Thursday, March 10, 2011

Looking at Social Security

This article presents some interesting facts about Social Security, including:
Similarly, Congress has repeatedly altered benefits. From 1950 to 1972, it increased them nine times, including a doubling in the early 1950s. In 1972, it indexed benefits to inflation. People didn't complain when benefits rose, but possible cuts now trigger howls that a "contract" is being broken. Not so. In a 1960 decision (Flemming v. Nestor), the Supreme Court expressly rejected the argument that people have a contractual right to Social Security. It cited the 1935 Social Security Act: "The right to alter, amend, or repeal any provision of this Act is hereby reserved to Congress." Congress can change the program whenever it wants.

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