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

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

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Editorial, The New York Times.

[Social Security is] the end of democracy.

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The American Liberty League pamphlet. 1935.

The Senate Finance Committee stands between us and stands between businesses that are almost prostrate, stands between us and destruction, and we feel that we can come to you for support and for protection. You will have no taxes to pay anything with if you do not keep American industry alive, and we have a right to depend on you gentlemen to do it, no matter what propositions, impractical propositions, are brought up.

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

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.