79 years ago today, Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law.
Today, more than 60 million Americans rely on the program, and it’s kept more than 21.4 millions out of poverty. And it does all this without adding a dime to the deficit or national debt.
Social Security was passed into law in 1935 during the Great Depression to help assure that older Americans would not live in abject poverty.
Without Social Security benefits, the current poverty rate of seniors would be 44%.
Social Security is a highly effective anti-poverty program.
In 2012, Social Security kept more than 22 million Americans of all ages out of poverty. This included keeping about 1 million children under age 18 and almost 6 million people between the ages of 18 and 64 out of poverty. Social Security had an even greater impact on older Americans (ages 65 and older), keeping 15 million out of poverty in 2012 (1). Without it, the poverty rate of our seniors would be 44% instead of 9% (2).
We still have work to do including the passage of Retirement Security for All (RSA).
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