Celebrating 80 Years of Social Security

Eighty years ago today, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act  into law, he sent across a simple but significant message: Americans, no matter their age or physical ability, should be able to live their lives with dignity.

Though the times and technologies have changed, that message remains at the core of the Democratic Party message to older Americans. For almost eight decades, Democrats have been the party fighting for seniors and retirees. Democratic presidents created both Social Security and Medicare, two cornerstones of American society that not only grant seniors financial and medical security but also the peace of mind to enjoy their golden years to the fullest.

Democrats believe that a dignified retirement is central to the American Dream and that Social Security and Medicare are the foundation of realizing that dream. In recent years, Democrats have beaten back Republican plans to privatize Social Security—plans that would have exposed the retirement funds of millions of American seniors to great risk on the eve of the financial crisis. Instead, no one lost a penny of Social Security.

President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act

President Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act

Currently, Social Security helps provide almost 58 million Americans, including 37 million retired workers and 8 million disabled workers, with economic security. It is the major source of income for most of the elderly, who paid into the system throughout their lives. Even as we celebrate Social Security’s birthday, we have to work to ensure that future generations have access to that same type of security. That’s why President Barack Obama and Democrats are committed to  to protecting and strengthening Social Security, finding new ways to improve service delivery while cutting waste and fraud.

President Obama has further explained his commitment to Social Security in a State of the Union Address:

“To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations. We must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.”

To learn more about how Democrats and the Obama Administration are working to strengthen and sustain Social Security, check out these links: