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Committee on Economic Security


Unpublished CES Studies

pen nib   Volume IX. Committee Publications

The Economic Security Program


Among our objectives I place the security of the men, women, and children of the Nation first.



"If, as our Constitution tells us, our Federal Government
was established among other things 'to promote the general
welfare' it is our plain duty to provide for that security upon
which welfare depends."

The President's Program for Economic Security Provides for--
1. Public Works.-To give jobs to the needy unemployed. There are 3,500,000 men now on Federal relief rolls, willing, able, and asking to work. It is work men want, not a "dole."
2. Social Insurance.-To give protection to the low income group against the suffering that results from the hazards and vicissitudes of fife that cut off earnings, such as unemployment, old age, sickness, the death of the family breadwinner--circumstances which are entirely outside the worker's own control.
3. Federal Aid to the States.-For old-age pensions, assistance to dependent and handicapped children, and extension of public health services.

The Federal Economic Security Bill Provides for--
Unemployment Insurance, which will give the worker who loses his job compensation (ordinarily 50 percent of his regular weekly wage), for a period long enough to tide him over, in normal cases, until he can find another job. By a Federal pay-roll tax, which will be uniform for the whole country, the competitive interests of business will be protected, while at the same time each State will be left free to work out, subject to certain minimum requirements, the system best suited to its own particular needs.

Old-Age Pensions to provide a living for destitute old people through Federal grants-in-aid to State pension funds. Twenty-eight States already have old-age pension systems, but they reach only a few of the needy on account of restrictive eligibility requirements and lack of the necessary State funds. Subject to certain minimum requirements, the Federal Government will contribute a 50-percent share to State pensions up to $30 a month, but the State is free to grant larger or smaller pensions as it may see fit.

Contributory Old-Age Insurance by which, through a system of regular compulsory contributions by employer and employee, there will be built up for the worker during his working years an annuity to which he will be entitled at the age of 65 as a right, rather than a charity. This contributory insurance system will be largely self-sustaining, and by building up annuities will gradually reduce the need for gratuitous old-age pensions.

Voluntary Annuities.-In order that the self-employed and others who do not come under the compulsory scheme will also be able to build up out of their earnings an annuity for their old age, the Government will establish a system of low-cost annuities.

Aid for Dependent and Handicapped Children.-To protect the welfare of its future citizens and to assure a normal home life to dependent children, Federal grants-in-aid will be given to the States to provide better care and protection for handicapped children, better maternal health services, and more adequate "mother's pensions."

Health Protection through extended public-health services. Grants will be made to each State for such assistance as may be needed to extend State health services and to counties and other governmental units to maintain adequate public-health programs.

The Committee on Economic Security
1734 New York Avenue NW
Washington, D. C.

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