Sunday, August 15, 2010

Social Security Turns 75

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, announces the Social Security Act of 1935 on August 14, 1935.

It's 75 years old! Social Security has been providing a safety net for Americans since that day when FDR signed it into law as part of his Second New Deal.

Today, estimates say that 2/5 elderly Americans are kept out of poverty because of social security. The program has certainly never been without controversy, but it, I think, for the most part does what it was designed to do. Provide that safety net for those who most need it.

I will be retiring somewhere in the neighborhood of 2030-2035 (if the ticker keeps ticking). I am currently saving in other ways for my retirement, but I know that I will likely have my social security as a safety net. It creates a peace of mind knowing that it will supplement what I save.

Thank you to Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, to FDR himself, and to the Congress that passed the act. The system continues to pay off for elderly and disabled Americans 75 years (and one day) after it was created.

As an aside, Ida May Fuller was the first recipient of a Social Security Check. She is proudly pictured holding the check. Now, things are done pretty much by direct deposit, but I can tell you that my mom still enjoys her "pay day" even though she is unable to work due to her health issues.

The look on Mrs. Fuller's face makes me smile because I see that same look on my mother's face on her "pay day" as well. A government should take care of those that need to be taken care of. It's moral and right and good.

President Obama celebrated Social Security yesterday in his weekly address.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, SS - one of those "socialist" innovations, right?

The Republican Tea Party people I know of never turn down their Social Security checks or their unemployment checks.

But the Democratic Party which historically has provided programs like these to keep people out of dire poverty is accused of "socialism."

I am an old-timer going back to the Eisenhower days. As they say, nothing ever changes under the sun.

The "elephants" (GOP) never change their spots - that is if they had spots. Maybe not, but, like the elephants - they sure produce a lot of crap.