Social Security Act

Topics: Social Security, Retirement, Medicare Pages: 4 (1132 words) Published: April 17, 2013
1. 2. Social Security Act 1. purpose?

An act to provide for the general welfare by establishing a system of Federal old-age benefits, and by enabling the several States to make more adequate provision for aged persons, blind persons, dependent and crippled children, maternal and child welfare, public health, and the administration of their unemployment compensation laws; to establish a Social Security Board; to raise revenue, etc. On August 14, 1935, the Social Security Act established a system of old-age benefits for workers, benefits for victims of industrial accidents, unemployment insurance, aid for dependent mothers and children, the blind, and the physically handicapped. 2.opposition, and why? The constitutional basis of the Social Security Act was uncertain. The basic problem is that under the "reserve clause" of the Constitution (the 10th Amendment) powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved for the States or the people. When the federal government seeks to expand its influence in new areas it must find some basis in the Constitution to justify its action. Obviously, the Constitution did not specifically mention the operation of a social insurance system as a power granted to the federal government! The Committee on Economic Security (CES) struggled with this and was unsure whether to claim the commerce clause or the broad power to levy taxes and expend funds to "provide for the general welfare," as the basis for the programs in the Act. Ultimately, the CES opted for the taxing power as the basis for the new program, and the Congress agreed, but how the courts would see this choice was very much an open question. The resulting Senate and House bills encountered opposition from those who considered it a governmental invasion of the private sphere and from those who sought exemption from payroll taxes...
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