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President Roosevelt signs Social Security Act on Aug. 14, 1935.
On August 14, 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, the foundation upon which the nation's social insurance guarantee to its citizens was built. A brilliant system, Social Security was designed so that everyone would contribute and everyone would receive. It was given a dedicated source of revenue, and has never contributed to the deficit. It's also saved millions from abject poverty. Like it's doing now.

More than 60 million retired and disabled people are receiving Social Security. It provides more than half the monthly income for nearly 78 percent of those people. And it has kept a third of those people out of poverty.

Without Social Security, 21.4 million more Americans would be poor, according to the latest available Census data (for 2011). Although most of those whom Social Security keeps out of poverty are elderly, nearly a third are under age 65, including 1.1 million children. [...]

Almost 90 percent of people aged 65 and older receive some of their family income from Social Security. Without Social Security benefits, 43.6 percent of elderly Americans would have incomes below the official poverty line, all else being equal; with Social Security benefits, only 8.7 percent do. These benefits lift some 14.5 million elderly Americans—including 8.7 million women—above the poverty line. [...]

Social Security is important for children and their families as well as for the elderly. About 6 million children under age 18 (8 percent of all U.S. children) lived in families that received income from Social Security in 2011, according to Census data. This figure includes children who received their own benefits as dependents of retired, disabled, or deceased workers, as well as those who lived with parents or relatives who received Social Security benefits. In all, Social Security lifts 1.1 million children out of poverty.

The Economic Policy Institute has more on the necessity of Social Security for the vast majority of Americans. Only the wealthy, EPI has found, can count on having enough income from private retirement accounts for financial security in old age.
In 2010, households whose income was in the middle fifth percentile of incomes had, on average, only $34,981 in individual retirement savings, while households in the top fifth of incomes averaged $308,674. Other than high-income households, who receive most of the federal subsidies for IRAs and 401(k)s, virtually no one has enough savings to generate substantial retirement income. Social Security wealth and retirement income, on the other hand, are broadly shared.
Social Security is essential. It has been for eight decades and will be even more so in the next few, as the nation lurches out of the Great Recession. It shouldn't be made a bargaining chip, it should be made a lure to try to make Republicans do the fiscally responsible thing.

It should be strengthened to last at least another 78 years.

Please join with Daily Kos and CREDO in telling the Senate to strengthen Social Security by INCREASING benefits.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 01:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (37+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 01:23:37 PM PDT

  •  I signed up yesterday for survivor's benefits. (6+ / 0-)

    It took only 20 minutes and the folks were very nice and well organized.  There must have been trouble in the past however,  since there were lots of signs with the "rules" posted and there was locked access and a security guard.

    I can follow the process on line, too.

    If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. &

    by weck on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 02:02:57 PM PDT

    •  Social security must be defended against (6+ / 0-)

      attacks, as millions depend on it, as the late Joe Glazer tells us in song:

    •  Congratulations! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weck, OooSillyMe

      I have been on disability since a devastating motorcycle accident in 2006.  

      I could not have survived were it not for the benefits that Social Security provides, premiums for which I paid all my working life.  Same is true of all others who worked for a living.

      And the GOP, naturally, wants to kill the whole thing by "privatizing it", which means sending it down the rathole where one might find Enron and the tattered shambles of Bernie Madoff's "empire".

      The GOP will always be the snake in the grass on this--the fight to preserve (and expand) Social Security will go on  as long as there are reptiles on the earth.

      I'm not sixty-two—I'm fifty-twelve!

      by Pragmatus on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 05:21:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Somewhere, Rand Paul is fidgeting nervously (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    equern, Pragmatus, Skanner

    It must be rough for libertarians, being confronted daily with a redistributionist government program that helps so many people.

  •  I started getting Social Security a couple months (7+ / 0-)

    ago and it's been a blessing.  I worked hard to balance my budget on just my (public employee) pension and some retirement savings.  Now, I get to donate to causes and just purchased a NN 14 registration (the first time I'll be able to go).

    Take the cap off contributions and make the Wall Street crowd finally pay in and Social Security will be solvent forever and be able to increase benefits so those on SS alone won't need to depend on food stamps or other programs to live.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:55:39 PM PDT

    •  Yes! Yes! Yes! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Puddytat, OooSillyMe

      The solution to SS solvency has been with us all along.

      Lloyd Blankfein pays .0007% of his multi-multi million dollar salary to support Social Security.  The man/women who cleans his office at night pays 7.6% of his minimum wage salary in FICA taxes.

      Wake up America.  Time to see the "job creator" myth for what it is--a crock of Cheney.

