Social Security is important to all Americans, but, particularly, to low-income workers and their families. Financing the program partly through earmarked deductions from employees’ wages is an integral and vital part of Social Security’s design, and has been an important reason for Social Security’s success and broad public support over the program’s seventy-year life. At the same time, these contributions are harder to bear for those with lower wages. Just as the EITC has eased the burden of these contributions without undermining the basic structure and philosophy of Social Security, so the program’s long-range deficit, if eliminated properly, can help strengthen Social Security while remaining sensitive to the burdens of the low-wage worker. If that is done, Social Security will continue, in the words of President Franklin Roosevelt, “to provide sound and adequate protection against the vicissitudes of modern life” for all workers and their families, now and in the future.

Recommended Citation

Altman, Nancy J. “Social Security and the Low Income Worker.” American University Law Review 56, no. 5 (June 2007):1139-1161.