Social Security Act

Social Security Act

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The Social Security Act, signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, created Social Security, a federal safety net for elderly, unemployed and disadvantaged Americans. The main stipulation of the original Social Security Act was to pay financial benefits to retirees over age 65 based on lifetime payroll tax contributions. The Act also established the Social Security Board, which later became the Social Security Administration, to structure the Social Security Act and figure out the logistics of implementing it.

Tens of millions of people in the United States have received financial assistance through the Social Security Act since its inception. Still, the program was wrought with challenges from the start and has been a political hot topic for years, its existence threatened time and again. Here’s everything you need to know about what the Social Security Act did, why it was created and the future of Social Security in America.

Early Social Assistance in America

Economic security has always been a major issue in an unstable, unequal world with an aging population. Societies throughout history have tackled the issue in various ways, but the disadvantaged relied mostly on charity from the wealthy or from family and friends.

In the early 17th century, England established “poor laws,” acknowledging the government’s responsibility to care for its less-fortunate citizens.

The Pilgrims brought these laws with them to the New World. Eventually, colonial governments created new laws to care for the poor and destitute, deeming which citizens were worthy or unworthy of different types of assistance. Poorhouses or outdoor relief (where people were given monetary or other assistance to keep them out of a poorhouse) were common means of public assistance.

By the mid-19th century, conditions in poorhouses were often deplorable. Yet thanks to deteriorating economic conditions they were also packed to the rafters, and local governments struggled to keep up with the overwhelming need.

Early Forms of Social Security

A large segment of American citizens received an early form of social security decades before President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act of 1935.

Starting in 1862, hundreds of thousands of veterans disabled in the Civil War and their widows and orphans could apply for a government pension for veterans. In 1890, the law was amended to include any disabled Civil War veteran, regardless of how the disability occurred. In 1906, the law was amended again to include old age as a criterion.

Company pension plans came on the scene in 1882 when the Alfred Dolge Company created a pension fund for its employees. A handful of companies followed suit, but few employees received even a nickel. Most of the companies went out of business before the pensions could be distributed, or the pensions were never dispersed.

Industrial Revolution in America

According to the Social Security Administration, four changes beginning in the late 19th century helped abolish the economic security policies of the time: the Industrial Revolution, America’s urbanization, the vanishing extended family and a longer life expectancy.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, many people were farmers and managed to support themselves during hard times, and extended family often lived together on family farms and cared for one another as they aged or struggled.

The Industrial Revolution, however, enticed people to flock to cities for jobs that were often threatened by layoffs and recession, leaving many without a way to support themselves if they lost their job. The urbanization of American also found many people leaving their extended family behind to fend for themselves.

As sanitary and general conditions in America improved, the life expectancy of its citizens did, too. When more and more people grew older, many were unable to work or became sick and required care.

Impact of The Great Depression

The Great Depression left millions of people unemployed and struggling to put food on the table. It struck the elderly especially hard and many states passed legislation to protect their elder citizens.

But most elder-assistance programs of the time were a dismal failure. They were underfunded, poorly run and, in some cases, flat out ignored by officials. Those seniors who received assistance only got about 65 cents a day.

As the depression raged on, government officials and frustrated private citizens alike moved to find ways to help struggling Americans and introduced plans to increase economic security. Most ideas were basically federal or state financed pension plans. Some included all citizens while others included only the elderly.

None of the plans became law; however, many had huge followings and initiated spirited dialogue about how to care for the disadvantaged and the elderly.

Roosevelt’s Radical Idea: Social Security

Until Franklin D. Roosevelt became president, most social assistance plans in America were dependent on the government, charities and private citizens doling out money to people in need.

Roosevelt, however, borrowed a page from Europe’s economic security rulebook and took a different approach. He proposed a program in which people contributed to their own future economic security by contributing a portion of their work income through payroll tax deductions.

Basically, the current working generation would pay into the program and finance the retired generation’s monthly allowance.

Social Security Benefits

In June 1934, President Roosevelt created the Committee on Economic Security (CES) and tasked them with creating an economic security bill. Led by the first woman to hold a U.S. cabinet post, Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, the CES drafted the Social Security Act aimed at giving people economic security throughout their lives.

The bill included:

  • an old-age pension program
  • unemployment insurance funded by employers
  • health insurance for people in financial distress
  • financial assistance for widows with children
  • financial assistance for disabled individuals

After much debate, Congress passed the Social Security Act to provide benefits to retirees based on their earnings history and on August 14, 1935, Roosevelt signed it into law. This firmly placed the burden of economic security for American citizens on the federal government’s shoulders.

Social Security Cards

After signing the Social Security Act, President Roosevelt established a three-person board to administer the program with the goal of starting payroll tax deductions for enrollees by January 1, 1937. It was a daunting task, but by November 1936 registration for the program began.

Not everyone could participate, though. Self-employed professionals, field hands and domestic workers were excluded.

To become eligible, workers completed an application at their local post office and received a national identity card with a unique, nine-digit identification number. Within eight days of rolling out the program, over one million workers had Social Security numbers.

Four months later, almost 26 million had enrolled despite most projected payouts being below poverty level. The Social Security card was—and still is—used to track workers earnings and benefits.

Social Security Act Amendments

Many amendments have been passed to the original Social Security Act. For instance, originally, monthly payouts of old-age benefits were slated to start on January 1, 1942. Eligible people who turned 65 prior to that date received a lump sum payment.

