When President Franklin Roosevelt signed Social Security into law in 1935, the intention was to guarantee the security of the men, women and children of the nation against certain hazards of life. Since then, Social Security has kept millions of Americans from poverty and hardship. It established a new beginning that today protects families against income loss due to retirement, disability or death of an income provider and assists in meeting some of the medical expenses of the elderly and long term disabled.
Before Social Security was established 80 years ago, more than half of our elderly population lived in poverty. Because of Social Security, the poverty figure for seniors today is less than 10 percent. Social Security also provides dignified support for millions of widows, widowers, orphans and people with disabilities.
As a 16 year old I began paying into Social Security. I knew it was a program that I would pay into for many years but would be able to count on those funds for retirement. I always felt it was a safe program because like the majority of Americans, the jobs I would work may only have an income that pays the bills but doesn’t stretch far enough to invest in stocks and bonds, etc. and the market is so volatile that investments are not constant.
In my view, maintaining and strengthening Social Security is absolutely essential to the future well-being of our nation. For 80 years it has successfully provided dignity and support for tens of millions of Americans. Our job is to keep it strong for the next 80 years.
West Virginia Federation of Democratic Women President