Readings in Social Security

By William Haber; Wilbur J. Cohen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V
OLD-AGE AND SURVIVORS
INSURANCE

"Opportunity for the individual to secure protection for himself and his family against the economic hazards of old age and death is essential to the sustained welfare, freedom, and dignity of the American citizen…. Since the interest of the whole nation is involved, the people, using the Government as the agency for their cooperation, should make sure that all members of the community are provided with at least a basic measure of protection against the major hazards of old age and death."

OLD AGE AND SURVIVORS INSURANCE, A Report to the Senate Committee on Finance, Advisory Council on Social Security, April, 1948.

"I have never been one to believe that any [insurance] company, or any agent of any company, should use Social Security as an approach or a sales tool. In the first place it is a government activity; it's bound to always be wrapped up in politics. We can't tell what will happen to it and we are foolish to endorse it or recommend it in any manner. Another thing the Social Security Bureau is a competitor of the life insurance agent. As long as it exists it is a source of danger to private enterprise as exemplified by life insurance companies. To me there is no sense or use in sticking our heads into that governmental noose any further than we have to."

Harry V. Wade, President, Standard Life Insurance Company of Indiana, "Social Security's Evil Side," INSURANCE INDEX, APRIL 1, 1948.


INTRODUCTION

THE EXISTING Federal old age and survivors' insurance system consists of two parts: title II of the Social Security Act which provides the benefits and is administered by the Social Security Administration in the Federal Security Agency through the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance; and the Federal Insurance Contributions Act of the Internal Revenue Code which levies the premiums and is administered by the Bureau of Internal Revenue of the Treasury Department.

As of May, 1948 the law provides for premiums of 1 per

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