On August 10, 1939, an amendment passed to move up the start date to receive monthly benefits to January 1, 1940. Another amendment extended eligibility to dependents and survivors of retired workers.

In the 1950s, amendments were made which extended Social Security eligibility to domestic and farm workers, non-farm self-employed professionals and some federal employees. It also offered voluntary coverage to some state and federal employees, hundreds of thousands of nonprofit employees and workers in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

In addition, benefits were increased for millions of beneficiaries and a new contribution schedule established.

Medicare: Medical Insurance For Social Security Recipients

In 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved legislation to allow Social Security benefits for disabled workers and their dependents.

The Social Security Amendments of 1965 provided medical insurance to Social Security beneficiaries age 65 and older. This new “Medicare” program also offered people 65 and older the chance to purchase supplemental medical insurance.

In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon signed legislation to provide an automatic cost of living allowance each year to offset the cost of inflation. Prior to the new law, annual increases required Congressional approval.

Efforts to Keep Social Security Solvent

By 1977, it was clear Social Security was in financial peril. An amendment was passed changing the benefit qualification formula for people born after 1917. Other amendments were also passed including increasing the payroll tax and slightly decreasing benefits to help cut costs, leaving some beneficiaries with less money during difficult economic times.

These efforts didn’t prevent the program from facing a serious financial crisis in the 1980s, however, and President Ronald Reagan created a commission to examine how to keep Social Security in the black. In 1983, he signed legislation that gradually increased the retirement age to 67, taxed Social Security benefits and provided Social Security benefits to federal workers.

After taking office in 2001, President George W. Bush appointed another Social Security Commission with its top priority being Social Security reform. No revolutionary changes were made to keep the program solvent long-term. Still, the Bush administration extended disability benefits and food stamps to qualified immigrants and their children, eliminated wage credits for the military and expanded Medicare prescription drug coverage.

President Obama‘s administration temporarily reduced the Social Security tax rate from 6.2 to 4.2 percent in 2011 and 2012. The move helped ease financial strain on American workers but did little to stop the risk of Social Security going into future debt.

The Future of Social Security

The Social Security Act has provided Americans with much-needed financial help when they need it most. For many of America’s most vulnerable, it’s the only source of income they have.

Still, despite attempts to keep it solvent, the Social Security program faces a major long-term shortfall. The retirement age to receive full benefits continues to increase and many beneficiaries are claiming benefits much later in life to receive maximum payouts, often at age 70.

As partisan politicians continue to debate the problem each year, the Social Security Administration—which is now an independent government agency—works behind the scenes to keep Social Security intact. Administering the program is a monumental and always-changing task.

Each year, the Social Security Administration rolls out changes to the program. In 2018, they announced a two percent cost-of-living adjustment, a taxable earnings increase, an earnings limit increase for beneficiaries who still work and a slight increase in disability payments.

Despite the program’s pitfalls, most Americans want Social Security to continue and consider it a retirement lifeline, according to a National Academy of Social Insurance survey. And eighty-one percent of them are willing to pay more taxes to ensure it. Whether politicians are listening and can come up with a viable solution remains to be seen.


5 Facts About Social Security. Pew Research Center.
5 Social Security Changes to Expect in 2018. Investopedia.
Administering Social Security: Challenges Yesterday and Today. Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability.
Frances Perkins: The Force Behind Social Security. Roosevelt Institute.
Historical Background and Development of Social Security. Social Security Administration.
How FDR Created Social Security. AARP.
Key Dates in the History of Social Security. National Academy of Social Insurance.
Poor Relief in Early America. VCU Libraries Social Welfare History Project.
Social Security Turns 80: Past, Present and Future. National Academy of Social Insurance.

History and Background of the Social Security Act of 1935

Economic security is important to everyone, but for centuries, people who were economically disadvantaged had little to protect them from serious problems like hunger and homelessness. Often, some of the poorest citizens in a society were the elderly, who could no longer work to support themselves. This problem was always worse in difficult economic times, never more so than during the Great Depression. Against this backdrop, the Social Security Act was conceptualized and signed into law.

Social Security Act - HISTORY

With regard to this impasse on healthcare reform, I've been meaning to look up the 1935 and 1965 votes tallied in the successful passage of the Social Security Act and the Medicare bill, respectively. I have also been curious to learn the level of Republican support for both bills. Here 'tis.

1935 Social Security Act:
House voted 372 for and 33 against with 81 Republicans in tow
Senate voted 77 for and 6 against with 16 Republicans in tow

1965 Medicare bill:
House voted 307 for and 116 against with 70 Republicans in tow
Senate voted 70 for and 24 against with 13 Republicans in tow had some other interesting historical tidbits, including a mention of Johnson's 2/3 majority in the House following the 1964 elections.

(I wasn't looking to prove or disprove any assertion Howard Dean made last August, which is the focus of this Politifact piece. That's just where I happened to find the numbers I wanted.)

More context

And here's the composition by political party of each house during each era.

1935 (73rd Congress):
Senate had 59 Dems, 36 Repubs, 1 other* (composition 61% Dem)
House had 313 Dems, 117 Repubs, 5 other (composition 72% Dem)

* I don't know why only 96 Senate seats were occupied.

