Today, August 14th marks the 80th anniversary of Social Security. Originally enacted by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a program to combat poverty among senior citizens and stimulate growth in the face of the Great Depression, there has been no greater anti-poverty program in American history.
“Social Security is a terrific example of the American social compact working. By guaranteeing retirement insurance to workers, we can ensure our citizens age with dignity and are provided with an economic security that is deserved by those who have contributed to society over the course of their careers,” said Morris Pearl, Chairperson of the Patriotic Millionaires.
As the political battle for the presidency continues to heat up, we expect to be hearing the candidates on both sides of the aisle address the program and potential fixes to it’s long-term sustainability. While the rhetoric may become fierce, there is a simple truth that must be told, acknowledged, and internalized by every potential voter in this country:
Social Security now keeps over 15 million senior citizens out of poverty and serves as the sole source of income for nearly one in four recipients.
Without Social Security, the economic security of our senior citizens will be in jeopardy. The last thing that our fragile economic recovery needs would be a spike in seniors losing their ability to afford food, housing, and other basic necessities.
So Social Security: Happy 80th Birthday! The Patriotic Millionaires wish you many, many more.
And a heartfelt thank you to President Roosevelt for having the foresight to create a program that strengthens our country. We need courageous leaders like you now more than ever.