously designed so as to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers, and to prevent any possibility of the employers providing work for the people.

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Representative John Taber (R-NY)

[Social Security is] the end of democracy.

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The American Liberty League pamphlet. 1935.

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.

We are creating an enormous bureaucracy to take care of problem the magnitude and significance of which we really do not understand…. This is a problem so far-reaching, so important, and so long in duration that it should not be as an emergency measure, without the opportunity for review and consideration, so as to minimize the inevitable tinkering that will come.

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Elon H. Hooker, president of the Manufacturing Chemists Association. Senate Finance Committee hearings.

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.