1965 (88th Congress):
Senate had 68 Dems, 32 Repubs (composition 68% Dem)
House had 259 Dems, 176 Repubs (composition 60% Dem)*

* It appears, then, that's assertion that Johnson had a "2/3 majority in the House" is slightly overstated. unless I should be looking at numbers for the 89th Congress?

More context (corrected)

OK, here's the (corrected) composition by political party of each house during each era.

1935 (73rd Congress):
Senate had 59 Dems, 36 Repubs, 1 other* (composition 61% Dem)
House had 313 Dems, 117 Repubs, 5 other (composition 72% Dem)

* 96 seats because Alaska and Hawaii weren't yet states.

1965 (89th Congress):
Senate had 68 Dems, 32 Repubs (composition 68% Dem)
House had 295 Dems, 140 Repubs (composition 68% Dem)

So the assertion that Johnson enjoyed a 2/3 majority in the House in 1965 is correct.

Also, my 1965 stats as to the Senate are unchanged here because I had previously given you 89th Congress stats for the Senate, but 88th Congress stats for the House.

Clearly, I hadn't drunk enough coffee prior to posting. Apologies.

I don't know why only 96

I don't know why only 96 Senate seats were occupied.

Alaska and Hawaii weren't states yet?


Alaska and Hawaii weren't states yet?

89th Congress

. and Medicare was, indeed, passed in the 89th Congress, not the 88th.

Please talk among yourselves while I continue trying to get this right. Repost forthcoming.

Realizing there were only 48

Realizing there were only 48 states when I was born makes me feel really old.

Most repubs nowadays

would vote against those bills, as well as the Fair Housing Act and the Voting Rights Act if they were up for a vote now..

The right wing of their own party would force them to..the Rush Limbaughs and Fox News that exist now that didn't exist back then.

My unspoken question

That was really my unspoken question in looking into these stats: Is the cause of this impasse on healthcare reform that Dems hold a smaller majority today than in 1935 and/or 1965, or is the impasse due to something else--like a different brand of Republican legislator today, or a different focus among today's media, or maybe just today's greater influence from lobbyists?

If you looked at those two charts indicating the political party composition in this session's Senate/House, you saw that we do hold smaller majorities in both than we did in 1935 or 1965. Today, Dems comprise just 59% of legislators in both chambers, but. is that the only reason this legislation has stalled?

I think it is a mixture of

I think it is a mixture of both. I think FDR was a great President, but even with his huge mandate and Democrats in control of Congress, he was never able to sign anything into law regarding civil rights. He knew, that even with 15 New Deal measures rubber stamped by the Democratic Congress in 1933 and many more later, civil rights measures did not have a prayer of passing in that those years. He would have alienated the Southern Dems that supported the New Deal. FDR and Johnson were great at twisting arms and using their political power to the greatest extent, but they did have the advantage of a huge majority. On the other hand, as Bob Dole recently stated, he or Reagan would not be welcome in today's Republican Party if you look at policy and compromise. I have never agreed with the Republican Platform, but it is much worse today than any time in the past. With the Tea Party nut cases controlling the Republican Party, great programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Headstart, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, etc would never have happened.

I think another big difference from the past is that legislators do not get to know each other as they have in the past. Without the human interaction, common sense solutions are ignored in favor of petty politics.

Health care reform

Republicans have slways been emphatically pro-business. Thus, any legislation that will ultimately hurt the bottom line for insurance companies and their CEOs will be vigorously lobbied against by those companies, and our airways will be filled with scare tactics and prophesies of doom. FOLLOW THE MONEY.
Here's a provocative question: Why are health insurance companies exempt from anti-trust laws?

Social security , Medicare , obamacare

Seems repbulicans always seems to be against history when goverment pass legislation that help ppl lives ! They were against social security, Medicare in 1965 And now obamacare in 2013 ! Seems history. Keep repeating with this party !

Bill Maher does a pretty dang

Bill Maher does a pretty dang good job of debunking that "Reagan wouldn't be welcome in today's GOP meme.
Reagan, who was paid to campaign against Medicare before he was ever elected to anything, and who invoked "states rights" (wink, wink) when he chose to kick off his first presidential campaign in Neshoba County Mississippi, practically on the graves of three murdered civil rights workers, who couldnt bring himself to mention the word AIDS for years and years and and who couldn't remember whether he really served in WWII or just played a soldier in the movies, was the original Teabagger, Maher says.
I agree.
(link. )

I love to listen to Maher. No

I love to listen to Maher. No convincing needed for me to believe how bad Reagan was for America. I was just using the Dole interview to point out that Rand Paul & Cruz & company are even to the right of a guy the right wing conservative movers and shakers used as a puppet as president of the Screen Actors Guild. Then they gave him a national audience with his speech at Goldwater's 64 convention. Then governor of CA. and on to be a disaster for healthcare and every other issue that would help most Americans during his 8 yrs. as President. The "Great Communicator" repeated the words of Nancy and his handlers so well he ruined the lives of millions of Americans. I don't want to say anything good about the crook. but Nixon was a hell of a lot smarter and better than Reagan. That aint saying much but Nixon did create the EPA and was more moderate than Reagan on just about everything.

Thanks for the link. just

Thanks for the link. just listened. Maher's words are a good reminder to some folks with short memories,so true about "the great communicator", when he says "Reagan just made shit up".

