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Brief History of Social Security

Peter Suciu, a Michigan based writer, contributes an interesting piece here in The National Interest.  In August 1935 President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.  It created a program that would pay monthly benefits to retired workers starting at age 65 or older funded by a payroll tax required by employers to withhold from employee wages.  From 1935 to 1940, the government actually paid Americans their benefits via a single lump-sum payment.  The purpose was to help individuals by giving back some of the money that they had put into the system, and most of those were people who would not be contributing long enough due to age or other work-related reasons.  The amounts paid out were paltry, with the first-ever social security check at just $0.17.  Ida Fuller was the first person to receive a monthly benefit.  Her first check was for $22.54.  Suciu further explains the establishment of cost of living increases, the different retirement ages, and taxes in this informative piece.  Read it in full here.




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