American GovernmentEconomics - American...

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A Mid-term Paper M Most of the problems of the United states are related to the economy. One of the major issues facing the country today is social security. t The United States was one of the last major industrialized nations to establish a social security system. In 1911, Wisconsin passed the first state workers compensation law to be held constitutional. At that time, most Americans believed the government should not have to care for the aged, disabled or needy. But such attitudes changed during the Great Depression in the 1930's. c In 1935, Congress passed the Social Security Act. This law became the basis of the U.S. social insurance system. It provided cash benefits to only retired workers in commerce or industry. In 1939, Congress amended the act to benefit and dependent children of retired workers and widows and children of deceased workers . In 1950, the act began to cover many farm and domestic workers, non professional self employed workers, and many state and municipal employees. Coverage became nearly universal in 1956, when lawyers and other professional workers came under the system. t Social security is a government program that helps workers and retired workers and their families achieve a degree of economic security. Social security also called social insurance (Robertson p. 33), provides cash payments to help replace income lost as a result of retirement, unemployment, disability, or death. The program also helps pay the cost of medical care for people age 65 or older and for some disabled workers. About one-sixth of the people in the United States receive social security benefits. s People become eligible to receive benefits by working in a certain period in a job covered by social security. Employers and workers finance the program through payroll taxes. Participation in the social security system is required for about 95 percent of all U.S. workers. Social security differs from public assistance. Social security pays benefits to individuals, and their families, largely on the basis of work histories. Public assistance, or welfare, aids the needy, regardless of their work records. All industrialized countries as well as many developing nations have a social security system. The social security program in the United states has three main parts. They are (1) old-aged, survivors, disability, and hospital insurance (OASDHI), (2) unemployment insurance; and (3) workers' compensation. THE SOCIAL SECURITY PAYROLL TAX This tax was to be taken from the payrolls of the nation's employers and employees. The government felt that, like unemployment benefits, the social security should be financed by those who got the greatest benefit, those who worked, and were liable to need those benefits in the future. A plan that would affect those only who had paid such a tax for a number of
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American GovernmentEconomics - American...

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