Social Security Act - HISTORY


Social Security tax or FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) is another tax taken out of your paycheck with withholding, or self-assessed as self-employment tax. Where's the authority for this and who does it apply to?

IRC (Internal Revenue Code) 3101. Rate of tax.
(a) Old-age, survivors, and disability insurance . In addition to other taxes, there is hereby imposed on the income of every individual a tax equal to the following percentages of the wages (as defined in section 3121(a)) received by him with respect to employment (as defined in section 3121(b) --

Again, this is just another excise tax imposed on income, in addition to other taxes, and has nothing to do with any type of insurance. Since an excise tax is a tax on a privilege, then what's the privilege here? The privilege is wages received with respect to employment. Is employment a government granted privilege? Yes, since the government property (U.S. citizen) is employed by a business, that makes every employer a government employer. But notice that, again, the tax is a percentage of wages. Do you receive wages?

Well, since 'wages' and 'employment' are words of art here, with statutory references to definitions, let's check them out first, along with a few others. This is Chapter 21 (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) of the IRC (Internal Revenue Code). NOTE: The definitions of 'employer' and employee' and 'wages' we previously examined in Chapter 24, Sect. 3401 withholding, do not apply to this Chapter 21. So we have new definitions to contend with.

Remember, when we go through these definitions , that the word "includes", when used in a definition, means that all the words in the definition will fall into the same category , while the word "means" is limited to exactly what is defined. For example: The definition of fruit that says,"Fruit includes apples, pears and oranges", would also include other "fruit" in this category, such as cherries, but would 'exclude' potatoes, which are vegetables and not fruit. But if the definition says, "Fruit means apples and pears", then the definition is limited to what is actually described. It would NOT include oranges or cherries. Be aware of this distinction!

IRC 3121. Definitions.
(a) Wages. "For purposes of this chapter, the term "wages" means all remuneration for employment , . . . "

(b) Employment. " For the purposes of this chapter, the term "employment" means any service, of whatever nature, performed (A) by an employee for the person employing him, irrespective of the citizenship or residence of either, (i) within the United States ,, or (ii) on or in connection with an American vessel or aircraft under a contract of service which is entered into within the United States . . ."

So far, we have seen that 'wages' are pay for 'employment' and 'employment' is performed by an 'employee' and it only applies within the 'United States'. Since employment applies to employees, let's see what an 'employee' is in this chapter on Social Security tax.

IRC 3121 (d) Employee. For purposes of this chapter, the term "employee" means --
(1) any officer of a corporation or
(2) any individual who, under the usual common law rules applicable in determining the employer-employee relationship, has the status of an employee or
(3) any individual (other than an individual who is an employee under paragraph (1) or (2)) who performs services for remuneration for any person --
(A) as an agent-driver or commission-driver engaged in distributing meat products, vegetable products, fruit products, bakery products, beverages (other than milk), or laundry or dry-cleaning services, for his principal
(B) as a full-time life insurance salesman
(C) as a home worker performing work, according to specifications furnished by the person for whom the service are performed, on materials or goods furnished by such person which are required to be returned to such person or a person designated by him or
(D) as a traveling or city salesman, other than as an agent-driver or commission-driver, engaged upon a full time basis in the solicitation on behalf of, and the transmission to, his principal . . . of orders from wholesalers, retailers, contractors, or operators of hotels, restaurants, or other similar establishments for merchandise for resale or supplies for use in their business operations
if the contract of service contemplates that substantially all of such services are to be performed personally by such individual except that an individual shall not be included in the term "employee" under the provisions of this paragraph if such individual has a substantial investment in facilities used in connection with the performance of such services . . . or if the services are in the nature of a single transaction not part of a continuing relationship with the person for whom the services are performed or
(4) any individual who performs services that are included under an agreement entered into pursuant to section 218 of the Social Security Act.

I'm glad they made this definition simple, aren't you? Notice the definition qualifier word, 'means'. It only applies to what is actually listed. So what is it really saying? With so much fog, they must be trying to hide something. What is it? I think the purpose is to spend so much time figuring out who is an employee, and who is not, that you lose sight of the real question: Who does the tax apply to? Definition #2 pretty wells sums it up. Any employee in the usual common law meaning of employer and employee, has the status of employee. This is a different definition for employee than found in section 3401 - Withholding, because it is for a different kind of tax. This is basically a tax for old age insurance, or retirement. Or, as it is commonly known, a Social Security tax. It is a form of pension benefit or privilege an employer pays to his employee. In this case you help pay your own pension benefit. Do pension benefits ever apply to non-employees? No. The government considers everyone (every U.S. citizen) THEIR employee.

Go back to Sect. 3101 - Rate of Tax. It says the tax is on individuals receiving wages from employment. What is 'employment'? The definition says it is services performed by an 'employee' 'within the United States' . We just read the definition of 'employee' and that applied to pretty much everybody, so let's check the definition of United States.

What is the United States, and where is it? Remember from an earlier chapter, there are several different definitions for the United States, and that the geographical jurisdictions of the 50 United States of America are different from the federal United States government. Which one are we talking about here?

IRC Sec. 3121 (e) State, United States, and citizen.
For purposes of this chapter --
(1) State. The term "State" includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa.
(2) United States. The term "United States" when used in a geographical sense includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.
An individual who is a citizen of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (but not otherwise a citizen of the United States) shall be considered, for purposes of this section, as a citizen of the United States.

