Lyndon Johnson on Social Security
A: There has never been any change in the way the Social Security program is financed or the way that Social Security payroll taxes are used by the federal government. This question comes from a confusion about the way the Social Security Trust Fund is treated in federal budget accounting. Starting in 1969 (due to action by the Johnson Administration in 1968) the transactions to the Trust Fund were included in what is known as the "unified budget." This is sometimes described by saying that the Social Security Trust Funds are "on-budget." This budget treatment of the Social Security Trust Fund continued until 1990 when the Trust Funds were again taken "off-budget." But whether the Trust Funds are "on-budget" or "off-budget" is primarily a question of accounting practices--it has no effect on the actual operations of the Trust Fund itself.
Yet child poverty has hardly budged in the Census data. The poverty rate was actually higher in 2012 for people high school age or younger (at 21.8%) than in 1966 (when the rate was 17.6%).
Those raw numbers may belie the progress that's been made. The introduction of food stamps, arriving nationally during the 1970s, helped to drive down rates of severe malnutrition among children. Although poverty remained, by the late 1970s severe child malnutrition and related health conditions were rare.
Contrary to what many Americans believe and what progressives love to say, there is no money in the Trust Fund to pay future benefits. Furthermore, the fundamentally flawed program faces a severe demographic crisis as members of the baby boom generation begin to retire. The mess we face with Social Security, a program so many are now dependent on, is yet another example of a failed progressive policy, where the potential for unintended consequences was ignored at the program's inception. [See FactCheck on this issue].
I will ask that you raise the minimum payments by 59%--from $44 to $70 a month, and to guarantee a minimum benefit of $100 a month for those with a total of 25 years of coverage. We must raise the limits that retired workers can earn without losing social security income.
We must eliminate by law unjust discrimination in employment because of age. We should embark upon a major effort to provide self-help assistance to the forgotten in our midst--the American Indians and the migratory farm workers. And we should reach with the hand of understanding to help those who live in rural poverty.
|Other past presidents on Social Security:
|Lyndon Johnson on other issues:
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)
Past Vice Presidents:
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