Research & Analysis by Larry DeWitt

The Decision to Exclude Agricultural and Domestic Workers from the 1935 Social Security Act
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70, No. 4 (released November 2010)
by Larry DeWitt

The Social Security Act of 1935 excluded from coverage about half the workers in the American economy. Among the excluded groups were agricultural and domestic workers. Some scholars have attributed this exclusion to racial bias against African Americans. In this article, the author examines the evidence of the origins of the coverage exclusions in 1935 and concludes that this particular provision had nothing to do with race.

The Development of Social Security in America
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70, No. 3 (released August 2010)
by Larry DeWitt

This article examines the origins and legislative development of the U.S. Social Security program over its 75-year history. It traces the major amendments adopted over the decades and provides a summary assessment of the impact and importance of Social Security as a central pillar of the U.S. social welfare system.

Financing Social Security 1939-1949: A Reexamination of the Financing Policies of this Period
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67, No. 4 (released May 2008)
by Larry DeWitt

Presented is an examination of the financing history of the U.S. Social Security system from the passage of the original law in 1935 up through the enactment of the 1950 Amendments to the Social Security Act. In particular, it focuses on the 1939 Social Security Amendments and the subsequent tax rate freezes enacted between 1939 and 1949. It examines the origins of these taxing policies and assesses the impact of the rate freezes on the long-range actuarial balance of the Social Security program during this period.

The Civilian War Benefits Program: SSA's First Disability Program
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 60, No. 2 (released April 1997)
by Larry DeWitt