Oh, the fog is clearing a little. The geographical United States, in this definition, 'includes' the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa. The word 'includes' means that it includes only things that are in the category mentioned in the definition, and excludes everything else. Even the definition of 'State" 'includes' only U.S. possessions and territories. Neither definition says anything about the 50 states. So the only logical conclusion you can make is that the Social Security tax applies only to government employees in U.S. possessions and territories, and not to the 50 states. If you remember, these employees would be 'persons' under the 14th Amendment and therefore subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government. This is that special class of citizenship that has 'privileges and immunities' that are protected. Employment in the United States possessions is one of those privileges you are being taxed for as a citizen of the United States.

Again, the big question. Can you claim that you are a U.S. citizen, 'employed' in one of the 'United States' possessions and apply for Social Security? When you sign the Social Security application, do you, under penalty of perjury, declare that you are a United States citizen, as legally defined under this section? Yes you do! Is your name spelled in all capital letters on the SS card? Yes it is. The definition says that if you are a citizen of Puerto Rico, then you shall be considered to be a citizen of the United States. Are you a citizen of Puerto Rico? No? Then do you live in the 'United States', as defined?

Remember, that people in U.S. possessions and territories are also subjects of the federal government. And, as subjects, they are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States government. Remember from the 14th Amendment, what people under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States are called? United States citizens. And if you are a citizen of Puerto Rico, you are also considered to be a U.S. citizen.

So this Social Security tax applies to government employees working in the United States. Government 'employee' includes everyone, and the United States is limited to Washington D.C. and 4 possessions. The 50 states are not mentioned.

Apparently this tax is only for U.S. citizens living within the geographical jurisdiction of the United States government. The official definition of United States does not include the 50 states. And this is true. BUT, under martial law, that jurisdiction is extended to the 50 states and now the tax applies to everyone who claims to be a U.S. citizen/subject of the federal government.

A quick review of the 14th Amendment:

U.S. Constitution 14th Amendment. Sect. 1 All persons born or naturalized in the United States AND subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

So, again, a U.S. citizen is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, with no mention of 'rights'. What do you call a person who is subject to the government? Subject? Slave? Employee? Property? All four? How about U.S. Citizen. And only these U.S. citizens have SS #'s (slave/subject #). I believe that it is the application for a Social Security number that creates the contract for U.S. citizenship, and waives your American Citizenship. The U.S. citizen was created at birth, but he is not actually confirmed, until he contracted to get a Social Security number. That is why an employer insists that you get a Social Security number before you start work. The government wants proof that you are now under their jurisdiction, should they ever need it, like if they wanted to assess income tax on you. With so many kids having money these days, the government realizes that they are engaged in commerce at an earlier and earlier age all the time, and they are missing out on some tax revenue. So now when a child is born, the government wants you to contract for a Social Security number right away, so there is no question of jurisdiction. After all, even kids have to pay income tax if they make over a certain amount of money.


Another way to look at this is: What does "Social Security" really mean? Social means 'public'. A security is stock of a corporation. Stock is a publicly traded security regulated by the SEC. So when you get a social security number, you are activating or creating the public stock (security) of the corporation known as the United States, stock created for you to use, which adds to their collateral. By getting a social security number you declare yourself to be public stock of the U.S. government! You ARE a social (public) security, with a security number, you do not GET social security insurance ! If you will look at the latest issued SS cards, you will see a red number on the back, just like the red registered security numbers on the back of a stock certificate! What's the difference? None! They are both public securities!

What do you call a person who delegates powers to the government via a constitution? A sovereign. Can a sovereign also be a citizen of his own government? Is a king also a subject to himself? Does a sovereign pledge allegiance to any government if He IS the government? Remember the pledge of allegiance you recited in school? I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America , and to the republic for which it stands, . . . You weren't pledging to the United States government, which is a democracy! You were pledging to the flag representing the 50 sovereign states, AND to the republics (states) for which they stand. Each separate sovereign state. Since the states are no longer republics, but corporations of the federal government, is the pledge of allegiance still valid? Or is it part of the con?

As we learned in chapter 6, the 14th Amendment was originally created for the freed slaves in the south (black and white) because slaves were property and had no citizenship. So the 14th Amendment created a new class of citizen, the U.S. citizen. Up to that point there were no official U.S. citizens. Citizens of the states were called United States of America (American) Citizens, or State Citizens, sovereigns in their state. The 14th Amendment created a new official class of United States citizen. Were they successful in making you think you were a U.S. citizen? Love those words of art! And these U.S. citizens had no inalienable rights secured by a constitution, just privileges and immunities secured by the good faith and credit of the federal government. Are YOU, by presumption, and by SS contract, a United States citizen?

How far, geographically, did the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States originally extend? We already examined this in detail, but let's do a quick review.

U.S. Constitution Article 1 Section 8 Clause 16. To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten square miles) as may, by Cession of Particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the States in which Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings

Well, it looks like the exclusive geographical jurisdiction only extends to the District of Columbia and purchased properties (possessions and territories). Well that matches the definition of 'United States' above, doesn't it! Are these possessions and territories part of the federal United States? Yes. Are they part of the 50 United States of America? No. In fact, the federal government owns outright, over 40% of the land in America!

