THE WHITE HOUSE
On August 14, 1985, our Nation will mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Social Security protects millions of workers and their loved ones against the loss of income they would otherwise face in their old age, or upon the disability or death of the family breadwinner. It provides a solid foundation of economic security upon which workers can add private pensions, savings and insurance to assure their financial well-being in retirement, or when they are unable to work. Through Medicare, it also helps elderly and disabled individuals to meet the costs of medical care.
Almost every American now benefits from the Social Security program in some way. More than 120 million people are building their future financial security through work in jobs covered by the system and approximately 37 million are receiving monthly cash benefits. Nearly all Americans reaching age 65 today are eligible for Social Security benefits. Ninety-five percent of young children and their surviving parents are eligible for benefits should the family breadwinner die and four out of five workers are protected in the event they should become disabled.
Throughout the years, Social Security has proven to be one of the most successful and popular programs ever established by the Federal Government. With the enactment of the Social Security Amendments of 1983. the Social Security system's financial soundness has been assured, both in this decade and for many decades to come. Our young people can feel secure in the knowledge that Social Security will be there to assist them in providing for their families just as it has done since the first benefits were paid in 1940.
I urge all Americans to reflect on the significance of the Social Security Act signed 50 years ago and to celebrate its accomplishments.