Would FDR approve of today’s Social Security system? Part 2
April 11th, 2012|
The Great Depression and the stock market crash left many older Americans broke. In a radio broadcast on the third anniversary of the Social Security Act in 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt said :
“Long before the economic blight of the depression descended on the Nation, millions of our people were living in wastelands of want and fear. Men and women too old and infirm to work either depended on those who had but little to share, or spent their remaining years within the walls of a poorhouse.”
Quotations like this one show that FDR intended the Social Security system as an aid for the poor.
But in the 1940s, FDR got busy fighting a war, and Congress took over the program.
When Social Security was run by Congress in the 1940s and early 1950s, it quickly gave up its status as a a contributory system.
For example, a one-earner couple with average wages retiring in 1960 received lifetime benefits equal to nearly 14 times their payroll taxes!
Do you know how the Social Security program survives today?