Message from the Commissioner

Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 70, No. 3, 2010
S S A seventy-fifth anniversary logo

August 14, 2010, marks the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Social Security Act into law. We have prepared a special issue of the Social Security Bulletin to commemorate this milestone. In this issue, several of our employees have contributed articles that reflect on Social Security's rich history and importance as a financial safety net for millions of Americans.

In the first article, Larry DeWitt, SSA's historian, describes the historical background and major legislative developments of the U.S. Social Security program. In the second article, Carolyn Puckett, from the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, documents the many administrative challenges that the agency has faced. Carolyn's article covers efforts to modernize, restructure, and improve processes; cope with staff reductions; and comply with court decisions. Next, Dalmer Hoskins, from the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics and formerly the Secretary General of the International Social Security Association, provides an international perspective. David Weaver, the Deputy Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy, follows with an article about widows under Social Security. David's article examines the adequacy of these benefits and the economic well-being of this group. In the final article, Stephen Goss, SSA's Chief Actuary, examines the future financial status of the Social Security program.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue of the Bulletin. I encourage you to learn more about Social Security by visiting our History Page at

Michael J. Astrue
Commissioner of Social Security