Social Security’s 75th Anniversary: A Moment To Rejoice! :)

Social Security reached 75 years old today, and it is a time to rejoice! πŸ™‚

Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed through this landmark legislation as part of the Second New Deal, and it is often thought to be the greatest single accomplishment of the many attributed to FDR during his 12 years plus as President!

Not only did it give dignity and a source of security to the elderly, but it also protected widows, orphans, and the handicapped, which many Americans today are not aware of!

It took us to 1935, long after Germany, France and Great Britain had developed a system of protection of the elderly and the needy, to accomplish this legislation!

It made getting older something that was not dreaded, but appreciated!

Social Security has never missed a payment to anyone, and it has been a tremendous success, and yet there are many younger Americans who are convinced that the system will disappear before they reach the age of entitlement!

That will NOT happen, but obviously, there will have to be reform of Social Security, due to the large baby boom generation now retiring, and the fact that now there are only two to three workers for every recipient, while it was more like 9-1 back then in the early years of the reform.

We have already had one extension in the age of full benefits from 65 to 66 and 67 based on birth year, and it is obvious that it will have to be extended for the long term to older ages of 68, 69, and 70, based on decade of birth.

Also, the amount of income, on which social security taxes will be assessed, will have to rise as well, to all income, as is the case with Medicare!

But this successful program cannot be allowed to disappear or collapse, so eventually, measured reform as in 1983 will be enacted!

As a scholar on FDR and the New Deal, this is a moment to hail both the program and the President who saw what was needed, and brought it about so skillfully!

So let’s salute the anniversary and the President who transformed this country in so many ways, but most importantly in the area of Social Security! πŸ™‚

One comment on “Social Security’s 75th Anniversary: A Moment To Rejoice! :)

  1. Isaiah Christo August 15, 2010 4:10 pm

    Hi Professor,
    As I read your column I wonder how you arrive at the conclusion that social security is such a success. Recipients who paid into the system receive a small percentage of their own money. Many recipients have never paid anything into the system. You’ve stated that the retirement age much be increased steadily to counteract the number of baby-boomers retiring. And you’ve stated that the recipient/payer ration has disintegrated from 9/1 down to 3/1 and continues to disintegrate. For me, when I read the numbers, I read a description of a great Ponzi scheme. Pyramid in structure, it seems doomed by mathematics to fail. When you write that “this will never happen,” what do you mean ?
    Isaiah Christo

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