82 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. It established one of our nation’s greatest social and economic achievements: a law that at its very core was meant to allow people to meet their basic needs at the most vulnerable times in their lives.
Unfortunately, this hallmark legislation has come under enormous scrutiny over the past few decades, making what should be a nonpartisan issue a focal point of partisan grandstanding. Social Security is one of the most successful programs our country has produced. Public opinion polls show that Americans across the political spectrum strongly support the Social Security program – which is why Social Security has come to be known as the “third rail” of politics (attacking it would be political suicide.)
In 1935, as part of the New Deal (arguably the highlight of the proposed economic program), President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, and 21 years later Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Social Security Disability Insurance as an integral part of the Social Security program. The sad reality is that many in Congress and in the Trump Administration believe in a false notion that the disability program is somehow not “actually” Social Security. In fact, earlier this year during a press briefing on Donald Trump’s budget proposal, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said, “disability insurance is not what most people would consider Social Security.”