Can you live in the sovereign state of Maryland or Virginia, and work for the federal government in Washington D.C., a federal state? Yes. Then you would be liable for Social Security tax on your 'employment' income. You are employed in the federal United States, as defined. But remember, under martial law, all states are now federal states, under the jurisdiction of the federal government. So technically, we all live in a government possession, and claim U.S. citizenship, just like the people in Puerto Rico do. More on martial law in the U.S. Bankruptcy chapter.

Remember, this is information on Social Security tax, not income tax. But you can volunteer for Social Security tax just like you can volunteer for income tax. It is the SS# contract that makes you taxable for FICA tax. It is claiming the privilege of 'employment', as defined, in one of the federal United States. The income tax still applies only to privileged activities with a tax imposed on them. The Social Security number just verifies that you are a U.S. citizen.

When you tried to rescind your social security number, you cannot. The number belongs to the government and was assigned to a public security. All you can rescind is your original signature on your Social Security application/contract. The number is still valid. And the first time you use the number, the number is automatically activated again, because it reactivates the contract! So keep the number, but reserve all your inalienable rights when you use it. It is mandatory to have for most jobs and for getting a bank account and in many states for a driver's license. Therefore, you are forced to sign the SS contract if you want to operate in the world, and any contract signed under force, or under fraud, is null and void from the beginning. Fraud, because did you think you were REALLY getting an insurance policy for retirement? FICA is just a tax, not an insurance policy. To call it insurance is fraud.

Think about it. If you made your whole living investing in the stock market or in real estate, you would have no self employment tax and no Social Security tax. When you retire, do you then qualify for Social Security if you had no other income over the years? No. Why? Since you were not 'employed' anywhere, and never paid anything in to the program, you do not qualify. Why? Retirement benefits only apply to those employed by an employer.

The TRUTH is that Social Security is just a fringe benefit, for any U.S. citizen who is a subject of the federal government. And the qualifications for Social Security are easy! You just have to be a U.S. citizen/subject and pay in for 10 years! In the Supreme Court case of Flemming v. Nestor , 363 U.S. 603 (1960) the Supreme Court ruled that Congress is paying Social Security benefits under the same constitutional authority that it doles out Aid to Families with Dependent Children and to those receiving food stamps. The Court said that workers have no legal claim to either their accrued contributions or to their anticipated benefits. And that Congress can stop these benefits at any time they want. Remember, privileges and immunities for citizen/subjects can be granted and withdrawn by the government at will. You have no 'right' to Social Security benefits, even if you paid in for 50 years, because it is NOT insurance. It is just a tax, to be doled out as willed. You are just on welfare, being paid from the income made by others! It is a giant pyramid scheme that would be illegal if you tried to implement a retirement program like this yourself. And it can be discontinued or changed at any time.

Remember, the social security tax is an excise tax on a privilege. The privilege is being employed by the government in the jurisdiction of U.S. federal territory. Can you be forced to accept a privilege, so you can be taxed on that privilege? No. To engage in a privilege is still voluntary. But, the government is working on that. They have made it almost mandatory to accept the privilege of Social Security. After all, you can't get 'employment' in the 'United States' without one. And if you go to the doctor, they want your Social Security number. And in some states your can't get the "privilege" of liberty (driver's license) without a social security number. You didn't know that liberty was now a privilege, and not an inalienable right? United States citizens have this 'privilege' of liberty. American sovereigns have the inalienable right of liberty. They can drive to the grocery store without permission (driver's license) from the government. Another whole book subject!

If you will remember, the government, in 1894, tried to tax property income with an excise tax, and this lead to the famous Supreme Court case of Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust (1895), that we previously read of. If you remember, the court ruled that property income, real or personal, could only be taxed with a direct tax with apportionment. So the government went back to the drawing boards. The problem? The court had also ruled in other cases, that even corporate property can only be taxed with a direct tax. The solution? The 16th Amendment (1913). It simply stated that all income, from whatever source, such as property, 'connected' to an excise activity, like a corporation, could be taxed with an excise tax. That took care of corporate income. But what about personal income? Another problem? How can we tax property income with an excise tax? The solution? Create a public corporation for every person in the United States, and have them claim all income received to be connected with that corporation, and thereby subject to an excise tax. But the people would not agree to that if they knew about it, so we must make it look like an old age insurance benefit that they can apply for, since it is practically impossible for an older person to get life insurance. Result? The Social Security Act of 1935, two years after the U.S. bankruptcy.

By creating social security account, what is really happening is that the government has created a legal fiction (name in all caps), a corporation, for you to use, without your knowledge. WHY? Because they can legally tax the property income of a corporation with an excise tax! They cannot tax the sovereign's property income with an excise tax, it can only be done with a direct tax, according to the Constitution. And you voluntarily apply for and use that SS number on everything that you do! It is tied to all income you receive and voluntarily report on tax returns! When you file a tax return, you are declaring that you, the U.S. citizen (corporate property) had income, and corporate property income is taxable with an excise tax!. HAVE WE BEEN SCAMMED OR WHAT! That is why it is so important to make a legal distinction between you, the sovereign American Citizen, and the legal fiction (U.S. corporate citizen, name in all caps) that you have contracted to be!

Your Social Security number cannot be used for identification, by law, any more than you can use a stock certificate as identification. The IRS cannot use your Social Security number for identification purposes, since the number belongs to the Social Security Administration. But they can issue an identical number and just call it a taxpayer ID number instead. It's not any different than you being a United States of America Sovereign and just calling it U.S. citizenship. Or a sovereign claiming to be a slave so he can get a few free handouts. A Social Security number is not required on a tax form, unless you are liable, but you can volunteer to supply it if you want.

