80 Years Later, Social Security Is Still A Bedrock of Economic Security For American Workers
Eighty years ago today, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. Today, Social Security continues to serve as an essential tool providing economic security for American workers and their families in the event of retirement, disability, or the death of a primary breadwinner.
Some 239 million workers ages 20 and older are insured under the program. Here are just a few numbers showing how essential Social Security has become:
- 60 million: In 2014 alone, Social Security provided benefit payments to nearly 60 million people, including 42 million retired workers and dependents of retired workers, 6 million survivors of deceased workers, and 11 million disabled workers their spouses and their dependents.
- 27 million: Each year the program keeps some 27 million Americans out of poverty.
- 66 percent: Nearly two-thirds of seniors rely on the program for most of their income.
- 80 percent: More than eight in ten disabled workers rely on the program for most of their income.
- 3.4 million: More than 3.4 million children receive vital benefits from the program, making it the largest income security program for children.
Despite the essential role Social Security plays in millions of Americans’ lives, conservatives remain intent on undermining this effective program and cutting its modest benefits through calls for privatization, means-testing, and raising the retirement age. As wage stagnation and income inequality continue to eat away at families’ economic security, calls to cut Social Security are harmful to the millions of hardworking Americans who rightfully earned these benefits, and wildly out of step with what the American people want.
BOTTOM LINE: Now is the time for Congress to strengthen – not cut – Social Security. For the last 80 years, Social Security has been the foundation of economic security for American workers and their families. So join us for a toast to 80 years of Social Security and another 80 years to come!
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