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Social Security: A Refresher Course

May 21st, 2009 - 5:36 am

As you prepare to watch the Obama administration destroy what is left of the once-mighty U.S. automobile industry, you might wish to ponder this little history lesson, complete with a fun quiz, that a friend sent me.

First, a few facts:

Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. He promised:

1.) That participation in the Program would be completely voluntary,

2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual incomes into the Program,

3.) That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year,

4.) That the money the participants put into the independent “Trust Fund” rather than into the General operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program, and,

5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.

Which of these promises was kept? While you ponder that, here’s the quiz:

Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the independent “Trust” fund and put it into the General fund so that Congress could spend it?

A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically controlled House and Senate.

Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?

A: The Democratic Party.

Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities?

A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the “tie-breaking” deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the U.S.

Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants who had not paid into the Social Security system?

A: Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party.

Have a nice day.

* * * UPDATE * * * As several readers have pointed out, some of the particulars of the above are “urban myths.” It is worth noting, however, that the gist of the lesson — i.e., that Social Security system has, throughout its evolution, been a Democratic initiative — is true, all too true.

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