quotations about social security

Social Security quote

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


Tags: Franklin D. Roosevelt

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


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


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


Tags: Harry S. Truman

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


Tags: Hillary Clinton

Social Security is widely considered the "third rail" of politics: any politician who touches it, dies.

WENDY CONNICK, "Is Social Security Going Bankrupt? The Trustees Say No", The Motley Fool, August 6, 2017


Don't let anyone tell you that Social Security is broke. In fact, Social Security has $2.85 trillion in reserves and ran a $35 billion surplus in 2016.

MATTHEW FRANKEL, "5 Social Security Myths, Debunked", The Motley Fool, July 24, 2017


Turn me loose, set me free
Somewhere in the middle of Montana
And give me all I've got coming to me
And keep your retirement
And your so-called Social Security
Big city turn me loose and set me free



It seems like every week that we see a headline somewhere claiming that Social Security is broke. Or have you heard that the government stole trillions from Social Security's reserves? Spoiler alert: These are 100% false.

MATTHEW FRANKEL, "5 Social Security Myths, Debunked", The Motley Fool, July 24, 2017


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


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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


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


Tags: Ronald Reagan

Social Security is by far the most popular federal government program, the best funded federal program, and the strongest remaining piece of our badly frayed system of social benefits. It is also under relentless attack by those who would kill it.

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, foreword, Social Security Works!: Why Social Security Isn't Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All


There's one thing I hope we will all be able to agree on. It's about our commitments. I'm talking about Social Security. To every American out there on Social Security, to every American supporting that system today, and to everyone counting on it when they retire, we made a promise to you, and we are going to keep it.

GEORGE H. W. BUSH, speech, January 31, 1990


Tags: George H. W. Bush

Thirty years ago, the American people made a basic decision that the later years of life should not be years of despondency and drift. The result was enactment of our Social Security program.... Since World War II, there has been increasing awareness of the fact that the full value of Social Security would not be realized unless provision were made to deal with the problem of costs of illnesses among our older citizens.... Compassion and reason dictate that this logical extension of our proven Social Security system will supply the prudent, feasible, and dignified way to free the aged from the fear of financial hardship in the event of illness.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON, speech, January 7, 1965


Tags: Lyndon B. Johnson

Get myself a steady job
Some responsibility
Can't even feed my cat
On social security
Hiding from the rent man
Oh it makes me want to cry
Sheriff knocking on my door
Ain't it funny how the time flies

AC/DC, "Down Payment Blues"


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


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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


Tags: Todd Akin

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


Tags: Barack Obama