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

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.

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.

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

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

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.