If you are not liable for employment tax, then a Social Security number's purpose is to convert your private property income to taxable corporate income. It all revolves around 'corporate employment' in the jurisdiction of the United States government. Banks want the number, so they can report to the IRS any interest they paid to you, as taxable income. But think about it. Is opening a checking account or savings account, or investing in a certificate of deposit, a government granted privilege that a tax has been imposed on? Not that I know of. The government is insuring your bank balance from loss with the FDIC, so I suppose they could call that receiving a privilege, but there would still need to be a tax imposed on it first. There is none. So I guess the privilege would be corporate income earning interest on that account.

Should you still have just Social Security tax taken out of your paycheck so you can receive SS benefits when you retire? Are you a corporate U.S. citizen, subject to employment tax? Then you are also subject to income tax and social security tax. The Princeton Economic Institute states that "under today's terms, if you are under 55 you have a greater chance of being abducted by aliens than ever seeing your first Social Security check." With those odds, do you still want the tax withheld?

Remember, studies have shown that if you invest the same amount of money in the stock market, as you pay into your own social security (stock) account, that your return would be much greater than the social security benefits you would receive. The problem is most people don't have the discipline to save money, so they let their master force then to do it instead.

Social Security tax is on 'employees' employed in the 'United States', as these terms are legally defined in this section of the IRC. Social Security tax is one of the several 'employment' taxes on 'employees' working for the government in the jurisdiction of federal United States.

A SS# makes you liable for a tax on income received, since it is now corporate income. The government also claims that working for them in a federal state is a privilege, taxable with a social security tax. Obtaining the number is a privilege. Privileges cannot be mandatory. But the government can make it so you cannot get along without the privilege!

Ironically, the federal government does not collect social security tax from its own federal employees. It has its own pension plan. It only collects from U.S. citizens not directly employed by the government.

Getting a Social Security number creates the contract that you are, under penalty of perjury, a corporate United States citizen/subject, working for the government in a federal state, even if you live elsewhere. By the way, voting does also. Check your voter registration card and see if you swore you were a U.S. citizen. The same applies to gun purchases. You declared yourself to be a U.S. citizen, thereby waiving your second amendment right to bear arms. Another book subject!

A social security account number is just a public stock account number, (corporate legal fiction whose name is in all caps) created by the federal government for you, as a means to collect revenue through you , the sovereign, legally. It is an end run around the Constitution, where they can impose a legitimate 'excise' tax on the property income of a corporate legal fiction, where only a 'direct' tax could formerly be imposed on the property income of a sovereign.


By the 1930s much of western Europe had laws providing unemployment compensation for people who lost their jobs and financial assistance for the elderly. The United States lagged behind in such efforts, but there were a few citizens attempting to motivate Congress. President Roosevelt responded to citizens' initiatives by creating a special committee in 1934 to investigate the concept of social security.

The committee's recommendations became the foundation for the Social Security Act. The act provided unemployment insurance, aid to the poor, and pensions for the elderly. Rejecting warnings that the act would destroy individual responsibility and self-help, Congress passed it, and Roosevelt signed it into law on August 14, 1935.

Aug. 14, 1935: The Social Security Act Passed

Cover of one of the many pamphlets produced by the National Joint Action Committee in support of Congressman Ernest Lundeen’s social insurance bill. “What Every Working Woman Wants” was printed by Workers’ Library Publishers, NYC, 1935. Courtesy of the Institute of Social Medicine and Community Health. Lundeen’s bill ultimately lost to the more conservative social security legislation .

On Aug. 14, 1935, the Social Security Act was passed. Howard Zinn said in 1994 in a Rethinking Schools interview:

Emphasizing social and protest movements in the making of history gives students a feeling that they as citizens are the most important actors in history… Students should learn that during the Depression there were strikes and demonstrations all over the country. And it was that turmoil and protest that created the atmosphere in which Roosevelt and Congress passed the Social Security Act.

Rethinking Schools editor Adam Sanchez describes how he teaches about this period in history in “Who Made the New Deal?”

However one analyzes the impact of Roosevelt or Obama, it is clear that the Great Depression and the New Deal are vitally relevant to those grappling with today’s economic crisis. As a 10th-grade U.S. history teacher at Madison High School in Portland, Oregon, I knew that studying the 1930s would be especially pertinent to my diverse, largely poor and working-class students, whose families are still living with the effects of the 2007–08 meltdown.

My goal was to get students to see the similarities and pinpoint differences between the two crises and the two presidents. I hoped they would question why Roosevelt’s presidency produced so many more and so much deeper structural reforms than Obama’s. By the end of Roosevelt’s first two terms in office, nonagricultural private-sector workers had the right to organize unions and the National Labor Relations Board was created to enforce that right. The unemployed had access to a new, permanent system of unemployment insurance, and the elderly could rely on social security. Millions of people were put back to work through federal jobs programs.

