On August 14, 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. It was intended to guarantee an income for the unemployed and retirees. FDR commended Congress for what he considered to be a “patriotic” act. The President had taken the helm of the country in 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression, the nation’s worst economic crisis. The Social Security Act was a part of the “New Deal” programs, including the establishment of the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps, were intended to help Americans out of the Great Depression.
In his public statement that day, FDR expressed concern for “young people [who] have come to wonder what would be their lot when they came to old age” as well as those who had employment but no job security. Although he acknowledged that “we can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life,” he hoped the act would prevent senior citizens from ending up impoverished. In other words it was initially created to combat unemployment.
Today Social Security functions primarily as a safety net for retirees and the disabled, and provides death benefits to taxpayer dependents. But not much longer. In last year’s Trustees Report, the Social Security Administration warned that the program’s trust fund was likely to run out of money in 2036, leading to deep cuts in benefits. If that weren’t bad enough for anyone expecting to be alive by then, a more recent projection from the Congressional Budget Office is much worse.
This year’s CBO report forecasts that by the end of this decade, the combined Social Security Old Age and Disability Trust Funds will be about $800 billion smaller than last year’s projections. That’s a very substantial drop — and a sign that this year’s Trustees Report will likely bring another downward revision to the year it expects those Trust Funds to dry up and benefits to be cut.
Government is broken and the free market really isn’t free. We want more but do not have the jobs to pay for everything people want. We have become a nation of dependance partly from government encourages it and partly because of the loss of jobs where people can earn a livable income.
Psalm 146 says,
Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
Don’t depend on social nn-security, or the government’s plan for healthcare, or even mail delivery on Saturdays. Be a wise saver, a generous giver, and a person of faith and character – these are the things that you can depend on.