Social (In)Security

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socsecurity.gifThis is what FDR said on August 14, 1935, when he signed the Social Security Act of 1934--it's rather ironic now, isn't it?

"This law, too, represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but is by no means complete. It is a structure intended to lessen the force of possible future depressions. It will act as a protection to future Administrations against the necessity of going deeply into debt to furnish relief to the needy. The law will flatten out the peaks and valleys of deflation and of inflation. It is, in short, a law that will take care of human needs and at the same time provide for the United States an economic structure of vastly greater soundness."

Is any of that true? Our November cover story ("Promises Will Be Broken: A retirement crisis loom--but not because of the market's meltdown. It's worse than a temporary swoon.") described the situation we're in: the present value of the U.S.'s entitlement programs is already more than $56 trillion. Sure makes FDR's speech look silly.

The blog of Roger Kimball, editor of The New Criterion, an excellent monthly magazine focusing on arts, literature and culture but also espousing the virtues of limited government and personal liberty, has an interesting trivia quiz on Social Security.

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