      I'm not sixty-two—I'm fifty-twelve!

      by Pragmatus on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 05:25:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reminder (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        He pays only on his SALARY, not his bonuses or Wall Street Investments.  And folks who make their money on Wall Street as investors, don't pay a penny because they don't make "earned income".  Ditto Paris Hilton - not a penny in Social Security or Medicare because hers is "investment income" or inheritance and not "earned income".

        You, I and every person who "earns" a paycheck under $113,000 per year pays on every earned dollar.  

        Sweet deal for the rich, invested, and inheritors.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

        by Puddytat on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 09:20:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I brought you a present. It's all shiny and called (0+ / 0-)

    Chained CPI!  It's just what you never wanted!

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:56:06 PM PDT

  •  FDR was born rich (5+ / 0-)

    and died in harness insisting that no one would starve, anywhere.

  •  Thanks Joan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 04:58:58 PM PDT

  •  What's the NET Fed subsidy for retirement (0+ / 0-)


    Other than high-income households, who receive most of the federal subsidies for IRAs and 401(k)s,
     While employee contributions to such accounts are deductible from AGI to some extent at the front end, the distributions are partially taxable on the back end.  Though in theory retirees hope that their total income is low enough at that time so the distributions are taxable at lower rates.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 05:08:01 PM PDT

  •  Saw this earlier: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder, OooSillyMe

    Republicans say too many Americans receive food stamps, and that too many of them obtain benefits fraudulently when they could just get jobs instead.

    The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's enrollment has risen from 26 million in 2005 to 47 million today, pushing its annual cost to nearly $80 billion -- but costs would be much higher if everyone eligible for benefits actually received them. In fact, contrary to the idea that America's poor people are collectively gorging themselves on food stamps, they're actually leaving food on the table.

    Roughly a quarter of Americans eligible for federal nutrition assistance don't sign up for it, according to the most recent data. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, says that in fiscal 2010 nearly 51 million Americans were poor enough to qualify but only 38 million received benefits.

    So why don't the rest enroll?

    "There are many humorous things in the world, among them the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages." Mark Twain

    by sceptical observer on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 05:24:53 PM PDT

  •  It's Amazing The Issues And Appointments (0+ / 0-)

    On which President Obama won't capitulate.  

    Van Jones?  Gone.
    Susan Rice?  Gone.
    Elizabeth Warren?  Gone to the Senate.
    Single Payer.  Gone.
    Large enough stimulus.  Gone.
    Raising tax rates on those receiving annual income over over $250,000?  Gone.

    Larry Summers for Fed Chair?  Cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits?  President Obama fighting for them to the end.

    Why is it the only time President Obama gets his back up and fights for any policy or anyone, it's against the working class, the Democratic Party's base?  Meanwhile he caters to and kisses the asses of John Boehner and MItch McConnell.

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 05:27:32 PM PDT

  •  That's Another Point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OooSillyMe, Skanner

    FDR was considered a traitor to his class because he fought for an implemented policies that directly helped the working class.

    President Obama, who was raised in a working class family is a traitor to his class.

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Wed Aug 14, 2013 at 05:32:28 PM PDT

  •  Teabag Nation is committed to killing SS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OooSillyMe, Skanner

    and Medicare/Medicaid  too.

    This point needs to be hammered 24/7/365/

  •  Social Security Tax and increase in Benefits Now ! (0+ / 0-)

    You owe us.....Big Time !!! So, A-Give us the raise in Benefits and B-Doing away with the cap on income subject to the Social Security Tax !! The poor have been supporting the Obscenely Wealthy for much too long !! It's pathetic the way this country has been ignoring the fact that if you don't make them pay their fair share of taxes, the infrastructure is gone to hell, only the rich can afford college, you're leaving nothing to all the generations to come but one hell of a mess. So get off your fat lazy asses and Do The Right Thing-Tax the Hell out of the OBSCENELY WEALTHY !!!

  •  Larry Summers and The Dems (0+ / 0-)

    I'm sure you all remember Nancy Reagan's famous words.....Just Say No !!

  •  SS (0+ / 0-)

    I worked and contributed for over 40 years.. I'm owed.

    •  ...yes you are owed... (0+ / 0-)

      ...and, if you live for a good 20 years more you'll get more than you put it. The stats are true for anyone that retired prior to longer. When I retire (which I can't imagine being ever able to afford to do), I'll get back less money for SS than I contributed...but dems da breaks...

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

      by paradise50 on Sun Aug 18, 2013 at 01:43:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it's not just SS that's keeping seniors out (0+ / 0-)

    of poverty. It's Medicare too, if they can survive to 65 to get it.  I just had a badly needed surgery that was billed at $79,000 for someone with no insurance.  Medicare paid every dime of the negotiated price, roughly 10 percent of that.  I could have afforded the negotiated price though it would have hurt but not the billed price.  

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