Social Security: On Thin Financial Ice Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Government Type: Essay Paper: #82234366 Related Topics: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Payroll, Social Welfare, Social Worker

Excerpt from Essay :

Social Security

The Original Concept of Social Security

The concept of social security as originally conceived by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was that Americans should enjoy security at home, and they should expect to have a secure livelihood, and they should also have social insurance as "…a minimum of the promise that we can offer to the American people" (Houser, et al., 2014). The President also said, on June 8, 1934, that a social security program would provide relief and recovery from the Great Depression, and would help people reconstruct their lives, Houser writes on page 150.

It should be explained that at the time Roosevelt was elected there were millions of Americans that were financially destitute, especially older Americans. Houser writes that about half of Americans older than 55 years of age "…were destitute and unemployed with little hope of changing their situation" (150). On June 28, 1934, Roosevelt's fireside chat included a pitch to Americans that the road to recovery after the Great Depression should include new legislation that would use "…the agencies of government to assist in the establishment of means" in order to offer "adequate protection against the vicissitudes of modern life" (Houser, 150). Clearly Roosevelt was opening the door to a law that would help provide insurance that is social in nature.

The next day, June 29, 1934, Roosevelt established the Committee on Economic Security (CES), and this committee was do offer suggestions for new legislation by December 1, 1934 (Houser, 151). The author makes clear that at this time in American history the public had "negative associations" with


On November 14, 1934, Roosevelt assured the American people that social security would not be "charity," and that it must be financed "by contributions, not taxes"; so he was assuring the public that no new taxes would be implemented and that the social security money would come from payroll taxes (Houser, 152). In that same speech Roosevelt explained that several other advanced countries had already established social insurance programs, and that they were working well (Houser, 152).

On August 14, 1935, thanks to the lobbying by President Roosevelt and his Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, the President signed the Social Security Act into law. There was still one more hurdle to overcome and that was for the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the law as constitutional, which it did shortly thereafter (Houser, 154).

What about the Viability of Social Security -- and the Politics of Social Security?

Because the growth rate of the labor force has been declining "sharply" and life expectancy is "rising" in the United States, it raises doubts about the system's viability" (Brooks, et al., 2005). Some economists say that the social security system cannot continue as it is currently configured. Brooks (46) explains that there are two essential questions that must be addressed before then can be a consensus on how to made the system secure for the long haul. One, is the U.S. government obligated to continue sending money to…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). (2012). The Future of Social Security:

12 Proposals You Should Know About. Retrieved December 26, 2014, from

Brooks, R., and Razin, A. (2005). Social Security Reform: Financial and Political Issues in International Perspective. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press

Houser, K.A., and Rosacker, R.E. (2014). A Fireside Chat on the Foundations of Social
Social Security. Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved December 26, 2014, from

Cite this Document:

"Social Security On Thin Financial Ice" (2014, December 26) Retrieved March 31, 2023, from

"Social Security On Thin Financial Ice" 26 December 2014. Web.31 March. 2023. <>

"Social Security On Thin Financial Ice", 26 December 2014, Accessed.31 March. 2023,

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