Did the differences indicate that FDR was a better politician? Was he more left-leaning than Obama and today’s Democratic Party? Or was the difference the result of massive pressure on Roosevelt from below—the strength of organized labor and other mass movements of the 1930s? Were the New Deal reforms an instance when the government genuinely intervened on the side of poor and working people or, as historian Howard Zinn wrote, were they aimed at “giving enough help to the lower classes to keep them from turning a rebellion into a real revolution?” Exploring these questions requires delving into a people’s history of the Great Depression and the New Deal—one too often overlooked in the history textbooks. Continue reading.

Find lessons and other resources below to teach outside the textbook about the New Deal.

Related Resources

How Red Lines Built White Wealth: A Lesson on Housing Segregation in the 20th Century

Teaching Activity. By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca. Rethinking Schools.
The mixer role play is based on Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law, which shows in exacting detail how government policies segregated every major city in the United States with dire consequences for African Americans.

What Caused the Great Depression? The Widget Boom Game

Teaching Activity. By Adam Sanchez. Rethinking Schools.
A simulation helps students understand the causes of economic crises.

Who Made the New Deal? The Economic Recovery Conference Role Play

Teaching Activity. By Adam Sanchez. Rethinking Schools.
Through role play, students explore how different social groups influenced New Deal legislation.

Dirt and Deeds in Mississippi

Film. Produced and directed by David Shulman. Narrated by Danny Glover. 82 minutes. 2015
Documentary about the pivotal role played by Black landowning families during the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi who controlled over a million acres in the 1960s.

History: The Adult Protective Services Model

While each state created its laws and regulations independently, most followed a similar model of protective service delivery. Based on social casework and systems approaches, most programs “provide elder abuse victims with a coordinated, interdisciplinary system of social and health services. The services are designed to enable an elderly individual or other vulnerable adult to continue living independently at home and to protect him from abuse.” (U.S. Congress, 1991)

The majority, (90%), of states provide services to vulnerable adults age 18 and older who represent approximately 30% of the cases nation wide. Areas of abuse covered by state statutes include physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, financial exploitation and caregiver neglect as well as self-neglect. Definitions vary from state to state, but the core areas of mistreatment are consistent.

The primary activities covered by most state statutes include receiving reports conducting investigations evaluating client risk and capacity to agree to services developing and implementing a case plan counseling the client arranging for a large variety of services and benefits and monitoring ongoing service delivery (APWA Report, 1994).

The problem of involuntary services has been, in large part, diffused by a NAPSA study conducted by Joy Duke. Results of the nationwide survey showed that less than 10% of adult protection client’s received services without their consent, and that all states made vigorous efforts to protect clients rights. “The focus is not on serving adults against their will, but rather on assuring that the critical services are not denied because the adult in need lacks capacity to consent to receive essential services.” (Duke, 1997)

The locus of states’ adult protection administrative structures varies. In two thirds of the states, the agency responsible for state administration resides with the Department of Social Services. The remaining one third are State Units on Aging with a sprinkling of Departments of Health and Rehabilitation. In the majority of states Adult Protective Services has a role in investigating abuse reports in long term care facilities. Sometimes this role is shared with the long-term care ombudsman and/or other regulatory agencies (APWA Report).

Regardless of location, there are certain basic principles which shape Adult Protective Services practice:

  • The client’s right to self-determination
  • The use of the least restrictive alternative
  • The maintenance of the family unit whenever possible
  • The use of community-based services rather than institutions
  • The avoidance of blame
  • That inadequate or inappropriate services are worse than none (U.S. Congress, 1981)

Because the profession has evolved from the ground up rather than as the result of research, practice tends to be pragmatic. Mixson advised that early in the relationship the practitioner “offer the individual one concrete piece of assistance, regardless of its relation to what the practitioner may view as the presenting problem.”

Mixson went on to discuss the importance of establishing trust with the client, “Regardless of the method in which the connection is made, the practitioner who attempts intervention without first having established this basis of trust and rapport is sabotaging the potential for success.” (Mixson, 91)

The Social Security Act

At approximately 3:30 p.m. on August 14, 1935, the Social Security Act* became law above President Franklin D. Roosevelt`s signature. The Social Security Act is one of the truly momentous legislative accomplishments in United States history. Enacted in the throes of the Great Depression, it was a sweeping bill that generated an array of programs to aid numerous groups of Americans. The law got its title from the groundbreaking social insurance program designed to provide a steady income for retired workers aged 65 or older. Background When English-speaking colonists arrived in North America, they were steeped in the notions and practices they knew in England, including the "Poor Laws." The original colonial poor laws emulated the Elizabethan Poor Law of 1601. They stressed local taxation to support the impoverished and all relief was a local obligation. Town elders determined who was eligible for relief (or subject to punishment for laziness) and how it would be meted out. Prevailing American attitudes toward poverty relief were usually dubious, and governmental involvement was slight. Social Security as it would be recognized today did not actually come into being in America until 1935, but there was one significant predecessor, a social security program intended for a particular segment of the American population. In the aftermath of the Civil War, there were hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans as well as widows and orphans. Their needs led to the development of a pension plan with similarities to later developments in Social Security. Rooted in the 18th century, several significant social trends occurred in 19th century America that made conventional ways of securing economic survival increasingly obsolete:

In other words, Americans had become increasingly industrialized, citified, and older, and fewer people lived with various near relatives. The Bishops` Program of Social Reconstruction, published by liberals Roman Catholic bishops after World War I, suggested a change in the attitude towards government "safety nets."

Watch the video: Heres How the Great Depression Brought on Social Security. History