Eighty-three years ago, the Social Security Act was signed into law. It was Aug. 14, 1935, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in his first term as president.
Social Security is benefits the elderly, as well as disabled individuals, their families, or the families of the deceased. The program has been the source of political and economic tension in the country in recent years, as people count down the days until they can collect Social Security, while also nervously counting the days until the trust funds that hold Social Security’s assets are depleted. Many younger Americans will tell you they’re not even sure they’ll ever see Social Security when their time comes to retire.
But Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works, has a different story to tell. In her her latest book, called “The Truth About Social Security: The Founders’ Words Refute Revisionist History, Zombie Lies and Common Misunderstandings,” Altman outlines how the program should do even more, such as assist Americans with paid parental leave and medical leave. People should stop worrying about it no longer existing and instead focus on ways to improve it for all Americans, as the founders would have wanted, she said.
Altman spoke with MarketWatch about her new book and what Americans may not know about Social Security.