Today in 1935: The Birth of Social Security

It is projected that we have underfunded our nation’s future Social Security obligation by some $15 trillion and that, come 2017, the program will begin relying partly on debt to make its payouts, not just the taxes collected from our salaries each year.  The program has been screwed around with for 70 years and has gotten very far from its original framework.

On August 14th 1935, FDR signed the Social Security Act into law as a way to make sure that older workers would be comfortable enough to retire and allow for younger generations to take their place in the national workforce.  But a lot has changed over the decades, most notably our life expectancies, demographics, cost of living and an economy that no longer resembles the old factory-driven and agrarian one of the early 20th Century.

Here’s Patricia Hysell on America’s first-ever recipient of Social Security benefits:

Ida May Fuller was the first American to receive a Social Security check. Her check was written for $22.54 and came in the mail on January 31, 1940. The Vermont woman had worked as a legal secretary. She retired in 1939 and had paid in to Social Security for three years with a  total of $24.75 paid into the system over those years. She lived to be 100 years old and collected $22,888.92 in benefits.

For more on the history of the program, head over below.


Insecure (Little Bits of History)

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