quotations about social security
The program for social security that is now pending before the Congress is a necessary part of the future unemployment policy of the government. While our present and projected expenditures for work relief are wholly within the reasonable limits of our national credit resources, it is obvious that we cannot continue to create governmental deficits for that purpose year after year after year. We must begin now to make provision for the future and that is why our social security program is an important part of the complete picture. It proposes, by means of old-age pensions, to help those who have reached the age of retirement to give up their jobs and thus give to the younger generation greater opportunities for work and to give to all, old and young alike, a feeling of security as they look toward old age.
FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, fireside chat on social security, April 28, 1935
Socialism is a scareword they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years. Socialism is what they called public power. Socialism is what they called social security. Socialism is what they called farm price supports. Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance. Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations. Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people.
HARRY S. TRUMAN, speech, October 10, 1952
For decades the G.O.P. has won elections by appealing to social and racial divisions, only to turn after each victory to deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy -- a process that reached its epitome when George W. Bush won re-election by posing as America's defender against gay married terrorists, then announced that he had a mandate to privatize Social Security.
PAUL KRUGMAN, "Severe Conservative Syndrome", New York Times, February 12, 2012
Now, Social Security through the years, for many many people, has been a terrible investment. It's really a tax, that's all it is. Social Security is a tax.
TODD AKIN, "Washington Minute", CSPAN, March 19, 2011
We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us at any time may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.
BARACK OBAMA, Second Inaugural Address, January 21, 2013
Social Security is not just another government spending program. It is a promise from generation to generation.
HANK JOHNSON, "Social Security Is Not the Problem", Huffington Post, January 23, 2013
The system is not intended as a substitute for private savings, pension plans, and insurance protection. It is, rather, intended as the foundation upon which these other forms of protection can be soundly built. Thus, the individual's own work, his planning and his thrift will bring him a higher standard of living upon his retirement, or his family a higher standard of living in the event of his death, than would otherwise be the case. Hence the system both encourages thrift and self-reliance, and helps to prevent destitution in our national life.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, speech, January 14, 1954
Social Security faces a problem: 77 million baby boomers set to retire. Now I know there are some Republicans who would be just fine with allowing these programs to wither and die on the vine. The way they see it, Social Security and Medicare are wasteful "entitlement programs." But people who think this way need to rethink their position. It's not unreasonable for people who paid into a system for decades to expect to get their money's worth--that's not an "entitlement," that's honoring a deal. We as a society must also make an ironclad commitment to providing a safety net for those who can't make one for themselves.
DONALD TRUMP, Time to Get Tough
Like many Americans, I got my Social Security card when I was a teenager and applied for my first job. Then, of course, I didn't understand that my wallet-sized card represented a commitment that every American could grow old with dignity. I also didn't understand that Social Security is not just for the elderly-and not just for retirement. Nearly 1/3 of its beneficiaries are either disabled, widows, widowers or surviving dependents. Social Security is a family protection system.
HILLARY CLINTON, "Talking It Over", February 17, 1999
The fact is that Social Security works efficiently and effectively. With only tweaks to adjust for demographic and economic changes, Social Security can remain financially sound so long as the United States of America endures. In this, Social Security is no different than our Constitution, which we amended twenty-seven times.
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, foreword, Social Security Works!: Why Social Security Isn't Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All
In short, Social Security is riding a tiger that it dares not dismount. Since Social Security bulks so huge in our national life, America itself is riding that same tiger. The long-term economic and political rewards of dismounting--that is, publicly, officially dispelling the fals consciousness and radically reforming Social Security--are very high, but the short-term political risks of doing so are terrifying.... So we go on, deeper into the dark forest, clinging to the tiger's neck, half-fearing that that those reporting bones littering the ground are right, half-hoping the scoffers saying there is ample time for a hunter to arrive are right, spinning fantastic "reform" schemes for jumping off the tiger without getting mauled, and ending up doing nothing.
JOHN ATTARIAN, Social Security: False Consciousness and Crisis
Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, letter to Edgar Newton Eisenhower, November 8, 1954
The changes in this legislation will allow Social Security to age as gracefully as all of us hope to do ourselves, without becoming an overwhelming burden on generations still to come.... Our elderly need no longer fear that the checks they depend on will be stopped or reduced. These amendments protect them. Americans of middle age need no longer worry whether their career-long investment will pay off. These amendments guarantee it. And younger people can feel confident that Social Security will still be around when they need it to cushion their retirement.
RONALD REAGAN, speech, April 20, 1982
They want the federal government controlling Social Security, like it's some kind of federal program.
GEORGE W. BUSH, speech at a campaign stop, November 2, 2000
This Nation must not break faith with those Americans who have a right to expect that Social Security payments will protect them and their families.... In the 34 years since the Social Security program was first established, it has become a central part of life for a growing number of Americans.... Almost all Americans have a stake in the soundness of the Social Security system.
RICHARD NIXON, speech, September 25, 1969
You have to reform Social Security, and the simple way to do it is to make sure that the wealthiest don't receive the same benefits as people that are lower-income.
JEB BUSH, GOP Presidential debate on CNBC, October 28, 2015
There are two main differences between Ponzi's original scam and the Social Security system. The first difference is that Social Security is run by the government and, whatever its constitutionality and its questionable ethics, is legal. The second difference follows from the first: Whereas Ponzi had to rely on suckers, the government can and does use force.
DAVID R. HENDERSON, The Joy of Freedom: An Economist's Odyssey
We will not privatize it. If we had listened to Romney and the congressman during the Bush years, imagine where all those seniors would be now if their money had been in the market. Their ideas are old, and their ideas are bad.
JOE BIDEN, Vice Presidential debate, October 11, 2012
The solution to the Great Social Security crisis couldn't be more obvious: Allow every American to dedicate some portion of their payroll taxes to a personal Social Security account that they could own and invest in stocks and bonds. Federal guidelines would make sure that your money is diversified, that it is invested in sound mutual funds or bond funds, and not in emu ranches. The national savings rate would soar and billions of dollars would be cycled from savings, to productive assets, to retirement money. And unlike the previous system, the assets in this retirement account could be left to one's heirs, used to start a business, or anything else one desires.
DONALD TRUMP, The America We Deserve
Social Security is squarely based on what has been called the eighth wonder of the world -- compound interest. A growing nation is the greatest Ponzi game ever contrived. And that is a fact, not a paradox.
PAUL SAMUELSON, "Something for Nothing?", Newsweek, February 13, 1967