President Franklin Roosevelt Signs Historic Social Security Act into Law

AUGUST 14, 2013: On this day in 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, marking the beginning of one of the most successful social programs in world history. Arguably, few public policies have done more to bring about positive change in quality of life in than Social Security.

Prior to Social Security, millions of elderly Americans lived in dire poverty and squalor. While the fight to combat poverty remains some 78 years later, much improvement has been made in the overall health and lives of retired Americans.

One aspect of Social Security, that sets the program apart from similar social retirement programs around the world, is that it is funded entirely through payroll taxes paid by active workers – not through general tax revenues. This not only helps ensure the program’s long-term solvency, but also directly connects workers years of employment and contributions to their benefit.

“We reject the notion that Social Security is broken and needs to be cut back in order to be saved. For instance, moving to a chained CPI, as some have called for, hurts low income retirees who are already struggling to keep up,” said Association President Ralph White. “And, we can’t forget the fight to repeal the WEP and GPO.

“Both the Windfall (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) laws remain among our top priorities. Part of strengthening Social Security is ensuring that everyone receives the benefit that they or their spouse has paid for and earned.”