Social Security Act of 1935

Social Security Act of 1935

Social Security Act of 1935 established old age insurance for much of the over 60 population. Half of the funds are provided by a payroll tax on workers and half is paid by employers. The act also provided federal unemployment insurance, welfare aid to low-income mothers (later amended to families), funding for individual state assistance to elderly individuals, and various other social insurance provisions.

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.

We believe that this measure, if adopted, means at best an annuity of doubtful value for the aged of the future and unemployment benefit of doubtful value for the normally temporarily unemployed of the future--at the terrific cost of retarding the reemployment of those who are unemployed today.

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John Harrington, general counsel for the Illinois Manufacturing Association. Senate Finance Committee hearings.

In other countries, the problem is handled by taking the necessary sum each year from the current taxes. Otherwise the load would get so big as to be a menace. On the other hand, if industry is burdened with too heavy taxes, the result may be more unemployment in the future, killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

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Harper Sibley, the incoming president of Chamber of Commerce.

This is the largest tax bill in history. And to call it ‘social security’ is a fraud on the workingman…. I am not exaggerating the folly of this legislation. The saving it forces on our workers is a cruel hoax.

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Alf Landon, the 1936 Republican nominee for president.